autobiographical,  F4TFriday,  Mental Health,  Sex and Mental Health

Triggers and Chain Reactions

{Content Warning for Mental Health topics and the hyperbolic use of “crazy” to describe myself}

This isn’t a sexy post. Not at all. I apologize.

As I write this, I am blisteringly aware that I am not where I am supposed to be. I am sitting cross legged on the sofa in the den, lap top perched on a pillow, chewing at my lip and feeling guilty. I’m at home, in my pajamas, and I should be at an appointment with a new psychiatrist. I just couldn’t go this morning and now I feel like shit.

I was prepared to go, or I thought I was, especially since my recent appointments with a new therapist and my most recent appointment with my new(ish) GP were so positive. I felt like maybe I was getting a handle on my medical office anxieties but this morning, a tsunami of fear washed over me and soon I was in tears with the receptionist at the mental health office, re-booking my appointment. It didn’t help that I was up all night thinking and worrying and catastrophizing. Sometimes I feel like a house of cards: precarious, with the illusion of strength. Most of the time, I feel fairly in control of my emotions and the expression of my thoughts and I am hyper-vigilant about how I affect other people. One of my primary anxieties and cyclical worries is that I am a burden for existing, but more so for being a sensitive person, and even more so for having mental health issues. I worry a lot about how the people around me perceive my behaviours and emotions and I am forever trying to explain or articulate myself in a way that doesn’t hi-jack others or put them in a position to feel responsible for my feelings or how my mind works (or doesn’t). But what if I’m way crazier than I think? What if I’m off the rails and I don’t know it? What if everyone is just too kind to tell me that I’m really not okay?

I will say, these are not my usual thoughts and I have come to the realisation that I was massively triggered by a situation within my social circle which really has nothing to do with me, but has struck a cord. A long-ago-friend (we haven’t talked in over a decade) whom I lost touch with, let’s call her Rachel, is still fairly close to some of our mutuals and through the (very small and well-meaning) grapevine, I was made aware of a manifesto of sorts that she had posted on social media (we don’t follow each other). I read it and it was very intense. She ranted about her mental health, responsibilities with her aging and disabled parents, unrequited love for another mutual friend, her queerness and anger and the dismissal of almost everyone in her life. She also distinctly and directly stated that if her behaviour was “too real” for anyone reading, that they should just fuck off, and that she was owed an outburst and would not apologize. Several times she used her mental health as a shield. Phrases like “I know I’m crazy right now, deal with it, you made me like this.” were peppered throughout. It went on and on and she repeatedly pointed to her MH diagnosis, which made my mouth go dry and my hands go cold: it is the very same as mine. I know that means basically nothing and that depression, anxiety and C-PTSD are not uncommon and can be well managed, but all I could think of was how her tantrum read. It was sad, it was frustrating, it was confusing and it was scary. It really got to me.

I’m so scared that I don’t know if I’m like Rachel. I don’t want to be like that, lashing out, backed into a proverbial corner and so angry. And now, after being up all night thinking and worrying and mulling over everything I have ever said or done that I can recall, and analysing it over and over, I am raggedly tired and I just couldn’t get it together for my psychiatrist appointment. I’m also painfully aware that that’s all the more reason for me to have gone. But, c’est la vie, that door has closed for today and I will try again in a couple weeks. Rachel’s stream of consciousness post was upsetting to me because I related too closely, not so much to her execution and expression but to the anger and fear. It was filled with blame and strange moments of what seemed like self awareness and also complete and utter denial, some of which came with self awareness without responsibility, that “deal with it!” attitude. I confessed to The Evergreens that I re-booked my appointment and they understood they expressed empathy and support and assured me that I’m doing well and I’m loved, which set off another tsunami of emotion, because I was quite convinced in that moment that I didn’t deserve their understanding.

