I’ve been told on many occasions that I am an inspiration. People have told me how brave I am, how they look up to me, and how they can’t imagine facing these things themselves.
I’ve been told that I am a lifesaver. I’ve been thanked for my empathy and patience. I’ve been the shoulder to support many.
I don’t say any of this to brag or make a conceited point.
I say it because I am conceding to all of this thanks with the simple statement that I am not strong, I am struggling, and I have been terrified every step of the way.
Today, I am laying in bed, a shaking mess. Caught in a mood swing, with no way to communicate just how it feels, I have isolated myself once again. I tried to reach out for help yesterday when I felt the true chaos erupting and was met with hostility. I couldn’t form the right words, couldn’t tell this person what I needed, and ultimately was left on my own.
I’ve felt this mood swing coming on for days. No one knows.
I don’t know what to do at this point. With everyone in my life, I simultaneously want to pull them close and push them 1,000 miles away. I don’t know how to communicate that, though. I don’t know how to say I love you, but please leave me alone for an indefinite amount of time, or at least until I reach out, probably crying.
I feel like I did during those first two days in BHC. I want to curl up in bed and never speak to anyone again, but I also need to be held and told, repeatedly, that I am loved and worthy of love. I can’t ask for this, though – I can’t physically make those words leave my lips, so instead I cry and get angry and hide.
I have flashbacks to holding my mom’s head in my hands, wondering why brains are actually gray and not pink. I look down and suddenly I’m covered in her blood again. I keep hearing her bones shatter on the concrete. And then, it overlaps with him. I’m underneath him. I can hear his breathing.
My mind is going a thousand miles per hour at this point, and I can’t make it slow down. I work with patients going through this same thing, and I can’t bring myself back to this current moment to look them in the eye and say it will get easier.
I chose psychology because I wanted to save people. I wanted to give the people like me a voice and a second chance and everything I had to fight for entirely on my own. I chose this career because I wanted to save lives that were slipping through cracks no one realizes even exist.
I thought I knew how to save a life like mine. I keep listening to the doubters, though, the ones who question what I am capable of. How can you help them when you can’t even help yourself?
I don’t know. I really don’t.
But I have to try.
Keep your head above water, k?