I feel like everyone is constantly judging and staring at me while I’m out in public. I can’t make the negative thoughts go away no matter how hard I try. I realize it all sounds irrational but it makes complete sense to me in the moment. I should know that not everyone is judging or staring at me but my brain can’t make the connection.If I hear a laugh, I assume someone is laughing at me. I can’t perform a simple task in public because I feel that I’m being criticized. I barely graduated high school because walking down the crowded hallways caused me anxiety attacks. College brought on the same level of anxiety. I’ve never been able to hold down a job for longer than six months. Anxiety has held me back in so many ways and the more I try to get better, I fall two steps back. I thought as I got older my anxiety would subside but it hasn’t. I’m still on the anxiety ship and it’s sinking more and more each day. I’m a twenty six year old woman who is a prisoner to her own apartment and mind. Life with anxiety isn’t much of a life at all. I’m patiently waiting for my ticket off the anxiety train but it never comes.
I label myself an emotional rollercoaster ride because I think it’s the most fitting and most honest description. I’m full of highs and lows… rarely anything in-between. I can go from zero to one hundred in virtually a second’s time. Not only does this affect me in the most negative ways possible, it also affects those closest to me as well.
I have intermittent explosive disorder and my outbursts are definitely explosive. It’s the simplest things that can set me off, things that most people wouldn’t even think twice about. I never know when the outburst is coming. It’s like I have an internal light switch and once it’s turned on, it will be on for up to an hour. Most of the time I have no idea what even triggers it.
My outbursts consist of yelling until my throat is sore, ripping my hair out, banging my head on literally anything, scratching myself until I bleed, and breaking things. While I’m having an outburst nothing is going on in my brain. There’s not a single thought radiating in my head. It’s kind of like an out of body experience. I’m doing all of these things and although they’re wreaking havoc to my body and belongings, it’s like my brain can’t make the connection that what I’m doing is wrong. I have no control during the moment and it’s just as scary for me as it is for those around me. The only reason I stop is because I’ve either completely exhausted myself or I’ve banged my head so hard that I’ve either passed out or feel that I’m close to passing out.
After the outburst is over, I’m so physically and mentally exhausted that all I want to do is go to bed. Then comes the ever dreaded sense of regret. I feel awful for what I did, said, and broke during my outburst and then begin to cry. I’ll start bawling uncontrollably for a few minutes and then stop because I’m so mentally drained. It’s exhausting, confusing, and upsetting… and it rules my life. I’m currently on medication to mask the disorder but it’s very much a part of me and always will be.
Am I embarrassed that I have this disorder? Sometimes, yes. Do I struggle with it daily? Yes. Do I think there are better days ahead? Yes.
I started this blog to raise awareness for mental illness. I’ve struggled with mental illness for most of my life and still struggle today. It’s an uphill battle that I will continue to fight for the rest of my life. I want people to be able to talk more openly about mental illness. I want my blog to be a safe haven for other sufferers like myself.