Feeling ‘out of sorts’, a familiar yet odd feeling for me. Starts in the tummy as anxiety hovers there like an increasingly noisy wasp which somehow then builds in numbers and then sweeps through me. I feel like an alien living amongst unfamiliar folk in a strange environment. Parts of it look known, and parts of it like some kind of surreal, 3D, multi-coloured film. But with the addition of sharp smells, cold biting winds and chills and a sense of being ‘in’ it but not of it.
Then there is the voice. The one which berates and cajoles me and reminds me I am worthless and unloved, or worse, loved less than the special one. ‘You’ll never match up to her, as nasty as she was’. I cannot see any evidence to the contrary, when I feel like this, nothing will quieten its ceaseless contributions. Not loud, but in the background, hissing dissent. It persuades me to eat the things which are bad for me, to stay in with the curtains closed or to isolate myself from others. ‘They will only tell you what you already know, you are a fraud. A liar. Your work, your personality, it is all a lie.’ I have exams’; ‘A fluke!’. ‘I have helped some people’; ‘To meet your own ends, you deluded excuse for a person!’
Seeking solace, something to fill the void, I eat. As unhealthy as possible; self-harm or greed? I skip over the small voice which says, ‘you don’t have to do this’ and instead, listen to the louder cackle which eggs me onwards. In that moment, filling my mouth with fleeting sweetness and nothingness. Swallowed quickly, no time to savour the taste. Quality becomes quantity. A moment of soothing followed by recriminations. My body feels it will burst. I wish I could be sick but I can’t, it hangs onto the food like a prize and a punishment.
I am known as my little ‘rollercoaster’. The voice reminds me this is not a compliment, it indicates my instability, inconsistency and many faults. A much used uttered term people use, like ‘my life’s a nightmare’.
I hate too the self-centredness of depression; it’s all about me. People can be dying around me, their bodies ravaged by disease and it remains off the radar, blotted out by me, me,me.! ‘Selfish’. I agree with the voice. Maybe, if I agree instead of fighting it, I will eventually just shrivel up and die because I’m too cowardly to do it myself. ‘You see! Another lie, a fantasy’; if you really wanted to die you would have done it by now’.