I feel like I have been to a funeral, you know? That drained, tired, deflated feeling you get from being so upset. That’s me, but I missed the funeral, at least at a funeral I get to crack a joke or two to ‘lighten’ the mood. I’m nothing if not inappropriate.
My mind is a huge bag of swirling nonsense. A foggy, roller-coaster, riding at top speed, I’m up as much as I’m down. Well, truth be told I’m not sure that’s true, that’s how I want to appear to others. My roller-coaster has a large covered section, a ride into a dark tunnel that no one else is privy too, just me on my own, only I know what is going on in that tunnel. Unfortunately, I have been trying to keep it that way, without realising. I can put on the bravest of faces, the happiest of smiles, I can act how I want to feel. It’s for other people’s benefit as much as my own. In the tunnel there lies a beast, it lives there but it doesn’t want to live there. In that horrible tunnel of loneliness, self hate, anxiety, doubt and impatience, the beast thrives. The darker the tunnel, the stronger the beast.
You do not want to see the beast, twitching to get out, just as much as I don’t want you to see it. She can be a cruel monster, cruel in her confusion, upset, frustration and exhaustion. The beast escaped her cage at the weekend. No, that’s a lie. The beast has been sitting outside her cage for a while, waiting to attack/defend against the merest of upsets. Imagine you have the angel and devil on your shoulder, I have the calm, logical, rational me on one shoulder and the other is the negative, sensitive, argumentative, upset and angry beast. My mind is their fighting ground. Some days I throw a red mushroom at the ‘normal me’, she grows strong and powerful, everything is rosy, life is good, people are good. The beast is still there, just not as strong. But life is life, unpredictable, stressful, good, bad, tiring, exciting, sad, a variety of different power ups that the beast uses to her advantage. She will gather them all in her corner, she grows more prominent, more strong and far more powerful than the angelic shoulder.
When the beast has been fed, it won’t take much for it to lash out. She feels justified in her brutal actions, she will cut her own nose of to spite her face, hell! she’ll cut her own leg off just to beat you with it. You can’t fight this beast, the more you retaliate, the more beast hits back causing the fight to escalate. The beast is 10 times more powerful than you, no holds barred here. The beast will know, or find your weak spot, your anxiety, your kyptonite and she will use it against you with pin point accuracy. And whats worse, the beast wont give a single fuck. The fight will only end when the beast has been exhausted, when the buildings have been flattened to the ground, when lashings of hurt have been dished out.
You can’t fight the beast.
Only I can fight the beast.
I don’t hate the beast. I hate that it can take hold of me, for hours, days, weeks. I hate the power it possesses. I hate the brutality of my tongue when the beast gets hold of it. I hate that at a drop of a hat, it will end my long term relationship with my partner, with absolutely no regard for anyone’s feelings.
I understand the beast, I have great empathy for her. It’s a very difficult thing, to have a part of you, a real nasty part, that you want removed, yet the only way to do that is with compassion and love. Kinda like Te Kā in Moana, a big, roaring, rage of a woman that, well I’m not going to ruin it, but there’s a lot of love and understanding going on there.
Pretending I’m better than I am, that I’m OK, doing well, essentially ignoring the beast is not helping anyone. Many demons power the beast, demons all with different roots and stories, different hurts. It feels like an endless task, and emotional, vulnerable, upsetting task that I would rather bury my head in the sand and forget. I just want to be better already.
Impatience. There’s one of the demons. There’s no time restrictions placed on getting better, yet I place myself under much strain to be ‘better’ quickly. To stop going on about feeling this way or that way. To pick a story and stick to it. People ask how are you? I say yeah fine. I’m not about to say ‘well, actually I’v have 2947934724 billion thoughts since I woke up, hated myself for something irrelevant, questioned my relationship, gave myself a pep talk just to come see you and reassured myself that the world is not against me’. Err, no. I’m not going to say that. I’m fine, lets talk about something I should be interested in but I’m not – leading to demon number 2 – self hate.
