No, maybe you are not. Maybe there is just something so ugly about you that everyone around you is enjoying the company of others while you drown alone in a sea of black.
When loneliness covers your heart
Like frost, it stays
You feel it less when days are warm
But it’s there
And then days get colder without a warning
And the loneliness that covers your heart thickens, hardens
It makes its presence known
Little by little, it makes its way through your heart
Until even the inside is cold,
And days are never warm enough again
Here’s the thing with any form of mental illness – whether it be PTSD or anxiety or depression or whatever – just when we think we’re one step ahead, we find that something has allowed the darkness to gain the upper hand in our lives once more. And the more strength the darkness gains, the weaker we become, until suddenly we are no longer ahead of it or above it or stronger than it, and it has defeated us.
Because this is the thing, isn’t it? We are always fighting to be stronger than what tried to break us. And we fight hard. So goddamn hard. Invisible battles most people will never see. And most of the time, we slay our dragons and slaughter our demons and bury our ghosts, and we win.
But then there’s days we don’t.
Because, high on our victory that we think will last, we…
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It’s always easier to hit back harder, cut deeper, rather than put in the sometimes extraordinary effort to understand and empathize with why someone reacts the way they do. More often than not, the real reason is they’re hurt. They’re hurt to their core and possibly even reached a point of complete exasperation where retaliation seems like the only thing left they haven’t tried to express just how hurt they are.
Cut deep and draw blood. When words are no longer enough, when they’re the enemy instead of the band aid to help heal the wounds, when the walls that have been put in front of you have become terrifyingly high to climb, nobody can see the hurt. Nobody wants to. So you lash out and you kick and scream, and you hit where you know it hurts the most (even when they say it doesn’t hurt in the very least). Deep down you know it’s not the way to do things, not the solution you wanted for even a split second. But you’re so left without options, that you do it anyway. You hit back hard and with a precise target.
Because maybe then they’ll see you. Really see you. Maybe then they’ll hear what you’re saying and understand what you’re truly going through. Maybe they’ll even come to you and comfort you. You could even dare to imagine they might want to shield you from any hurt from now on and not allow anyone to cut into your soul ever again.
We hurt each other with such ease and refuse to admit it when we do get hurt. But then we strike back even worse. We stifle our words and shut down instead of reaching out and speaking out. Call me a naive idealist, call me a fool and call me a damned idiot, but I’m convinced that if we peel off the layers of hurt and resentment, the emotional and psychological baggage we’re lugging behind us, for years and even decades, what we all want – each and every one of us – is to be really seen, cared for, appreciated. And loved.
No, the idealist hasn’t died or given up.
Anxiety is a mental disorder, that affects many people in their everyday life. Although anxiety is one of the more ‘common’ mental disorders, it is often misunderstood and therefore wrongly diagnosed. Many people diagnose them self with anxiety without fully understanding the disorder. One thing that I really hope to get across to you in this blog, is the fact that just because you are apprehensive about a certain event it doesn’t necessarily mean you have anxiety. We all get nervous about taking exams, going in for surgery and talking to your crush. Just because we have a few butterflies in our stomachs, it doesn’t always mean we have a serious mental disorder. One of the key things with anxiety and other mental disorders is the fact that they are constant and do not go away. However they may be triggered by a certain event that makes the anxiety worse. Anxiety is hard to diagnose and spot, because feeling anxious every now and then is perfectly normal and healthy. If you are not sure about whether you have anxiety, then I suggest going into the doctors and talking it through. No self diagnose quiz on the internet will do, you have to see a professional.
The symptoms of anxiety are wide and differ between person to person. I wasn’t sure whether to put the symptoms up or not, as I didn’t want to scare anyone or make them worry about whether they have anxiety or not. I just want to say that even if you have a few of these symptoms it does not always indicate that you have anxiety.
Many people ask ‘How does anxiety affect your life?’ Once again people are affected in different ways, not just short term but long term as well. Anxiety never really goes away it is always there waiting for you. As a result there are long-term problems caused by anxiety these can include insomnia. I listed insomnia in the symptoms, but I wanted to explain it properly. Insomnia is when you have trouble sleeping, whether it’s falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up. Insomnia is a condition on its own, but can often accompany anxiety. Poor sleep can lead to other problems like fatigue, relationship problems and much more. Not only this anxiety is often accompanied with depression. It’s a myth that you can not have both anxiety and depression. The two actually go hand in hand, if you feel continuously nervous you may shut yourself off from the world…leading to depression. Anxiety itself can cause people to turn to drugs and alcohol in order to try to find ‘relief’ from the condition. So a misuse of alcohol and drugs could be a sign of anxiety. Anxiety is also known to affect people’s sex drive, causing relationship problems. It can also lower our immune system, which means we are more susceptible to disease and illness.
Although we can never be entirely sure what causes anxiety, we are not completely clueless. There have been many studies into anxiety and the cause of it. One cause of anxiety is previous bad experiences. For example perhaps you have been bullied in your life or grew up with abusive parents, this may be a trigger for anxiety and stress. Our general life problems and styles could be a cause for anxiety. For example if you are a student you may have long hours of revision, stress and feel overwhelmed with the amount of deadlines you have to meet. This could in fact cause you to have anxiety, if this is the case you will need to speak with your teachers/professors. Things like drugs and alcohol also play a role in triggering anxiety. This sounds really serious and life threatening, but an imbalance of the chemicals in your brain could be causing anxiety. This leads to certain areas of the brain being more active than others, leading to a feeling of anxiety. Other medical conditions can trigger anxiety, for example those suffering with long-term physical health problems might get anxiety. Of course genetics does have a role in anxiety. They say that if a relative of yours has anxiety then you are more likely to have it. However just because none of your family has the condition it doesn’t mean that you don’t to.
When your heart is shattered into a million pieces it doesn’t take a moment to patch it up and be sent on your way. It takes a process. A long, tiring, hurtful, journey to piece back those broken pieces that were once what made you, you. As you begin this process of trying to figure out what piece goes where, you begin to strategize. You will have to make changes, changes you might not like.
You take a good look at a diagram of your old heart. You thought that’s how it was supposed to be, supposed to look. But as you begin to piece little bits together you realize that old diagram is out the window. You decide creating something new is the best option. This time you will be including chains and barbed wire. Dungeons where not even YOU are allowed to enter. You strategically stuff hurts and brokenness into places where you won’t be able to find so you won’t have to confront them.
It’s the days like these that’ll erode you away
as the inside of your body starts to decay.
The feelings of pain
of sorrow and doubt
leave you feeling empty
and without a way out.