Since my mental state has decided it will effectively take over, and annihilate my life as I knew it, I have discovered that you are expected to talk….a lot.
I never had a problem with talking, about anything. My partner and I would sit for hours and hours just talking, sharing life experiences, talking about what we wanted to do, things we wanted to see. At work, I could talk to anyone and everyone, usually without any hesitation. Now, I struggle to hold a conversation for any decent length of time, at times, it’s even exhausting.
Having depression, anxiety and all the other things related to it, do mean however that you have to make yourself talk, even to strangers, doctors, therapists, and other people, who you don’t know and yet expect you to be able to decipher the tornado of thoughts and emotions you are experiencing, then put it all into coherent sentences, and to be specific and put time frames to it! For me, that’s so damn hard, and at times incredibly frustrating.
The people that love you and care about you, those that see you day in and day out, they notice the changes in you, ones your not even aware of, and the barrage of “Are you ok”? ” what do you want to do”? ” How can I help”? Is so hard, because you want to answer them, you so desperately want to know, because you know they love you, you know it’s breaking their heart to see you transforming into a shadow of what you were, but, you don’t know, there’s nothing that appeals to you, nothing feels like it will help, and the tornado of emotions is almost impossible to put into words, even trying to do so in your head, you feel crazy, so there’s no way in hell I’m going to vocalise it.
I’m torn between enjoying hours of silence, and drowning in it. Trying to get my thought patterns under control so that I may be able to decipher, just a small amount seems to be the hardest thing. Even holding a conversation about something mundane is difficult, my attention span seems to have deteriorated to that of a goldfish, and even when I’m trying with all I have, to listen and be invested in what stomeone is saying, my mind jumps, twists and turns with broken thoughts (generally they’re never good) and it takes over, and I drift back into my silence.
Previously, when I was living in my ignorance, and being what I considered “normal” I worked with people, in sales, and I was good at it, I loved it. The diversity of people and situations you’re faced with, it was exciting to me, no days were the same, and it was an adventure. Now, the thought of that environment terrifies me, I struggle so much doing things like going to the supermarket, even just the corner store, and if someone speaks to me?!?! Holy crap! I start getting cold sweats, shaking and feel nauseous. How have I gone from being someone who could talk to 50 or more people a day with no problem, to someone who has trouble with a simple question like “How are you”?
I used to see talking as something I loved, it made me happy, you could learn so much through talking, feel so many different things, now I feel like I have to learn the art of conversation all over again, to speak without fear, to speak about what’s on my mind and in my heart, and I’m left wondering, if all of those years I’ve spent talking, did I really know? did I have any idea? Or was I just speaking to fill the voids of silence, distracting myself from what was really going on in my head, keeping this whirlwind of depression and anxiety at bay, all the while it was there, building and feeding on its anger at being pushed aside for so long, until it got so powerful, so catastrophic that it crashed through and destroyed my facade of “normal”?