My mind is beset with anxiety today
I started the day feeling normal just slightly nervous
Then over the course of the day my anxiety intensified as i spiralled out of control
By the end of the day my hands were shacking i could barely breathe
This anxiety is killing its living in hell
Its rendered me unable to function around people living so reclusive
I have to refrain from going on nights out
I refuse to answer the door or my iPhone all lines of communication are shut down when my anxiety is this acute
Today though all it took was a contemptuous glance from a fellow student to set me off in a vicious circle of paranoia of self loathing
That icy indifferent glare left me burdened with panic and dread
I had to vamoose to the toilet on several occasions to control my erratic breathing
Tomorrow though i have to attend a series of lectures all will endure the same psychological torture
Feeling this sickness in my skin wanting to be alone away from the claustrophobia of being engulfed in disquieting social situations
The problem is I’m so adroit at concealing my socially impeding disorder
Tomorrow there will be the averted glances the endless nervous energy pulsating in my aching bones
I want this nightmare to end to be free to be happy around people not to hate even participating in rudimentary conversations
My mind after a day of protracted anxiety is exhausted I’m hiding under my pillow finally experiencing a modicum of serenity
The news fills me with dread
I see a array of devastating reports on climate change
The burning of our rainforest artic on fire oceans rising apocalyptic storms and hurricanes
The terror the horror of our future what will life be like in 50 years
I have trouble breathing as these nightmarish climate stories provoke a panic attack
Everyday I awake with this dread this all consuming terror that haunts me
Its my bleak future our bleak future
Knowing that all that i cherish and treasure all the natural beauties the majestic wildlife will be ravaged in a generation
I am wrought to tears of sadness and impotent rage at the previous generations who fucked up irrevocably our precious ecosystem
Without becoming cognisant of these reports i still suffer from a impairing anxiety disorder
However upon reading this calamitous stories my anxiety exacerbates I
I cant leave my room I’m shacking cant breathe death I’m certain is nigh
The apocalypse is round the corner this is our ice age as billions will drown starve and be made refugees in a dystopian future
The terror never leaves me
Theres nothing i can do to negate the terror that permeates my consciousness
All I can do is appreciate the beauty of nature to visit areas of the globe before it’s too late
Before this sublime locations these natural wonders and metropolises get submerged by the rising oceans
Lost and confused in a alienated state
Alone in the hell of my tortured existence
Nobody cares there’s nobody who understands who knows about my pain
I want to reach and feel a connection to have another soul hold my mind hug me tightly and share my disorder
I’m ill a body paralysed with anxiety with suicidal thoughts
I endure weekly panic attacks where I’m unable to vacate my flat
I drink i smoke a profusion of illicit and legal drugs to numb my pain
Then in states of intoxicated fervent i cut myself to have a cathartic release then i carry waterfalls of tears
My anxiety disorder is crippling i cant breathe i cant sleep
I cant have friends or experience anything resembling a normal social life
I’m imprisoned in my tortured fractured mind living ensconced in the tiny enclave of my dank flat
Friends vehemently persistently request my company i have to decline the anxiety is too onerous I retreat into protracted states of isolation
Nobody knows of my hell its all a dark secret
The panic attacks the suicidal predilections the bouts of self mutilation the insomnia the self loathing all is concealed in my introverted introspective personality
I’m sick a dying broken soul laying awake in my cold bed
Living a sad life bereft of human contact or love wanting to divulge my disorder to a fellow sufferer of anxiety
Arms shacking shivering my body sways manically back and forth
My breathing is erratic uncontrolled the curtains are firmly closed
No lights in my home I can’t face the world the dark eerie outside
I turn off my phone there’s complete silence no music as i sit on the edge of my bed wanting this hell to end
The walls are moving they’re are coming closer to me
I hear voices on the outside as my paranoia my anxiety intensifies
Breathing in and out in a effort to assuage the fear the dread
I want to escape this body this horrifying state of being
I’m trapped in this neurotic bag of bones
I touch my magnolia coated wall to feel something tactile to mitigate my nervousness
I scream in my head i want to get out please god let it end
Now i collapse on the floor in a ball in a fetal like position
Hearing now a multitude of auditory hallucinations sounds of people laughing the ringing of the bell
I cry in utter agony as tears stream into my wooden floor
I want to escape the nightmare of my body
Wanting forlornly to escape to experience a semblance of normality
The walls are shacking pulsating with imagined sound waves I continue to hysterically cry
I notice my breathing relaxes slightly as the angst is dissipating now the hallucinations cease and the attack dies down
Its 2 am in the morning my hands are shacking covered in blood from another masochistic bout of self harm. I’m laying on my kitchen floor with a razor blade in my right hand my left arm looks ravaged with several vertical deep lacerations on my underarm. My pain receptors are dulled and numb from the excess of whisky i have devoured throughout this lonesome evening. I cant feel the pain of my wounds that will happen tomorrow on top of a punishing hangover. I’m in a dark place at my wits end seriously considering ending my life. Elgar cello concerto echoes throughout the thin walls of my flat playing on my Bluetooth speakers. As I hear the heart wrenching sublime sound of Jacqueline du pre playing the cello with adroitness tears stream down my ashen face devoid of beauty.
