I’ll be back
On Thursday everything caved in on me. I found myself turning around from work, pulling over, and breaking. Everything felt dark. My brain was crushing in on itself. My chest was crushing in on itself. The only sounds I could hear were the crashing of the blood in my ears. All that filled my head was the need to stop this feeling. Any way to stop feeling. I was lucky. I am lucky. I have a husband who I can be honest with when it hits the fan. I have a friend in my computer who has been there and I knew would know what I was describing. She would know the terror and the pain. So I fought every instinct to stay silent. I listened to the voice whispering that I wouldn't make it through alone. I reached out. ... They talked me through. They got me to coffee (where strangers offered to buy me food and give me tissues and listen). But as I said at the time "What do I do though? Email saying I got to a roundabout and decided that functioning just isn't me? I tell people all the time that this shit is ok but I can't see how it is today." I felt like a fraud. I still do. I talk so much about being open, about how we can never truly understand and beat mental health stigma without acknowledging it and treating it as any other illness. But when push comes to shove, I will lie to friends and colleagues to convince them of my sane. (Yes, that reads weird if you're not humming the tune to "You'll be back" from Hamilton). Since Thursday it comes and goes. Waves of panic and terror washing over me, like when you're a child and the wave is too sudden. You're suddenly under the water and you don't know how to breathe or get free, even though the wave will break soon. I'm trying to identify the triggers. My general fear of failing and letting people down seems high on the list... I can catasrophise any situation. - Made a typo in a work post? That clearly means you have misunderstood everything. That means you have spent two days researching the wrong thing. The company will fail. You'll lose your placement. Uni will be wasted. No-one will ever employ you. - Bursary card wasn't topped up? They decided that they shouldn't have given you one this year. You'll have to pay back the other payments. Furball will never go back to the chiropractor. He'll live a life of pain, blame me, and it will fester until all he sees is pain linked with me. You don't want to know where my inability to do housework ends up... I have applied for counselling. I have a GP appointment. This shit didn't beat me during pregnancy and it won't now. But at the same time, I just want my duvet. I want to hide in my den. Every step outside of it opens up the possibility of triggering another cascade of failure, and that knowledge is suffocating.

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