Why Doesn’t my Internal Monologue have an off switch?

If I were a fictional character I always thought I would be Miss Havisham (from Great Expectations) or Bertha Mason (Jane Eyre). Today I feel more like Bertha and wish I were more like Miss Havisham. For those who don’t know who either of those characters are… one is “insane” and one is a recluse living in a mansion with a decaying wedding cake.

As I type this right now I am holding back the tears. For some reason my sertraline makes me quite numb to a lot of feelings and it tends to mean that if I cry I really am having a hard time of it. Today I think I have felt every possible emotion and I am absolutely exhausted. I need to leave the house in forty-two minutes to pick Amy up from respite (Note how I know to the exact minute what time I need to leave. I do this all day everyday, I meticulously plan out my day and really wind myself up in the process)

I was feeling sad this afternoon but what has made me worse was the man who rapped on my door so loud that I dropped a load of shopping on the floor in shock. I know that I startle easily but this would have startled anyone, he was so rude. He was angry because I had parked on his (not legally enforced) white line. My reason for parking there? Well, there was a massive truck parked in the middle of our road as they are carrying out some work on the water pipes in the road. I had no choice but to park there. I had checked out of the window several times to see if I could my car but couldn’t. What makes it worse is that the guy could easily have got in his spot as I had ensured I had left sufficient space. So right now I hate everything and everyone.

This morning I liked everyone and wished them well. When people have problems I feel like I have taken the problem on as my own and I worry fiercely about everyone I care about. Sometimes when I feel really low I remind myself that we only have one life and to live it as such. But then that scares me and I panic, I over sentimentalise, I fear our mortality and I worry about potential grief that will inevitably happen at some stage. It’s awful. I am sure others feel like this but I doubt they feel it as intensely as I do.

I was meant to attend CBT today for my second session. But I felt so overwhelmed I had to cancel. I told them I have too many commitments and can’t fit it in right now. The truth is I don’t want to go. It isn’t that I don’t want to get better… It’s more that I don’t want to go to the hospital when I am there twice tomorrow for Amy’s first two appointments of the day. It’s also because they set homework and I hadn’t done it and felt guilty. I went to the doctors instead. My eczema has resulted in a secondary infection so I have a new steroid cream and antibiotics. I can’t wait for my hands to stop bleeding and weeping. There is a lot to be said for the psychosocial effects of eczema and how it can impact every aspect of your life.

For some reason the words aren’t coming to me right now. My chest feels tight but not tight enough for a panic attack. I have just been to the supermarket for my prescription and my social anxiety was out in full force. I think on the outside I probably seem quite confident and chatty but the reality is that my internal monologue is shouting in my head louder than my voice when I speak and I feel like I’m battling the two. For example I saw someone I used to know and she had a baby with her. She was next to me in the queue. I said hi, she said hi back. I couldn’t extend it further than that because my monologue was saying “she has a baby. You don’t. You would have had a 4 month old baby were it not for that horrendous miscarriage you had last year. You probably won’t get to have another child and if you do you’ll panic yourself silly the whole time because you’re pathetic.” At that point as I was self loathing I looked down and saw how fat my tummy looks today, I then exchanged an inadvertent eye contact with the girl I used to know. She looked down as if also looking at my tummy. I don’t know if I was just being paranoid but then the monologue pipes up again “she’s looking at your fat belly wondering if you’re pregnant. Well you’re not. You’re just fat. Don’t even think about eating any of that chocolate trifle you bought for Phil. You’re grotesque and lazy.” and so on it went.

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I left the shop feeling shaky and weak. My own mind made me feel that way. My mind is bullying me. How ridiculous is that? How irrational is that? What on earth is going on.

As I walked to my car a man was carrying far too much shopping. He dropped a chicken drumstick on the floor. I instantly felt gutted for him. I knew his internal monologue was saying “You silly fool. Why didn’t you just shell out 5p for a carrier bag”. I offered to help him to his van as he struggled on. He politely declined. A few seconds later more of his shopping came crashing down onto the floor. A BLT, some fabric softener and some pistachio nuts. “Come on! I said” amused at his manly bravado that he didn’t need help. He’s probably a bit like me; stubborn and independent – but also often wrong. I helped him to his van. I walked back to my car pleased to have been of assistance… I often crave that feeling of being indispensable, of being useful, of being a recognised contributor. I frequently just feel like a free loader or a sponge.

My lonely days are often filled with these little encounters… just little conversational exchanges with strangers. Between the clumsy builder and the angry man making me move my car to the petrol station guy who laughed with me about old video games and coffee… I can see clearly that my emotions are too strong, in a bad way. I just feel out of control, and I can’t relax.

I did get to see my parents today. Then are going away for a few days so it was good to catch up with them first. I think they know more than anyone what it’s like to be me, I think they understand my “quirks” and accept it well. So there has been some nice parts to the day. It was so strange to be so suddenly overcome with deep sadness out of nowhere earlier. It was a bit like when it’s a sunny cloudless day then suddenly out of nowhere the sky darkens and the clouds cry heavy tears of rain. It was like that. It was like the scene in Amelie when she flushes with grief into a puddle on the floor. I relate to that strongly every time I watch that film. Her expectations just flush into a puddle on the floor.

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I so much want to be someone who can sit in their garden and read a book without a care in the world. All of the things I want from life seem so attainable and yet somehow aren’t. I can’t quite put it into words today.

Anyway. Crazy lady in the attic must sign out for now. I need to go and do various tidying and chores before I pick amy up. If I don’t pass out before then.

 

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