Diary Entry #4: Breakdowns, Guilt & Time For Help

Maybe there’s more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.

Veronica Roth

Right now I’m struggling to articulate how I truly feel, but here I’ll try my best. Sometimes writing can be therapeutic, so let’s hope this is one of those occasions.

Having just experienced another panic attack, breakdown or whatever term you wish to use, the overwhelming feeling was simply wanting the pain to stop. Pacing around in circles, head in my hands, tears flowing and my mind plagued with a trillion different thoughts, I liken the intensity and difficulty of facing a panic attack to being punched. Or hit with a bat repeatedly. There seems to be no possible escape. And the ironic thing is the harder you try to quiet down the mind, the worse it often gets. It’s easy to spiral and lose control quickly.

With what I’ve battled through recently, whether it be the disappointment of dropping out of university or fearing my financial situation, it’s obvious to see that I longer have any form of routine. I don’t really know how to occupy time. Even when I do decide what to do to simply pass the time on offer, I’m finding very little shreds of enjoyment. Nothing is stimulating me. I seem to be existing, not living. In not being distracted, focused or following my passions, I’ve certainly been thinking- and overthinking- in copious, unhealthy amounts.

If I had to identify my biggest issue, I would argue that it’s acceptance. I struggle to let go. Move on. Recognise that it’s impossible to be perfect. Although mistakes are part and parcel of life, and certainly don’t define you as a person, I’m holding onto to an incredible level of envy, guilt and regret. No matter how many times I tell myself, or somebody else does, that I can’t take my actions back and that I can use these experiences to grow as a person, I seem to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of contemplating the past. It hurts me deep inside to think of the friends I have lost, the unnecessary frustrations I have vented and the situations I could have easily avoided had I handled things differently and managed my emotions in a better fashion.

“Why did I do it? What was I thinking? Why couldn’t I step away? How did I impact that other person? What did I hope to achieve? And why, oh why, when I’ve made the same mistakes over and over, do I continue to make the same ridiculous, naive choices?” If I can’t learn and reduce the error in my ways, does that make me stupid? An idiot? Worthless? A horrible person? With these questions ringing on a loop, the guilt is undoubtedly eating me alive. Tearing me apart. Slowly but surely, as I strive to come to grips with my past and right particular wrongs, all I’m doing is driving myself into the ground and becoming a mere shell of my former self. A completely different person. And that person unfortunately, is someone I really do not like.

Deep down I know I require long-term professional support to confront and get to the bottom of why I feel these emotions, however part of me believes I’m beyond help. Maybe I don’t even deserve it. After all, just because I’ve struggled in the past, it doesn’t mean the people around should’ve had to suffer too. I hate the fact I have done that. I’m extremely sorry. More than anything in the entire world. Give me one wish in the world and I’d ask to take away the pain I’ve caused to those I’ve previously been really close to. I know it’s very easy to say but it’s never been my intention to upset people. I relish making people smile. From the bottom of my heart, I’d do anything for those I love. Time after time I’ve taken things for granted, behaved in a confrontational manner and pushed people away, most probably as a defence mechanism, however that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate or recognise the value people bring to my life. While it could be too late and I may have lost certain people forever, I pray for a future where therapy provides me with the toolkit to become better and stronger. A life free of constant regret and resentment.

Yes it doesn’t work for everyone, yet what have I got to lose? It could be the break I needed…

Thanks for reading,

Adam

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