I recently shared a post that was very positive, and I was feeling motivated for 2016. Before that I had written a post about how we sometimes feel as though we can only share our stories in past tense even though our demons still might be lingering in the shadows. Well, as I’ve mentioned I still have my struggles with my mental illness, but as the first week of the new year approached I found myself in a downward spiral to what may even be one of my lowest points.
I can’t exactly put a finger on why I’ve been feeling the way that I do. Fear, mostly. Being overwhelmed, and raging anxiety which has now combined with a heavy bout of depression. I can’t help but feel angry at myself for letting this happen, even though I know it’s not really something I can control. I just hold resentment towards myself for being this way. I advocate for mental health, its importance and how mental illness really exists. But it’s different when it comes to myself. I guess that’s just how we are programmed to work. Against ourselves.
I’ve had at least four panic attacks everyday for the last three weeks. It begins with a nervous feeing in the pit of my stomach, followed by uncontrollable shaking, and then I’m just blinded with panic. I don’t even feel like I’m the same person. It’s insane what the mind can do to you. I’ve visibly lost weight due to lack of appetite and frequent vomiting. If I haven’t been panicking, I’ve been crying. I can’t help but to be so upset over feeling this way. I have so many questions that I don’t know I’ll ever have answers for. Why me? Why do I feel like this? Will I always feel this way? If not, then for how long? How can I forgive myself?
The craziest part of it all is the switch that flips me from being happy and in a ‘normal me’ mood to spiraling into feelings that make me question my own sanity and make me feel so completely dark. I feel this heavy weight on my chest, and it stays throughout the day. I’ve been avoiding outings, and laying in bed all day instead. Putting off showering and cleaning my room. I have a hard time doing things I normally do. How can I feel so sad and anxious when everything in my world is pretty great?
In this very moment all I can think of is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, a favourite novel of mine, for the obvious reason of feeling the same things as Esther Greenwood (and Sylvia herself). Like I’m trapped in stale air, with a bell jar towered over me. I find myself trapped in the pages and lingering on each word. There is something so comforting yet haunting about being able to relate to someone so deeply.
If you’re reading this, I don’t want you to think I’m looking for sympathy or attention. I’m genuinely sharing how I feel lately. I know there’s really no advice or uplifting message, but maybe there’s someone reading this who feels the same way, and has the same questions.
“I wondered at what point in space the silly, sham blue of the sky turned black.” – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
About Emma Holden
18, tea enthusiast, animal lover, word writer, and wants to change the stigma on mental health one blog post at a time.