I’m crying uncontrollable unable to control my breathing. Breathing in and out at a frantic rate I repeat the phrase in my hand I can’t breathe i cant breathe for several minutes. I feel like death the dread is overpowering the suicidal thoughts overpower my intoxicated mind. I’ve spent all Saturday with the curtains shut in my flat and wearing my crimson silk pyjamas. I commenced drinking my whisky and coke cocktail around 2 in the afternoon wanting to nullify the pain i been subsisting with for the previous several weeks. I cant bare it anymore I’m a 23 year old living alone living with severe depression with a impairing social anxiety disorder and a myriad of other mentally ill symptoms indicative of a long term untreated psychosis. I have neglected important pivotal friendships due to the severity of my social anxiety and the depression has compounded my desolate suicidal disposition. I feel like such a fucking loser a freak who’s been condemned to a life of abject misery and being sequestered from the human race from the kindness and love of strangers due to my disorders.
In my paralytic condition wanting to end my life with the razor blade hovering perilously above my wrist i take a last chance and call the suicidal army crisis hotline. I can’t call any of my family or a distant friend who are still lodged in my iPhone contact list who i still consider a friend. To bare my soul to unload my desperate fragile mental state to somebody I know fills my heart with dread. Especially calling them at 2 in the morning in my delirious drug frenzied state. Throughout the years i have carefully concealed the depths of my pain my anxiety my suicidal predilections my self harm from anybody with whom who knows me who cares for me. Hence i conclude to call of the kind soft spoken sympathetic listening operators with whom I’ve spoken with on numerous occasions on the past several years. This time though i want to die i need to be reminded given any reason why I should remain alive to be part of the living.
My hands are shacking profusely my lips are quivering snot is flowing from my nose I’m a drunken mess wanting to hear a solemn voice in my hell. Dialling the number still on the kitchen floor slumped in a drunken stupor actually terrified of speaking to a volunteer and divulging my desire to end my life. The number rings three times a volunteer answers my forlorn call with a hushed dulcet voice that immediately assuages my anxiety. “Hello how can i help you”
She initiates our conversation. There’s a awkward silence of 10 seconds before I gather myself before i control my breathe and blow my nose.
“ hello mam i want to kill myself i cant stand the pain anymore I’ve got a razor blade and i want to slash my wrists.” My voice cracks i can hardly speak as i utter these words and pronounce my thoughts to another soul. The listener responds with stereotypical calmness trying diligently to appease me to convince that not take a deleterious action. “ please put down the razor blade try to calm down how long have you been feeling suicidal or depressed.” She utters in a unwavering calm manner as i acquiesce to her simple demand placing the blade on my blood stained lilo kitchen floor. I respond opening myself to another human being allowing for once an person into my inner world.
