Part Eight – The Truth Of It.

My name is Aaron Konrad Reisch, and I am a ghost.  Metaphorically speaking, I am dead, I died yesterday, I no longer exist.  It is hard to describe what I am feeling right now, but it is safe to say that I am feeling pretty numb at the moment, as a result of my “social suicide”.  It has been a very long and slow death, but I have finally done it.  I have finally disconnected from what I used to hold dear, but what had ultimately been holding me back, and preventing me from healing and getting better.  I am finally free.
The truth of it is that I have not been able to maintain relationships for a very long time, and even with those relationships I have been keeping on life support, it has been a struggle to even keep them going at all.
The truth of it is that I do not even want to have friends anymore, because I cannot process people caring about me.  I do firmly believe that people caring about me is about them, and that it ultimately is not actually about me in any way.
The truth of it is that I actually find people not liking me, or caring about me easier to process than when people do.  If I actually knew why that was the case, then I probably would not be in the situation that I am currently in, where I have rejected and disposed of that which I used to hold dear.
The truth of it is that for me friendship without freedom is worthless.  I know that some would argue that freedom without friendship is just as worthless.  However, I strongly disagree.  I disagree because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, including making friends, if I see fit.  Whereas given how I am feeling presently, maintaining friendships and relationships is like having a noose around my neck and has been slowly killing me emotionally and spiritually.  When a friendship or relationship becomes more important than the people who are a part of it, then it has completely missed the point.
Ask yourself this; what would you give in the name of your own freedom?  Especially if it is under threat, or in extreme circumstances completely suppressed and denied?  People have fought and died for their freedom throughout history, with their struggle for freedom being measured in blood and lives given.  In my case, my fight for freedom can be measured in hurt feelings and broken hearts.  While I do ultimately believe that the ends do not justify the means, in the case of freedom what price is actually too high?
I will ask you again; what would you give in the name of your own freedom?   What would you give in the pursuit of that freedom?  What price would you pay to gain that freedom?
With all of that in mind, here is the irony if it all.  In a democratically free society, freedom is a birthright.  We are free people from the day we are born, right up until the day we die.  At least we are supposed to be.
In reality we are not free, hence my struggle.  But for me the tyranny that I have been fighting against has not come from an oppressive government or a form of dictatorship.  The tyranny I have been fighting against has been far more subtle, and therefore even more insidious than any form of dictatorship.  The tyranny I have been fighting against for most of my life has been of a social and emotional nature.
I have been fighting against social and emotional tyranny, and like I said before, it is far more insidious than any form of dictatorship.  Why?  It is my strict opinion that the social and emotional tyranny that allegedly holds our society together is the very thing that is crushing the life out of, and breaking the spirits of, the very people that it claims to be trying to unite and foster co-operation and harmony between.  The very thing that is supposed to keep our society cohesive and united, is in reality the very thing that is slowly crushing the human spirit.
Before I continue, I need to digress a little.  I am not saying that social conventions and moral codes of conduct are in any way wrong or; being extreme; the root of the evils in our society.  I am not saying that in any way.  In fact I do passionately believe that social conventions and moral codes of conduct have their place.  They absolutely do.  But with that in mind, my question is this.
When social conventions and moral codes of conduct directly interfere with the personal freedoms that they are there to arugably protect, has the point of having those conventions and standards been completely lost?
I think that it has.
Hence my struggle.
But I have digressed enough, back to the point I have been building up to.
I never asked for people to believe in me.   I never asked for people to care about me.  I never asked for people to want to be my friend.  I never asked for people to want to have me in their lives.  Those choices were choices that they made.  I had absolutely no say in those choices being made.  But, I was held responsible for those choices.  I was held responsible and accountable for the choices that other people made.  I have been held accountable for letting people down and disappointing them.  This goes well beyond being held accountable for my actions; I do not pretend that I have made far too many bad choices in my life; I have not only been held accountable for my actions, but also for the disappointments of others, given that they think I am better and more capable than I actually am.  More importantly, they have severely over-valued, and therefore trivialised the best parts of who I am.  They have over-valued, and therefore trivialised all I can be, and all I could have been because they allegedly cared.  In fact they have cared so much, that it has crushed my spirit.
Ask yourself this, if you care so much about something that you are willing to destroy it because you care, do you even care at all?  I think not, because it is about you.  Not the thing you care about.
This is unacceptable.
Enough is enough.
And, it ends now.
This has been my struggle.  This is the social and emotional tyranny I have been talking about.  My right to freedom, which is a democratic birthright, has been violated for the sake of others.  This is how I see it.  Because of this, my mental health has been adversely affected.  I will no longer allow my mental health to be violated in the name of the selfish needs of others.  If the price I have to pay for my freedom, and ultimately the improvement of my mental health, is to live a fairly solitary life, then I will pay that price in full.  End of story.
My name is Aaron Konrad Reisch, and I am a ghost.  For most people; on a social and emotional level; I do not exist.  I have chosen this life because of you, your selfish needs, and your trivialisation of the best of who I am and who I could be.  I reveal myself when I want, where I want, to whomever I want.  If you don’t like it, too bad.
After all, I have tried playing by your rules.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
If you don’t like that outcome, do what I am trying to do.
Change the game.
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Part Seven – Avoiding Life (Explicit Content)