I can’t stop thinking about how little it might have taken for me to be in the same position as Rachel today. Maybe I see myself in her situation, maybe I see myself in her. Maybe I’m just guilty for not doing more or staying closer to her (we just drifted apart as adults), as if I could have helped. Maybe I’m just tired and it’s been a perfect storm of a Wednesday. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

This post has been open and incomplete for four hours now, cursor blinking. In these hours there’s been an update: Rachel has admitted herself to hospital after talking with a mutual friend of ours. I’m relieved to hear she’s getting care.

This isn’t a very coherent post so I’m going to end it here and hit publish because it helps to talk about things even if it comes out less than perfectly. Thanks for reading.

 

love, V

 

 

 

8 Comments

  • Floss

    I know as sex bloggers we have all, myself included, apologised for not writing a sexy post. We shouldn’t though, this is your space, your truth and those of us who love you and your blog are here to read whatever it is you need to share. Some days that isn’t sexy and that is okay. That said, I can however relate in parts … ‘But what if I’m way crazier than I think? What if I’m off the rails and I don’t know it? What if everyone is just too kind to tell me that I’m really not okay?’ The difference being I hold my cards so close to my chest, it’s nearly always impossible for anyone to truly know when I’m not doing okay, being honest and open about where you are at is by far the better option and I am sure your Evergreen’s and others in your life that care for you would much rather know than be kept in the dark, and I very much doubt they see any of that as a burden x

  • Sweetgirl

    I’m gonna offer a piece of advice here Violet, the chances are you couldn’t help her because of your similar situations. You would become a source of concern for each other when both of you were unable to support one another. You would instead exhaust one another by trying to be a support system to each other. Xx

    Took me a long time to learn this.

  • May

    I sometimes wonder why I think I am a sex blogger – the amount of not sexy personal posts I write and often even my fiction does not have any sex – but my blog is my space… Writing helps, I think.
    There was something you said here that I really understood, all the thinking and worrying making you sooo tired. I am in that space with you at them moment. But we will both come out the other side. Because it is OK not to be OK and we just need time xx

  • MPB

    I don’t think I can really add to what Floss and May have said, but please write whatever you need to here in your space. Hopefully getting these thoughts down onto the page will have helped. Much love xx

  • SB4MH

    Continuing a bit from Floss and May, it’s your blog and your space to relate what’s important to and for you. I can understand the impostor syndrome because you have far more important things to write about than sex or sexy stories. I get lumped within the ‘sex blogger’ tag and I never write about sex. People come to your blog for the person behind it and rarely just for specific content.

    There’s a lot of questions you’re asking yourself right now. I hope your Evergreens can allay some of those fears. In hearing words from close and trusted people it’s still part of nature to keep questioning if they mean it. Learning to take those words at face value is really hard. My own experience was that in being able to do so considerably reduced anxiety.

    I’m relieved that Rachel has sought help. What I would say is that you are you and not anybody else, the people around you make a lot of difference.

    Take care x

  • DeviantSuccubus

    Thank you so much for sharing this of yourself, Violet. I have had similar thoughts and I am trying to limit my posts on personal shizzle to one a week. People who read sex blogs want to know the people behind the blog, and talking about illnesses, mental health, breakdowns and struggles, makes us real. This is not social media, where you try to put up a polished picture of yourself so people admire you. This is your space and you can do with it whatever you want. I am here for the sexy stuff, the raw stuff, the opinions, and the pictures. You offer us all of that, and I love you for it, woman!
    I also want to add that we can all be Rachel at times. She was being human, her emotions took over and she had a breakdown. Public and on social media, some of us have those at home in our beds instead. It is human, and I am glad that she is getting help. And I think what differentiates those with the same diagnosis from each other are self-awareness and support system. You have amazing people in your life, so you are off to a good start, and your reflective posts show incredibly high levels of self-awareness. I believe in you, I get why meeting doctors (eek, people of authority, I avoid them like the plague) are scary. I hope you will be able to make it to the next appointment. *hugs if you are okay with them*

    • Violet

      Hugs are ALWAYS welcome! Thank you for the thoughtful and in-depth comment. I agree with you – we need to use our space in the way that is most useful to us and be unapologetic about it. I love your posts – you’re so insightful and self aware, especially the way you articulate on MH topics. xo

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