“ I have been living with this depression for years living with anxiety but for the past several months the hurt of existing has grown more severe. Everyday i think about killing myself. There’s nobody in my life who cares about me i am alone in the darkness i cant endure it anymore i just want to end the pain of my pathetic life” I break down and become inconsolable with rivers if sadness cascading down my face . My hands collapse into my tear drenched face I’m still encamped on the floor with arms coated in my blood i wait patiently for a response to my verbose declaration of my fractured psyche.
“Please calm down I’m listening to you understand there are people I’m certain in your life who care for you. I’m sure you have friends and family who would be devastated if you committed suicide” There was a uncomfortable silence as the amiable listener waited for my response. I responded barely able to articulate my thoughts with a voice stammering and quivering.
“Tttankyou for your www words i jjust nneeded somebody to talk to i know i need help that i need therapy i need to speak to my friends about my dire emotional state” I was amazed at how lucid i was in in my intoxicated suicidal mind space.
The listener realised her compassionate words had dissuaded me from ending my life that this was a despairing cry for help in the bleak hours of a Sunday morning. She concluded our brief conversation have sage words of advice.
“ I’m promising you that you’ll feel better in the morning. You’ve taken the first steps in dealing with your mental illness actually speaking to another person showing that bravery. I’m asking you to talk about your depression your anxiety with your mother and father they care for you and then take the next scary steps of speaking with a therapist who will ameliorate your condition. I’m proud of you that you put down the razor blade and can you please promise me you wont end your life” She concluded as I responded tentatively
“Thank you for hearing for taking my call for listening attentively to my lamentable words. Its so cathartic to talk to a stranger to realise I’m not alone in this cold world that somebody cares about me. Thank you mam I promise i wont kill myself”
We then in unison said our goodbyes as i terminated by 2am call to the Salvation Army Suicide hotline. I sat there for minutes afterwards on the floor with a strange feeling of elation pulsating in my body. I got up sauntered languidly to the bathroom and removed the dried blood stains from my hair and in my listless drunken stupor applied a profusion of disinfectant to my self infected wounds. Still with my pain receptors numbed from the excessive of alcohol i felt no pain. Walked to my bedroom deciding to mop up the excess of blood on my kitchen floor tomorrow.
I lay in my bed for minutes feeling like a human being that matters the loneliness had temporarily dissipated in that pivotal early morning interaction.
It lives within me this beast this monster
It threatens to ruin me to devour me from the inside
When I’m in public when in unfamiliar situations the monster appears torturing me
It tells me I’m ugly I’m worthless I’m unlovable
The monster has rendered me ravaged shattered exhausted barely able to function
It blinded me with permanent states of dread with panic pulsating in my ageing bones
I cant stop worrying i cant go out anymore i cant sleep because of this pernicious monster that’s devouring my soul
I cant control this monster this cancerous organism that’s proliferated across my languid body and soul
Unable to look at myself in the mirror for fear of provoking this malicious monster
Fear of venturing outside fear of answering a phone call of taking a chance in life this monster will punish me for showing a modicum of bravery
I am rotting from the inside begging god to end my life
For years i have subsisted with this beast that lurks in the shadows of my subconscious
Now this monster has metastasised into a uncontrollable force that threatens my sanity
This monstrous villain has precluded me from having friends from experiencing the wonders of sex or falling in love this monster is my anxiety that is slowly poisoning me with the noxious fumes of this untreated disorder
The genesis of my body dysmorphia began as I entered adolescence. I was always this shy introverted who was acutely self conscious around my secondary school peers. Then a tragic event befall our family my mother committed suicide in my first year i attended secondary school the ptsd I incurred and the isolation i surmised exacerbated my body dysmorphia disorder. After losing my mum in harrowing circumstances i began to despise my physical appearance my flat featureless body my ashen face devoid of beauty. Going out to school or socialising with friends became a torturous endeavour i would apply a profusion of makeup to my face to mask my horrid face.
