So everyone who reads my blogs or knows me will know that I’ve had a rough couple of months. I have a tendency to withdraw socially and emotionally when this happens, which of course effects all my relationships greatly. It’s hard because I so desperately want to be close to my friends, family and girlfriend, yet whenever this happens it goes without saying that those relationships deteriorate at least a little bit.
Trying to return those relationships to normal is not something that can be done overnight. I have to work hard to get them back, and sometimes it’s really hard to know how to do it. I think one of the hardest things about life is the fact that it’s almost completely random when things decide to hit you. It could be slowly over the course of a year or it could be all in 24 hours. Getting through those crunch periods is what makes you a stronger person when you come out the other side. It will feel like a brick wall that is impossible to get through, a mountain too harsh to climb, a fire too hot to step on, but you can do it, and one of the most important ingredients in cooking up the perfect recipe is time. Healing takes time, changing takes time, moving forward takes time. Time is something a vast majority of us have and we should not under estimate it’s importance, nor take it for granted.
It’s hard for me at the moment, because the people who are trying to support me for the most part don’t really understand much about it. They only see what’s on the outside, the physical implications of severe anxiety. They listen to what I’m saying but don’t hear what I’m trying to say. It’s not that they aren’t trying, in fact they couldn’t be more loving and supportive, but unfortunately it’s just not that simple and sometimes their involvement actually makes things worse. How is one meant to cope with juggling the support of others with what’s ultimately best for one’s self. It’s very complicated, and as you might expect adds more stress, and anxiety to the situation, something that I really do not need nor can I afford. I wish I could get through to them, I wish I could let them experience an hour or two of my life, and then they would see how difficult it is. It’s all perspective of course, I’m not saying anyone else doesn’t have stuff that they have to deal with, stressful situations, ups and downs, but it’s just not the same as severe anxiety. Even a small break down, is nothing compared to generalized anxiety disorder, especially when combined with chronic pain, and depression. I’ve been hospitalized basically three times in the past month or two because of my condition. Discussions about having me stay in an acute psychiatric ward have been brought up. I’m not crazy, but there are moments where I think I will lose my footing and slip away into madness. For me this usually involves the abuse of drugs, and absolute isolation from pretty much everyone. I’ve been there a few times and I am not prepared to go there again. I’ve learnt my lesson from drug abuse. I’ve been through severe withdrawals from codeine, and had the worst acute episode of depression in my life when I took too many of my pain killers because I didn’t know what else to do. I was so physically sick for so long, and after numerous attempts to sort it out at my GP who was unable to help at all I resorted to self medicating. Never a good idea in the long run. Since that episode, I have learnt to respect my medication. I am a lot more thoughtful and cautious when it comes to taking practically anything. The people around me can’t see this yet, and I understand that it will take time. In their eyes I’m still a drug addict, or likely to become one again. I know in my heart that I’m past this and it will not happen again, but time is the only thing able to allow them to see this. The people around me and their fear of what I could be doing is not helping my condition at all, it’s actually making it harder. I cannot help but feel isolated and alone when I know that no one around me trusts me. It’s hard to swallow but what can I do? I can only keep going, not abuse drugs, and get on with my life and hope that eventually they see the difference. I wish my friends would come visit me. I’m unable to get on teamspeak, because even that is too hard for me. I’d love for any one of them to just show up and chill with me. Show me that I’m still a part of their world. I can’t even ask them but I wish it would happen. I need friends at the moment. I need support other than my family. They are too involved. I need support from my friends who will come and talk complete nonsense and joke around. Take my mind away from the anxiety that takes up 99% of my thoughts throughout the day. I spend a lot of my mornings talking to twitch chat in a stream that I am a well known member of. While most people are 10 years old and spam chat, there are a few people who actually talk like real people, and this (Plus the spam) I love. It takes my mind off the pain, off the anxiety, even if it’s just for a second it’s a lifetime’s worth of relief felt in that moment. I crave to be normal. I see people on the street, and although I don’t know what they are thinking, I wish I could feel how they felt, because it’s probably better than how I feel. A sad notion, but a true one. This isn’t to say that I would trade my life or another’s. In fact I wouldn’t, because I would not wish my illness on anyone else. It is not something anyone should have to deal with. The fact that I’m still here shows I am strong enough to endure, even if sometimes I really don’t want to. Sometimes I actually do wonder if I’m going crazy. I think it’s unlikely but that’s how it feels I’m being treated sometimes, whether it’s deliberately or not. My family seems to forget sometimes that I’m actually 24 years old and in fact an adult. I’not trying to be ungrateful, I would not be here today if it wasn’t for their continued love and support. My illness has probably caused an immense amount of stress and pressure on every single family member involved and It’s one of the reasons I have to get better. It’s not just about me, even though it may seem like it. I have to get better because I cannot be this burden on them. I have to get better because if I don’t I’m not the only one who will be affected. I cannot take the easy way out because of how selfish it would be, and how much pain and suffering it would cause others. I’d rather live with my condition my whole life than put anyone through that kind of trauma. I already know how it feels, so how could I ever justify being selfish enough to make them feel the pain and anxiety I feel. It’s just not logical, rational, or fair.
