You can be living and thriving, doing well, feeling great… and one intrusive thought, “I am not good enough,” comes along and levels you.
You could be out, smiling and laughing, having a great time with good friends. Someone snaps a picture of you and when you see it, you feel so disgusted with yourself that you fake being sick and go home and cry in the shower.
You have someone in your life, a partner, who cares for you, loves you, talks you through panic attacks, brings you food when you can’t leave the house, comes over and sits with you when you are afraid, reminds you to take your medicine and sees you through everything, but you constantly try to push them away by any means necessary.
You can be laying in bed, winding down from a busy day of existing, and your mind begins to wander…what if someone drove by right now and shot in my direction? What if a bullet came through my second floor bedroom wall and hit me in the head? What if I died before I even realized what happened? It is beyond irrational, but you get so stuck on this that you have to talk yourself out of sleeping on the floor, you know, for safety.
You toss and turn all night. Nightmares play on a continuous loop. Worms fall out of your face, you watch yourself die, you drown, snakes are everywhere… and you wake up, unable to eat all day because of how gross and real your dreams were.
You build up the courage to ask a friend to hang out and they tell you that they are busy, which is fine. This happens again and again. Again. Then again. And it is you, they aren’t busy, they just don’t want to hang out with YOU. So you recluse and isolate and cry in your room wondering why no one wants to be your friend.
You accidentally take your medicine on an empty stomach and spend the entire day feeling queasy and like your body is stuffed with cotton balls.
You come home after a long day to an empty house and you can almost feel the loneliness in your bones.
Your therapist tells you that you are hard to diagnose because you are so self aware and introspective and functional in your life.
You cycle through wanting to have sex, but hating people. Liking people but not wanting to be touched. Not wanting to have sex, but wanting a partner. Wanting sex but not wanting a partner. Wanting to have sex, but you are traumatized. Trauma makes your sexual interests odd, and leaves you feeling like a freak. Wanting sex, so you have a lot of it with no real connection. Wanting sex, but not wanting to be touched. Not wanting sex or anyone close to you. Thinking about intimacy and how you have no idea what it really looks like. Thinking about love and how you have no idea what that looks like.
You think about hurting yourself but you realize how much effort that would require and your laziness saves the day again.
You start to look at the list of things you have to get done this day, week, month and begin to panic, feeling like you are failing more and more every second of the day.
You want to visit your family but you have to emotionally prepare yourself for days beforehand and then emotionally care for yourself for days afterward.
You start thinking of how this is your story and in your story you will never have a mother, you will never have a father. You have no one to call when you need help or guidance or support. You have no one who calls you to check on you and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
If you are like me, you are tired… but you are here.
You are doing and trying your best. Maybe not all day, maybe not all the time, but you are and you keep trying. You wake up, you struggle, you show up, you drink water, you take your medicine, you go to the doctor, you hug your children, you let the world see you cry and then… you let them see you rise.