Monday, April 4, 2016

The War of My Life

This is the war of my life...
I can't do anything right. Why? Because I don't do it on time and I don't fulfill expectations. Every day carries with it the massive headache of self-loathing and anxiety.

I'm writing this here because I can't tell everyone.

I can tell some people, but not most.

I'm writing this, through blurry eyes and a runny nose, only here--not anywhere on the internet that would be noticed more because I know people don't like it. Only writing it here because I know it's ugly and there is a stigma against it still.

I've kept it too myself too long, festering in my body and mind, building up a pleasant facade when I should've been exposing it and welcoming help where it is offered. I had hoped I could sort it out on my own because I like being independent and I didn't want to face judgment. I don't even care about the judgment now because when I don't look at my unhealthiness as a massive vulnerability or disfunction but as a result of my big heart, artistic outlook, glowing soul, and emotionally intelligent mind. This is how I cope; knowing that I have these beautiful things about my personality and that despite the belief that illness makes one vulnerable, I am strong for continuing to exist and thrive.

I can't tell you why a 4 year-old girl felt the desire to rub and tear at her skin. I don't know why a physically healthy girl did not like to play competitive games at the age of ten. Why did she sit alone?
I don't know how it came about that she was anxious and depressed. Why did she pick at her skin despite the bleeding and scars? Why did she smile and bring joy to others but not seem confident? Why did she have suicidal thoughts? Why did she cry so often?

I know now that my disaster is the overwhelm of having so many mysteries, so many questions, that have not been asked and therefore not answered. I hoped my parents would answer them but the truth is they don't understand me enough to do so.

It feels like for most of my life I've been holding my breath and admitting my problems, facing them head on with help, would be the exhale I need.

One of the greatest exhales of my life was finding out that I'm not the only one who struggles with skin-picking. In 2013, I was studying psychology, an introductory course, and while discovering the symptoms of OCD and body dysmorphia I stumbled upon hair-pulling and skin-picking. I learned that the DSM-V had just published a term for skin-picking: dermatillomania. I was shocked, I broke out into tears as I searched through websites telling of "how to determine if you have dermatillomania" and "cognitive behavioural therapy to treat dermatillomania" as well as a novel about a woman's experiences with the illness. I felt so relieved and happy to know that I wasn't alone in this. I noticed that some people experienced it differently than I have and thought that maybe I didn't fall into the same category. I thought maybe because I didn't have as many scabs as they did that maybe I wouldn't seem like I needed help with it. I was also angry because I thought my doctor would have told me about this. I wanted to know, but I still have not officially been diagnosed.

I knew I had depression. I even told my mom that I know I still do but it only makes it worse in my household if I continue to discuss it. The conclusion was that I should speak to a professional. Then, I put off seeing a professional because I was feeling better. My happiness fluctuated and being in a long-term relationship and the issues that came with it definitely complicated my situation. I wanted to make myself better but didn't realize the importance of working through it with someone.

I want to go to school, I want to do well, I want to work hard to reach my goals. I want to succeed and feel fulfilled. But I can't. I stop myself because my head is running a thousand thoughts a minute. I want to do everything important, but I end up doing nothing important. I become paralyzed by disappointment in myself, in others, in life. I become paralyzed by all the emotions I'm feeling all at once and it makes no sense.

What it's like in my mind:
I should write that paper now, but I feel so tired and I'm not comfortable, rubs hand, picks at pimple, I should change into this, I hate my body, I think I need to eat, I should eat healthy, I don't, I want to sleep, picks at arm, I don't want to dream again though, pick my hand and scratch off scalp, time is going by too quickly, before sleep I need to watch something, yea, because otherwise we think about death, yes we should watch this because it will distract us, but I have to do schoolwork, but we have to rest, but we are having a hard time with how we feel, but we are bloated and fat and don't want to work out, we are having a hard time concentrating on reading because every word makes us think too much, we pick our hand, we think about writing a novel when we read about analysis of novels, we think about how our teacher will be disappointed and we get upset so we distract ourself again to keep our mind off the depression, we start to cry, we will clean our room now because that's a mess we can tackle, we are tired and we just thought about the ex-bf and how he made us feel awful, we remember that and debate texting him for 20 mins. we are paranoid that our parents will come in our room, we are paranoid that they know they know they know! we're afraid of yelling, that movement around this house is so loud and disturbing to me but I can't say anything because that would be strange. don't pay attention to the sound, pretend you're not annoyed, pretend you're someone else, okay now we are thinking about the guy before him that we loved and would like to talk to him. we are feeling upset about it all and need to distract us so we don't cry, we will watch one episode on netflix. We got enthralled in the theme of one episode so we say "just one more" but we are watching for four hours now and have not completed 3 assignments that are overdue, we're picking our hand and feet now and it hurts but we're in a trance and would like to continue. We thought about time and death again so we're watching something happier and checking Facebook, picks at hand, bad idea because I hate myself. turning off light trying to sleep, what about tomorrow? what if I screw up, I don't want to go in the classroom because I'm embarrassed. we are trying so hard not to think but everything is happening right now and we want to scream but its 4 am and we need to sleep.

It's not just me in my mind...I'm accompanied by anxiety.