One thing I do know, is that writing this blog makes me feel a lot better, even if it’s just for the time that I’m engaged in creating it. I know that when I write here, I’m just writing what comes from my heart. I pour my heart and soul into this blog. I know that not many people read it, and I don’t know if actually helps anyone else, but it does help me. Even if it’s just for a moment. It gives me some clarity and an alternative view on my situation. It’s like looking into my own life from an outsider’s perspective. Truth be told I just write literally what comes into my head. I literally never delete anything, I don’t restructure or remove bits or words. I simply write and release whatever comes out. I think it’s one of the best ways for me to releases my anxiety. Exercise is key too, and I have been making an effort to walk or run for at least 45 minutes most days. I’ve missed one day so far, and although I could have gone, I didn’t because it was really hot and my legs still ached from the day before. A mistake? Possibly, but no one is perfect and I know I’m trying my best to face my issues head on. I do feel like I’m making progress, even if it’s at a snails pace. I cannot lose faith, or confidence in myself. I have to keep going, even when it seems impossible, and believe me, it feels impossible most of the time. Mental barriers everywhere. Not running because it was too hot? Mental barrier. Feel like something is too hard? Mental barrier. Identifying a Mental barrier and overcoming it. A Mental barrier in itself.
It’s times like this where I wish I was a man of faith, because my god *pun intended* it would be amazing if someone of a higher power could show me the way, give me the strength, and ultimately save me from myself. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in god, and I am simply living life, which differs for everyone. Mine isn’t even necessarily that bad, in fact it’s good. I have a loving family, support, a great girlfriend, friends, security, a roof over my head, food, a therapist, a GP, a Psychiatrist, a Motorbike, a kitten, good physical health, a laptop, a computer, clothes, a strong mind, empathy, intelligence, the ability to express myself, the list goes on. Always remember to be grateful for what you’ve got. Someone told me once to repeat something when things are looking grim. “I know I don’t feel it right now, but I should be grateful for the external and internal things in my life”. I repeat this to myself a lot, and over time it does help. It will not do anything for you instantly, it’s not a magical cure, but accepting it, realizing it and acknowledging it will change how you feel over time. It’s a very effective cognitive therapy strategy, and if you are finding it hard, I suggest repeating it to yourself as many times as you can throughout your day. Eventually you’ll find that you start to actually feel that way as opposed to just thinking it. My brain is powerful enough to make me physically ill, it must be powerful enough to overcome irrational anxiety. I will overcome it. I will. I will. I will. It will happen. I won’t give up. I’ll never give up. I’ll die of trying for as long as I live before I give up. Giving up is simply not an option. With that I’m out.
P.S I can’t believe I’m still actually writing these blogs. I started so long ago and I never thought I’d actually continue to write them. Even at 24 I continue to surprise myself. Never underestimate what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.
Sincerely, and lovingly,
Harry aka Kinkymuffin_