Trigger Publishing asked if I wanted to get involved with their #DearMind campaign for Mental Health Awareness week.
You are my worst critic. You are my meanest friend.
Why do you become clouded so often? Why do you trick me into believing that I am alone? Fat? Worthless? Stupid?
I try to ignore you, to tune out of your negative murmurs.
It is so hard not to believe you. To fight against you. It’s exhausting. Sometimes I cannot mute you, or even just turn down the anxious scenarios that spiral round my head.
You used to prevent me from being myself, you damaged my relationships, my social life, my hobbies, my very essence, and I resent you for that.
I don’t want to be anxious. I don’t want to hear that when I’m happy I’m off guard, and something bad will happen. Just because it happened before, doesn’t mean it will again? So why do you tell me it will?
You’re not all bad. You also believe in me more than others, and sometimes you don’t bother me at all.
Sometimes I hardly notice you.
I hardly notice that you’re hurting, or fogging, or anxious until I can’t get myself out of bed, or I don’t want to leave my house, or my stomach seems to knot. Then I realise that you’re there, that the fog and anxiety is back, and I struggle to see past you, to focus on anything but the fog.
You are remarkable, you can show me possible futures that I could achieve, and hold a million wonderful memories for me to relive.
But you’re also scary. I’m more resilient than I used to be, I can just tell you to fuck off, and get on with my day. I can ignore the paradox within me, the internal struggle between giving in to the anxieties I feel or the fog I’m stuck in, and simply being myself.
Spoiler alert, I always win. I’ve trained myself to overcome the negative thoughts, and turn down the relentless self-doubt and harmful chatter.
I don’t believe you. I’m lucky… Not everyone is so lucky, so #DearMind be kind, please.