I know it’s been a while since I’ve made a post.  It’d be great if I was able to report some good news.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  So, does this mean I have bad news?  Not really.  But it does mean that I haven’t improved, which sucks.  Moving away from that, I’ve started schema therapy with my counsellor…I won’t go into details as to how it works, or what is involved, because I can’t be fucked.   But seriously, look it up, if you’re curious.
Anyways, one of the big things that has come up at this early stage of schema therapy is that I am basically avoiding life, and ultimately when that doesn’t work I essentially give up and surrender to whatever is going on around me, to simply get it over and done with.
Suffice to say, I am basically AVOIDING EVERYTHING.  I am AVOIDING LIFE.  In the truest sense of those words, I am avoiding life.  Why?  I simply cannot deal with it.  I cannot cope with it.  I cannot process it.
To further reinforce this, I do feel that there is very little, if not absolutely nothing waiting for me on the other side.  So much so that even on the rare occasions that I do manage to persevere and push through, I ultimately have close to nothing to show for my efforts.
I need to stress at this point that this is how I feel.  Whether it is actually true or not is completely irrelevant.
Moving on from that, I think I need to clarify what I am thinking about all of this at the moment.  Being honest, saying that I am avoiding life is not accurate…but it is a stepping stone to what is actually going on.  The simple truth is this, I avoid how I feel, at all times.  When I say that I am avoiding life, I actually mean that I am avoiding emotions, that I am avoiding how I feel.  I avoid how I feel, about what I feel what I am feeling about, when I feel what I feel about it.  Avoiding life is the SYMPTOM.  Avoiding emotions is the CAUSE.
Avoiding my emotions is the cause.
I’ll admit that I am feeling like shit right now, but it is important that I do this, especially given that I don’t try, then I definitely won’t improve.
Before I press on, I do firmly believe that doing the opposite is not necessarily the solution.  With that in mind, I know that the wider community does not understand this.  Should people with depression and mental illness try and confront what troubles them?  Of course they should.  However, it should be stressed that opening up about everything and tackling all of what troubles you head-on is not guaranteed to be the solution.  In my opinion, and a very strong one at that, it is just as likely to burn the person out and make them worse, as it could be successful.  This is something that the wider community does not get.  It is a double-edged sword.  If there is only one thing that people take away from this post, I want it to be this paragraph.  I do not expect people to necessarily agree with what I have said, just give it some thought.
I’m going to leave it there for now, basically because I’ve lost my train of thought, but more importantly because even though I really should be trying to write, my interest level is very low.

Part Six – Positive Ownership, sort of. (Explicit Content)

In the wake of my last post, I will be trying to embrace the better parts of my nature.  For those of you who have tuned in before, it’s clear that I’m a negative person.  For those of you tuning in for the first time, I’m a negative person…it’s just where I am at.

Because of this, looking at myself in a more positive light isn’t as easy as I would like it to be.  But if it was, then I probably wouldn’t have depression in the first place, and I would be able to manage my having autism better.  I know that I’m procrastinating, and my main reason for stalling is that for me being positive about myself just doesn’t sit right.  It doesn‘t compute.  In many ways, it feels arrogant and conceited, and I can be arrogant enough without feeding that particular beast.  As strange as it sounds I have a lot of negative experiences around being ‘positive’, with most of those experiences revolving around some self-serving f**kwit trying to give me a pep-talk (lecture).

Moving away from that, I won’t call it ‘being positive’, instead I’ll just simply be honest with myself, and with you.  So, we’ve got the game plan…let’s crack on.

