The Inbetween: A Late Night Ramble
I’ve been back at work for a week and found I hadn’t written my blog post for today. Flicking back through a few things I’ve written the past few weeks, I stumbled upon this one about anxiety. I write about mental health a lot, and so contemplated whether or not to post this one, but figured, this is my reality so why not. Here it is, unedited and out in the world, how I wrote it in the early hours of a night when I couldn’t sleep for all the thoughts tumbling through my mind. Let me know your thoughts. C x
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I often find myself lost for words. In person I am awkward; I stumble over what to say and how to say it, I mix words up, I get so excited about things that I can’t get the words out as fast as my mind is running, or I get shy and clam up, or I get overwhelmed and say the exact opposite of what I mean to say, or say something so stupid that I want to crawl into my bed and never surface again. Anxiety is excruciating to live with. Given my brand of anxiety seems so centred around my need to be seen as a competent, intelligent, strong woman, it is an ugly beast that torments me with all it has to say about how I’m none of those things. There is so much to unpack in that fact alone that I feel I will never be done analysing myself.
The logical voice inside me fights back - recognises that I have achieved many things and that I can regularly display moments where I am competent, where I am intelligent, where I am strong. Yet the anxiety whispers, a horned monster on my shoulder reminding me of how none of those moments are perfect and highlighting exactly where my faults and flaws lie. I know perfection is impossible, I know my anxiety is in my mind and trying to control everything I do. Fighting against its pull is so hard, so consuming, that I am rendered silent. I am forever thinking of what I wanted to say, what I wished I had done in those moments that I didn’t actually do. Bringing myself to speak up in the here and now brings a pressure in my chest, the feeling that I can’t breath so strong that I often think I’m drowning on land.
This is my normal.
It’s why I’m so thankful for the written word. It’s why I’m so thankful for nights like this one, where I’m unable to sleep so I slip from my bed and sit writing it all down, getting it out of my head and onto a page where it can exist, if not in that moment where it belongs but at least somewhere. It’s why my friends often get long, rambling messages well after something has happened, my thoughts tumbling out of me as I try to voice the things that fill my mind. I’m not good at explaining in the moment, but give me time to find my words and I can write it out, a picture of the inside of my mind at that given moment.
I studied Psychology all through university; I saw a Psychiatrist for years after the traumatic car accident that had me lost behind a wall of my own making; I teach Psychology and spend a good deal of my working life counselling young people on what they can control in their worlds and the choices that they make as a result of that. As I have written about before, I am an avid mental health supporter and believe everyone can add value in their lives if they only take the time to focus on their own mental wellbeing.
I understand the value in facing your trauma and learning to manage it. I just wish so desperately that it was easier to do.