Arghhh I don’t even know how to start this, or if writing this will be beneficial, but I’m going to give it a go anyway because a lot has been happening and I need to sort through it.
The past few weeks, I really have not been myself, everything’s sort of been a blur and I don’t know how to describe it other than I haven’t been “with it”, if that makes sense. I’ve been so lost in overthinking that I didn’t even realise how much of a problem it has become.
Without dragging up the mess that I’ve let my mind become, I will explain as well as I can, for my sake, if any, so I can reflect on this. Maybe you can relate, I don’t know, but I’ve learnt that the best thing to do is to talk about things, so bear with whilst I ramble.
Basically over the past little while, I – or rather my overthinking mind – convinced myself that I was worthless and that no one wanted me around. When I was around people – my friends, all I could think of was that they didn’t want me there and they’d be better off without me. I didn’t realise I was doing it, but I started to isolate myself from people in an attempt to cope with the anxiety that these thoughts were causing me. I actively avoided my friends and pushed people away, which of course was the worst possible thing I could have done. What’s more scary, however, is that I didn’t realise that I was doing it. I just got used to it. Avoiding people became a habit – just a part of my daily life. It would help me to cope with what was going on in my mind, because if I wasn’t around the people that were causing me to think I was worthless, then the thoughts were a bit easier to manage. I pushed my mental health aside and worked and worked and worked on my college work in an attempt to distract myself.
It’s honestly terrifying that it’s taken me weeks, if not months, to realise that getting the bus half an hour earlier to avoid my friends or hiding in the library because I couldn’t face being in the canteen at breaktimes wasn’t normal. I didn’t realise something was wrong with me, maybe because my close friends have been going through tough times so I diverted my attention to worrying about them. Either way, it’s like I’ve been living in a day dream. Days blur into eachother. Weekends are the worst because even though I don’t have the stress of having to avoid people, I don’t see anyone at all and I feel lonely and empty and even more worthless. But I got used to it, I got used to shutting out even my closest of friends because I had let my spiralling thoughts convince me that I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s time.
I became silent because the thoughts in my head were too much to cope with, overwhelming almost, so I didn’t talk because no one would listen and if they did I would just dwell on the fact that I was probably making their lives worse.
I talk about this in the past tense but really it’s still happening, these thoughts are still plaguing me but the difference is I am aware of it now so I can deal with it, rather than just struggling along, deliriously believing what my mind told me.
Yesterday my friend – who means the world to me, yet I was sure I meant nothing to – helped me, a lot. I was in a panic, couldn’t think straight and was about to walk out of college because I didn’t know what to do. But she came after me, she listened to the few words I managed to say as she comforted me and, for a minute, my brain realised that someone does care about me, even if its just a bit, she was there and it mattered a lot – I don’t know what I would have done otherwise, I really wasn’t in a good mindset.
The thing is, I wish I could have talked to her more and opened up to someone – which I haven’t properly done for years, but it was all I could do to try not to burst out in tears. However, she told me that she understands the overthinking, she gets it and she told me how she copes with it and that when I’m ready to talk about it, people will listen. Her words lingered in my mind when I eventually went home – she made me feel a bit more sane in knowing that someone understands. I somehow managed to find the courage to talk to my mum about how I was feeling – I don’t know how because usually I just put on a mask and pretend everything is ok around my family. So I talked for a bit. It didn’t all come tumbling out like I feared it would and I felt in control.
I feel a bit lighter now, having got things off of my chest. I’m still so confused about how I let myself get to that point, without realising or doing anything about it. I kept pushing my mental health aside, believing what my mind was telling me until it became reality.
But I think things are going to get better now. My head wasn’t so clouded today, I could think more clearly and I tried to be more engaged in conversations, tried to spend more time around my friends, talking to people in class etc. I didn’t think I could do it, and of course all the thoughts were still there, but somehow I thought through it. It’s strange really, because prior to the mess of the past few months, I was more confident than I had ever been and I’ve made so many friends since started college. I don’t know how long I’ve been pushing everyone away for and shutting them out, but it was long enough to forget what it was like to be sociable.
Little things people did kept standing out today – in a good way. Usually my mind can’t help but fixate on the little things that people do that “prove” they don’t like me, whereas today I was able to focus on things that surprised me, that made me feel like I have some worth, such as a classmate remembering what I was planning on studying at uni and discussing it with me, my friend messaging me on the bus, people stopping to say hi as I walked around college. I was shocked, to be quite honest, to find that people actually want to talk to me. I keep wondering when my self-esteem became so bad, but that’s not what’s important now – I need to think about how I can make it better and find my confidence again.
Of course, things aren’t completely fixed. I haven’t seen some of my oldest friends for weeks, maybe over a month, partly because our college timetables are different and partly because I convinced myself that they’ve moved on and didn’t need me anymore, so I didn’t bother to contact them and as with everyone else, made an effort to avoid them around college. But as my mum said to me, all I need to do is send them a message and ask if they want to meet up, even if just for a coffee, because they may be thinking that I’ve just forgotten about them too, which is not the case – I’ve just been too anxious to reach out to them.
I feel like I’ve just blurted out a load of incoherent thoughts here. But that’s okay. It needed to happen, because I feel like I owe this community – and myself – an apology for not being myself and for my erratic behaviour, especially on Twitter where I have been nothing but negative over the past little while, and I’m so sorry for that. But I want to get better, I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I want to be confident in myself again, and I know that because I want to get better, I can.
So, there we go, an update, a ramble – call it what you want. As many people have shown and told me over the past few weeks, it helps to talk about things like this, because it isn’t irrational or stupid, people do care and will listen if you let them and you never know, people you know may have been through the same thing.
Thank you for reading, and for always being there, it really means a lot. 🙂