There are times when I feel like a sat-nav. It’s like I can think and understand but I am not in control.
Trying to reason with my brain, to fight my fears with facts, feels a lot like speaking English to someone who only speaks French. It’s an impossible task and I simply don’t have the patience.
I do not feel like I am split in personality, it’s more that I am conscious in my mind but I am suppressed and muted by a larger presence. Imagine being in the driver’s seat but the car is driving by itself.
The stranger part is that I know who I am, I have the ability to follow my dreams and make choices. Yet my brain always tells me the opposite to what I am doing, like I am a naughty child and my brains a strict parent. It really is the case of having a little devil on my shoulder, except he’s not telling me to do bad things, he tells me I am the bad thing.
I honestly believe that I could save the world, become president or cure cancer but my mind would still tell me I had failed. There is nothing I can do to appease my own self.
I remember that on my wedding day, I looked at my husband as I said my vows and I swore that he was going to walk away. I even felt that “is he lying” nagging doubt as he said “I do“. My husband has never given me a single doubt and thankfully my mind can see that now but it makes me sad that a part of me expected him to walk away.
In many ways, I believe that though I have aged in a physical sense. I have not completely aged mentally. I am wise in my understanding of self and the world, maybe too wise for my own good (quarter life crisis victim here!). However I feel like a child inside all the time, I still want to run and hide.
It’s a complicated thing isn’t it? To be forced into adult responsibilities when you feel like you only just got out of diapers? I don’t even feel in control of time anymore, It seems it’s moving faster than I can catch up with, I feel like I am falling behind.
Now, I know that these feelings are all a natural response to the hefty level of abuse and bullying I feel victim too in my youth. It just seems that even knowing the route cause of my evil inner voice, I just can’t shut it up. I am excited that therapy definitely has a fighting chance of helping me manage, or at least tame the beast.
Maybe this is just part of what makes us human, the more I talk about self-doubt and those inner demons that insult you, the more I know I am not alone. Though it is so upsetting to know that others feel the pain I do, I don’t want that for anyone.
What I have learnt, is that if you can’t shut up that nagging doubt, then just ignore it and carry on. It’s a bit like dealing with a bully, if you don’t give it fuel then it will eventually burn out.
There are so many days, like now as I write this, where I want to give up on my writing and advocacy because I feel inadequate or ignored.
But every day I wake up and give it all I have, some days more than other. The point is that I keep at it, brick by brick and maybe one day I can prove to myself that I am good enough – because I am. There is a flame inside of me, even if it is dim, it’s strong enough to remind me as to why I do what I do and why I am here.
Our minds lie to us sometimes, so when we suffer from a mental illness, those lies can get louder and almost intolerable but these lies are not true. You can be whoever you want to be, you are not your past or your illness, it does not define you.