So, recently, I came across a few journal entries that I wrote and had forgotten about. I’ve decided to share them all, here on the internet – yeah, baby!
This first entry that I’m sharing (below) was written by me, soon after one of my huge breakdowns. The year was 2013, and wherever you see “Side note:”, well these are notes I made now; in 2016 , with fresh eyes!
*Trigger Warning* Before continuing, please note, this post contains some emotional content as well as discussion of panic attacks, which can be a potential trigger to some.
Date: Today is the 23rd of October 2013
I’m not sure why I’m writing this.
Lately, I’ve been feeling this urge to write down everything I’m feeling. It’s almost like, by acknowledging all of these negative feelings, I will be released from this horrific darkness that’s killing me. And somehow, this pain won’t affect me anymore. As if. There’s hoping eh?!
I feel extremely low again. For the past three days I have been waking up with this horrible feeling. It’s so weird to describe, it’s like something awful happened in my sleep and when I wake up, I just want to stay in bed and cry, and cry and cry all day. I have quite a few things to be getting on with though, like:
- completing my passport application,
- going to my “keep fit” boot camp classes,
- updating my CV
- attempting to look for another job
- start my travel plans
…But I. just.can’t.bring myself to do much at all; right now, simply replying to two emails is exhausting, and so anxiety inducing. In the end, I just feel like I want to collapse and stay there; vegging out through life.
Since being told that I have severe depression and anxiety, I’ve decided to research it some more – I’m not sure I can accept that this is my problem; I think that I just need to man-up (Side note: No, there is no such thing as “man-up”; depression and anxiety are serious illnesses and need to be treated as such!). From all the blogs and talks on depression & anxiety that I come across, the people who write them appear to feel a little relieved once they write about what they are going through. Maybe we’re too scared to say that we’re falling apart out loud (and I have tried to say it out loud and I just sound crazy!) so maybe writing it will help?
It’s my cry for help in a way, I guess? But nobody else might read this, so how will anybody know that I may need help? Minor flaw in my plan.
Even if somebody else did read my random words, I don’t even know what could be done to help me. I’m so lost; what do I even need help with? It’s not like they can open my head and examine it, and just re-arrange the wires in there so that I’ll be happy, bubbly and positive again.
I often feel like calling my amazing boyfriend (also known as Duck – side note: we’ve since broken up, and now I see that he wasn’t amazing at all, he was part of the fucking problem) just to scream or say “I need a hug, can you come over, now? I know you have football practice in about two hours but really, I just need one of your bear hugs and then you can leave. Thanks.”
What stops me is that:
- he will say no,
- he will think I’m a needy freak,
- he will think I NEED him rather than want to be with him, and I see that as a sign of weakness.
So I just think about it, man-up and go on without communicating my need for a bear hug.
Sometimes I’m just happy in my own presence though, y’know. No hugs needed. That’s when I feel independent again, like my legs just grew back. When I can be by myself and happy, and there are not too many disturbing thoughts or the need to be hugged or that need to have someone present at all times (like a bloody babysitter) to ensure that I’m okay – that’s when I feel a bit more independence.
Even though I have bad, shitty, fucking annoying, want-to-rip-my-own-hair-out-and-scream moments, I have actually been feeling better since acknowledging this bad boy (depression & anxiety). Saying “Ok, I am currently suffering from this crap, but it’s only temporary; I’ll grow out of it” has actually helped me, a little. Maybe because now I’m not just ignoring it anymore…? I don’t really know.
I watched this great TED talk the other day, it was one presented by a young man called Kevin Breel. In this talk, Kevin says “I suffer from depression” and he is my hero for saying those words, especially at 19 (He is only NINE-FUCKING-TEEN!), but I feel like if I say “I suffer from depression” then this might be a long term thing and I’ll have to deal with it for the rest of my life. And I’m only 25, I don’t want to live like this forever, what is the point in going on for another 60/70 years, not enjoying anything or even wanting to do things; what is the point of carrying on like a hollow vegetable that hates itself and has nothing but negative and disturbing thoughts.
Sometimes, I still find myself thinking that what I am feeling and experiencing at the moment is quite selfish, and it really is just me being dramatic, exaggerating things and being weird about it. I have to say though, I thought this for many years, I thought I was weird and said all the wrong things, and when a bad thought or depressed feeling started to sneak in, I would ignore it and shove it off telling myself that: “I’m being a dramatic weirdo again. Sigh. Typical of attention seeking and drama queen Elly”. I have always been very good at drama; I often think I should still pursue it as a career. I mean, who can act so well that they do it with their thoughts and feelings, and can actually fool themselves about what they are actually feeling. I’m a bit old to go chasing around to be an actress now though. I’m sure I’ll stumble upon something better eventually…Either way, I don’t think I want to work in the events industry forever.
Anyway, as I said, for many years I had these emotions & thoughts and ignored what I was (and still am) actually feeling and going through. Until one day, I broke down. I had panic attacks. I trembled. I had this choking feeling, something was squeezing my throat, and this happened often. I was short of breath. I cried. I wanted to scream. I also wanted to cry all the time, at home, in my bed, in my boyfriend’s bed, on the way to work, at work, in the shower, when I woke up, when I went to sleep, when I was out, on the London underground (although I’m sure many people want to cry on the London Underground). It took over my life. Even just walking down the street made me want to cry. This happened for many months. Until one Monday night, I had a panic attack on the way home from work, and then the next day, on Tuesday morning, I had another panic attack on the way to work. These were quite bad attacks compared to the previous ones I’d experienced.
Maybe now I would have to stop ignoring my thoughts and feelings.
I had my first panic attack many years ago, I was 19. Around September time. I was on the way to an abortion clinic after work, for a check-up. I’d already gone through the worst part; I’d had the abortion, but I was still bleeding weeks later, so I had to go for a check-up, which I dreaded.
My god, how do I still remember that panic attack? I’m there again, in that graveyard…how is this so vivid?