When my disorder started to affect the quality of my life i began to suffer from panic attack in public. Even simply mundane outings like going back and forth from the local shops were torture. When I did venture outside on rare moments apart from attending school i felt intensely self conscious. Feeling the icy wind hit my sweaty face the anxiety pulsating round my body. Then my heart is arcing i cant control my breathing as i walk towards the shop my feet are in a state of paralysis totally then i feel like dying. Desperately i would find a park bench or secluded spot to collapse to hide my anxiety attack. Then rather then braving a brief trip to the shops i would frantically run home to the serene shelter of my bedroom. This type of panic attack happened on countless occasions throughout my teenage years as i was enduring this secret disorder.
Rather than divulging my condition to a close confidant to my father or a doctor i hide my shame the revulsion I had for my grotesque body. Laing awake at night fantasising all the ways i could ameliorate my flaws with exorbitantly expansive plastic surgery. Getting a nose job a augmenting my flat breasts getting botox collagen in my lips whitening my teeth i theorised maybe i could be happy in my skin after a serious of plastic surgery operations. My self loathing caused me to become severely depressed almost suicidal the only way I could assuage my pain was to lacerate my arms in self harm. Taking a sharp piece of glass and disfiguring my arms then hiding the shame of my lacerated arms my wearing long sleeved shirts for weeks afterwards.
As my disorder progressed i developed this fear of mirrors. The trip to the bathroom mirror was this daily excruciating experience to view my face at the onset of a new day. I started to eschew looking into the mirror brushing my teeth or washing my face with my face looking at the taps. Only when i would go on nights out with my friends when I needed to apply a profusion of makeup to my ugly face would i view my reflection in the critical bathroom mirror. Even with layer upon layer of makeup with my red lips looking lustrous i would shudder in disquiet at this monster in the mirror. Then on these sporadic nights out i suffered the hell of seeing my pallid homely face in a mirror in a bar bathroom in a public toilet that horror of my ugliness magnified surrounded by a bevy of strangers would send down a spiral of anxiety and suicidal thoughts. If by chance i caught a glimpse of my face on a drunken night out with my friends i would usually suffer another panic attack hiding in the bathroom stall for minutes unable to breathe with tears cascading down my face. Then making a excuse why i would return to my sanctuary where i wouldn’t subject the general public to my deformed face.
The severe body dysmorphia continued from my adolescence into my tenure as a university student. The severity of my revulsion of my body didn’t abate it grow more acute. I devolved into a increasingly socially withdrawn creature only exposing my face to the world when it was essential to me functioning as a student. Such as attending lectures or going to my part time job. Time after time i turned down incessant requests for nights to go on holidays to attend musical festivals with my university cohorts. The increasing social anxiety and body dysmorphia made socialising with strangers for a protracted time feel like purgatory having unabated anxiety no assuagement from the this untreated hidden disorder. As i lived as a recluse i had these perennial suicidal inclinations as i was becoming isolated from society due to the living hell of my disorder and long term depression.
As this body disorder remained a shameful secret i found the idea of sex a impossibility. In my student years i embarked upon a measly 3 dates with potential lovers. These were agonising experiencing having my every flaw judged my a date having to make staid small talk. Feeling like these dates were a prank or a lost bet why would these alluring young men find me attractive. After the awkward date we exchanged a kiss on the cheek then never conversed as i ghosted these men. The thought of being intimate of having my emaciated ghost like body being naked next to a immaculate toned modern men filled my body with dread. Getting acquainted with conversation was arduous enough but sex kissing touching caressing sexual intercourse would be beyond my capabilities. Even though i fantasised habitually of the ecstasy of a falling in love and engaging in sublime sex with a hairless toned adonis. Despite all the trauma I have incurred in my 23 years when my body anxiety has metastasised into a impairing body disorder I have kept my pain my body dysmorphia hermetically sealed in the recesses of my damaged consciousness.
On umpteen times I have made a appointment for my local gp or seeked the help of a therapist who could treat my disorder. Then the day of the appointment arrives and the overwhelming fear of being vulnerable confiding in a doctor about my fractured mental condition has been too onerous to attend a appointment. I haven’t overcome my fears or talked to another soul about the hell I’m living with. One day if I’m ever going to become a fully functioning member of society with a husband with children with a enriching fulfilling life I’m going to need to disclose my depression my body dysmorphia with a qualified professional.