Swimming against Tides

Back around Christmas I noted that I was feeling low and these clouds of darkness have an unknown visitors welcome. Well, it has loomed and it seems to be digging its claws deeper into my chest. The past week, maybe two, I’m not sure, but they’ve been hard. The past two, maybe three days have been harder. The path therefore seems longer and treacherous than I had first hoped. All optimisms are fading and overall I feel, emotional. The E word. Emotional. It was a word I blocked out for many years in efforts to cope and only did I realise than by confronting and releasing my ghosts could I in some effort manage with whatever my head was going to swing at me that day. The down side of acknowledging emotions is the rollercoaster it provides.

In time I’ve realised I’ve given up on dreams much quicker than they have me because it is difficult to note that they might not work out. By allowing myself to fail at things has become a safety zone, one which I am comfortable within. I am content in not winning and I am partially content in coming second best. But it means that I am forever spiralling by disallowing myself a future. I know my limits, in essence they control me and these doubts and fears become my leader. A leader that I can’t find a way to disobey.

Where did this all come from? In the past week my mind has set to future. And I’ll be honest here, I’ve always seen my future has somewhat bleak. I was late to the career ladder and now as people clamber up with strength, I’m barely attempting to get a foot in. There is no confidence in me to shove others out the way and take my turn, I forever bow and allow them to hop in front because I accept that I might just fail anyway. But now there is some passion in me and wanting to achieve something, it’s wholly difficult to break the habit and give myself the chance to go forth and conquer.

If I could, I would sleep and plod on. Cry at being the black sheep of the family and my thoughts would turn back to its dark place because that is what I know, that is what I have lived for the best part of twenty-six years. I could write a novel at all the ways I have beaten myself up, mentally and physically. I could write an essay at the suicidal tendencies that have crept into my mind at the dark of night. What was becoming sleep induced fantasies, is now becoming a stark reality as I find myself most nights staring at the ceiling, wishing myself to switch off and reboot. To wake up a different person. A wish that I made many moons ago as a child and all through my teens is returning to me. The wish of release.

These thoughts have found me in a dark place but thanks to the wonderful community of mental health campaigners and survivors, it has in some ways given me hope. Next week I am going to attempt to see my GP after years of terror from the first visit, and I am going to seek help. Whether that be therapy, or drugs, or just five minutes of talking. Who knows. But I need to acknowledge that as much as I can paint on a happy face and strive to become the strong one, it is far easier to accept that I am in fact the weak one. I am a person who rocks back and forth between good and bad days, and as the bad days become the normal, that’s the wake up call to say that it’s time to change.

I have campaigned for others, to raise awareness and to break stigma and I have patted people on the back and wished them luck. Now it is time to do this for myself. To acknowledge that I am far from good and far from happy. Content in my own depression, my own anxieties and my own self pity will not allow me to become the person I want to be. Instead of spending my energy on others, it is time to be selfish and take that coin for myself.

What a bleak post for a Friday eh? But unfortunately that is the reality of mental health. It doesn’t take the weekend off nor does it allow you to stop and think for a minute. You’re forever swimming against rough tides and clarity only comes when you manage to break for seconds of air. In those seconds you have to make decisions. And this is mine. To get better, to find ways and to move forward in acceptance that I am not quite okay yet.

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