wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe

Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic… and the rest!

Demon whispers.

**Trigger warning – do not read if feeling vulnerable.**

On Sunday I felt the demon lurking, I always know when he’s coming, Tip toeing behind me like a child in the shadows. By Monday morning he saw an opening and sprang, pinning me down like a weight, & digging into my core until I was numb.
It didn’t help that I had an event to attend that evening. I tried to seem bubbly, but it was like something had frozen. I had nothing to offer.

On Tuesday I removed all the knives from the kitchen and placed them in the attic.  Not because I wanted to end my life, but because I feared that I’d lost the ability to feel anything. Depression strikes maybe once or twice a year & with the numbness come the whispers. He isn’t threatening or aggressive, more cunning, “slam a blade into your left arm. Don’t think, just do it. Pain is better than this surely?” In many ways it’s true. I’d rather be in acute pain than feel, well nothing.

This is something that I rarely admit, because frankly it freaks people out. I don’t hear voices in the ‘psychotic sense,’ but I know what my brain is urging me to do. And to be clear, no matter how tempting, I never would. I see a flash of my mum’s face & I know that I wouldn’t. Not ever. I refuse. But that doesn’t stop the urge.

These days, I’m smart enough to recognise when I need help & I’m not too proud to reach out. “I wouldn’t ask unless I was desperate, but will you come over after work?” I messaged my friend Roo. “I’ll come over NOW.” (It was 2pm). We spent the afternoon talking nonsense & watching/giving live commentary on Vampire Diaries. The demon didn’t vanish, but he did retreat for a while. Turns out that Roo’s voice is much stronger.

The next day I ran, ate well and kept busy, both with work and house tasks. Again he still tried his whispers & I felt the weight in my stomach. But I keep moving (it’s what I do). Keep moving and ask for help when needed.

By Friday it broke, almost like a fever and I knew that I’d be ok again for a while.

Anxiety & panic attacks are my speciality (if such can ever be a positive). But depression knocks me on my face. I hope to get there one day, but for now I salute all of you who deal with this monster. I can’t imagine your strength. People talk about brawn and physical power… but what about the strength it takes to hold back a demon and keep going? Keep going to work, making sure the kids are happy and that food is on the table. That’s REAL strength to me… and I’d choose that person for my army any day.
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Categories: Advice for care givers, Anxiety

14 replies

  1. So glad it’s lifted – it’s a dreadful feeling,I know. And thank you for sharing your experience. ❤

  2. Wow funny how my piece and yours are alike. Check out my blog post titled the darkness.

  3. So touched by this post… I was worried about u and so good to hear you. You have such a way with words. Chin up…

    • hi there, bizarrely your “chin up” comment abpve has just reminded me of when I was having a particularly bad time a few years ago and although my husband didn’t understand what was happening or how to help he sent me some flowers at home with the words “chin up” on the card. Still makes me get a bit teary eyed to this day but was his way of saying he was there!

  4. Great post Claire… fake it till you make it is my moto and you did that . Glad to hear you are feeling better . And thanks for sharing 😀

  5. thank you for sharing, im glad it has now passed

  6. I’ve discovered you not long ago while searching for english things to read, and I guess I should say that what you do is really cool, like, I can totally see why people would be inspired by you.
    I think it is accurate to say that almost everyone who suffers from social anxiety, or similar things, have once felt like they are alone in this, or that they are guilty of what they suffer, and that is what makes what you do so… Important, in fact, as mental health is not a very popular topic pretty much anywhere in the world (or this I assume), people like you are a blessing.
    Even though I haven’t read very much of you yet (is this sentence correct? It sounds weird), I must say that I quite enjoy what I have already, and I *will* get your book some day, it is nice to read from someone… you know… more experienced in life, somethings may not be that relatable but it’s probably because I have not got there yet.
    Ok, enough of flattery, I stretched what I wanted to say very much. Not that what I think has any real inherited importance of course (if this even make any sense).

    Anyway, well… I don’t know… Love from Brazil!!!

  7. Stay strong! So proud of you for doing that. Truly inspiring that you’re speaking up about it and showing that you can chose what things you let effect you and that you can move forward if you persist! Well done gorgeous!! 💕 Sami xx

  8. Thank you so much for posting this Claire. Such a powerful piece. I am going through a particularly difficult patch at the moment and felt some of these feelings recently, it’s comforting to know that others go through these things too (as awful as they are). Thank you for your blog too, very inspiring.

  9. I think Sylvia Plath’s bell jar is the best description of that feeling I’ve encountered yet. Some big transparent bell jar that falls down out of the sky on top of you when you least expect it. You’re watching the world carry on, blurred and muffled through the Perspex as you struggle to breathe in the stuffy air that gets more toxic with every breath you take. Those days are the ones that can really mess up your plans, but they’re also the days you remember how much you have “failed” to achieve with your life, probably because you believed in what the demon told you. I’m glad you had a friend at the end of a phone. But I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being a mouse click away for me on many, many occasions.

  10. God this resonates. I didn’t know anyone else had these voice-urges. I’ve only just started admitting I’ve been having them for over 30 years. Luckily I have a good counselor, understanding husband and a daughter who listens and hugs.

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