I’m going through a slew of old blog entries that I started writing, but never finished. Some are a couple years old. I’m struck at how I can go back and read some of my own writing, and be surprised at how much I relate to it! The following was written during a time of paranoid depression. Doesn’t that sound fun?
I love to write. It’s therapeutic for me in a million different ways. My hope is that this will find its way to someone who needs to read it. My reason for putting these writings out for all to see is that someone else might find reading it therapeutic. That someone might feel less alone, less paranoid, less crazy. That someone might come to a greater understanding of the beast she is dealing with. So, please, pass my posts along to others. Share them so they can find those who need to feel the words come off the paper (screen), and embrace them in a hug.
I feel alone much of the time, trapped by my own thoughts and paranoia. At the same time, I know that I am loved by many.
There is a constant battle going on inside my mind. One side tells me that I’m a burden, that I’m needy, that no one really likes me. This side convinces me that I shouldn’t contact people. I should just wait for them to contact me. After all, if they really care about me they will want to communicate with me. They will want to share a funny story, or ask my opinion, or see how I’m feeling, or just say hello. That’s what people do with people they really care about and enjoy spending time with. Right?
So I wait. Sometimes I wait all day and I hear from no one. My phone doesn’t ring. No one knocks on my door. No emails. No texts. That must mean that no one cares. They must be so thankful to have gone a whole day without hearing from me, their annoying, needy ‘friend.’ I try to tell myself that they are just busy. They have jobs and families and other friends. Their lives do not revolve around me. The fact that I didn’t hear from them today does not mean that they don’t like me. I tell myself these things over and over again everyday. Most of the time I don’t believe it. I want to, but I don’t.
Sometimes I do believe that I’m important to others. I do believe that people like me. I feel comfortable enough to text or call, just because I want to, but not because I have a specific thing to say. I might share something funny, or send a picture or video. I’m goofy like that. If they respond, great! If they don’t, the other side creeps in and tells me that I’m being annoying again. It tells me that I should be embarrassed for initiating contact with others. It tells me that, once again, I messed up.
As I type and reread this, I realize how childish and immature it sounds. Trust me, I know. The thing is, no matter how much I know it, it’s still my reality. I do not know how to change it.
It’s exhausting living like this. The constant struggle consumes my thoughts. I go through the motions of everyday, but much of the time my mind is a million miles away. Being in two places at once is overwhelming. It’s easier to just be by myself and not have to pretend to be plugged into whatever it is that I’m doing.
Being alone is easier, but not necessarily what is best. Being alone for a while is great. It’s peaceful. It’s calming. It’s good. But, I thrive on relationship with others. I love to be with friends. I love to laugh with them, sing with them, talk with them. I’m happiest when I’m with people whom I’m close to. So, too much alone time turns into depression, which leads to more paranoia. Vicious cycle.
This kind of inner turmoil is exhausting. It isn’t visible, so it doesn’t seem like a real thing sometimes. That’s why I question myself. That’s why others can easily tell me why I should brush it off. That’s why it seems ridiculous. But it isn’t.
Paranoia is real. It’s my mind attacking itself. You may not see the war, but it’s real.