It’s funny actually. I was writing a post where I mentioned that I hate feeling scared. And then I remembered something I watched today on an episode of Grey’s anatomy. A little girl had a very interesting line. That when she felt scared, she wasn’t supposed to hide under the covers of her bed – she had to turn on the lights to make scary go away.
In general it means not just to try to deal with the scary stuff – but find a way to make the scary thing go away. Not accept it – but find a way to change it. Afraid of the dark – you turn on the light. Afraid of being alone – you find someone to be with.
It can sound like an easy fix, and in some cases an unhealthy way to deal with things, cause if you always keep the light on, you will never actually adjust to darkness. If you’re scared of being alone and always hang out with someone you will never learn how to deal with being alone. But it’s not what the quote means, it just means that you should do something about the situation and not just sit back in acceptance.
I better learn from what I just wrote… not just hide. Not just keep busy, but find a way to get the scary feeling to go away. Well. Easier said than done, but knowing is a good place to start.
I’m most likely not the only one with this idea – actually it is known to be a very common coping mechanism: Staying so busy that you don’t let anything bad catch up with you.
For me ‘busy’ is actually a bit of a stretch, cause a big part of my time (more than most others’) is spent sleeping and that counts majorly as part of my strategy – both mind and body are busy when sleeping.
Busy can be watching youtube videos too. Cleaning up and planning stuff (and writing it out) are also important parts of keeping myself busy.
It’s when I stop and think – when I’m out of videos to watch, when I let the quietness sink in over me or a sad sing fill my mind – that I start feeling sad or depressed. Stressed even. But the most common feeling right now is sadness. Lack of anything positive, lack of want – lack of energy. It leaves me feeling sad inside, a feeling that I’m not comfortable with most of the time.
But there’s worse than sad. My worst feeling is fear. Being scared.
A happy, uplifting song doesn’t help me feel less scared. Cleaning doesn’t put the scary feelings away even if I make an effort. Once I feel scared there’s not much else for me to do than to wait till it passes naturally.
Then I need to get busy. While feeling scared my beed is the best way to keep busy. Sometimes sleeping, sometimes just hiding.
Lately a lot of things have filled my mind and my life – but one of the more visible changes have been redecorating my room. It’s still in progress as one of the major things was removing a giant bookcase that was filled with my stuff and replacing with much smaller furniture – so right now I’ve got boxes with stuff that I don’t know where to put.
It’s a great chance for me to get rid of stuff that I don’t need or use. I love the more minimalistic look and so far I’m really pleased with it.
The best one – and the first one that comes to mind: Cleaning my room by shoving everything into the closet.
It clearly solves the situation right away, but it’s only temporary. It’s obvious that the second I open the closet I will see the mess, I feel be bothered by it when I start looking for stuff and at some point the closet will overflow and the mess will pile out.
While battling anxiety and depression for over a year now, I’ve felt some of the same things as with the closet and cleaning up.
I’ve learnt how to deal – and how to temporarily get better. I’ve found out how to shove my feelings aside and hide them, but the problem is that it is not a permanent solution. It is temporary. At some point the stuff will come out, it will overflow – pile out. I wont be able to hide my feelings forever – I wasn’t. Stuff came out and I had to deal with it all. Try at least.
The big improvement for me is still yet to come – but I’m hoping it will come soon! The important thing is that I’m working on it – working on learning how to deal with the mess and not just stuff it into the closet.
It’s still a work in progress though – and I’m still very glad that I have space in my closet to keep things from everyone else.
Psych-ward. Is that what they called it? Tomorrow I have an appointment at the psychological hospital, the department for anxiety and depression.
Me being me, I sit at home, nervous about it. And I do what I always do when I’m nervous: I keep myself awake instead of going to sleep at night.
The thought is that if I sleep the time will pass faster and suddenly it will be time for the scary thing, by keeping awake the time passes slowly and I get mor time to prepare (or in reality – more time to get even more nervous). It’s not a good way to deal – but it’s how my body reacts. Even if my mind tells me that it’s not a good plan at all and that there aren’t actually any good things about the strategy at all.
I don’t know what I am scared of about the appointment tomorrow. Not really. I mean, part of it is that it’s a place that I’ve never been before. Part is the transportation. But mostly I think it is the talk part. Will I be able to convey my feelings and thoughts? Will they be able to understand? Will they offer a treatment that I like? Will they want to do things that scare me?
Honestly, I have no idea what will happen after the first appointment. It’s only a talk where they get to know me and then decide where to go from there – but I have no idea where we would go. Therapy? Maybe. I don’t even know the possibilities.
What is keeping me relatively calm and motivated to go is the fact that it is a step towards getting better. Feeling better. Going away from being sick. It’s the goal. It’s a step and hopefully a step in the right decision, even if it is very hard to put on my shoes and start walking.
I’m a very private person – except, I guess, on this blog. I don’t open up very easily and I really need to trust people before letting them know any personal stuff.
I think it comes down to a control issue for me. I want to be in control as much as I possibly can, also when it comes to which people know what about me. And I might also have to admit that I also like to control what part of me people see – so that I can control part of what they think of me, if at all possible.
I don’t want people to see me fail. Failing is too close to being a failure. Except, it’s not! It is one example of how my brain works against my feelings. Cause I know that one fail – or even several wont make you a failure, but often, a fail will make me feel like a failure.
When people see stuff like that in me, it makes me feel exposed. Very exposed. Like they’ve been let in to see more than I’ve allowed, more than I can handle. More than I can control. That makes me uncomfortable. Being exposed.
It makes me vulnerable and fragile. And it ruins my control.
So.. no idea how to start this really. I might not even know what the conclusion for this will be.
It starts with how tomorrow I have an appointment at the hospital to talk about my future teeth-surgery-plan. I’ve been there several times, at least 3 times this year alone. And it is just a conversation. No doctors touching me or taking tests or anything that might hurt or otherwise do anything to me. Just talking. But I can still feel something building in my stomach. A feeling. An uncomfortable knot starting to take form.
In my mind I know everything will be fine. I’ve taken the buss I’m going to take several times. I have it all before. And yet, my stomach is fighting my mind. My feelings are fighting my knowledge.
I feel nervous. I can sense that I will continue to feel more nervous as we grow closer to the appointment. I feel like I will have trouble falling asleep, I wont even want to go to bed cause I know that in bed I will feel even more nervous. At least while awake I can distract myself a bit. I’m already nervous and I can only see it getting worse.
Except. I’ve got nothing to be nervous about. I know that. I really know that. Except it doesn’t feel like I do.
What do I do? My normal nerves are worsened by my anxiety, and that makes it even harder to trust my brain. I hope I get through this, cancelling would be terrible.
Honestly, I really have had a nice day today. I’ve been productive and mostly in a good mood. I’ve done stuff. I’ve been outside. I went on walks. I ate real food.
Generally I’ve had a good day – and it’s been too long since that happened last time.
I picked up this flower on my way home from one of the walks and I really love taking photos of flowers. And today I felt inspired to do some editing. I’ve never edited this way before, but I really enjoyed it. Maybe in time I’ll find something worthy of being framed and put onto the wall. Maybe.
It doesn’t really matter. Today I’m just happy I’ve felt good. Already looking forward to that happening again.