Me, myself and I

This post has been forming in my mind over the last couple of days, a kind reader said to me that my second post where I outlined the different characteristics of social interaction was a post they really enjoyed because they could identify with it. With that in mind I wanted to find the right subject matter to follow that pattern and over the weekend it came to me, like with most of my posts, as I experienced it.

Sometimes I feel like a completely different person to the one I was yesterday, do you get that feeling? I know it’s something my dad feels, I hope he won’t mind me saying my mum always explains it as like being married to the Marx brothers – she doesn’t know which one she will get each day. I don’t know that I have a comical comparison to make for myself, but it does say a lot about how regardless of whether a person has anxiety or depression, any one mood or situation can result in a completely different version of oneself. Sometimes that version is scary or shocking even to ourselves, so here goes, these are some of the different versions of me, myself and I:

1. Happy, funny me, me who has the confidence to speak my mind. I am assertive but diplomatic, using intelligent topics of conversation or points in a discussion or argument (I think). I am capable and competent, I don’t worry so much about people’s opinion of me, I genuinely don’t care (at that moment). There is still a little lone butterfly in my tummy but its quite happy floating around in there because my thoughts and actions are showing the parts of myself that I think I am most proud of, at least until I realise myself…

2. I am inside myself, my mind, my body. I am struggling to stop my thoughts running wild. There is a storm in my head and it’s threatening to pour, there are a thousand angry and frightened butterflies in my tummy and they all want to escape, through any means possible: tears, short breath and suppressed cries. I am paranoid about how people think of me, and whether or not they think I’m silly. I am certain everything I do and say is the wrong thing and that I am completely incompetent and unworthy of my life. I am doing everything I can to keep myself afloat and most of the time it’s not for any single terrible reason but just a few minor frustrations or embarrassments that have built up and up and up until that one which threatens to tip me over the edge. Sometimes it’s easier (but not better you understand) for me to just let it happen, I cry and I refrain from speaking for an hour, a few hours maybe more and I lie in bed until I start to feel more like I can carry on.

3. I am neither overtly confident or quietly churning, I just am. I am quiet in my mind and my mind is a balanced (ish) and a contemplative space, I don’t love or hate myself, I am calm. I am capable. I read my book and am happy to be taken off on my latest adventure without feeling desperate to live a different and literary life, I am chatting congenially to my friend or colleague and a sense of warmth like sunlight is spreading, every now and then there might be a little shower but it’s manageable. I do my meditation (a post on this soon I promise) and I can pull myself back to this sense of quiet confidence and calm. I am content in the things that I do and say, and can see my future as a shimmering stream of possibilities. I am happy to spend time learning and evolving and although sometimes I’m embarrassed about what I have said or done I can face up to my mistakes and accept that people will think what they like of me. That’s ok, I am ok.

Do you feel like these are perhaps versions of you too? As per my previous similar post maybe you’re a mix of one and three most of the time and if you are I am jealous! I think that’s a person who likes a life of majority balance, and you are my dream self. Maybe you spend more time being two, and if you are I am sorry that you feel like that, I promise that this storm is hard and wearing but once you get passed the hardest part and you will (and you have to do it yourself, no one can help you with this part I am afraid) I am here to help you.

Don’t underestimate how much just speaking your feelings to someone will genuinely help you, they love you and they will listen. If you think you know someone like this please just offer to be there and listen, they know how much you love them and mostly that is enough. They don’t actually need any advice, if anything your advice might make them feel worse again, especially if despite your every effort you don’t understand their feelings, you might be trying to hide it but I am sorry to tell you it’s perfectly visible to that person who needs you. So just be there.

Beyond that, it’s taking life one step at a time, don’t judge your life based on how many big things you have achieved but on the little things. Today you got out of bed, and you got dressed, you cleaned your teeth and now you are on the train or in the car. That it genuinely excellent, it’s not going to change the world but you’ve already changed your world, you’ve made the decision that today you are going to fight, to battle through even if you didn’t realise that’s what you were doing when you made the decision to open your eyes this morning, you are a warrior.

At some point I will write more about my coping methods, some of which I have mentioned already and some which might work for others or might work for no one else at all. We are all so different, so unique and our minds are the same so you are are the only person that can find the best way of coping for yourself.

Anyway I am going to see what today brings now.

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