I have issues. I suffer from anxiety, and one symptom of that anxiety is depression attacks. When I'm in a depression attack, I can fake being happy, but it feels hollow and I just feel numb. I can act "happy" with the best of them, and when I was working in customer service it was the days when I was having a tough time of it that customers thought I was happiest and most friendly. I guess because I put in effort to put the face on? I don't know. I can fake a really genuine smile like the person I've just seen is my favourite person in the whole world, even if I don't know them and wish they would go die in a hole because I want to be on my own.
I also have really nasty thoughts when I'm in the middle of a depression attack. Sometimes directed at others, sometimes at myself. I fake it so effectively, nobody knows that my mind is so vindictive. Nobody knows that I have these awful thoughts about people. I hate myself for it, I shouldn't be thinking these things at all! I'm not a horrible person, but I have the most horrible thoughts.
My family doesn't know that when something goes wrong, I always blame myself. My self-talk is so negative that no matter what is said to me, I still feel like everyone is blaming me for what went wrong, so I start making excuses to try to shift some of the blame. I am horrible to myself, and I'm a comfort eater... not a good combination because I feel bad, so I eat, and then tell myself I'll get really fat if I keep on like that, feel worse, and eat. Feel even worse for the same horrible self-talk, and eat. I'm not overweight at all, and was actually a few pounds too skinny a few weeks ago, but I know I shouldn't allow myself to comfort eat, so I always feel guilty and blame myself when I do.
I've had so many months of no depression attacks at all, only panic attacks, and I thought I was over all of this, but then I started having trouble sleeping, and all the negative self-talk started up again. I know it's happening, I know it's not true, but I can't do anything about it and my soul believes every lying word that my traitorous head makes me think. The only way to get through it is to accept it and wait for it to pass. But it always gets worse before it gets better, and I'm not even close to rock bottom yet. I'm dreading what's to come.
As I sit here and type, I'm looking back on today. I'm not seeing the fun I had chatting with my best friend, I'm not seeing the triumph of my 2yo TB's acceptance of my hand and the rope halter even though she had just flipped over a fence and given herself a horrible fright - even though she was so terrified she was literally shaking, she let me catch her easily. But I'm not seeing any of that. I'm seeing the small part I had in her flipping over the fence in the first place, blowing it out of proportion so that in my mind I am taking the full blame for what was a freak accident caused by a very small misjudgement... seeing everything that might have happened and just how terrible it could have been.
Right now, I am blaming myself for very nearly killing the horse I have only had for a week but had bonded with the moment I saw her. In reality, she's NOT nearly dead, just a bit scraped up and bruised. In reality, it was NOT my fault, just a freak accident. Yes, I had a part to play in it, and should have backed off a little, but I have been round penning horses for so long that it has become instinct to block them from going in the direction you don't want them to go. She had an easy escape in the other direction, or off through the middle of the round pen. I did not MAKE her attempt to jump out, it was HER choice.
Yet, somehow, knowing all of that, I still place the full blame for this incident on my own shoulders. This, and many more. And I feel useless, and I feel like I shouldn't have horses at all, let alone a troubled 2yo Thoroughbred.
I wish nothing more than to make these self-critical, untrue, bullying thoughts go away. I'm not even close to rock bottom, I know how it feels to wholly believe that the only solution, the only option, is death and this is not a shade on that kind of pain. In those darkest days in my past, the only thing that stopped me from taking my own life was my own fear... fear of physical pain, fear of the unknown. I "chickened out", and I'm glad for that fear because without it, I would not be here today.
I just wish that I could stop these thoughts from hurting me, the way I stopped other people's bullying from hurting me. I wish I could decide not to care, but it's not that easy when it's my own head that's doing the bullying. I don't care what OTHER people think of me... I only care what I think about myself. What do I have if I stop caring about that most precious thing, my own self-esteem? Yet when I'm having a hard time of it, and the only things I think about myself and others are negative, I wish I could switch off to it and just not give a ****.
Medication doesn't work, therapy doesn't work, I have seen my doctor about this several times in the past but it just doesn't change anything. I'm going to have to deal, the only way I know how - by toughing it out and thinking of my animals ahead of myself. I don't have it in me to care about people at the moment... it's hard enough to remember my love for my animals.
What I wouldn't give to stop having depression attacks... even if they're replaced with horrible panic attacks. I don't care. Panic attacks are easier than this. I would know. I have both.