I’m having the best time of my life.
Something bad is going to happen.
I’m really proud of myself for achieving that.
Are all my family safe?
Life is getting a bit better.
Someone’s going to leave you.
Now this is a pretty big thing to admit. I hate the fact that I’ve labelled my own mind as “crazy” – for having random worries like these, when there’s a logical reason for everything we think and feel.
When someone experiences trauma (it doesn’t matter what the event is, big or small – if it’s someone’s own personal trauma then that’s exactly what it is) the brain creates coping mechanisms. Ways to keep itself braced and ready for the next fight – the next bought of bad news.
As I’ve said in previous other posts; I’m socially competent, a hard worker and an all round fully functioning adult. But my anxiety is crippling because my biggest trigger is just being happy.
I feel like this is something people struggle to notice in themselves – it’s taken me my whole life. I’ve never known it was possible to be afraid of a feeling.
Here’s why: There’s the dramatic stereotype in films and tv where some hot young “mess” pushes everyone away because she’s afraid to be happy. It’s deemed as sexy. It’s dramatic. It’s normally a young and attractive woman pushing men away from them because they’ve been hurt in the past. They sabotage it before anyone else can. And whilst this may be the case for some – it isn’t for all.
Sometimes suffering can be silent. Sometimes it isn’t sexy to be “troubled”. It isn’t all about the late night tumblr quotes.
My life isn’t overly dramatic. (I can be dramatic though and my husband will be the first to vouch for that!) I am not promiscuous, a drug abuser, an alcoholic looking to blind out the past (all of which are serious and valid issues in their own right). I’m not going to be staring in the sequel to Girl, Afraid. But my past has affected me. And with that, comes the dreaded feeling.
I can be having the time of my life; whether that be in a crowd of people or curled up with my doggy on the sofa. I can be fully absorbed in work or a book I’m reading. And for no apparent reason my body is taken over by this impending sense of doom. It’s sickening. It feels like the world has gone black and you just know that something bad is going to happen.
No one understands it. “It’s all fine don’t worry!” Yes. I know it’s fine. But it’s hard to shake off the darkness when it’s grips itself to your being ever so tightly. It’s hard to distrust the feeling that bad news is awaiting when you’ve already experienced bad news oh so many times before. I know bad news exists so you can’t fool me.
Whilst this is soul crushing. I want to take a moment to thank my mind for trying to do its best to protect me. Thank you to my mind for trying to keep me fit and ready for any unexpected tragedy that may come my way – that’s bloody clever. It may be shit and it may be tough, but it will get better and I’m glad that my brain can do something logical – even if it is slightly irrational.
The worries makes sense.
I have flashbacks of some pretty horrific tragic memories. Ive suffered loss in a multitude of ways, and have often felt like it was just one thing or another. (Haven’t we all!) So of course my brain is in fight or flight mode. Of course it’s worried I’m going to get “too happy” and be shattered and broken when the next bad thing comes a long. The higher you climb, the further you fall. Better to be safe than sorry. Bad things might happen so be prepared. Who wouldn’t think like that?
I am not broken. I’m reasonable and logical. I just happen to have had a bad time.
Things will get better.
Now this post is not to say that anyone out there who “suffers” differently to me is wrong. We are all fighting our own battle, and every battle is unique and requires different strengths and behaviours.
I just want to let people know that’s it’s ok to feel like crap when the world around you is ok. It’s ok to have unconscious thoughts pop in to your head. And it’s ok if your triggers are unknown you to – or maybe they’re so vague that life itself is a trigger.
When life gets dark, hold on to the thought that this will pass. Your mind is just having a bad day / week / month and it’s doing and thinking and feeling what it thinks it should be, to help you survive.
When you feel like this, speak out.
I promise you it will make more sense than you think.