I’m intelligent, end of story.  I would like to think that I couldn’t have the insights I have, or be able to see an issue from multiple angles if I was an idiot.  The big problem that I have with being intelligent is that I find it incredibly challenging to put it to good use, especially for and in a society that in my honest opinion does not respect or ultimately value intelligence.  After all, if there is little to no value in putting my mind to better use, why should I be expected to f**king do it!  In spite of being intelligent, I’m a real scatterbrain.  I do dumb shit.  Not all the time, but often enough, that it’s worth mentioning.  The funny thing about it all is, that in the short moments after doing something really dumb, or really stupid, I realise how dumb and stupid what I just did actually was.  And thankfully in these moments, I can actually laugh about it on occasion, which is a good thing.

With that kind of thing in mind, I have a fantastic sense of humour.  I’ll admit that it makes me smile thinking about it because it ranges from dorky to dark and twisted.  My sense of humour has probably saved me more than I’m able to acknowledge readily.  As a side note, I snort when I laugh.  And it’s not a little snort either, it’s a big one, kind of like a foghorn on a cargo ship.

I care.  In spite of my scathing and nasty judgement of society and everything in it, I do actually care.  There a few things that I hate more than seeing injustice and unfairness in the world, especially considering that for the most part, it is completely unnecessary but also contributes to further injustices and unfairness.  Being autistic and having depression for so long, I understand how soul-destroying it can be, and I hate seeing other people getting low.  I generally try to help people with that, unless I’m too inside my head to be helpful, because I do know where it eventually leads.

I’m responsible.  This is generally in spite of where I am at, but also contingent of how bad a place I’m in on any given moment.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m perfectly capable of making sound decisions.  I’m kind of struggling to get thoughts down, I know what I mean, but I’m finding it hard to communicate it.

I think it’s important that I share what I want to say next before I wrap this post up, because I’ve hit a dead end.  All my posts prior to this one have been written in one go for the most part.  Sure I’ve taken short breaks during writing to help order my thoughts, but all the posts until this one have been done in one hit.

With this post, I started it a couple of days ago, but got side-tracked, so as a result I have stalled.  I’m pretty sure I need to write, but frustratingly, I’m not feeling it.

I would like to point out, that currently, my sleeping patterns are really bad again, they’re generally not great anyway, but at the moment, they’re worse than usual.

I’m trying to remind myself that I am improving, but I really don’t feel like I’m getting any traction at the moment.  The more frustrating part is that I don’t really feel worked up or manic, so I guess I feel a little confused on that front.

So, new plan…gonna hit-up Mensline here in Australia, see where talking it out a bit gets me.

Part Five – Negative Ownership (Explicit Content)

I wrapped up my last post by saying that I need to take ownership for where I am at, and how I feel about things.  So, that’s what I am going to do.  Before I begin, I need to express my reservations about doing this.  The obvious one is that this is most likely not going to be pleasant because I’ll be naming and outing the monsters and demons that I carry around inside me day in and day out.  Realistically, it does need to be done, I am probably procrastinating while I psyche myself up to do this, so that it’s probably a moot point.  I guess the main reservation I do have is that this post will end up being more like a list of my negativity, but restricting myself will defeat the purpose.  With that in mind, I want to say this before I crack on.

Placing restrictions on yourself while you’re trying to get better actually interferes with the process.  I firmly believe that people do not understand this when trying to help someone dealing with mental illness.  Right now, I need to shine a light into the darkness and see what happens.

I apologise in advance to those of you who will read this.  I will be swearing.  I will be swearing a lot!  I will also be painting things in the worst way possible, mainly because it needs to go somewhere.

