Where Do I Begin

Dear Reader,

Trigger Warning: Self Harm

It’s been over a week since I last posted, and to be honest I’m not really sure why. I have been really struggling with my motivation recently. But I feel like that’s an excuse, and I don’t want to use excuses. Because the truth is that writing and knowing people want to read it, is really one of the only things I have in my life. Now that may sound a bit dramatic. But honestly. The only “constant” things I really have are this blog and work.

The last week has flown by and, I don’t really know what is happening. Yesterday I started work at 8AM I worked until 12AM and then I had to return at 6PM for a meeting, so I hung around with a work friend until we needed to be back.

Since my last post I have been experiencing some pretty bad mood swings, they don’t seem to have any triggers, they just hit, sometimes I’m really sad, sometimes I’m really angry and sometimes I feel great! But I feel the need to justify these mood changes around me and so I try to pinpoint something that causes it. Sometimes that means, pretending I am just tired or making a mountain out of a molehill to justify my anger or sadness.

So yesterday I was feeling great when I woke up, which was odd considering it was 6:45am. I jumped out of bed, got dressed in 10 minutes and was ready to go to work. And for those 4 hours I was great, I was back to being the “class clown” as I like to call it, a role I seem to frequent on an almost daily basis, when possible. I finished work at 12am, I had an hour and a half to wait for my friend to finish work, so I wandered around the town centre. When I returned to pick her up we went for a pub lunch. We didn’t drink as we still had to return to work later.

It was there in the pub that I felt the first familiar pang of anxiety. It was brief, but I knew something was wrong, a panic attack was coming. I had no reason to be anxious, my work friend and I often spend time together outside of work, we have gone to this pub before, there was no one around us. So why was I freaking out?

The truth is I was dreading the meeting as much as I was looking forward to it. I was looking forward to it because it meant I was in a confined space where the “class clown” part of me could reign supreme. It has become almost a staple of my work meetings for me to take on this persona. But I was dreading it. I have been struggling recently. I have been taking a lot more time out downstairs because I need the break from pretending I’m fine. And the supervisor clearly has a problem with this. Often when I return upstairs she says things like “I thought you got lost” etc, she doesn’t understand the severity of my mental health issues, to be honest, I’m not sure anyone does. Sometimes I physically just can’t do anything, I can’t make myself speak, I can’t make myself move. Sometimes I need to just sit in a quiet corner and not do anything for a few minutes.

The supervisor is on holiday this week, which means she didn’t have to come to the meeting, but she chose to and straight away this made me anxious. Was she going to target me? I felt like she would. Although I know she generally does not tell a person directly how she feels, she just tells everyone else. Twisting their perceptions of someone. But I was worried. I had nightmares that she said something, that I freaked out and told everyone I wanted to die and I needed time out. The concerned look on the faces of some of my colleagues and a disgusted look from others who do not understand. I blame this dream for the anxiety.

As we left the pub and went to her flat I felt ok, at her flat the pangs of anxiety hit again and again, they didn’t last long just brief “something is wrong I am losing control” moments. As we got to the meeting the “class clown” came out and I made jokes and comments all night, still expecting the supervisor to speak. But she didn’t. it was the manager who made a general “I don’t want people downstairs for no reason” comment, which I know was aimed at me. Hes right, I have been given permission to leave the shop floor by HR, but really what right do I have? by doing that I am leaving the shop a person down and that’s not fair on everyone else. So I guess I need to just work through my moments.

As the meeting ended I began to feel angry, I knew this wasn’t a good sign. I wasn’t ready to go home I guess. I was sad that everyone was leaving and I had to go back to my crappy life where I can’t pretend I’m ok, where I can’t be the “class clown” anymore. I walked for a little bit, I began to feel worse and worse, depression was setting in. The anxiety stopped, the happiness and anger stopped. I got home and I went upstairs and cut myself. I cut myself out of anger I guess. And then when it looked as though it had stopped bleeding I cut it some more. and now I have another stupid cut on my stupid upper arm.

I cut myself a few times when I was 16-18, but it’s really only been in the last few months that cutting has started again. To be honest I thought I had been self harm free for the 6 years between then and now, but the truth is it wasn’t I used to punch walls, I punched them hard, I bruised my knuckles, I cut my knuckles doing this. I was self-harming. I just didn’t see it that way.

