This is a fairly personal thing to be talking about, which isn’t something I’m fond of; if you speak to me on other blogs/social media, you’ll know I always (at least try to) have a mostly sunny outlook, am fairly positive, and act like the world doesn’t faze me at all.
It does faze. Every moment of my day, in every way possible. You learn to put up walls and false smiles well enough, though, and you can fool anyone, can’t you?
This past, I think it must be getting on for three years now, I have been at the mercy of something I’ve been jokingly calling a head mess, but it’s probably fairly obvious it’s a little more than that. I’m not sure the intrusive thoughts I have should have as much power over me as they do, or that it’s completely okay to have constant nightmares, to get so anxious about doing anything that’s out of my comfort zone – and for that, currently that means just about everything – that it feels like my heart’s not trying to claw its way up out of my throat, but fling itself out of my chest alien-style. The constant being-on-the-verge-of crying or screaming – or both at the same time – is also a fun thing to experience for any situation I don’t already know the outcome of (which, let’s face it, is most).
I can spend an hour walking around a town trying to find a cafe to work in, because every time I come to one I look in and don’t think I fit in, or decide people are looking at me funny, or maybe the step’s a little high and I’ll make a fool of myself by tripping up. I rarely make eye contact with anyone, rehearse conversations with just about everyone, and have an army of excuses for why I don’t have to go outside. It’s a very odd feeling needing to keep moving, yet terrified to step through the door to do that.
Now, it’s not all bad, I’m mostly functioning in at least some ways, namely in writing; in fact anything I can do online that doesn’t involve an actual, live conversation and I’m doing great. But the interaction with real life people thing is… complicated. Either I’ve lost my nerve, my trust in people has completely withered up and died, or the world really is as awful as I’ve conjured it to be. Don’t ask me; I just live in my head, I’ve apparently got no control over what goes on in there!
The question is, how do you go forward from that? I know there’s some who’d say helpful things like ‘go to a doctor’, but when you’re phobic about that kind of thing and think you’re going to pass out just for walking past a hospital, that’s a little problematic. And the counselling route is an even bigger no no; when you’re the person everyone comes to with their problems, it’s very difficult to flick that switch and share what’s going on for you (in my experience, anyway).
I don’t know. Online, I feel like I might be doing okay. You can’t really tell how much a person is falling apart if they don’t tell you, and there’s always a way to word things so people won’t know how badly things are going. But in the Real World, things are more mucky. I apparently have fooled the people I have to interact with that all is well, but what happens when someone sees through all of that? What do I do then?
This isn’t a plea for help, this is just a typed out musing, and I’m sure there are other people feeling the exact same way. I just… this isn’t something I talk about generally, and I guess I’m feeling my way into doing that. I’m not sure it’s my thing; fiction and made-up existences are far more interesting and easier to navigate!
Life is complex; why didn’t we get how-to manuals?