Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Losing my mind?

Posted on: August 30, 2016

I am anxious, almost to the point of paranoia. It is very, very frightening.

I’m struggling to distinguish between what is real and logical and what is absolutely not.

Yesterday, I took a walk down to the local shops. I thought it would be nice – a leisurely stroll on a sunny Bank Holiday.

Then the ringing of bells. A couple of bicycles passing by, I step to one side and the riders say thanks, then they’re laughing to each other and I know it’s about me.

Then shouting. Some comment from the open window of a passing car and again it must be aimed at me.

A rush of blood, my face red hot, I’m staring straight ahead, there’s ringing in my ears and my hands are shaking but I keep walking, straight line, don’t let anyone see me flustered.

The cyclists stop, they look like they’re about to enter a house, but the idea gets planted in my head, they are going to attack me as I walk past. They are going to hurt me and steal my belongings. I speed up, and grip my bag more tightly.

Nothing happens but the idea is growing and I can’t stop it. Someone is going to harm me. I can’t pretend anymore that I’m just a normal, calm person on a gentle stroll. I’m jumping at every sound, and there are so many of them – voices and vehicles, horns and alarms, a total cacophony and I am so confused and afraid.

Swapping my bag from hand to hand, got to keep it unpredictable and swerve it out of the reach of passers by. Two men cross the street towards me, they’re talking to each other and I think I hear bag and I look up, startled. One of them looks me straight in the eye and I can feel the hostility. I am so afraid and I don’t know which way cause and effect works – am I afraid because people are acting oddly towards me? Or are they acting oddly because I, in my fear, am acting oddly first? Head down, handbag slippy in my increasingly sweaty grip, I scurry on.

I walk past a pub and someone walks out of it and heads in the same direction as me. My head is just ohshitohshitohshit over and over. I’m rushing across roads, hardly looking for traffic, and using the town like a shitty TV spy, checking reflections in windows to make sure no-one’s too close.

I make it to the shop I wanted to go to and I calm a little, feeling safer. But I can’t shake the feeling of being watched. I feel like everyone who walks past me is looking me straight in the eye all the time. I feel like I’m acting differently, moving slower so as to be more understandable to my audience.

I find some clothes I think I like and I go to try them on. The shop has recently been refurbished, the fitting rooms are new and as soon as I’m in there it’s fucking obvious there are cameras and spyholes and it is just plain old not safe or private. I’m in a mirrored box and the feeling of being observed is magnified.

So I leave the fitting rooms, dump the clothes, have a little walk around the rest of the shop. I find something I like and am about to buy it but then I get to the tills and a cashier looks at me with what I think is a knowing expression – so, okay, not safe. I leave.

I’m on my way home when I reach a bus stop. I wonder vaguely when there’ll be a bus to the city centre, if maybe being somewhere bigger will feel less weird. Before I can pass the stop, the bus in question pulls in. This is so obviously a sign – Bank Holiday buses being so infrequent, and one appearing as soon as I think about it – that I get on without thinking.

Every shop I enter, I am followed. Sometimes individuals, more often pairs and groups, always different. They stop when I stop. When I look at something, they’re looking at the thing behind or next to it. When I leave the shop, they disappear into the background and are replaced by others.

Outside one shop, there’s a teenage boy on the phone. He’s saying something – a funny and memorable phrase, something I’d normally be committing to memory for a funny anecdote later. Five or ten minutes later, when I leave the shop, the boy is still there, and he’s saying the same thing. Exact same wording and inflection and it’s like a code phrase he’s saying when I walk past him, alerting someone to my movements.

I try to calm down but it’s impossible. I’m panicking so badly that I can hardly breathe, I’m standing in the street with all these hostile strangers and I’m mentally noting the location of the police officer I can see standing at the other end of the street, so I can shout for his attention when the inevitable terrifying catastrophe happens. And then I start thinking maybe he’s not really police, maybe he’s in disguise and he’s really the one I need to avoid.

I step into another shop and am so overwhelmed by the feeling of wrongness, that I shouldn’t be there, that I turn around and walk straight out.

Straight to the bus station, in the hope that home means safety, and the bus is right there, again, full of people who look like they’ve been waiting for me, and I swear the universe is trying to tell me something, I just don’t know what.

There is a dog on the bus, a calm, old-looking dog with specks of grey in its fur and big, dark eyes, which, I swear, watch me all the way home like the dog, too, is in on the great secret that I’m not party to.

I get home and I’m jumpy and panicky and pacing about my room, then my brother goes out and I am overcome with vivid and horrifying images of him being involved in terrible accidents. I think of what I want for him, how I want him to return home. Safe, healthy, happy. I say it to myself. And then I’m chanting it

Safe, healthy, happy. Safe healthy happy. Safehealthyhappysafehealthyhappysafehealthyhappy.

When I’m with my parents, I can’t say it out loud as they’ll think I’m mad, but I just know it’s important to keep it up, it’s like a prayer or a mantra. So I’m tapping out the rhythm of it with my fingers, over and over and over again.

I go to bed and I can’t sleep. I lie there restless and wide awake until long after my wish has come true and my brother’s returned home.

I’m so on edge, I can’t wind down. I’m living right at the furthest reaches of my sanity and it is exhausting and scary and I don’t know how to make it stop.

I’m just about holding myself together enough to be able to interact with my family and go to work. Occasionally, people are commenting that I’m acting a little differently. I’m giving in to the little things I sometimes get obsessive about, and I’m tapping the rhythm of safe healthy happy quite a lot.

Argh. I am actually going mad, aren’t I?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

1 Response to "Losing my mind?"

No youre not, Laura. Visit my blog. Say hello.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Hello

My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 98 other followers

Archives

This blog has been visited

  • 80,014 times.
August 2016
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: