A prisoner in your own mind

Once in a while, everyone gets the feeling that they aren’t good enough. Unfortunately for some of us, that feeling comes around more than we’d like to admit to ourselves and to others. Tonight was one of those moments for me.

The worst part is that your mind doesn’t care where you are or who you’re with. You could be triggered anywhere and your mind won’t care. Tonight, I was in a store full of people. It’s always the worst for me when I’m in public because I feel like people know that I’m having an attack. I have some social anxiety to begin with, so I don’t usually like being in public for long amounts of time in the first place, but when I’m having an attack, it gets 100% worse.

When you have an attack, it’s not like something big has to happen. It can be something as small as a word or an action that can set you off. Unfortunately, I still haven’t completely learned the art of self-soothing. I’m sure it’s obvious when I have an attack because I get extremely quiet and submissive. I don’t make eye contact, I don’t really speak, and I fidget (usually picking at my fingers) a lot.

Tonight, Alex (my boyfriend) and I were in the middle of HyVee looking at their bulk coffee selection. I was playing around and being silly, opening and closing the door to the coffee dispenser quickly, fanning the smell at the two of us. Alex, not meaning to, slams the door and tells me to stop. I don’t even know why it made me have an attack, but it did. It wasn’t like I remembered a specific moment from my toxic relationship; I think I remembered being verbally abused for acting immaturely, and that was probably what sent me into my attack.

Alex and I have been together for about a year, and he’s become excellent at detecting these moods. Granted, I don’t think I hide my emotions very well. Either way, he’s been nothing but supportive, not just tonight, but every day. Every day is a little bit of a struggle; I’m still healing. My mind still reverts back to that destructive state when I feel like I’m not doing something right. Sometimes I really do feel like a prisoner in my own mind. No matter how often I’m happy, I always end up getting sucked back into the same bad habits, the same bad thoughts.

When I’m having an attack, it helps a lot to listen to music or to be around people I love. One of my favorite artists to listen to when I need to calm down is Bob Marley. You’ll have to figure out what works for you; it’ll come in time. Know that you are stronger than you think you are. The suffering you feel is only temporary, and that dark cloud will eventually pass, letting the sun shine in. You can fight this, just like I can fight this. It won’t always be easy, but it can be done.

Thanks for tuning in to this episode of my dysfunctional life. I’m still writing my story, one day at a time.

Keep on truckin’,

-B

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