It’s a chilly Sunday afternoon and that familiar cloud has settled over me, as it does most weeks. Hello, loneliness.
Sometimes I reach out immediately, texting my entire list of contacts to try and arrange some sort of social contact; the outcome is inconsistent. Occasionally a friend might be at a loose end too, but often friends and family are otherwise engaged with living their lives. Unfortunately, when the latter happens my pessimistic, ruminating mind tends to jump straight down a rabbit hole of despair and make a whole host of assumptions. “Nobody cares about me...I’m unlovable...I’ll always be alone” - just a few quotes from my internal monologue.
I was going to start this piece by describing what my ‘comfort zone’ looked like. I expected that to be easy. But it wasn’t long before I realised; I don’t have a clue what my comfort zone actually ‘looks’ like. At first this was confusing, but after a little reflection it made perfect sense. A comfort zone isn’t so much a physical place, as a feeling - or in some cases, the absence of feeling.
If I’m honest, I think my comfort zone resides more prominently in the latter group. In order to be comfortable, I numb; I’m a ‘numb-er’.
It's a question that shows up in my mind more often than I care to admit. Some days I feel strong enough to have a go at answering it, but at other times it overwhelms me. Perhaps that's why I chose to write this - for future reference on the days when the strength just isn't there.
Firstly, some context: I'm a mid-twenties female, and I've struggled with my mental health for 10+ years. Most notably with anorexia nervosa but alas, things are rarely so straight forward; there's been plenty of depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) thrown into the mix too. I'd like to be clear from the outset, before anyone assumes that I'm an ungrateful complainer - life has been a heck of a lot worse! At present, I'm (just about) holding down a full-time job, living independently, have a good circle friends and something resembling a social life. But the battle for my mind is still a 24-7 task. There are no days off, no off-switch, and I find myself frequently coming back to that question of 'when will I be fixed?'