The back of my throat, a tightening, in constant contraction, like I want to throw up. The back of the neck and head radiates heat. Arms, hands and feet tingle yet are still. I do nothing; fearing yet living in the future.
I am Missing In Action in my own head. Thoughts race around in a cyclone, ephemeral like smoke. I’m finding it harder to write this post, as thoughts are not structuring in my head, so I’m just going try to loosely stream my consciousness on to the screen.
I am not confident that I can handle this state of mind. Not that it is definitive, but my psych has not diagnosed me with generalised anxiety. Depression and anxiety mostly come hand in hand though, like the other sock in a pair. I’m not on any medication for anxiety, and most of the personal work that I have done if for depression. I am trying to use my mindfulness techniques for my racing mind, but it is like grasping at smoke, or trying to calmly watch whilst being in the centre of a whirlwind.
I procrastinate a lot, and, also a perfectionist. Household chores tend to be put off, as I live by myself. I am only responsible to myself so I think that it is okay to let myself down. 2 days ago, my friends had organised an impromptu gathering at my apartment. I fucking freaked out. I went on a massive cleaning spree for about 3 hours that afternoon. Aside from the socialising, in a way, I’m glad that my friends can over that night. I got a lot of cleaning done. But for the 3 hours that I was cleaning one thought kept going through my mind “My friends will think down on me if my apartment is dirty.” This is absolutely my own shadow of perfectionism and low self-esteem, as my friends are not clean freaks at all, nor would they judge me if my apartment was messy.
This negative thought repeated in my mind, sweat dripping down my face, as I cleaned the outdoor furniture and scrubbed the moss off the pavers. I had been planing to do these things at some point, but they had to be done NOW. The people who I care about can’t see this. The state of my apartment was like the state of me, the state of my mind. They can’t see it a bit messed up. I need to create an image or mask that I am fine, so people won’t like me less. Is this behaviour a symptom of the mental illness stigma? It certainly doesn’t help the sense of shame that I feel.
Some of the thoughts when I isolate from the world are the same. I have been isolating in my apartment (now sparkling clean) from the world the most part of the past 2 days. No texts, calls or emails. I don’t know if I spoke a single word yesterday. I have an available support network, but I did not want them to see me messed up. I may still have a bit of shame around my negative mental states. Instead, I retreated into my head. And when I am in my head, and I want to retreat further, I sleep. Food, even going to the toilet, get put on hold; sleep is more important. In sleep I have nothing that I should do.
I’m not consciously remunerating on this, but I have a sort-of date tonight. He’s a friend of a friend and I spoke to him for the first time during the afternoon of my cleaning spree. During that conversation, he invited to dinner at his place that he had already organised with our mutual friend in a few days time. This will be the first date that I’ve been on for a very long time. Beliefs of my own low self-worth have kept me from pursuing intimate relationships. Right now, thinking of tonight’s dinner, brings up fear in the pit of my stomach. I don’t even know him, but my mind is thinking that how well the night goes correlates to my self-worth. I hope that this anxiety will diminish before I get there, but I fear that it won’t. Fuck this self-perpetuating cycle.
Fuck, I’m exhausted.