I want to convince myself that everyone understands this feeling, an inexplicable feeling, but a feeling nonetheless. I can’t understand it and I don’t know what triggers it but it’s a feeling that has visited me very often.
Some days I feel so mentally exhausted. I know I have a lot of work to do but I struggle. Basic – every day – activities just seem so overwhelming. Getting out of bed feels like an achievement and showering feels like a chore.
I’ve already taken at least three if not more trips to the kettle downstairs, coffee after coffee and maybe tea to vary it up. It’s become the routine of my weekend and every time I do it, I am hoping for comfort. I’m no longer a human being, but a mere robot on repeat.
I have no appetite but I turn to food, because maybe I’ll feel some sort of satisfaction, yet nothing. Nothing but guilt. I spend sometime with my parents watching whatever is on TV but I’m struggling to look them in the eyes in fear of them noticing that something is up. Whilst I feel like they deserve to know, I am not ready to say anything because they don’t understand when I tell them “I don’t know what I’m feeling, but I’m feeling it”.
Four years ago, I was seeing a therapist that has worked with me through cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT]. The wonderful thing about CBT is that you’re working with your train of thoughts and understanding how they make you feel, which ultimately gives you the power to take control of your life. I found out so much about myself in that period of time, discovered a lot of pain and hurt in my life that I didn’t even realise still existed and so I was able to deal with how I was feeling.
Looking back to that period of my life, I realise I have come such a long way out of the dark. But, it’s been three wonderful years since I last been to a CBT session. A lot can happen in three years and I have to admit, there were things I couldn’t open up about three years ago and to this day I struggle to confess what those are.
Sometimes I try to convince myself that these things don’t bother me. I may be fooling the people around me but I certainly can’t fool this genius brain of mine, although I wish that was possible. The problem with avoiding your problems is that they grow and they flourish into this dark, sickly, pit in your stomach. That cold, empty void in your chest. The terrifying palpitations in your heart. The constant feeling of restlessness, the fear of the unknown. The feeling of hopelessness and loneliness. The existential life crisis and the agitating self-doubt.
I’ve often compared my life to others and shut myself down for the ways I feel. There are people suffering as a result of loss, war, abuse, etc… But what am I suffering from? When I look at it that way I feel selfish because I realise the only battle I am going through is a battle against myself. A battle I can control but I don’t always.
The thing is, I have to keep reminding myself of what has been and what’s to come. I have to remind myself of the many battles I fought and won. The bravery that it took for me to overcome fear and insecurity. The many tears and sleepless nights that came before accepting the things I cannot control. The hardship it took before I was able to open my eyes to the beauty of this world. The gratefulness that came after the storm of self-doubt, the appreciation of life and the realisation of how very limited our time on earth really is.
Some people may find it odd, but I’ve come to appreciate simply being. Being a human, someone who can feel, hear, taste, smell, see. I am blessed to have beauty in my life in all shapes and forms, from friends to family, to breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. I don’t know what I’m feeling but I take comfort in knowing that this is temporary and as long as I have a beat in my chest and air filling my lungs… I will be okay.