I’m back (I think).

Back where?

Well, with my trusty rusty laptop balanced on my thighs, revelling in the calm of an empty room and a head full of blog ideas. Their literary worth is another matter, what is more important to me is that the urge to share is here. I am not a sharer, I mean don’t get me wrong on a good day I will consent to offering you my first or last Oreo, if I feel I can trust you, but the details of my life don’t reach the tip of my tongue lightly these days. Have they ever? They are most often buzzing around my head fenced within a “People do not care, so don’t bother sharing” mechanism.

There is no lever pulled to activate this, it just comes naturally. As a very anxious soul, I find talking to people extremely stressful. I can’t do it, I panic and feel the onset of a recently staved-off hummingbird chest, which draws me to running out of breath, tripping over my words and gibbering nonsense. Perhaps that’s also what I’m doing now, typing the same exact gibbering nonsense. However I feel this is something of a “safe place”. If I trip over my words, I have the glorious backspace key to assist me. If I make a mistake and it is noticed, I’m okay with as it isn’t a direct response to the input of another, it is just thoughts spilling into a void. My hands are grounded, my red laptop base warm beneath my wrists and providing a centre, shaking is limited. I am not worried that my reactions may seem false or odd, as my face is hidden. If an onset of panic prevents me from completing the task, I can return to it later when I can think more rationally and breathe more consistently. Is this the “real” version of myself? In reality I am probably the bumbling, catastrophically worthless projection I see reflected whenever I leave the house, but at least this must be a calmer one.

I’ve had a lapse in my coping mechanisms recently. My usual methods are now too steeped in uncertainty for me to feel like safety is accessible in a fit of anxiety. A trivial analogy could be using the same skincare routine day in, day out. Sometimes you need to mix it up, as the same routine may not work from one day to the next, depending on your circumstances. Whatever has changed recently to make me feel this way, I am predictably oblivious to. The thought of having to be social fills me with more dread than ever, for instance in my place of work, I have to try to breathe as calmly and consistently as I can before I can build up the courage to walk into the staff room, or the main office, or to request anything. Another instance would be meeting up with friends, lovely friends whom I’ve known and adored for years, I worry so much that their expectations of me will have changed since the last time we spoke, or other times thinking that their expectations of me are met, but detrimentally, as I go on to prove just how useless and moronic I can be. Establishing a queue in a shop where the side to begin is not immediately apparent. Responding to a phone call in an awkward way. Meeting somebody’s eyes in a way which might suggest I was upset or angry. Worrying I may have caused somebody an accident by bumping into them. Feeling like a drain on the world. Please stop me from going on. So this is a (sort of) new method for me. Sharing!

I have some ideas for what I want to post about, most likely trivial and useless, but perhaps that is something that needs celebrating in itself. The desire to share, must mean an ounce of confidence resides in me? Let’s nurture it, as the leading lady in Beating Myself Up, I would like to adopt a different approach and see what the world, and my battered mind, responds with. I was inspired to come back by someone I know who writes beautifully and coherently about her experience with mental health.




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