A life of constant indecision. Everything, all the time is so hard.
That’s one of the problems when you are diagnosed with a mental illness – particularly a personality disorder. Because suddenly you define yourself as a disorder. You don’t know whether it is you thinking or your illness thinking. It paralyses you. All self-trust, all self-confidence gets up and walks out of the door.
Decisions must be made throughout the day. But how do you make decisions when you don’t know who or what is making them?
I feel like I am split into many parts; I am a summary of illnesses and no longer a person in my own right. I am now permanently stuck in a state of constant anxiety. How do I know what is right for me to do? The moment someone offers me a choice, I now freeze. I am unable to progress.
I used to love researching things, checking them out, I was always decisive. Now I am the opposite.
“Look at this.” “Go and check this out.” “Do you still want me to do XX?” “Do you still want me to come up and help with XX?” These are all things that now cause me to panic and withdraw. Pressure. Requirements. Decisions.
I have to live moment by moment with a tick list of absolute ‘to-do’ minor tasks: Shower, get dressed, one coffee, clean room, empty bins, wash wall, paint wall, tidy up, check phone messages, cook, eat dinner. These are all simple black and white things that need to be done. I need absolute clarity in everything. I cannot cope with an open-ended task, with anything that requires any decision making.
Society does not understand that when a previously competent person breaks – our loss of self completely debilitates us.
How do I know if I like something or not? I may like it at the moment when I see it, but that is in that moment, that mind state, that mood. It may be entirely wrong for all other mental states, all different moods. I just do not trust myself to get it right and pile the pressure on myself which causes me to spiral down.
I hate having to feel that I need someone to hold my hand through everything. I hate the feeling of loss of independence, for I have lost it even though from the outside I haven’t.
I am not me – not the old me who could do anything and everything.
My perspective on everything is so different now.; so coloured; so clouded by anxiety and fear.
Asked to come down to the suburbs and meet with a group of people I know is terrifying for me.
How can I possibly get there? How can I drive myself into the lion’s den?
The group has been told I have a mental illness. So now I feel that were I to go, I would be nothing more than a freak show. Why do people want to gather together and talk about me, stare at me, gang up on me? What do they want to do to me? Are they going to hurt me again? It’s a group. They have been hostile toward me. Why would I subject myself to that horror? They didn’t want to know me when I was a person, so why gather together to talk to me now that I am an illness? It is so profoundly threatening.
It’s like someone saying “Hey we all understand you are a freak now, so can you drive yourself to the edge of a cliff please, get out of the car, jump of the edge and we will all wait at the bottom to talk to you and see how freaky and weird you are and as you questions and stare then you can climb yourself back up the cliff and drive back to your cave. Would you like to do that? Aren’t we nice?”
No, you are tripping me out entirely.
“Do you still want me to come up and help this weekend?” Well of course. It has been decided. It is black and white. Do not ask me that question. Please, just don’t. Yes, I may have changed my mind, I always change my mind. My mind is changed for me every time someone smiles, or scowls, or writes a single word in a Facebook post that jars, and drags and plunges me into a state of happiness or despair or anger. I am in a state of constant flux; I battle to weather the storm within every moment of every day. I need consistency, dependability, stability around me because I am inconsistent, indecisive and not remotely stable.
If someone were to say, “Well as you are going to the shops could you please pick me up one packet of crackers and some cheese please?” I would not be able to do so. What type of crackers? How much cheese? What type of cheese? How much money do you want to spend on the cheese?” I can go to the shop, but I cannot look at cheese, and I cannot look at crackers. The options are too many. I get paralysed.
Buying cheese and crackers involves decisions.
If I can’t buy cheese and crackers, how am I to close a business, sell my home, find another, work out how to move, do all the planning, the logistics, the organising and find a new job and start a new life? How do I do all of this alone when working out what to wear or what to eat is so hard?
What has happened to me?
I am ruled by a broken, fractured brain that does not trust itself anymore.
I can no longer be a supervisor – I will need to be supervised; I will need to be given one minor task to complete at a time then report back for the next one.
I am no longer me.
I live a life of indecision.