I was on Destiny tonight, speaking with my friends, who also suffer with Anxiety and Depression. We have different degrees of it but we all understand each other.
The main thing that is always brought up, is how we never feel “Normal”.
We struggle with work. I for one can’t work due to my mental health and it drains me.
Ok yes I am bored stupid just sitting around all day fighting my emotions and illness but I have tried working.
Each job I have had to quit since I was 16. Nearly 10 years on and that’s all it’s been is me quitting.
People used to think it’s because I’m lazy, when honestly, it’s because I can’t cope.
I have been a normal tills operator. I took over the bakery for a while in the co-op. I’ve done shelf stacking, been a supervisor/key holder. Trained staff. Done temp work. Had full time work. I helped out at the British Heart foundation and I’ve done some teaching and child minding. I have enjoyed them all. But that used to be me, trying to make the best of things. Until I hit a hurdle and panicked, had no where to turn, no one to turn to and I’d just break down and run.
All I have ever wanted is to pursue my career in Theatre Lighting and Design. But I can’t. It feels like there’s an invisible wall. I know I’d go to the interview and I know I’d get the job. The problem is I’ll run.
In my last job, I was standing behind the customer service desk at ‘The Range’. I had a full time job and made amazing friends. I’d been there for just over 2 months and all of a sudden I collapsed and hit the ground. It was a split second. I had just served a lovely old man and lady and then I just went down.
I hit my head and went sick. I don’t know what happened or what came over me but I ran to the toilet to carry on being sick.
My Supervisor called me out into the office and asked me what was going on.
I had no clue and I told her that. She gave me a glass of water and sent me back to work. I felt ill. I had NEVER felt this way before and it terrified me. I started to panic and had to ring my Dad to pick me up and I walked out.
All I knew was that I couldn’t be there. I HAD to leave.
I ended up seeing a Dr who said I collapsed due to a panic attack. It’s what happens, apparently, when you have a big attack. Your body shuts down. I didn’t know this and I couldn’t believe it. I was terrified it would happen again. So ever since that day, I won’t leave the house alone.
I can’t leave the house. What if it happens to me again and this time I don’t come round ? Or what happens if it happens and no one cares enough to help me and I’ll be alone ?
I was in UNI before all of this. I quit because I kept getting short of breathe and feeling ill. I just couldn’t cope. Loads judged me and I knew they did, I’m a good judge of character and I know when people don’t like me and bitch behind my back…. Plus it doesn’t help over hearing them when I’m “late” coming to class. That really didn’t help my mental state.
I just want to feel normal. People really don’t realise how lucky they are, being able to wake up in the morning and being able to function properly. Being able to plan your day, go shopping, go out for a meal, see a movie. I can’t do that without having a panic attack. I wake up in the morning and have a panic attack. I go to sleep at night and have a panic attack. I don’t eat properly. I have lost all enthusiasm to cook and bake. I rarely paint anymore. I most certainly don’t put my make up on. Only my eyebrows, because I have to. But this is what gets to me. My illness prevents me from doing normal things and NO one seems to get it. It’s so easy for you all to go out and live your lives. Yes I understand everyone has problems but not like this. Not everyone is terrified 24/7.
My friend tonight explained anxiety to me extremely well. I will try and get this as close as possible to what he said.
‘Anxiety is like being in a plane which is hurdling to the ground and about to crash. You have to jump from that moving plane without a parachute. How do you feel? Now imagine that feeling every day, from the moment you open your eyes to the moment you go to sleep. And even when you are asleep, you may still be going through it but are thankful you won’t remember that.’
I admit, I’m not good at remembering things word for word but that was basically what he said and it’s the best description I have ever heard about anxiety. Sadly, with anxiety comes the depression. So we are constantly fighting these emotions 24/7. It’s exhausting!! And not having a normal life sucks ass!!
I just wish more people understood this. Those of you who have a “boring” life, God I wish I was you! I wish I could go out and grab a coffee from the coffee shop down the road. I wish I could go and do that boring food shop every weekend. I wish I could go and get those shoes I’ve wanted for ages. I wish I could go and get a job and moan about it day in day out because it’s exhausting and I’m not paid enough for the amount of work I do and crap I get. I wish I could do it all. I’d give anything to have that life. I honestly would. But I can’t and it sucks!!
I’d love to go back to college and do hair dressing so I could earn a bit of money whilst working from home. We could do with a hair dresser in the family. It would be great. But I know I wouldn’t last. I won’t get funding because I’m too old now and I have too many points. And I’d lose any money I have coming in as they will see me fit for work for just wanting to try something. Even though I will fail at it.
Speaking with my friends tonight has made me feel less alone in all of this but also realise that there is just no help out there for people in our positions. No one understands mental illness enough. I wish they did! I wish there were schemes that helped people through every day life. I wish I had the chance to make this happen, to help everyone out there like me/us.
I’m sorry this isn’t a very happy/positive post. But I promised to blog about the highs and lows and that’s what I intend to do.
I wish I could be more positive today. I’m just struggling with these thoughts and they’re very real to me.
The feelings of not feeling normal, they’re very real too and I just wish more people would understand that. Not just with me but with everyone else who suffers with mental illness.