Much like everyone I have my down days. I have days when I’m a little bit more upbeat and I have days where I’m really happy. All pretty normal….or is it? No. No it’s not normal. It’s all kinds of cray cray and a huge rollercoaster of what can only be described as irrational shit!
Why is it when I have a “down day” do I feel like the wind has been knocked out of my sails? Why can’t it just be a down day? Why can’t I just take it on face value and let it pass?
On Thursday morning I woke up and I just felt sad. No real reason. No catalyst. Just sad. I went to the kitchen, made a coffee, and as I waited for the red light to turn green on the coffee machine, I just burst into tears. I cried so hard I had to cover my mouth, my PJ top ended up soaked in tears and I was doing that thing that kids do when they can’t catch their breath after a tantrum! You all know the one! It most certainly wasn’t pretty. Lots of tears, snot and I’m sure a rather lovely look to go with it all!
This burst of tears lasted around 10 minutes. I then composed myself and got into the shower, where I burst into tears again. I literally had to hold my breath under the water of the shower to stop myself from getting worse. What on earth is wrong with me? Again, I composed myself and I got ready for work.
When my husband woke up, my smile was painted on! Nothing to see here. Don’t worry yourself, you have a perfectly normal and happy wife, who most definitely has not spent the last hour crying! Alllllll good! I avoided eye contact and just flitted about with the excuse of “I’m going to be late for work” as an avoidance tactic. By the time I got into the car I felt ok. I wasn’t crying anymore and I felt I could keep my shit together.
When I got to my desk I just wanted to get my tunes on and try to make whatever this was fuck off. I find that music helps me. It distracts me and let’s me get immersed. I spent about 20mins at my desk just looking through songs. I didn’t want any of it. The entire Spotify library was shit! Nothing was cutting it. Every song I played sounded like shit!
Generally I do really well at hiding when I’m sad. I’ve perfected the art of being a chameleon. I hate people knowing I’m sad, and I really really hate when people ask me if I’m ok. Not in the general way, in the really sad, I feel for you, please tell me you’re ok way. It just makes me feel like I’m being pitied! It makes me recoil inside to think that anyone ever looks at me, or thinks about me and thinks “awww poor you”. I’d even dare to say it makes me angry. So when I get sad, I paint a smile on, and try to never let people know.
Clearly I was failing as I sat getting more and more frustrated at Spotify and the fact their suggestions were just not cutting the mustard! Did this mood seem like a Stone Temple Pilots mood to you Spotify?! Did it? Because I just don’t think so! Not even Bob Dylan was going to get me today! My colleagues started to filter in, and with it came the questions “are you ok? You’re very quiet”. Oh man! Really? Great now I’m anxious about the fact I can’t find a fucking song, when all I needed was a fucking song, just any fucking song, just something to drown out the sadness, and now? Now I’m worrying about not looking happy enough!! I can’t worry about that right now…..
I waited for a bit, and went to the kitchen. Kept my head down, I just wanted a drink and to leave. Uuuugh “Hey are you ok? you don’t look yourself”. OH MY GOD!! I just wanted to scream out “and how the fuck am I supposed to look. C’mon, you draw me a fucking picture and I’ll see if I can live up to how I’m supposed to look…”. Thankfully I didn’t, as in hindsight I appreciate that is a tad passive aggressive. See, I’m learning. Now me 5/6 years ago, would have happily said it, dropped the mic, and left the room. Me today? Well, I came up with some bullshit excuse about being tired, and went back to my desk.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I get really sad and I’m trying to suppress it, I get a bit manic. So I can start laughing. Maybe even get the giggles. What I’m doing is laughing so I don’t cry. However, there have been many times I’ve laughed to the point of then crying because I just can’t keep it in, but for the most part it works. So, sitting back at my desk, I saw a funny meme. It made me laugh. This then lead to the giggles. I shared what I found funny, and I was told by the person that they were, and I quote, “disgusted”. They meant it too. Fuck me! What a time to be alive! In an age where everyone is offended. Their saying this didn’t upset me, it actually angered me.
It’s creeping up on lunchtime now. I’m holding this shit together. Still no music, Spotify is still in my bad books! But, I’ve gotten through a bit of work, and will potentially have some study time! Exciting! I then make the grave mistake of talking to someone who can upset me on a good day. Someone who lacks any kind of understanding or empathy. Someone who believes that their black and white thinking (not the BPD kind, just good old regular I’m right and you’re wrong, Miss Trunchbull kinda thinking) is far superior.
This person knows about my BPD, even knows about my suicide attempts. I’m not sure why they know thinking about it now! I mean, why tell them of all people?! Must have been in overshare mode. So picture this, having a conversation. One that we have differing opinions on. They then say they’re not interested in arguing. Who’s arguing?! Why is it (another huge pet peeve of mine!) that two people cannot think differently, express what they think, without it being called an argument?! Anyways, I enlightened this asshat it wasn’t an argument and that I’d “shut ma pus” (pus = face in parts of Scotland, it’s nothing vulgar!). This is something I say a lot. It just means, whatever I’m talking about will stop. Well, I was then met with a snark comment about me (me!! In this convo, me?!?) being overly dramatic, with a ‘always with the shut it “I’LL JUST GO KILL MYSELF” ‘.
