Choices

My mind has been an invariable fortress these past weeks. In attempting to spare the people around me from the negativity I feel inside I have shut everything and everyone out and retreated to that black place inside me; which is the lesser evil? Sharing your suffering and feeling a slight bit better or suffering in silence and leaving those you love in a state of blissful ignorance… and will suffering in silence bring about the end of my precarious grip on sanity once again?

~I know that my loved ones would insist that they are here for me no matter what mood, however negative. But is it not my responsibility to own this illness? It would be so very easy to drag everyone into this hellish pit with me but what good would it do, what use are they there? When I was in CBT with my fabulous therapist, Evelyn, she would tell me to use the people around me for what they are able to provide, whether that be nurture, companionship, sociability, fun… etc. She would tell me to learn what to expect from these people and not to ask any more of them than that. She would say that then I could enjoy their company without the nagging feeling that something was missing, without the constant ache for more than they were giving. Watch the people around you, take them in, learn who they are and their finer qualities and remind yourself often that those people are there for you in that capacity and no other… It seems such a cold way to deal with people; a detached and almost cruel way to view a human being, especially those that you are supposed to care for. But when social interaction is something to be forced, when you do not understand how to accomplish the basic need for that interaction then it is a logical form in which to view such a complex thing, such a difficult thing to comprehend. We all weigh people up in our minds, though often it is subconsciously, I need to do this in conscious thoughts. What good can I get/give from/to this person I have brought into my fold? If the answer is none then why remain close to them? I wish I had had that advice when moving into relationships as a young woman, I could have spared myself from a lot of bad situations. I wish I had thought of the good/bad I was bringing into my life. Of course a person bringing negativity or bad things into your life does not necessarily make them a bad person; just the wrong person for you… and that lesson is a hard earned one.

People in general strive for good, for positivity and so it is rare to come across a person who is purposefully bringing bad things to you. But desperate situations can cause desperate reactions and therein begins the great heartache and pain; I have caused a great amount of heartache and pain and I have also felt my fair share but none of this makes me or those others bad people, we were young and stupid, we were incompatible and impulsive; we made mistakes and were too foolish and naïve to know that relationships are a carefully forged things based on hard work and chemistry; not something to dive into and hope for the best and definitely not something that will come naturally to all.

I have come to the realisation recently that I have never considered a partner before jumping into a relationship with them; I was always amazed that anyone wanted me at all and that was the only criteria for them to fit – you simply had to like me. But that alone will not sustain a relationship and in the end it would always turn out not to be enough for me. I craved love so desperately that anything, anyone would do and so of course it was never going to work. I don’t know why I was always so terrified to be alone, I was so convinced that I wasn’t worth anything… I have more self worth now and if a potential relationship crosses my path it will have to be the right one.

I suppose another block for me in forging relationships is that I always felt so intimidated by men and still do often; my dad was a force to be reckoned with and we rarely saw eye to eye. Growing up with such an imposing male role model has certainly impeded my ability to connect and properly communicate with men. Though my interaction with men is slowly improving with the introduction of male friends and acquaintances.

I am still fearful that I will forever be alone and that nobody will ever want me; but I believe that I am strong enough now not to let that fear dictate my choice of partner. There will be no leaping into a relationship with just anyone – that’s not to say it will be the right relationship and that I wont still make mistakes but it will be one I am happy to enter into and that feels right to me.

As for my relationships with friends and family; I don’t quite know that to do there – they are so unfailingly supportive that more often than not I feel as though I am letting them down, I wish I could motivate myself to do more because there is so much more I could to improve my situation and my mental health but it feels so far beyond my capabilities, so out of reach that I cannot see a way forward.

I wish I had logged my thoughts and feelings way back from the very start of the decline of my mental health, through my psychotic break, the breakdown of my marriage and births of my children – through every bust relationship and attempted suicide because I am certain that if I were to compare then to now the improvements would be staggering to me but without that visual proof it is hard to remind myself and convince myself of how far I have come – how much lighter the darkness is compared to then…

I still struggle with the knowledge that there is no way to fix this, that this is my past, present and future and that management is my only way forward. It is a bitter pill to swallow; knowing that I will be mentally ill for the rest of my days and that I must forever manage this illness. I may relapse into uncontrollable swings and then once again have to climb the ladder of sanity… I will forever be fighting this battle – what positivity is there to draw from that? What hell awaits me?

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