“Heaven never heard me calling. Guess this is the reason I feel like hell. Weatherman the rain is pouring. I wanna be in time…”
So it’s been a year and once again it’s time for me to talk about how I feel and for some of you to read it and go “oh shit, that’s me!”.
I feel cheated. Like I’ve been treated unfairly. Like I’ve been dealt an unkind hand. It makes me mad. But who am I mad at? God? Maybe if I was more religious. The universe? Life? I don’t know but I feel cheated and it makes me mad.
I was almost home free. I felt like this gruelling battle with mental illness was almost over with. I made it to the final lap- the process of being taken off my meds. I wasn’t more than a few months away.
And then 2020 happened.
“…see I’m being honest right now. I’ve been in this dark hotel. So why do I keep myself locked in? ”
Man, what a year 2020 has been! And I started it with so much optimism too. “The evil 2019 has done is enough” “This new year we’re going to fuck shit up” All the lofty targets I set. My plans, my dreams, my projections. POOF! I’ll spare you the details. You know how it went down this year.
Started with hope and optimism; ending it with being back to needing antidepressants daily just to function and, I’m fairly certain, PTSD from the #EndSARS protests in October. Now that I think about about it, those two weeks were the perfect microcosm of 2020:
Started out feeling immense pride and hope that things were going to get better.
Ended with crying into a hotel room pillow while watching my comrades get murdered on IG live. Phew.
I know, I know. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Before going back to the topic let me just say that I am proud of every single one of you. So so proud.
Okay, back to the topic. Tbh I don’t know what the topic is. For the first time in a year, I just felt the urge to write. So I’m writing.
“I wanna be in oblivion. Don’t wanna live like this, need something to knock me out. Don’t wanna feel. Nothing can make me numb; nothing left but to run. I need you to knock me out”
This year wasn’t all bad. There were good moments. Those moments were fleeting. They were always sandwiched in between layers and layers and layers of bad moments.
The Internet made it worse for me. It felt like I was getting pummelled with stories of death and grief and sadness every single day again and again and AGAIN UNTIL IT FELT LIKE MY HEAD WAS ABOUT TO EXPLODE FROM ALL THE HORROR THAT WAS BEING SHOVED IN MY FACE. It was overwhelming. I started to crave the numbness. My old friend. The voices in my head were louder than they’ve ever been. Panic attacks. From nowhere and everywhere. Worse than they have ever been. Random feelings of sheer terror for no particular reason.
I am the defenceless old man in an alley, all alone in the night. My feelings are the gang of thugs who have set upon me with ill intent.(As you can see, I have not lost my penchant for the melodramatic)
Not feeling anything at all is better than feeling all of this. It’s getting harder and harder to put on my mask and go out pretending to be fine.
I was almost home free. I was better. I was almost fine. Now I’m right back to where I started(it’s even worse if I’m being totally honest) and I feel cheated and it makes me mad. It’s not fair.
“Box me ‘round the ears, my darling. Only you can bring relief, my dear. Crush me with your love, adore me. I wanna be in oblivion.”
I was this close to giving up. I actually really considered it. Spoke to my closest friends about it. One day, someone who struggles the same way I do told me “Mental illness is a terminal disease. You may feel like you’re better but one day is one day.” I put my head in my pillow and cried. [I should mention that I cry a lot now. I weep like a little bitch at every convenient opportunity and I encourage everyone to try it. It’s very calming.] I’m going to prove you wrong. And one day in our old age, we’ll look back at that moment and laugh and then I’ll knock your head.
I have no intentions of giving up anymore. So I guess I’m back in the fight. If you’re reading this and face the same struggles I do; then so are you. I’m not as naive as I was a year ago. I know this is going to take time. It’s going to be slow and gruelling. It’s a marathon not a sprint. I don’t even know if you can call it a marathon. I guess just moving forward is the aim. If you feel tired, rest. There’s also absolutely no shame in breaking down. I can’t count how many breakdowns I’ve had this year. But please make a promise to yourself that you will eventually pick up the pieces and move forward. Eventually. Take as much time as you need.
I also cannot overemphasise the need for support systems. Be it family, romantic partners or friends. Having people to prop you up when you can’t stand on your own without making you feel like a burden is a privilege that I will always be grateful for. If it feels like you currently don’t have that, I really do pray that one day you find your tribe.
If you can, please reach out to professionals. Seek help. You’ve got this.
Forgive me if this post feels like incoherent rambling(Is that tautology?) Like I said, I had the urge to write so I wrote.
“I love you. Keep going” – Sia