Enough f**k-arsing around, here goes…

I’m not well, and I haven’t been well for a very long time.  More to the point, I don’t think that I have ever been well, ever.  This is not about getting better again.  This is about getting better AT ALL.  I am cynical, I am so f**king cynical.  I am negative, I always manage to paint things in the worst way possible.  I hate people, I f**king hate people, I hate them so f**king much!  I hate them because they’re weak-minded and weak-willed.  I hate them because they’re selfish and self-serving.  I hate them because they’re arrogant and self-righteous c**ts!  As much as I hate people in a general way, I find that I hate women even more.  I hate women so f**king much.  I hate them with everything that I’ve got, and then I hate them some more.  But that isn’t enough.  I want to hate them so much that it destroys me, and then keep going.  I hate them so much that I want them to be as miserable as I am, but it isn’t enough, it will never be enough.  I don’t think I can physically, mentally, or emotionally generate enough energy to hate them as much as I do, I hate them that much.  I hate them because they’re fake and insincere.  I hate them because they’re arrogant and controlling, and that they seem to enjoy being arrogant and controlling with me.  I hate them in every way humanly possible, I can’t even find the words.  I hate the feminist movement, not for the core of what they stand for, but for their empty words and hollow f**king rhetoric.  I hate that they’re not actually interested in equality, just being in control.  I’m struggling to keep going on the women front, there is just too much anger, rage, hurt, and pain.  I hate women because of all the anger, rage, hurt, and pain on both sides, I don’t pretend that I haven’t played my part over the years, including being violent, which I am not proud of, I still beat myself up over it.  I hate that I don’t feel like I can ultimately deal with women with anything other than anger and violence, in extreme circumstances.  I hate that I have been violent, and I hate that I can’t forgive myself and move on from it.  I hate that I don’t feel like I have any control at all when dealing with women, and that they want me on a leash.  I hate that anything even close to mutual respect with women isn’t even possible.  I hate that they hold me to a higher standard, a standard that they aren’t even f**king capable of themselves, while they can behave how they see fit.  I hate that women are hypocritical c**ts.  I hate that I can never truly express how much I hate women, because I can’t carry this burden any longer.

I hate myself.  I hate myself so f**king much!  Words escape me.  I hate that my best efforts don’t yield the same results that others get.  I hate that I am held to a standard that other people are not even remotely capable of f**king achieving.  I hate being miserable, but I also hate that part of me almost revels in my own misery.  I hate that my negativity and anger has become so systemic, such a part of me, like the blood in my veins, that I don’t even know if I can even get rid of it.  I hate that I don’t feel as though I will get better or improve.  I hate that I don’t want to improve or get better.  I hate that people have repeatedly tried to help me, and failed.

I don’t think there is an end to how angry and hateful I am, it certainly doesn’t feel as though there is an end.  It feels like a bottomless pit, that can never truly be comprehended.  I know that part of healing and getting better is about embracing and accepting all of who you are, the light and the dark, the good and the bad.  But how can I do that when this is what I am sitting on.  I didn’t keep going because it felt like a journey without an end, my anger and rage feels like an insatiable fire that can never truly be sated.

I feel lost, and I feel like most things have ZERO value or purpose.  I struggle to maintain the few friendships I have left.  I can’t see myself in them, I feel as though having friends is something that will swallow me whole and leave no trace.

I have struggled with my identity for a very long time, being honest it is f**king hard to develop and find an identity when all you have to work with is anger and blind rage.  I don’t know, I don’t think that I want to even have friends anymore.  But for some reason, I can’t completely disconnect, I think that it’s out of some f**ked up sense of obligation.

It’s so f**king frustrating that this post hasn’t panned out the way I had hoped…I was really hoping for some catharsis, or release, but it hasn’t really come.  It’s safe to say that having expectations about how things are going to pan out while dealing with mental illness is unrealistic.

It doesn’t change how frustrating it is.

To wrap things up, I need to include a belated disclaimer.  In spite of the hate-filled bile that took up a large portion of this post I don’t condone any form of violence towards, or abuse of women.  I bottle this s**t up because I don’t want to be another statistic, or contribute to another statistic.  I haven’t forgiven myself for how I’ve treated women over the years, or have been able to move past how I feel like I have been treated by them.  I know that sounds like a justification, maybe it is, I don’t have any answers on that front at this time.

As for the rest of this post, I decided to let the monsters and demons out of their cages for a few reasons.  Keeping them locked up is soul-destroying, but without good options to let this s**t out safely, there is little I can do about it, accept posting it on here.  It is still about raising awareness in a small way about what people with mental illness might be tackling day in, day out.  What I wrote IS how I feel.  It IS where I am at.  This is something that I can’t readily talk about with people that are important to me.  In addition, I have limited access to my counsellor, quite often by the time my next appointment rolls around I’ve either managed to get it back under control, forgotten about it, or have something more pressing at the time.

To wrap up I will say this.  I actually made myself stop in many ways, partly because I was concerned that this post would devolve into incoherent, bile-filled ranting that may not achieve anything.  But the more important reason is that I am scared of actually looking at this s**t properly, there is just so much there, it feels endless.

