Trigger warnings for mentions of mild self-harm, slightly suicidal thoughts and very negative content. I want to warn you in advance; if you’re affected by any of these, I’ve left links at the end of this post where you can find support.
Yesterday, my friends from school – Wren and Red – sat me down in what they called an “intervention” and told me, in no uncertain terms, that my mental health was utter shit and that they were really worried about me. After having shut myself off from everyone for a while, I totally understand why: their “intervention” threw me a bit even though I was expecting it, so that I didn’t quite know how to express myself. Thinking about it all of last night and this morning, I realised that part of the reason is because I stopped writing on this blog. So, I’m breaking the silence (which I’ve been intending to do for ages) to bring you a mammoth post on how bad I’ve been feeling, with some things that you might find more hopeful at the end. Bare with me here because I need to get this all out in the healthiest way possible. I want to show you something real and to tell any of you going through the same things that you’re not alone.
Where to start? I feel like I haven’t talked about this for so long that I don’t know how to speak. I’d start at the beginning or the root causes but the problem is that things are so muddled in my head that I don’t know what those causes are. All I know is that I’m desperately sad, so let’s start with that.
Whereas a year and a half ago, I felt sad a fair bit but I had a lot of moments of happiness, now, I feel either sad or blank constantly. When I’m not sad, I’m worried for some reason, fired up with some kind of emotion that is only rarely positive. I feel empty as well; it’s like I’m trudging through mud and even wanting to move is a struggle sometimes. When I spoke to my head of year about it, she told me it was just normal teenage behaviour and made me dismiss what was happening but my friends made me realise that it’s not “normal” to feel this unhappy all the time. It’s not “normal” to feel overwhelmed to the point of screaming and tears and it’s in no way “usual” to feel as if you hate yourself, that everyone hates you and that you should just shut up. I can say it’s got worse: it wasn’t this bad before; either that or I just didn’t notice. I have a habit of dismissing my own feelings, lying to myself and then eventually figuring out that I’ve felt something I thought I hadn’t or that things were worse in my mind but I locked it all up. However, I’ve started to truly notice how I’ve been feeling and it’s quite worrying.
Along with this negativity, I’ve been having a lot of horrible thoughts as well; this is where the trigger warnings apply. In short, over the last few weeks I’ve wanted to disappear. I don’t want to actively die but I do wish I didn’t exist a lot of the time. I tried to figure out the reasons why and a lot of it links back to me feeling worthless, horrible and to a situation which has just exacerbated that entire hurricane of feeling (I’ll get onto that at some point). Anyhow, the thoughts of wishing I could disappear got so bad a week ago, shortly before I started school again, that I scratched at myself and only realised it was self-harm afterwards. As it’s a sensitive topic, I don’t want to go into too much detail as that’s unnecessary for this post; I just want to say that if you do this, don’t blame yourself or call yourself disgusting: it’s not a healthy thing to do but it’s not your fault if you do it. I got so upset by this that I was unable to cope and shut myself down. I hardly ever talk about it; it’s just something that I don’t often acknowledge and I’m sorry if that negatively affected anyone. The urge to do that again, along with the urge to just not move and to wish myself gone so that nobody would notice me, is fading but it is still there.
When the average student says, “I’m so behind in my work!” often it isn’t that bad. I wish I was joking when I said that I’m so incredibly behind that when I try to tackle the mountain of work I have, I don’t do it. That’s a contributing factor to the reasons I feel unhappy about myself; I’ve taken some steps to solving it, like talking to teachers, and I blame myself for being lazy. I’ve realised that’s not it, or only a tiny bit: I have a severe lack of motivation and a lot of unprocessed emotions, situations and worrying thoughts so that doing work became a struggle. It’s got so overwhelming now that I don’t understand how to cope. I’ve left it very very late and that’s part of the problem. If I could flip a switch and just do the work, I would; I theoretically know how to do all of it but when I sit down and try, nothing happens. Then, I get frustrated, panicked and angry; I feel like a failure; I feel like a horrific person and sometimes, as if I’m lazy and no good to anyone. I can’t just think positively about it all because I feel miserable all the fucking time and it makes me even worse. Attempting to explain this to family is difficult as they don’t believe quite how bad it is, expecting to pick myself up immediately.
