*Phew* this is going to be hard to write. I should be used to that by now, *scoff* should be. I haven’t written any blogs in a while and I want to explain why.
Since about the end of January I’ve been in a black hole. Not straight up depression, but that has definitely had a hand in it, more a mix of past traumatic events deciding to start living in my conscious brain and wouldn’t go away. Which of course led to increased anxiety and depression.
But that’s not really what I wanted to talk about. It’s my reason for writing in a way, but not the sole topic. When this happened, I really tried to put myself out there. I told a few friends what was going on, in different degrees of detail, and I tried not to bury my pain. But still, once this sort of thing takes hold, my natural state is Hermit. Or rather I become very socially selective, preferring my own home and close friends if at all for company. Loud noisy places unsettle me at the best of times.
Writing about it now, it doesn’t actually sound that strange, just hard to manage and break.
If I get bad news, or a unpleasant situation arises, I will deal with it then tell everyone about how bad it was, rather than how bad it is. Why is this so hard to do? This is not an uncommon thing to do, I have friends who function in the same way. Why do we find it so hard to show people we are hurting?
I know why I can’t be around acquaintances when I feel like that, it makes sense. You’re meeting someone you kind of know, but only in group social situations for example, you need to put on your happy face. Yes it’s okay to be in a snarky mood or a bit disgruntled with work, but that’s about the extent of it. But sometimes putting on a happy face isn’t possible. You could argue that if you met this acquaintance without your happy face then perhaps the friendship could grow, but that’s asking a raw nerve to make itself even more vulnerable, which actually puts a lot of pressure on the person you’re with and could add some depth to your black hole if it doesn’t go well.
So yes, surrounding yourself with good friends is a good idea. But what about if you don’t talk to those friends?
I wish I could be one of those people who channel their emotions into writing blogs, and perhaps once I’m a bit more grounded I will be able to do that, I maybe just need to make sense of it a bit more first.
Personally, I’ve been hanging around in limbo for longer than I’ve been comfortable with. I talked to close friends at first, but then the anxiety of being a burden creeps in. And it can be pretty suffocating. The awareness of how much your friends have on their own plates and not wanting to add to that eventually stops the talking. What I really needed was a therapist without a huge waiting list. Which is probably the main issue for a lot of people, especially in the UK. The Mental Health side of the NHS is not equipped to deal with the amount of people who require services. Even privately I’ve had to wait a month.
I’ve become quite adept at the strategy of putting things in boxes to deal with later. It’s probably how I got on with living, travelling, working, studying. Anything too bad to deal with got put into it’s own private box to gather dust. Sometimes these boxes creak open and offer a nasty surprise. These episodes can be short lived and service can resume quite quickly once the box is taped shut. But over time it gets harder and harder to close that box. Until eventually it all comes spilling out into your life. Hopefully before this happens you have a counsellor, therapist, guidance person you can go to who will help take things out of boxes and sort through them before they all end up strewn across a messy floor, free to insert themselves where ever they like. Suddenly every day things that you’ve done countless times become really difficult, emotions are sparking at peculiar times that seem completely unrelated. Never mind that at any moment of the day, if your mind wanders just for a second, it will likely drift to vivid memories of that traumatic time, as your mind is still trying in it’s own way to make sense of whatever happened. Bless it’s little cotton socks. It does just show that minds are fighters. Even though it’s been a decade, even though it’s tried and tried and tried again, it will still persist, no matter how hard and messy the fight gets.
Thankfully I have therapy starting next week. I’m anxious and apprehensive but also relieved, I can see the finish line. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a hard journey a head but knowing that there will be someone to help my mind make sense of it all is a huge weight off my shoulders.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed my photos from the beautifully isolated Durness, Scotland 🙂