If you need someone to tell you why you are shit, then come to me, I’m your guy. I’ve become very good in the art of bashing. I will bash at myself for just about anything. Writing about depression – self bash. Write about being happy – self bash. Go on a night out – self bash. Wear my hair differently – self bash. If anyone else muttered to me half the things I think, I would take them outside and batter them with a stick! I don’t care for other’s opinions, yet I constantly evaluate myself and I never give myself a good result.
The beast feeds off this demon a lot at the moment. This is why I’m needing love and comfort, which I’m surrounded by. It’s everywhere, I’m very lucky. I have parents I see on a weekly basis, whom I can count of for anything, I have siblings that if called upon would be there for me, I have nieces and nephews who never fail to make me smile and fill me with pride when I watch them grow, I have close friends that express their love for me and my family all the time, I have a daughter that loves me so much she is rarely in a different room from me and will even tease me by saying ‘daddy is favourite’, I have a beautiful, kind and supportive partner that endures everything I throw at him and never retaliates with anything other than love.
I am surrounded with love, but I don’t give myself any and this makes for a powerful beast. Wouldn’t it be great to see the world through you partner or friends eyes? To see in you what they see. All the reasons why they love you. Personally I find it hard to be kind to myself, it’s must easier to tear away at myself, tallying up every nasty, mean or hurtful thing I have ever done, bringing myself down for any and all anxious thoughts. I do my own head in! So I kinda just try to ignore it all, I don’t often, ever maybe, talk of this side of my depression. It’s very intimate and exposing, which is probably the reason it has such power over me. How do you tell someone this without the thinking you are a) a nutter? b) looking for attention? or c) a danger to yourself?
I hide my a) nutter behind quick whit and funny comments. I’m a little embarrassed to expose the inner workings of my beast, Christ, I’ve been at therapy for 9 months and she’s still trying to get to the belly of the beast, so there’s nae chance I’m going to offer them up in conversation over a glass of wine. But I don’t think this helps, not me, not you, not anyone suffering or watching someone suffer with a mental illness.
I would like to become more vocal, when I want to, about my mental health. I do feel there is a stigma surrounding it and I feel that some may see it as moaning on and on. Feeling isolated, different and ill creates a whole other source of anxiety for my beast. But I don’t believe I am different in my thoughts or depression. I believe at some point or on some level everyone can relate to those with mental health issues. Being placed under the category of mental health sufferer makes me feel isolated or false, as yes I do consider myself to be ‘ill’ right now but now as ‘ill’ as others. Those with severe depression, anxieties, schizophrenia, bi-polar, those people have a ‘real illness’, they need help, I’m just a little bit depressed, I should be fixed by now. That’s not the case. We are all ‘ill’ the only difference is the load we carry. You’re load might be smaller or larger than mine, but it’s irrelevant, a small load doesn’t mean a shorter treatment time. If I could give myself a break over getting better and making peace with my ‘illness’ then maybe my beast would relax a little and hopefully shrink in size and strength. The beast will never leave me, it’s what gives me my fiery attitude and my ‘that’s my fucking space, how did you no see me here waiting for it?! Get your car out of there
or I’ll chib it‘ balls in supermarket car parks.
It’s best I just confront the beast and expose myself – but not like that, you filth.
*waves. Hi, I’m HonestK and I have depression/anxiety/I’m not sure which box to tick. I say I’m mental in a jovial way to put you off he scent, but I am fucking mental. Not hugely mental on the scale of mental, but mental enough to suffer many ‘living life to the fullest’ preventing symptoms. I have deep insecurities that make me a needy baby greedy baby and I hate it, thus I bash at myself. They have always been there, but for some reason my brain has decided they are ‘me’ now. I long to be normal again and not have conversations in my head all the time about everything. An aid of me getting better is getting it all out via my blog, I find honesty cleansing. I love beans and hate opening up because I cry, and I don’t stop crying (just ask anyone that has seen me at a funeral). I will do my best to not self hate and spread the good word of self love.
*sits back down, realsing there isn’t an AA type meeting for depression, nor am I at church
*now I’m embarrassed and self hate again – fuck sake Kirsty.