What I really need now is to wait for my appointment on May 20th, so I can talk about how I really feel. I am seeing a doctor tomorrow, another trainee, my doctor isn’t in. I am worried for this doctor already, the trainees often aren’t ready for me to walk in and have a breakdown. I am considering asking for some more sleeping pills though.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room

9 thoughts on “Where Do I Begin

  1. While I do not experience the extreme ends of these feelings like you do. I have been there before. It is hard to deal with especially since nobody around you understands and believes you to be crazy otherwise. Self harm is a coping mechanism and not everyone sees it that way. It is simply because there is no other way. You are alone, coloring does not work, mind numbing monotonous games do not work and writing is simply not an option. Your brain is just too fuzzy to write exactly how you feel.

    Know that I look forward to your posts, Elephant. I check my email nearly every day for your next post and keep you in my thoughts. I love that you have the strength to share your experiences so that both you AND your readers can take something away from it and make it all a step in the better direction.

    I hope you have a better day today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wanted to click ‘like’ after I read this. But I don’t like that you harm yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you. I just hate to see another human being suffering this much.

    Even though this blog and your work are the only consistent things in your life, you’re an astonishing blogger. I’m not going to say I ‘enjoyed’ reading this, cause it made me sad, but you’re writing intrigues me.

    I hope you find peace in knowing that whatever it is you (and we all) do is to survive. Regardless how contradicting it might be with you harming yourself to survive, apparantly it gives you something, some relief, that you haven’t found somewhere else (yet!).

    I’m with you, and although I’m new on WordPress, I wanted to say, thank you for visiting my blog. I know I’ll be coming around yours regularly.

    Stay strong,

    Dan Freely.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I know what you mean about trainees. Sometimes they can be less jaded, though, and more eager to help. I hope you get one like that! I’m sorry you are going through this!


  4. Man. Sounds rough. Honestly, this kinda reminds me of how I get when I don’t sleep enough – like really good, then really anxious, then really bad. It’s a bipolar thing. Maybe better sleep will help. Sorry you’re feeling so shitty. Hope you come back around soon! In the meantime, I’ve found it helpful in the past to “hide” the things I used to hurt myself, like on top of my cabinets or in the toilet tank, ’cause I wasn’t ready to let them go (which is probably something you understand) but in the time it took me to get a stepladder to the cabinets or fish something out of the toilet tank, I had enough time to remember why I’d hidden those things in the first place and I’d be able to stop myself. Might work for you. Either way, hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The thing that sucks the worst about anxiety and/or depression (in my opinion at least) is how truly arbitrary the lows of both can be. They don’t need a reason to kick in, so I can’t stress enough that it was not your fault. Anger is of course a natural emotion, but please try to blame yourself as little as possible. Many of us here understand very well how you feel, sort of dipping in and out between a comfortable sense of self and an unsteady, worried persona. It’s okay to have those swings-even if they do suck (and they definitely do, lol). Hang in there, and keep us updated. You’re much stronger than you think 🙂


  6. I am sorry you are struggling and that the System is so inadequate when we need help. May 20 is far away. I hope you are able to come up with some coping skills to make it through that time frame.
    The mental health system is faulty and the government does not care. I think they would be happy yo let us kill ourselves off. Sorry, that was not very cheerful, but that is how I feel.
    Are there any coping skills that you have used in the past that you have not done on a while?
    i know you like coloring and I do also. Maybe there are some other arts and crafts things you might like to do.
    I wish you peace.


  7. Perhaps you could just tell your boss, “I have a disability, and occasionally my system overloads. If I’m unable to remove myself from excess stimulus for a few moments, things get worse.”

    I’m not sure what the disability laws are where you live, but where I am, that sentence would require them to allow me to take that time once or twice a day, for ten minutes or so, like it was a smoke break. or some such. I wouldn’t have to specify my disability; it’s illegal for them to ask for more details here.

    Maybe look into the laws where you are, see what workplace allowances they need to give you so you have the knowledge, see what information you’d have to give them. Find a middle ground where you’d be comfortable giving a small bit of information that wouldn’t make you uncomfortable, ask for the supports you need.

    I think you’ll be surprised how supportive they can be. It sounds like you’re a really hard worker; I wouldn’t want to lose you if you were on my team.


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