At my worst point, when I ‘broke’, there were things going through my head that I’ve never really written about before, or spoken to anyone about for that matter, through fear of what it meant.
Last week I was flicking around some blogs I follow and eventually read a great post by a lady called Rachel (www.ourrachblogs.com), and it was the first time I’ve been able to say ‘oh god! I’m not the only one!’ when it comes to this particular side of my anxiety. Since then, it’s been going through my mind how silent I’ve been, rather than opening up and being honest in the hope that someone else might read it and relate. The only reason I haven’t written before is through fear of someone judging me. Well they can balls, because here goes:
Written here, I talk about how on a particular sunny day in Cornwall, I was contemplating whether ending my life was the correct solution to what I was feeling. The thoughts flying around my head made me feel like I was going crazy, and I didn’t want to be *that* person anymore. I’ve never really explained what this was about, except to my girlfriend and my mum (on the phone, it’s in the post). Well, it’s time I did, so first I’ll set the scene:
We were in the apartment, which was a lovely sea view place with its own kitchen, living area, balcony overlooking the beach and a couple of bedrooms. The block was brand new so no one else was in there. We were laid on the sofa at night watching tv when my girlfriend turned and said ‘God, we’re on our own in here, what if someone broke in?? No one would hear us!’. I replied suggesting I’ll ‘go Jackie Chan on their ass’ to which she laughed knowing full well I’d have just messed myself and jumped out of the window. I then said ‘we’ll have to take a weapon to bed for protection’ to which she replied ‘Just don’t accidentally attack me in your sleep’ and laughed.
Then BOOM. Anxiety kicked in, thoughts flooded my head completely out of my control. ‘Oh god what if that happened?? Can that happen? What if I did that? I have been known to have night terrors! Oh god no, I don’t want to hurt her!’.
Something so simple, such a simple innocent conversation, yet in that moment my whole life changed. My mind spiralled out of control, I was in constant panic for around 2 days. The thoughts got worse, I began thinking ‘what if my body does it without me wanting to, what if I hurt her and I can’t stop my body doing it?’ And so began the feelings of trying to stop it happening. I avoided going places, I couldn’t look at knives, anything dangerous without panicking. All in the space of a couple of days. I then broke. My head was everywhere, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think straight so sought help, called my mum (as detailed above) and decided I needed help.
The incredible thing was, although I felt like such a freak, like a crazy person who was out of control, my mum and girlfriend were so calming. I told my mum everything, how scared I was of these awful thoughts, and she just said ‘thoughts are thoughts, you’re not that kind of person so I know and you know that you’re not going to do that’. It rang true to me and those words got me through the week. I spoke to my girlfriend, so scared what she’d think about my thoughts that I’d hurt her. Her reply was simple, ‘don’t worry, I’ll just move everything so you don’t have to see it. I wish you’d told me sooner’.
The rest of the week was just about getting through it. Thoughts kept changing as the week went on, and I was praying for the day friends would come so if I did end up doing anything stupid they’d be able to stop me. Thats how I was thinking at that time. After the holiday and once I was home I was able to seek help from a therapist. Sadly, I was never brave enough to tell her about this particular incident through fear of being sectioned or something, but now I wish I had. Since then, the thoughts went on for a good couple of years or so where I daren’t be alone with my niece, who I absolutely adore, and they changed from different people and down to different situations. Now I pretty much don’t have them. Sometimes I’ll have a flashback, a ‘What if my arm just lunges and hits someone’, but I then stop, and bring myself back to reality. I was able to educate myself and realise ‘they’re just thoughts, they aren’t real, don’t run’, get myself back into the real world and realise how ridiculous the thoughts are.
So there you go, that’s one thing I’ve never spoke about, but thanks to Rach I was able to see that I’m not alone.
We should always talk, always open up and always be honest. You never know, you might not only help someone to understand what they’re going through, but you may just save a life.