Over the past few years I have changed so much. I’ve become less shy, more outspoken and more mature. Ok fine, I’m still sarcastic and childish. But I think my biggest changes have had to do with all the illnesses and physical ailments that I’ve been given.
I’ve learned when to suck it up and see a doctor. I’ve learned that I can’t handle everything alone anymore, and that it’s okay to ask for help. I’ve become so in tune with my own body that most of the time I know exactly why I feel like crap. I can be clenching my teeth and when asked, I can tell you whether it’s my regular back pains or my arthritis acting up. I can start feeling real cranky and be able to warn my husband that my two weeks of hell is starting and to stay away until I’m me again. I can ghost my way through those last few days of my cycle and assure myself that I don’t really want to die. What’s in my head is the fault of my faulty hormones. PMDD is trying to kill me, but I’m not dying today.
But there are a few things that always trip me up. During an okay moment, like as I’m typing this, I can tell you without a doubt that I am a good person who has a lot of struggles. I can’t control how I feel sometimes, and even how I act sometimes. When I’m my “normal” self, I can see that.
But when I’m not… that’s a different story. In the midst of a depressive episode, I feel guilty and try to tell myself that I’ve got nothing to be depressed about (which is true in one sense), but then get angry at myself because I HATE when people say that to me. I will be in the middle of Hyde week and yelling at the kids or snapping at my husband, but I don’t see that there’s a reason for it that has nothing to do with them, or my own feelings. I could be in so much pain that limping through the grocery store just isn’t gonna happen, and the house is not gonna get cleaned today, and it brings me down so much. I’ll be depressed and lonely, and all of a sudden I’m telling myself that I don’t have many friends because there’s something wrong with me.
When I’m in the middle of these things, I feel like I deserve to feel depressed and anxious. I convince myself that I probably don’t have PMDD like I’ve been told. I’m probably just a horrible person. Oh, and screw the pain I’m in. People get stuff done through worse all the time. I think I’m trying to take care of myself, but I’m obviously just being lazy. Lazy. Worthless. A monster. Not deserving of love, of what I have in life. Failure. MONSTER.
Before you start worrying about me, I don’t really think these things about myself. Sometimes. But there’s a point to all this. When someone struggles with their mental health, they can’t help but to feel these things sometimes. We can’t control the harmful thoughts we might have and we may not believe you when you tell us otherwise. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. We still need to feel loved. We need extra reassurance that we matter and that we will be okay. And sometimes, we just need to be reminded that we don’t deserve what we’re going through.
Sometimes, I need to be reminded that I’m not really a monster.