I have always classed myself as a little odd. A little abnormal. Mainly because of the way I feel things and the way I handle my emotions.
I have always been told that I am “as deep as the ocean”, I take this as a compliment. It’s better than being shallow, right? I discovered some time ago that it is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply. When I feel happiness, I feel like I am untouchable. I laugh with undeniable force. When I am sad, I feel like my insides are shutting down. I feel so much pain inside my body that I want to smack my head against a brick wall just to feel some physical pain rather than the emotional kind. When I’m in love, I feel like I am dancing on air. When an argument takes place, I feel like my whole world has stopped turning. When I get angry, I act out. When I feel insecure, I act out more. I crave reassurance that the way I’m feeling is okay. That it’s normal. I was once told that my emotions are mine and mine alone, therefore I am entitled to feel them. Yet, sometimes my emotions effect my mental state of mind and I hit my self destruct button because I can’t handle the depths of the way I am feeling.
I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Sometimes, I worry that I make things worse than what they actually are in my own head. This only makes me act more erratic and more “crazy”. I felt I had more control of things, more control of my reactions to my emotions before she died.
Losing my Mam changed me. Not completely, I’d like to think that I am still me but my unresolved grief has become a bit of an issue. Grief is hard. Grieving is hard. I think I spent that first year pushing it away as hard as I could, it was easier not to think about it. It was easier not to think about her. I went to counselling to talk to somebody because although I didn’t want to think about it, I still had so much to say. This is sounding rather contradictory, I know. Counselling is basically talking at somebody for an hour, I did it for almost a year and it helped. I felt better. I would say that I have always had some level of anxiety. It was manageable, I just always wished for reassurance. After she died my anxiety got worse. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was too scared to close my eyes because that is when the attacks would happen. I would lie in bed and think of her and my breath would start to catch in my throat until I struggled to be able to inhale and exhale at all properly. Silent tears streaming down my face the entire time wondering when the pain would stop. I then started living in fear. Expecting the worse to happen at all times. It made me worry and my worries made me paranoid. With that came the low self esteem and insecurities. With my worry, I started worrying about how I was being perceived. I would worry about what my friends and family thought of me. If they thought I was losing my mind. I started worrying at work that I was doing something wrong, if I was or was not performing well.
The day I decided to give medication a try was one of the hardest days of my life. There is such a stigma around antidepressants that I didn’t want to believe that I needed a tablet to make me happy. Turns out, medication is only 30% of your recovery. I was missing 70% and I have been that 70% for a long ass time.
The last two years of my grieving process have been a mixture of highs and lows. My highs have been amazing but my lows have been excruciating. I should of really asked for help long before now. My unresolved grief has impacted a lot of aspects of my life and my relationships. I struggle to form relationships now because I am so scared of people leaving. I am also so afraid of not being good enough. I act out through my insecurities and anxiety in the most bizarre ways. It effects my working life as some days I feel so low I struggle to function like a normal human being. I struggle to wash, to get dressed, in fact I struggle to get out of bed let alone leave the house. When things don’t go the way I expect in my head I struggle to deal with the reality of what actually is. I get frustrated and I lose myself as well as my usually calm temperament. Then I blame myself for the way I act and how I end up feeling because of it. It’s a painful, destructive, vicious cycle.
On a more positive note, I know where help is and I am glad I’m finding it. I have a great support system but I know this is going to be something I end up conquering on my own. I know who I am and I know I am not losing my mind. I’ve experienced trauma which effected me in ways I chose to ignore for some time. I know I am a good person. I have a kind heart and an amazing soul. I will not allow my mental health to define me. I will get better. With help, I will learn how to change my reactions to my own emotions which in turn will help change my behaviour. I will take back control. This is just the beginning…