A listening ear can mean the world to a person who is struggling. Sometimes, if not most of the time we don’t even want advice, we just want to vent and get that weight off our chest. We want to be heard and we don’t want to feel alone. Someone with a mental health disorder has defied all laws of feeling lonely while in a room full of people. Only when you feel that way can you truly understand how disheartening and upsetting it is. How can one feel lonely when surrounded by so many people?
Humans are designed to need connection with people and when feeling lonely that is our body’s way of trying to motivate you to be sociable and reach out to others.
However, when you’re in a state of depression and shutdown like mentioned in my previous post, your body tries to protect itself by going into Dorsal Vagal. This makes it merely impossible to connect with others, you keep your distance from people, you want to be involved in that conversation, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. It is safer to keep to yourself, you can’t be hurt or let down. That fear of abandonment comes to a head at the thought of getting close to someone and it’s easier to just not go there. You see, we do want to feel connection with people, but our inner critic can name far more cons that it can pros because when given the chance it can take full control of your thoughts. Be it caused by past traumas or very deep-rooted core beliefs about yourself. You feel like you are being a burden and you’re not wanting to dampen the atmosphere around you because of how you feel. This is me.
Isolation is something that I believe I have a degree in. For years it’s been my coping mechanism to be able to uphold that strong front I put on for so long. Don’t let anyone in and they’ll never know. When you did let someone in and they left, it confirmed inner beliefs that nobody would want to be around you when you were like this. Even though for every 1 person that left, 20 others were still there and yet your inner critic is so fixated on the fact that you were abandoned, it constantly reminds you every time someone tries to befriend you.
Relationships haven’t exactly been a success with me. In the last couple of years as soon as anyone started to get to know me, I would retreat and run away, hiding, and never giving a valid reason why. The guilt would eat me alive but at least I was in control and that person didn’t have to opportunity to leave me first.
It’s heart-breaking because I do consider myself a very heart-warming person and I have a lot to give to a relationship. But how can I expect someone to love me when I don’t even know how to love myself? These are insecurities I need to work on and get better with. My social skills are diabolical, and I often find myself struggling to express my feelings or emotions to myself and others. But with therapy I want to overcome these issues and maybe eventually someone can accept and love me for who I am. But here’s hoping.
Countless nights I have spent sitting on the floor of my room crying my eyes out feeling so overwhelmed and hopeless that things were never going to get better. On these occasions I would have the support of the amazing nursing staff. I really can’t thank these girls enough; they were always so caring and sympathetic. One nurse in particular, would sit on the floor with me and just listen. Would supply me with multiple ice packs to place on the back of my neck and there was just something about her. She was so Zen and could just bring me back to safety by just being there. Sometimes you think that nurses just do their job, but these nurses were superheroes. They really cared and they were so genuine and sincere in everything they did. And I think if it wasn’t for that it would have made the recovery process a lot more difficult. Sometimes I reckon they are overlooked but behind it all they are the people who interact with you every day and night. Your doctors and psychologists only see you for an hour once or twice a week. It’s the nurses that run the show here and are always looking out for your wellbeing. They really don’t get enough credit.
Next time you find yourself wanting to run away because of the fear of being abandoned, just think to yourself about the countless others who have your back and have always supported you. One person in twenty does not define you. They simply do not deserve to have you in their lives. Surround yourself with people who strive to protect and bring out the best in you. Because when you have a support network like that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING.
“Through thick and thin I will accept you at your strongest yet love and support you at your weakest”