That fucking blanket

#sb4mh, Anecdotal, mental health , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Having a mental illness is often a lonely feeling. In my experience, depression, anxiety and PTSD, whether separately, or some magical bullshit combines them together into a cocktail of distinct and almost comforting isolation. I struggle with this because I find it effortless to melt into that loneliness and isolation as it is easier and more familiar. Like wrapping yourself up in a warm cashmere blanket that just happens to smell of shit. You eventually don’t notice the smell and if you do, it is because you took it off for a while and smelled fresh air. Putting it back on, the smell is abrasive and noxious, but you know exactly how it is going to make you feel. You know if you just stop taking it off, you probably won’t have to notice it again. I find it is much easier to endure than fight to make a change. Depression has taught me that. It is a lying fuck most of the time, but that one is at least true. It is easier to lay down and avoid life and conflict.

It is fucking hard to change things. It is constant work. If you’ve ever stopped smoking, that is what I relate it to, but I have been berating myself much longer than the 20 years I smoked cigarettes, before we gave it up a few years ago. I had to take it one minute at a time some days. My inner dialogue battling back and forth like the cartoon angel and devil in each ear, sometimes both encouraging me to just go ahead and smoke a damn cigarette and I would feel better. Talk about self-sabotaging cycles. I have to call myself out everytime I get that urge to hate, then punish myself. It is just a habit now, like a muscle memory. There is no evidence that says my reasoning for being a monster is the truth, but it has been the truth I have been living my entire life. It doesn’t just go away because I am aware of it. It takes time, and healing and kindness and patience and all of that shit that we all sigh when we hear. It’s work. There is no instant gratification in treating trauma or mental illness, and I think that may be my biggest obstacle.

Constantly battling yourself in your own head that happens to be full of static and war that feels epic in proportion gets exhausting. Some days it doesn’t leave much space for anything else and it’s difficult to realize that battle is entirely in my head. That things right now, on Earth, in this present moment aren’t so bad, but it can be hard to remember that I can actually take that disgusting, filthy, glorious comforting blanket off. I’ve learned I treat the blanket as an article of defense. I guess I have been always been quietly telling myself that if I am already covered in shit, I am already punished. I hold myself down so no one else can. It is pretty flawed logic, but sometimes it takes some time to realize that. Then once you realize it, you have to address it. Which is it’s own bag of worms. Then you have to make the effort to not do what hasn’t worked for you in the past. Behavior being the one part of the triangle you can control (the other two being thoughts and feelings), so it is where I have to focus.

I find myself slipping into self-defeating behaviours when I am struggling. I turn inward and get lost in my head, even though I am well aware that is not going to help things, in fact it is the path to that fucking blanket I wish I could just set on fire sometimes. Though if I am being honest with myself other times I would probably defend it from the fire, to my own detriment, so terrified of what could be if I no longer had it to rely on.

Today, instead of reaching for that enticing blanket I am writing this. I am venting, processing, feeling and sharing my struggle in the hopes that someone else might take comfort in knowing a lot of us do and it is totally okay. Just because I feel worthless and ashamed today doesn’t make it true. Just because my feelings aren’t understood doesn’t make them any less valid. Just because I want to hate myself because it is what I know, I don’t have to. I am trusting that it will pass, even if I am not entirely convinced.

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “That fucking blanket

  1. Bless you! My experiences are different, and I’m coming to realise and accept that anxiety is my main stumbling block, but I really related to your blanket analogy. These conversations are so important, thank you for adding your voice into the mix x

    1. I struggle with anxiety too, but my therapist seems to think it’s just a symptom of the depression and PTSD. It’s all a mess isn’t it? Thank you for your kind words ❤️

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