When you live with depression and anxiety finding comfort can be a trying thing.
I’ve lived with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life and possibly, part of my childhood. So I often wonder what it must be like to ‘normal’. You know what I mean… ‘normal’ like, everybody else is ‘normal’!
This week, after hearing some distressing news and working hard for days to put it in a manageable perspective, I found that the burden of keeping a functioning personality operating knowing what I now knew, was too great. So, I stood at the kitchen sink, ejecting pills from their pretty, tamper-proof packaging ready for a fast intake. (When you’ve been trialling medications for as long as I have, throwing down a handful of ‘horse’ pills in one hit is easy. Hundreds of these tiny things would take no effort at all.)
I’d always promised Mr Me, that if I was ever going to kill myself I would tell him first. A little bit courtesy, a little bit safety. So my casual remark as he prepared himself for work; that everything was okay, I’d be dead before he got home, and then being found squeezing pills from their packaging, was notice enough for Mr Me to quickly divest me of my carefully amassed stash (as I knew he would).
It was an agonising moment when my desire for an ultimate release conflicted with the reality that I could not escape the burden I was left to carry. That I could do nothing but collapse to the floor under the weight of knowledge that could not be seen and could not be lifted. I sobbed.
I needed physical pain. I needed a pain that was real. Not this thing that sits in your gut forcing it’s expansion until all you can do is roar like some mythical creature caught in it’s death throws. Screaming and beating at the cabinets in attempt to find something solid, something to give the pain a description, a tangible form.
Then, buckled on the kitchen floor like a neglected rag doll, unable to un-know what had hurt me and unable to raise myself up I asked for my pills. Please. I need to make it stop. Please.
In the physical world we know how things move. We know people get hurt. We know that physical pain is an inevitable part of making forceful contact with something. When we take a swing at someone with our fist and make contact, we know, when we’re forming the punch in our mind, that it will inflict pain on the recipient. We know that the punch will cause a physical disfigurement, either short or long term. And, we all know that the only reason to punch someone is to cause pain and disfigurement.
Emotional pain is invisible but sadly, you can’t see through it.
Emotional pain is not caused by contact from a fist but from the intention that formed the fist. It seems that the concept of emotional pain is not in the fact that we were punched, but that the punch was conceived.
I’ve been punched. Not by a fist, but by knowledge. Irrefutable truth. A truth that shattered my carefully constructed self-perception. There’s no bruising. No telltale evidence that violence has occurred. And now that truth has been revealed, it’s invisible pain has grown as would unwanted ivy. It’s obliterated the view of both my past and my future. It’s pain caused by knowing what cannot now be unknown and conceived in the mind of those who would willingly perceive deceit.
So now, I’m blinded by an invisible force. Paralysed by invisible fear. Broken by an invisible punch. And drawn into the loving arms of an invisible God to rest, to recover and to forgive.
From Olivia Cooke as it relates to today’s BLOG. “I can’t keep secrets about myself. I can keep secrets about other people, but if it’s about myself, I’m like, ‘blah blah blah blah.'”
If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Deb Shugg is an awarded businesswoman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety.
If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor.
(Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)