3:50 a.m.: Musings about mental health

When you have anxiety, thoughts rule your life like an evil dictator. It almost feels like your brain is just racing around your head trying to find a thought to latch onto and keep up with. But the thing is, no matter how fast the thoughts keep coming, your brain latches onto every single one. Onto every last word.

It thinks about each thought thoroughly and all the things that could happen from that one thought. Every single thought plants a seed of fear and unsettlement that riddles your body. You feel almost paralyzed, scared of the unknown.

That’s about how I’m feeling right now. As I’m writing this, it’s 3:50 a.m. My boyfriend is asleep in bed, but for some reason, I can’t sleep. Because something is wrong.

But I don’t know what.

That’s another thing about anxiety. You don’t know the reason. You don’t know what’s wrong.

Is it because you said something that maybe made your friend mad at you? Do they not want to see you anymore? Do they hate you?

Is it because your boyfriend held your hand a little bit differently than he normally does? What does it mean? Does he hate you now? What if he breaks up with you? What then?

Is it because someone made a comment about your weight? Why can’t you lose weight faster? Why don’t you look like the girls on your phone? Why aren’t you trying harder?

Is it because you’re scared of the future? What if you’re not good enough? What if you’re going to be a failure? What if all of this means nothing? Why do you keep trying?

I don’t know.

I don’t know why I can’t sleep. I don’t know what’s wrong. And it’s debilitating.

You feel defeated. You feel small. But most of all, you feel like it’s all your fault.

So you try to get better. You know you need to take care of your mental health, and you know some of the steps you can take.

You try therapy, but funny enough, you feel like you burden your therapist with your problems, so you stop going.

You haven’t been there in six weeks.

OK, let’s try something else then.

You know you can take medication for it, so you try that. The first dosage doesn’t work so you up it. Then you up it again. And again. And again.

Does it work? Kind of. Most days you feel like a zombie. Yeah, you’re not sad anymore, but you’re also not really happy either.

What else?

Get fit. Go to the gym. You don’t like your body? Then change it.

So you go to the gym. First, just a few times here and there. Then a few times a week. Then every day. Then you start going more than once a day. Your mind is consumed with how to make yourself look like the girls you see in pictures. It becomes an obsession.

So you stop eating.

It happens slowly. Maybe you’ll just skip breakfast. And maybe lunch too. And if your body can take that, what’s the point in eating dinner either?

What else? What else can you do?

So you drink. You smoke. You take every opportunity to put a substance into your body that will make you forget about everything, even if it’s just for a little bit.

And it works for a while. You drink and smoke so much that it’s almost weird not to.

But people notice.

Your boyfriend tells you that he’s worried about you. That you’ve been drunk or high ever since you started dating. Which isn’t exactly true, but it’s not exactly false either.

So what do you do?

I don’t know.

It’s 4:22 am.