As I read those words, everything I was trying to push down just came flooding right up! They know my issues! They know that this particular topic is not funny! Literally my only reason for being on this shitty planet is my children. Otherwise I would not be here. It’s funny, I have health anxiety, not because I fear death, but because I fear being unwell or dying in pain! And I guess because I’m scared to leave my children too soon, but not being dead. Does that make sense? I struggle with thoughts about not wanting to be here, a lot people. It’s no joke! I don’t talk about it openly, or with really anyone. Sometimes the thoughts are fleeting, sometimes they stay for a bit, but whenever I have them they’re mine! I don’t have a big fucking neon sign on my head that says “could be suicidal today, so don’t be a dick”.
This all being said, where is the empathy? Where is the giving a fuck about another human? Where is the being mindful?!? Saying that to someone like me is a trigger! It’s huge! Personally, tipped me right off the cliff edge I was barely clinging onto in the first place! Now, going through this all now, I can fully appreciate why someone who doesn’t think like me would see this as catastrophising or just being a drama queen, but that just makes it worse! Drama would have been me standing up and calling this person out for the total cunt they quite clearly are! I mean seriously, to mock someone with a mental illness, with a history of suicide attempts, for being dramatic enough to want to kill themselves. Or for being petty enough that this would be their next step!? They’re just a cunt.
I went back to this complete asshat and politely made them aware that they should never deem themselves in high enough regard to ever be a reason that I would top myself. I then excused myself, sat in an unused part of the building and bubbled for a solid half hour! It is probably one of the most over the top, frustrated cries I’ve had in a long time. I then excused myself to the ladies and ran my wrists under cold water doing my 7/11 breathing. Thank god for a no makeup day, as I just kept splashing my face with ice cold water to make the horrible red blotches go away and to calm my red eyes.
I felt better. Maybe it was a good frustrated cry I needed. Maybe I’m due my bad week or something? Am I just being an hormonal irrational woman? Uuuugh! I pulled up my Bridget Jonesers and decided to go and have my lunch with everyone else and act normal. I did, and it was fine. No longer was I feeling tearful. This was until, I got back to my desk and had someone decide to tell me all of my weaknesses out in the middle of an open plan office! Wtf? I mean, they meant well. They don’t have a bad bone in their body! They just don’t think before they speak. I was already fragile and hearing about the areas I could improve on couldn’t have been more poorly timed.
This person quickly realised and asked if I was ok? Aaaargh! Don’t ask that!! I had to look away. Just keep typing in the hopes they would stop talking, because if they kept talking, or if I looked at them, I was going to cry! I couldn’t cry again, my head was already banging! Thankfully they did give me a break, but then I felt bad so I had to message them and apologise for being how I was being, and explained I’m just not in a good frame of mind and that they hadn’t upset me. I would have felt awful if they thought the way I was, was their fault, and I really didn’t need anything else weighing me down.
Fast forward to the evening. I’ve not cried again. I think I’m doing ok. Maybe it was just a blip? I’m thinking I just need a good nights sleep. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Yeah. That’s what it is. Sleep and hormones. I’m just sitting getting on with work and then I get to thinking about having to come back in tomorrow. What if I can’t control myself and people keep asking if I’m ok?! What if I cry again?! Even thinking about the possibility of embarrassing myself I cry again. I cried on the drive home, I cried when I got to my sofa and cuddled the dog, I cried when my husband got home. I just cried, and I don’t know why.
I woke up on Friday with the same headache I went to bed with. I couldn’t face work! I literally couldn’t face anyone or have anyone ask me if I was ok. So I messaged my boss and told them I wouldn’t be in. This weekend has been spent trying to hold myself together in my safe space (home) also wracked with guilt over taking a day off work for this! Anyone else feel like a sham taking time off work for your mental health?! I always feel incredibly guilty! I mean, I’m physically able to do my job. I could get myself there and I could do it. Like I did on Thursday, but I would be a shambles and I’m sure my work would be a shambles.
Oh, and something that was said to me about my weaknesses on Thursday was my “lack of attention to detail”. Oh. My. God. Did they just point that out? I know this is an issue. It’s one of the biggest symptoms when I’m low. So it’s not an issue all of the time, just needed to add that in! It’s something I’m aware of and try my hardest to avoid. I read things 3/4 times to avoid it. I ask for people to sanity check things because I know I can miss the obvious. Now that this has been pointed out, it means I’m not doing as well with it as I thought. It’s now reaffirmed my thoughts of me being shit at my job and the fact I’m quite clearly a charlatan, and to be quite frank I feel like I cannot show face!
I don’t know what is going on with me right now. I just don’t want to socialise, go to work, leave the house, or even just be! I don’t want to talk about it with anyone, because if I hear “aww”, or “it will get better”, I may flip! I know my down days get better, they always do, but it brings me no relief or solace at this precise moment in time! What I would quite like is a rock to crawl under and be left in peace.
I was told by my psychiatrist that we feel more deeply, and that it’s not always a bad thing as it means we feel happiness and love more strongly, so we’re quite lucky! Right now I’m holding onto that, because right now this blows! I just need to keep in the back of my head that I will feel happy again! Today though? The outlook is not so great. So on that note, I’m about to curl up on the sofa and watch the biggest pile of crap, in the hopes I sleep for a bit!