Talking about mental health is so much harder than I sometimes realize. It’s easier to write about it because it’s more anonymous, in a sense. I don’t have to see the person’s reaction to my words. Recently I have been talking more. This morning I talked with my best friend’s mum, and the other night with a family member who I hadn’t really told anything up until now. I have to admit, it is a good release and it’s also such a relief to feel accepted despite any struggles I might be experiencing.
Another thing I realized is that I never feel justified to feel the way I do. When I was in my appointment this week, I realized that every time I told her a feeling I had experienced, I would end it with “which is stupid” or ridiculous, silly, etc. I would explain some scenario, then say “and I got really upset and anxious, which is stupid and makes no sense”. She said, “well when would it be okay to feel upset?” Because I guess whatever is happening never feels like a big enough deal to warrant my intense reactions.
This is going to sound really crazy, but even when I think about losing my sister I sometimes think “well other people have it so much worse, they have lost their entire families” and once again I discount or invalidate my emotions. It’s actually becoming a bit of a problem, or maybe it’s been a problem all along. It causes me more emotional discomfort because I’ll feel something, then for the next 20 minutes afterwards I beat myself up for feeling normal human emotions. It creates this awful tension inside of me because I’m constantly fighting against whatever I’m feeling. A friend of mine once told me “you feel how you feel, good or bad, and that’s just how it is”. He’s absolutely right. He used to tell me to stop apologizing for talking about how I felt.
So let me try that. Right now I’m feeling extremely anxious. I do feel like it’s ridiculous and not justified, because my anxiety is about getting another job. This seems silly to me because everyone works, and there is nothing to be afraid of. I’ve never been fired from a job, and I’ve never had anything really bad happen to me at work (with the exception of my one super mean boss, but that was years ago). I guess in a way the anxiety IS irrational, but that doesn’t really make it any less real. But I do know that I need to face my fears because hiding from things won’t make the anxiety go away. While working does make me anxious, not working makes me even more anxious because it just means having financial problems and a lack of purpose.
I never used to have such bad anxiety, and I’m afraid that I will feel like this for the rest of my life. CBT may or may not help, and I can’t really afford to continue with it anyways, but I’m hoping that acupuncture will help because it’s helped A LOT with my mood. Generally, my life and mood feels pretty stable right now. But of course there’s that fear that it’ll all fall apart again and I won’t be able to help myself this time. There’s always that fear.
The mind is a strange place. It really seems to interfere with things more than it helps things. I would love it if I could just let go of my worries and fears for a while but it’s not that simple. I desperately want to get a job and maybe once I do I’ll feel okay about it and it won’t be as bad as I’m imagining it to be. Thinking about it sends me into a bit of a tailspin but I guess I won’t know until I try, and if I end up with something that I absolutely hate, there is always the option of quitting and finding something else. Depression is bad, but I’m actually starting to feel like anxiety is even worse.