From September 2020.
I'm not sure why, but it's important for me to point out that I'm not sharing my story with you to get pity. I'm not trying to put myself in a victim role. I expose myself in the hope that we can de-taboo having a mental disorder, so you don't have to feel alone in the chaos.
Yesterday, Thursday the 17th sep. 2020, I had a huge melt down in the middle of my work day. Fortunately, I currently work at home due to the circumstances (Covid), so I could have an outburst without having to use half the energy to hide my panic.
One minute I'm doing my job and the next I find myself sitting staring blankly into nothingness with empty tears running down my cheeks. What do you do in such a situation? Do you hold your head high and fight through the situation or do you listen to your body and let it rest? I don't know.. Do you?
All I know is that when I was finally able to distance myself from my panic attack, I found a note on my phone with all the thoughts that gave rise to the panic. At first I wanted to delete the note, but then it hit me that it is precisely these moments that I have to share with all of you.. No matter how scary and transgressive it is. This is the truth. Unadorned. Raw and tough - but honest. Not depressive but brooding, anxious and reflective.
The note read as follows:
I am ashamed
- I'm ashamed to be sick
- I expect people to neglect
- I think the worst all the time
- I think it's embarrassing that it goes up and down
- I constantly think that I will be fired
- I constantly think that people are disappointed in me
- People think I'm lying
- People think I abuse my illness for my own benefits
- People think it is a choice to be sick
- People don't believe in my illness
- I stare into the air with tears streaming down my cheeks
- I am embarrassed by my powerlessness
- I have lost myself
- I need help
- I will not ask for help
- I am a burden to my bosses
- I am of no use
- People only know the quarter truth
- People think I'm depressing company
- I'm not doing it well enough
- I have to improve significantly
These are my thoughts on an ordinary day.
However, that doesn't mean I can't easily have a good day anyway. Throughout the course of my illness, I have learned to distance myself from these degrading thoughts, and can mostly be content with having them in my subconscious.
I struggle a lot with how my posts are received, as it's precisely things like this that can make me overanalyze and write about my failure. However, I have not regretted that I have opened up and put words to the things we otherwise never talk about. It is incredibly unusual for me and I still put all digital devices away when I have posted a new post, for fear of the reception. But it is important that we talk about it. It is important that those of you out there who have not felt the anxiety, depression or stress on your own body can understand the seriousness of the illnesses, and not end up neglecting them out of sheer uncertainty.
Being neglected is unfortunately one of the reactions I am most often met with when I talk about the things I have been through. Many people take it incredibly lightly, and think that you just have to pull yourself together and get through it - but do you also say that to a skier who has broken a leg?
I refuse to put myself in a victim role. I am not a victim. I'm an I-can-do-it-myself, hard-working, over-analyzing girl who has stretched a tendon in her soul. Don't feel sorry for me. I don't feel sorry for myself. I am not a victim. I'm just trying to put into words the chaos that figures inside me. I am not a wandering thundercloud. On the contrary. I radiate joy, energy and lightness, because THAT'S HOW I AM TOO. We are not one thing. We are not our diagnosis. We are complex as human beings - and I am not a victim. Thank you for reading.