Beneath this smile is a thousand tears hidden from your eyes. Wiped aggressively from my glassy window pains which have been bolted shut from the outside. In between each breath is a thought I cannot carry. Reaching out for the latch to escape. With every wondering gaze I’m wishing I could see what was behind me. Even in my own home I feel fear of a lurking evil prying. I have been trying to think of ways to be normal all day. It took me hours to leave the house today and now I’m out I realise I haven’t eaten anything at all. But I have planned out my route to go back and cook. Can’t break the plan as my stomach twists and dives. So I have to wait. Feeling a guilt and sadness lifting up inside. Pushing down my insanity I focus on the smells of the flowers and the cheers of children playing. Absorbing the wonders of life I find myself paralysed sat on a bench overlooking a beautiful park. The sloping plush green grass, bees zooming effortlessly working hard. I wish I knew what to do today. I envy the bees with their purpose. I have to make plans in my head verified by the crazy person inside. She is me and I am her. From time to time I let her run the show and destroy someone else’s smiles as well as my own. Today I will just sit outside and hope the breeze can lead me away from my suicide.
I took the train to Plymouth to visit one of my best friends for a day trip before Christmas. Just being able to do this and be free is exhilarating. I have moved back in with my parents and never feel alone and calm which is hard to deal with. I know they love me but I just hate being near to them as somehow it makes me feel closer to my old self. My more unstable self.
As I recline my head back and wiggled my toes. I think what a shame it is that nobody can see how beautiful I am in this moment, in my most calmest and serene self. Where I imagine myself to be my most attractive even without makeup and in my old pyjamas and oversized shirt. I think something about me is shining. I think, I wish I could show this to someone so that they would fall in love with me. So that they could see the real me, I want them to spy on me. To see the beauty and be happy to have me.
But I am anxious. Or maybe just my insecurities that would make that impossible. That I would always be unable to be natural and calm in front of anyone. The way I hold my body is to try to make my stomach look smaller, my arms bowed to not look so fat and my face not so ugly. To point my chin out at an angle where it looks slim. To look up at the man I dream of with doey eyes and in a way that makes my breasts look ample and seductive.
Mentally I may day dream longing for someone to really love me but how can anyone love me when I cannot love myself. How cliché.
So I’m lying here trying to get an early night. I am day dreaming of taking a little girl – my future daughter to the park in Shoreditch the one where the over ground track passes. I took my godson their once and he would point and squeal everytime a train passed. I then think about if I would ever have my own child. That I would have to be happy with having a godson because she is not real. I imagine the bounce of her step and her ferocious run towards the climbing frame. I ponder the idea of never meeting the one who I want to have children with, that maybe I am unable to have children anyway so I would never meet her or a child like her. Or that I met the one and now he is gone. Maybe I am a bad mother anyway and maybe I won’t ever be able to have a day where I could be that content. I guess being a mum is so dreamy for me because so much seems to prevent it. I mean I have a mental illness. I know a lot of people do but maybe I am the worst kind of mentally ill. The type depicted in movies. The ones drinking vodka for breakfast and pushing all their loved ones away, overdosing and standing in the road shouting. That maybe my children would of been taken away from me because I didn’t take my meds that month. That I may have neglected them on a high or ignored their cries on a low. I try and think I would be unable to ignore them, that my love would be stronger than my illness but maybe it would not. I think of all the people who have beautiful families and children and have a mental illness but that doesn’t mean I would be alright.
I then think that I may be unable to have children altogether, to be told I’m infertile and praying for the chance to get pregnant that month. That I had tried everything so I am hoping for God’s blessing. Legs in the air hoping the gravity helps. Without children I will never be worth anything; as a women you are judged on your worth depending on first being beautiful and then being a mother. I will be unable to have children and I’m not beautiful. So I am worthless.
I keep obsessing that I am not attracting the right people because I will always be as crazy and undesirable as I am ugly. I am not driven or intelligent either, so I don’t know what to do to improve myself. So right now I am panicking. I realised it sounds silly but I just want to be a happier person. To get up early and creep around trying not to wake my 6 year old on a Sunday because all they do is moan in the morning and look very cute doing it, so taking it seriously is incredibly hard. I mean I will never find someone who will want that with me. So I wonder why I keep thinking about children and mourning the loss of them because it’s so unreachable right now. Do I really just want to torture myself?
I’ve only been broken up with once out of 5 ‘serious’ relationships. I do all the dumping as I am constantly scared. I am constantly unsatisfied with them, my mood episode changes and then I stop liking them. At least I am self aware enough to see that. When will I stop being scared? When will I stop panicking and be able to grow? When will I stop coming off my meds?
A blinding brain storm derails me speaking a language unknown to me. It whirls and floods every part of my thoughts. It makes my stomach turn and my head spin as it begins traveling down my body causing me to stumble into fear. I wonder how I developed the language of anxiety. Coping is widely spoken but how does it combat my madness? It’s shaking me to the core, what was the trigger? I know surrendering is not an option but letting it consume me is futile. It gobbles me whole; I try deep breathing but everything is howling. I just feel like an animal ready to flee, attack or bite someone’s head off. I have to protect me! So what happens now? Doomsday is this moment, right now everything is swelling and pulsating . I am losing my mind this time. Like a spindle needle pricking I fall into a trance. People are speaking but it’s like I am in a glass jar, I can’t hear at all. As the hyperventilation increases so does the waterfall of tears, I am niagra about to fall. I can’t breathe, the room around is spinning like the waltzers on LSD. ‘Don’t panic, breathe, don’t panic!’ I start shouting inside. As I rub the sweat from my forehead I want to run and hide. I am disgusting, I am not pretty at all. Just a lump of flesh withering in front of them all. As my hearts pumps violently against my sternum I can’t find the words. A pain travels down my ribs. Is this a heart attack? I am only 23 years old. I knew I should not have eaten that doughnut. I can’t remember what caused this, is this me? Dear God, please help me. He sends no angel not even death, I just want this to end. Then my vision goes patchy, blackened and hazy. People are all around, staring at the monster in front of them now. I crumple from the weight on my shoulders, anxiety on one and depression on the other. I accept blackness. Please don’t let me wake-up at all.
I wrote this in a way of expressing how I feel during my panic/anxiety attacks. I had them debilitatingly throughout my adolescents and only calmed down when I began taking mood stabilisers. I get them once and a while but they are a doddle compared to how bad they used to affect my life. I have not had a anxiety attack in a long time where I have felt unable to cope luckily, I have been able to gain control over my symptoms and to somewhat find calmness or resist it escalating further.
A few ways that help me are to counteract the negative thoughts, thinking of the positive thoughts and what I actually know which is possible and positive. I do deep breathing which helps me, counting to ten slowly between breathes restarting once 10 is reached which helps any hyperventilating or anxious behaviour. I also focus on the idea that it will pass and that everything is temporary. That I can only accept the now and that the feeling of anxiety will not ruin anything. If I can just try and distract myself then it will pass. I think it’s important to notice the smaller symptoms you may get before it escalates into a pure panic attack in my experience is where I cannot breathe. I become restless and start worrying; feel an impending doom and start feeling my senses change. So I carry positive thought cards I made in my wallet. I made a few people send me positive things about me. This really helps because I can say that they care and love me, they are who I need to stay in touch with and stable for. In the past my anxiety has led me to barely leaving the house for months.
I hope not ever go back there but you never know what the future holds but I know I will be better than yesterday because I have learnt new skills and experiences.