There are stages in your life where you sit down and repeat over and over in your head, “I will not forget this feeling. I will not let it happen again.” It’s the point where you pick up a pen and write warnings to your future self – most along the lines of, “Don’t do this.” and “don’t do that.”
I’m standing on the divide of bitterness and understanding, the road between who I was and who I am becoming. I find myself constantly second guessing whether I am allowing myself to change as a result of circumstance, or whether I am changing because it is a healthy thing to do.
I am wondering on whether I should put the effort in to remain the open, loving, vulnerable person that I worked extremely hard to become, or whether I should shut myself down, close myself off to new beginnings and exist in the safest way possible.
All of these questions keep running through my head at a speed that gives me very little time to focus on them.
Ever since I first heard the term ‘Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” attached to myself, I have had an issue with continuously questioning whether the emotions that I am feeling are normal, or whether they are a result of my anxiety; but realistically, whether they are normal or not doesn’t matter. I’m feeling them. They are making my stomach clench so hard that I feel as though I am on the perpetual verge of puking. They are making my hands shake to such a degree that I often can’t hold a pen to write. They are making me cry at the slightest provocation, everything from the sight of the coffee table I spent days building for our anniversary, to the beaker of wine corks we’ve been saving since I moved in – everything has a memory, everything has an emotion attached.
My friends and family are encouraging me to come home to them. They tell me that I need to be surrounded by love, acceptance, and most of all, understanding. They are worried about my health, about my ability to handle this on my own. Often times, they know me better than I know myself. I realize I am putting myself in a potentially precarious situation by going somewhere without a support network, in a time where my mental health is hanging by a pretty thin thread.
But I can’t live like that. Lately, I’ve let someone in my life make me feel very weak, incapable, and dependent. That isn’t who I am. I know it’s our societal inclination to perceive people with mental illnesses as fragile, broken, weak people. I’m desperate to break that misunderstanding.
I want to peel open my mind, dissect the broken parts, label all the things that make situations a lot harder to deal with for me. I want to grab people by the shoulders and shake them into understanding that I cannot, even though I really fucking wish I could, adjust to situations as quickly or with as much ease as other people, and that’s not me playing the victim. That’s me being realistic.
But it’s not my job to educate people on my disorder. I strongly believe that if you love someone and care about them, you’ll do your best to learn what is the most effective way to help them. If that means researching, or spending time really getting to the bottom of it, that’s what you do.
Enough of the onus is on people with mental health issues to survive in a society that doesn’t really support them, and at the same time not make too many waves for the “normal” people.
I’m not sorry for sounding angry and disillusioned, because I am. I’m worried that I will never be able to coexist with someone without draining their energy and dragging them down, and this is the first time I’ve realized that maybe I am really just not meant for relationships.
These are all of my knee jerk reactions to a situation that I have no idea how to deal with except to just keep waking up.
Just keep waking up.