Compared to times when dealing with life and my mental health has felt impossible I guess I’ve been having a bit of a peachy time lately. But my mind creeps up on me, when things are going okay my mind gently reminds me that maybe it’s not okay to be okay, or… hang on… how about we think about that one time you screwed up, and then whilst we’re thinking about that we’ll think about every other time you screwed up, every time you didn’t screw up, and those times when those completely uncontrollable things happened, and they were obviously completely your fault. My brain doesn’t like periods of calm, periods of ‘feeling okay’ – or, to correct that, I don’t. It’d be harsh to blame everything on my mind, when in reality I could just do things differently.
I feel like I’m often told that I’m being too harsh on myself, but really I have no idea how to change that. It does feel slightly comforting to feel like crap, but also… I just don’t know how to effectively be compassionate to myself for more than a minute (or to actively be compassionate, rather than just think about all those lovely bubble baths I could have, or those nice walks I could take.)
I get annoyed, and am annoyed at how I can’t block things out when I’m having fun. Suddenly I find myself questioning my every move, wondering if others can tell that internally I’m battling with the huge fear that I’m about to completely break in front of everyone and ruin everyone’s day. That, or my brain suddenly decides I’ve had a little too much fun, or I’m too relaxed and my brain decides it’s time to get irritable, it’s time to remember all the crap stuff, it’s time to doubt my every move and it’s time to revisit that inner everyone would be having so much more fun if I wasn’t here narrative.
I worry that people won’t be able to keep up, or they don’t want to keep up. It’s obvious really isn’t it, if one minute I’m participating, I’m actively part of whatever’s going on and the next I’m sat with a confused, or even just bored look on my face, and internally my brain is convincing me that I shouldn’t be there, I shouldn’t be having fun, nobody really wants me there, what am I even doing allowing myself to have fun? Other times it’s really not that obvious (I hope) and I’ll just get on with things – especially if it’s a prolonged period of time I feel I have no choice but to try and squash the thoughts down and have fun. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean I’m not having a great time, but the more I try to ignore things the more I think about why I’m trying to ignore my thoughts, and the more I believe them.
I want to have fun, I want people to enjoy my company, and more importantly I want to enjoy others company without questioning my existence every time I do or say things. The problem is I also quite enjoy just sitting and observing (not in a weird way), I just enjoy being around people who are having fun, I love seeing my friends enjoying themselves, I love being a part of that, and I love having fun with my friends. Though that’s not really a problem, I do worry that people will think I’m having a crap time, that they’re boring me, or that I’m visibly melting down in front of them.
I tend to find events, celebrations and occasions a little more difficult. Two Christmases ago my mind was in full swing, it had mastered the act of convincing myself everyone would have a better time without me, I desperately wanted to enjoy myself, to celebrate with my family. But all I could do was hideaway in my room, and only mutter a few words when people tried to find me, to get me to come and participate. I hated it, I hated that I felt so deeply unworthy and unnecessary. I couldn’t see things any other way, and I felt that I couldn’t even burden my loved ones with my pretend everything is okay outlook. I sat at cried at how pathetic and unnecessary I was, when in reality my family were trying their hardest to get me to come and join in.
From then on I tried to avoid situations where I’d feel as though I really wasn’t needed, or wanted – which was hard, because for me apparently that was every situation. I also thankfully grew more aware of the fact that it wasn’t necessarily the truth. I learned to ignore it as best I could. Most of the time when I feel that way I can be quick to acknowledge that maybe it isn’t the truth (though that doesn’t mean it quickly dissolves, and my world is at peace again). Other times my inner thoughts are trying with all their might to destroy me, and I can say to myself I’ll deal with you later, and other times I grow so frustrated that I do just hide. But there are times when I have to remind myself that people wouldn’t invite me to do things out of pity. I have faith that my friends are genuinely really lovely people, and that they’ve not been nice to me out of pity for all these years. My friends, my family, they’re all ace, they’re wonderful people, and I bloody love them.
I guess, in part, one of my main issues here is my ability to find, or create a negative in any social situations… when something is good, when people are lovely, when I’m having a great time it’s as if I’m actively looking for something to be wrong. So I question everything, I question why I’m there, I question why people want me to be there, do they want me to be there, are they just humouring me, would people be better without me, should I just go and hibernate, do people only want me around when they need something? Wow self-esteem, you’ve done a great job.