I’ve struggled with mental health for as long as I can remember. I buried my first emotion at the tender age of 5, and that’s just the first one I can remember. When I realized that if I was honest about how upset I was being trucked through 3 houses a week, my mom or dad would just break down and cry. I despise seeing people hurt, I strive to make sure those around me don’t feel negatively.
That’s actually my curse, as well as a blessing. I’m grateful I’m able to empathize. I’m grateful that I know how to maneuver the map called interpersonal relationships. However, I’m not grateful for the toddler like quality of setting boundaries, or letting others know I’m feeling mistreated. It ignites a fear response in me, that if I express that I disagree (whether it’s treatment, ideals, philosophies etc) with someone, they’ll forever hate me because I provided a response that made them feel a negative emotion. I feel that every interaction/relationship I have is conditional. I have no known safety net where I can truly be/feel honestly.
When I was in rehab for a heroin addiction I picked up, I was forced to see a psychiatrist (I’m shocked more addicts like myself don’t pick up pharma addictions with how they medicate us in there) who told me that I hadn’t actually struggled with depression my entire life, but from the yo-yo of tricking myself into changing feelings, I had developed bipolar disorder. The depression side of it was a true chemical imbalance in my brain, but the fluctuation and mood swings could go either way (could be a natural defect or trained behavior). I never quite believed that diagnosis, until now.
The last few days I’ve been hyper-aware of my feelings. I’ve noticed (and if I have I’m sure those around me have) severe mood swings from anger/disappointment all the way over to joyous/animated in an hour. I was so inconsolable for 3 hours yesterday, to numbness regarding the same subject today (16 hours). I got honest with my 1 friend I have that I’m “testing the waters” of being totally transparent with. So far so good. It’s kind of scary how quickly I’m swinging.
My husband is worried about me even. He usually loves my morbid interests/sense of humor. I’ve never been a sadistic person, but I began noticing many similarities between the very serial killers I enjoyed researching the case files of, and myself. Their logic was only scary to me because it made sense. Was/am I developing schizophrenia? Am I a ticking time bomb see-saw at the tipping point of going psychotic? I don’t think you just gradually move from one mental illness to the next like they’re a progressive singular illness, but I am for the first time afraid of the fact I may be more mentally ill than I thought. I’m a touch scared of myself, not because I’m suicidal or going to harm anyone (including myself), but am I losing my mind one stuffed emotion at a time?
Have you ever felt this way? Am I alone in this as well? When will I ever be able to feel free and as though I’m thriving in life? When can I stop trying to numb everything so I can keep trying to uplift everyone around me? Can codependency kill someone? I’m so god damn tired.