I’m not okay.
I have what I call a little Gremlin hiding in the dark space of my mind. He hangs out there, some days sleeping and I almost forget he’s there. Some days I wake up and my day begins brightly; full of good intentions and a perky attitude and then an event startles him awake – it could be nothing or it could be a shitstorm, he’s not picky. Then there’s the days where he’s lurking just behind the forefront of my mind, questioning every single thing I do, making me doubt every decision, every interaction, every move I make.
I try so hard not to pay any attention to it and try to get on with my life but that either doesn’t work or it ends up exhausting me, which isn’t ideal with a 1 year old who spends all day being a daredevil and hasn’t slept through the night in a long while.
Social interaction is the hardest. Even with the people closest to me, albeit except my baby boy. I don’t know if it’s because he doesn’t understand everything I say to him or if it’s because I know he won’t judge me, but he rescues me every day from the thing inside my head. The days that are harder are those where I end up dreading seeing other people because the Gremlin makes me believe that people think I’m [insert negative word here]. It could be anything.
For instance, I met up with someone I hadn’t really seen since Secondary school last week. We went for a walk. The entire time I had these thoughts going around my head: “she thinks you’re trying too hard”, “she thinks you think you’re better than her”, “she thinks you’re lying about everything”, “she thinks you’re walking wrong”, “she thinks you’ve not changed since school”, “she thinks you should stop talking about how much cake you eat because she thinks you’re really fat”, “she wants this walk to end because you’re boring her”, “she thinks you’re conceited because you’re not talking much”, “she thinks you’re just here for gossip because you’re asking too many questions”, “you need to justify everything you do and say, you need to stop pretending you’re having problems, you need to realise everyone else has real problems, you need to show you’re a better Mum, you need to stop being so emotional” and that was while we were on our walk.
Afterwards, the thoughts got worse, to the point where I’m not sure where the Gremlin’s heckles end and my real thoughts begin. And this happens with every person I speak to. I haven’t seen some family members in a while because I’ve lost all confidence in the ability to talk to other humans without the torment my mind puts me through, as my body ends up going through it too.
I’m making the decision to leave Slimming World for now as I’m not losing any weight comfort eating and going to group on my own and a New consultant who doesn’t know my struggles makes me fear it.
The stress I used to feel only occured when my mind felt I couldn’t handle something and when I was stressed, I cried, I spoke to someone about it and I did everything I could to eliminate that stress. Now, Stress has me dangling on a hook for most of the day, plunging me into deep water now and again, just for sheer amusement. That stress I feel manifests itself as an itch just within my hairline on the back of my neck. Sometimes the Gremlin says, “you’re scratching this for attention, one day you’ll dig deep enough to touch your spinal cord but you’ll just have done it all to prove a point.”
I can’t win. I’m in a battle with my own mind every day and I’m scared the only way to win it is to go on medication, which I don’t want because I’m still breastfeeding Monkey and I don’t like the thought of not feeling like I’m in control. Which is ironic because I’m far from being in control now.
I’m sorry if you’re reading this and you’re close to me. I want to tell you so badly about my shit days but I’m too busy trying to stash all of it away to try and enjoy time with you and then implode later, when I’m sat on my own with my knitting in front of the telly, after the boy’s gone to bed. “I’m sorry” have become my go-to words lately because my mind would have me believe all of the world’s problems fall on my shoulders.
I’m the reason why I struggle to initiate conversations and so I go weeks, months without a word and then find it difficult to explain why; I’m the reason why I can spend a week inside with Monkey, just us two, not seeing a soul and then blame myself for not giving my son a social life; I’m the reason why I don’t want to talk to a medical professional about it because I’m scared of the outcome but will share it with the public. So I’m sorry. For everything and sometimes for no reason at all. I’m sorry I wrote this, I’m sorry you read it, I’m sorry you feel the way you do about it.
This is me in real life.