Lost At Sea - diary extract #3
Updated: Apr 1
This is the last chapter of diary extracts provided by a mental health sufferer. If you haven't read the introduction to this series called 'Lost At Sea', please read it at mmbm.co.uk/post/lost-at-sea-series-intro
Lost at sea. These words perfectly depict my experiences trying to access treatment for a mental illness that has been lifelong. The following extracts are from my diary that I wrote for a short period of time.
I woke up. I hadn’t even opened my eyes when I could feel the tension in my head. I hadn’t even seen the sun before the visuals entered my mind. My mood was low and the day had just begun. It was 6am and my partner was asleep next to me. I turned and asked him ‘can we go for a run? I don’t feel well’. He said in a while. Unfortunately, in that ‘while’ my emotions began to stir. I became irritable at my partner. It was a terrible morning; I shouted meanly at him for being irresponsible, picking on his faults that annoy me, using them as fuel to ignite my blaze. I was on fire, yet I wanted to be peaceful. I just wanted to stop, to shut up and calm down but I couldn’t. Being the gem he is, he kept relatively quiet and unargumentative, at one point he did get annoyed at me saying, ‘I don’t agree with that’ and walked away downstairs. I just kept going for 1 hour trapped in my own sickness rage wanting to escape. What I was saying to him I meant, but the way I said it was mean, vicious and unacceptable.
I got a terrain of horrid OCD images; stabbing my partner in the throat with a knife, smashing his head in with a huge object. I could see it all, all the details of his brains, the room, everything as if it were real. I had such as strong impulse to slap him hard across his face. I did none of these things, but the feelings that these images send through my body made me feel so much fear and distress.
I told my partner what I had thought. He said ‘you won’t actually kill me one day will you?’, I replied, ‘I cannot answer that question…if it’s any consolation, if I did, I’d kill myself too’. He said ‘OK, then we’ll be together forever’.
We both started laughing at the insanity of it all. We had a lovely jog around the park, we messed around, enjoyed lovely views, burned off all the negativity through exercise. We had fun and the rest of my day was mostly free of intrusive thoughts.
My mind is relatively quiet at last.
The next week
My mental health seems stable, for the past few days since writing this diary I appear to have improved. It’s a ray of sunshine. Sometimes when you suffer so much and non-stop there feels like no end. For the past 2 and a half years I’ve been in a toxic agony, day in day out. Perhaps this is a time of change. Making a real effort by writing here allows me to be reflective and gain insight into my own mind. Waking up in this morning and going for a walk around a lovely river park, the scenery was sublime; normally I cannot appreciate such things, the vast stretching fields to my left and to my right, that gorgeous river. Normally I feel black, inescapable darkness. However today I could appreciate the scenery with perhaps a small hue of grey unable to fully penetrate the bright sunlight.
I also realised something today. My neighbour (not the one I hate, the ones I was terrified of and wanted to run away from when they tried to talk to me) told me that I’d inspired her to want to do something with her garden. As I had transformed my garden which before was amazingly similar to my imagination of a jungle prior to colonisation, to something more easier to maintain with fiery red robin hedging which I had purchased with the intention of blocking the neighbours from existence, however I’m perhaps changing my mind on the height of the hedge. I was still shaking head to toe when speaking, actually I was shaking head to toe simply standing, actually just looking her in the eye felt insurmountable, more do then my attempt to burn off calories on my morning walk. I suppose there’s a feeling of inferiority; I’ve had a lifelong feeling of inferiority, that I’m inadequate in some way, that looking into her eyes, talking will reveal to her my inadequacy. I’ll be exposed for the weirdo I am. These messages impregnated in my psyche that have plagued my existence. I want to destroy them, take an axe and destroy this maladaptive program, this disease implanted largely by my family. But instead of this psycho that I assumed I would be perceived as, I was an inspiration. The months and months of hard labour in the garden mostly due to my lack of financial means to pay a gardener were what was seen, not my fearful programming. Despite this, despite knowing I’m not inferior at all, I’m worthy, logically. Emotionally it doesn’t alter my predisposition. But I hope one day this will change. As a person with personal disorder traits, professionals talk with me about my management of those traits, but that isn’t what I want, I want to change; I didn’t choose this hell, I don’t want it and I intend to grow. But strangely, change can be scary; there is safety in what we know, familiarity, even when familiarity is bad or terrible. It’s safe in a crazy way to me, so I feel a strong pull to change and yet emotionally a pull of safety. It’s very contradictory. In a way, it reflects my situation with the neighbour; she in no way perceived me as stupid, inferior or crazy, yet emotionally I can’t seem to shift that deeply set despair.