I often believe I’m “crazy”.
Whether that is mentally ill, neurodivergent, or just plain old bigoted insecure paranoid self-conscious crazy, it happens relatively often that it’s become part of my identity.
It’s difficult to describe without feeling over-dramatic; it’s dramatic but it’s also utterly mundane.
It’s probably got just one name and just one cause, but god help me if I can find it, instead I flip between a million labels, feeling like it could be any or none of these things.
(panic attack, emotional, over-reacting, self-conscious, feeling down, feeling anxious, feeling paranoid, spiralling, stressed, obsessive, depressed, ill, manic, agitated, overwhelmed, confused, overloaded, confused, tired…etc.)
It’s lonely because you don’t understand how you are feeling, so you can’t just “reach out for help” because you don’t know what you need.
It’s tiring, because you oscillate between feeling desperately bad and feeling like you’re over-reacting; it’s impossible to figure out which and I tire myself out flipping between different approaches.
I try calming down, I try writing, I try to talk through my problems (picking problems out of the ether that might be causing this panic, because the emotions aren’t tied to anything clear…if they were, that would be manageable.)
I try addressing negative beliefs I might hold about the world until something makes me feel different, I try reassuring myself that it’s okay to feel bad or anxious or confused or whatever this is, I try reassuring myself that I will be fine.
I try beating myself up for being so over-dramatic, but I still feel dramatic.
It’s not crazy, I know.
I know in reality this is anxiety with a bit of panic, and the solution is to forgive myself for it, and to see a therapist if it becomes unmanageable, because they can help solve the problems that are at the root of your (generalised) anxiety. I know the solution is to be aware that I can be triggered into it, and to try and keep track of these things so I can limit them or predict them.
But this all sounds way too reasonable, and calm, and collected, and logical. When you are in that head-space, everything sounds crazy, and doubtful, and completely inappropriate, no matter how much you know that you are in *that* headspace again; it makes no difference.
One thing that I hate is how little we can control the brain. We know that everyone is unique, and we know how a lot of psychological problems are formed and fixed, we know that CBT has high success rates and people change their lives through it. But it still feels so lonely. It still feels out-of-control.
I have another confession.
I’m not “crazy”.
I hold down a low-wage job, a flat, a partner, a family that I am on good terms with, friends.
I don’t have support and I don’t qualify for it.
I know that I don’t qualify for it.
So now, you have guilt added in. I’m not the right demographic to confess to feeling crazy. I’m too proud to ask for help because I know from experience that the resources are stretched, and one middle-class girl person with occassional bouts of serious doubt and panic are not the government’s highest concern.
And apparently, not mine either. I tried to contact a private therapist once.
It didn’t work out, because they were booked up, so I gave up.
I’m not arrogant enough to think that I’m the only person like this, or that I should be at the top of any list. I just wish I could fix this myself, but quicker.
I’m stable enough to know I’ll be fine, but crazy enough to “suffer”; stable enough to know compared to others I hardly “suffer” at all.
Perhaps it’s incredibly self-involved of me, but perhaps if more people could relate to and understood and were able to willingly admit how “crazy” even tiny, small, almost inconspicuous mental health blips feel, then perhaps half the anxiety involved in feeling bad would go away. I think it would for me.
Until then, every so often, I’ll be imperceptibly “unwell”, I won’t get it labelled, and I’ll feel just a bit like a scary freak person, even though I should know better. Yay!
Thank you for reading! ❤ Please leave a comment if you ever feel the same way*! (*rational vs irrational, and shitty both ways.)