It is 2.56 PM and I am starting to feel like I am getting better. Today I could not get up and go to work, I felt so mentally exhausted, locked in my own mind, paralysed, and I made the decision to look after myself.

For a long time I powered through such feelings, numbing myself with food and other things just to get through the day. But in the last two and half years I haven’t used any substances to ‘power through’, so I feel everything a thousand times more.  Do others go through things like this? Everyone around me seems to be ‘together’ and going about their day, happy and carefree. That’s why I can not use any social media on days like these – it compounds the darkness I feel. I start to compare myself to other people; I don’t have the right body, the right skin, the right life, the list goes on and on and on. I think that the only way I can be ‘happy’ is if I have these things that I think ‘I don’t have’. But, I have had these things in the past and my mind was still the same. The only way for me to try to get some sanity back is to meditate and journal about my feelings. I tend not to want to do that because it’s easier to just sit under the dark cloud and use travel forums or TV to escape and be passive and not have to think of feel – just so that I am not here in the moment, but suspended between reality and fantasy (I call it the dead zone).

Since I got up I’ve been sitting on my couch, laptop on my lap, wearing a dressing gown and now I’m thinking: is this self care? What is self care to me? Is it me taking a mental health day from work and basically absolving myself of any responsibilities as an adult for this one day? I basically don’t want to take care of myself today – the day is about to end anyway but I am riddled with guilt and self condemnation because today I chose to take a ‘rest day’ mid week.

I don’t know how to explain it, but I have always felt like I didn’t get the ‘Life Manual’ or even a bootleg copy of the manual, that everyone seems to have been handed on their DOB. I am making things up as I am going along, some right, some not so great choices, but still choices that have consequences – I’m literally fumbling through life. I haven’t lived… I am 29 years old and I have never lived. I have never thought for myself, my parents thought for me: what I would do with my future, what I would study – everything – I wasn’t allowed to have my own thoughts and feelings. It was always about others, the greater good of the family and the community. So thinking for myself is so new and I have a lot of fear, anxiety and depression. I struggle at times with day to day things like getting up and getting on with the day. I am on a journey to find out who am I and this is part of the process – looking after myself and seeking the right professional help.

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