Two weeks ago, I went to Barcelona with a charity for VI people and whilst it was an amazing trip, I had the worst breakdown I’ve ever had on my friend who I call Rapunzel. It’s about something I don’t feel comfortable going into at the moment because I haven’t sorted it out, either in my own head or with the people involved, but the breakdown was so bad that I opened up about wanting to die, how awful I felt and on every single day of that trip, I was in emotional pain of some sort. Rapunzel’s the type of person who didn’t mind it when I cried on her and shook so hard I couldn’t stand up. I can’t pin the blame on people; it was just a culmination of circumstances, miscommunication and confusion that led to my emotional state: all of this I haven’t spoken about to many people save for Rapunzel and those who were with me when I was directly faced with it all. Luckily though, Barcelona was wonderful and I had a great time overall. Saying that, I think it partly contributed to how outwardly unhappy I seem (people noticed unfortunately when we were in the country as I had a few moments where my mask slipped and I was unable to function much). Things resulting from it have made me feel severely insecure: I keep on thinking I’m pathetic and I think people have all given up on me. Although things are confusing and I have no idea where I stand with people, they aren’t hopeless because I can fix things but I don’t quite know how to start it.
To try and deal with some of my wild emotions which were slowly being pushed onto myself, I booked a counselling appointment on Saturday. There, I skimmed over how I was feeling: I let the counsellor know everything but there wasn’t enough time to go into detail. I was terrified; I tried to let as much out as I could, referring to the box I talked about in this post to explain how I was feeling. Although it didn’t help because I need regular sessions to get some concrete progress, it didn’t feel like, when I came out, I wanted to cease to be alive. I know that’s brutal honesty but I want to be as truthful as I can be. I needed to let out years’ worth of terror and confused emotion to the counsellor which is only, now, just coming through on my blog because I’ve told you guys quite a lot but recently, I felt like I’ve been unable to post about some things because of how personal they are.
I don’t want to overload myself too much right now. I also don’t want to fill this blog with negative thinking but currently, I see no other way of sorting out at least some of the thoughts in my head. It’s hard to explain but I don’t often know how I feel because there are too many thoughts rushing around for me to process; I also get the feeling sometimes that I’m a non-person and that I’m a bit disconnected from everything. It’s horrible. When I write on this blog, it reminds me a bit of who I am because I forget and even now, I ask myself if these words are really how I feel or if I’m just, well, lying to myself. I’m sorry. I wish I could be more concise but rambling sentences are the only things I can write with any coherency.
Most days, I have to concentrate on getting through without having a mental breakdown, without utterly giving up on speaking or engaging with anything. Whenever I think about it, I get panicked and believe that I’m making things up, that everything is fine and then I start to feel like what I called a “non-person” earlier. It’s so hard to dissect what I’m feeling and I’m trying my best to solve that with things like counselling but I’m so afraid that I’m just going to become the shell of a person. When I consider that, I feel freezing.
There are too many things in my head, from dealing with feelings to coping with family to feeling lonely for no reason. Explaining it in one post is way too much; I tried to do it in counselling and got so upset that I couldn’t actually force any words out. I’m calling myself dramatic when I say this but it now goes far beyond simple “I’m sad” because when I thought the simple sadness, I hadn’t realised that there were a shitload of other issues. People expect me to be fine so I’ve shoved up a wall in my own mind to it; it’s only now, where I’m visibly not coping at school and getting upset because of that, that I kind of have to face the facts and quit calling myself attention-seeking for every little thing.
At some point, over the next few days or weeks, I’ll be talking about all of this in greater detail. Barcelona deserves an entire post of its own but I’m not willing to do that right now; too many things have happened and posting about it all would be so disrespectful to the people involved, not to mention disrespectful to myself because my thoughts are still hectic about it. For now, I’m going to leave this post as it is, in it’s wild and painful waves of thought. I don’t know how to do it otherwise; I don’t know how to structure my ideas to make sense any more but I’ve given it my best go.
If you’re feeling a little like me, here are some websites and support networks that can help. These are just for the UK but I might be creating a page on my blog for other countries too, if that’s something you’d find useful.
The Samaritans who you can talk to at any time; you can call them on 116123
Mind which is a mental health charity
The Mental Health Foundation
BetterHelp – an online counselling service
Don’t suffer in silence. I’ve done that enough and in a phrase, it’s fucking me up. I’m sick of going from day to day in a haze: I want to live my life but I have to get through this first.
From Elm 🙂