I’m not sure why, on Saturday when I got home from dropping my friend off at the station, I walked up to the room we stayed in and burst into tears.
Or… Perhaps I do know but I just don’t want to admit it. Perhaps I don’t want to admit that the house felt too empty, that I missed having someone there to talk to – that I was so fucking lonely again. The sheer feeling of sadness I felt, where the next few days stretched in front of me with nothing happening that would brighten me, made the tears fall like they hardly ever do when I’m by myself. I hated it, tried to get rid of the thought that nothing was worth anything, that I wasn’t worth anything but the more I ignored it, the more it grew.
It was a feeling which made everything hollow; I lay down, sobbing and shaking until I could barely think clearly. I spoke to myself, telling myself what was real and what wasn’t, that I felt panicked. All of the pent up emotions I’d had the past week, which I hadn’t let myself release, suddenly came pouring out in 5 minutes’ worth of tears.
Then, I got up, washed my face, grabbed the duvet and pillow and brought them downstairs. I let myself go blank, only feeling cold rushes of despair and sadness at varying intervals. Those spanned from then until now: I’m terrified right now, lonely, but I’m also forcing myself to be numb. I shouldn’t do that.
When you feel an overload of emotion, one of the most harmful things you can do is to ignore it, push it aside or try to remove it. It can make things worse: if you don’t learn how to cope or not cope with those emotions, the next time they come around they’ll affect you worse. This applies to people, like me, who don’t understand how to register emotions or who can’t deal with them when they creep up on you unexpectedly. With Saturday, I was so shocked at my worsening state; as I went through London with my dad, I could feel things getting more and more blurred in my head. However, I was surprised: in no way did I expect to just walk up to that room, feel the stinging pressure behind my eyes and cry, when I realised that I had no idea what to do now. I pushed that aside. I tried not to acknowledge it because being hopeless or sad constantly drains me to the point where I don’t want to move. Maybe I should have let those emotions wash over me.
I understand how difficult it is to feel vulnerable or to let yourself break. It’s shit; you feel everything is shivering and it all recedes into a fog. However, it’s important to process and truly tell yourself that these feelings are natural and that you aren’t weak. The biggest problem I have with crying or showing any form of sadness to the quiet of an empty room or my mind is that I tell myself I’m pathetic. I’m not. It’s just me proving to myself I’m not okay because when there’s no one there to bring out the tears but they still fall, you can’t say to yourself that you’re being attention-seeking or that you’re making it up.
The first step is showing yourself that you don’t feel well. That’s difficult enough and it might take you a long time but as soon as you’ve done that, you can look at ways to help yourself. People may say immediately to seek support but if you don’t have a small idea of what’s up, talking to someone about it might panic you more. I know it certainly will me but it’s okay because I’m taking tiny steps to figure things out.
You are strong but it’s fine to not be sometimes. You aren’t some attention-seeker; if you want to cry alone or to cry whilst with someone, you do what you want. As long as you remember that showing others, or yourself, how you feel is okay.
I’ve known I feel unwell for a while but I’m ringing the counselling service today because I don’t think I can take feeling so unhappy and lonely all the time. I have no idea how to work through it; I’ve tried enough in both healthy and unhealthy ways. The next step for me is to get external support. If it’s the next step for you too, even if you’re afraid, you know – if you’re seeking it – that you need the help. If you’ve had moments like I have, where your raw thoughts and fears are displayed to you with unwavering proof, don’t doubt yourself or say to yourself that “it’s just a phase”.
If you want to talk to me about anything, my email’s always open – you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll always be here, regardless of my own mental state, because being here for others is something I love doing. There are no exceptions to that so if you ever need me, don’t be scared to ask.
Love from Elm 🙂