Part Four – Setting Myself Free

I’m a social outcast.  I live on the fringes of society.  I’m a freak, and an oddity.  Strong words, to be sure, but that is how I feel.  In a society that is supposed to pride itself on the rights and freedoms of the individual, I basically have none.  Sure, I can be welcomed into society for the most part, but on its’ terms, and the terms of people who are a part of it.  I do not get a say, and most importantly of all, it is NOT ON MY TERMS.

It is important, that I qualify this a little further.  The reason I consider myself an outcast and a social fringe dweller is because of how I see myself, but also how I see society as a whole.  Yes, I do get that flatly being negative is more than most people will be able to tolerate or process.  I’d like to think that I’m not that naïve.  However, in saying that I firmly believe that being cast out just because of how I see things causing friction or bringing other peoples’ values into question; which is definitely not my intention; is purely about maintaining the status quo.  It is NOT about me trying to better my situation, or even heading vaguely in the direction of self-acceptance or self-empowerment.  Yes, I am a very negative person, but if I’m not permitted to even be negative, where the hell am I supposed to start?

Being blunt, if how I view myself and the world has the potential to so easily upset the balance of the status quo, and peoples’ place within it, then perhaps status quo values are as much a part of the problem, as how I see things, if you were to view it from the outside looking in.  If the status quo is such a delicate and precarious balance, then just maybe there is little to no value in even being a part of it in the first place.  How am I supposed to find self-acceptance and gain self-empowerment under such a strict and narrow framework?  Under different circumstances, wouldn’t status quo values be considered to be a form of tyranny?  Wouldn’t it be considered to be totalitarian and authoritarian?

Sure, the status quo wants me to find some self-acceptance and be more empowered, but providing it and the people involved are in control.  Providing the status quo is in the drivers’ seat, and I am basically a passenger in my own life.  Two words spring to mind that sum this up perfectly.

Conditional empowerment.

The sad thing about this, and what hurts the most, is that if I was empowered, I wouldn’t feel the need to attack the status quo.  It is my firm belief that empowered people ultimately see things for how they are, and what they are.  They call a spade a spade.

If I was more empowered I would like to think I would genuinely respect and accept peoples’ right to live their lives how they see fit within the framework of the status quo.  If I was empowered I might find it easier to interact with the status quo better, so that I could make some kind of contribution and ideally gain something in return.  If I was empowered I would be able to treat the whole thing as simply an exchange or transaction, but without the vehement attitude that I currently harbour towards the status quo, and society as a whole.

As things currently stand, it can’t be done.  I am not welcome, and I don’t want to even try.

No more.  This ends now.

I need to at least try and set myself free from this prison that is crushing my spirit and destroying me.

I need to be free, but I need somewhere to start from.

I need to take ownership of where I am at, and how I feel.

Part Three – On a Hair Trigger

It’s been a while since I last posted on here, around ten weeks.  A lot has happened in that time.  It’s important that I mention that for a couple of weeks I did improve.  But, it didn’t last.  People tend to overlook that in dealing with mental illness it is quite often a case of one step forward, and two steps back.  It is that ignorance from the community at large that does get to me the most far more regularly than I would like.  It would be nice if I didn’t suffer from mental illness, but that is not the case.  The level of ignorance and indifference in the community at large really pisses me off.  Especially considering that if they were in a position similar to mine, they would expect better treatment than I feel like I receive.

Yes, I’m angry and hurt about all of that.

So, screw them.

I’m not going to improve if I get bogged down on this as well as everything else, I have enough issues to try and simultaneously resolve, without adding to it.

So, trying to move things along.

I need to talk about why my improving wasn’t more long-term, before I move onto to the ‘main event’ of this post.  The main thing that ultimately wore me down was the treatment I received in my hour of need.  Boiling it down, I wasn’t enough of a priority for the system here in Australia.  The focus was purely on whether or not I was a danger to myself, or potentially others.  When I proved that I ultimately wasn’t, in spite of being in pretty bad shape mentally, I was cut loose.

That really hurts, and freaking sucks!

I’m all for taking responsibility, but seriously?  I feel like I’ve been left holding the bag, as usual.  I will accept that holding others responsible for my mental health is unrealistic.  But when I am held totally responsible for my mental health, irrespective of the actions of others, and to the detriment of my mental health, I have to ask one simple question.

Are you freaking kidding?

On this point I am absolutely livid, because it makes a mockery of the values that Australia and western society claims to hold dear.  It is beyond a joke, with people like myself being the punch-line.  I’m all for taking responsibility for my mental health, but when the community at large contributes to the problem instead of the solution, I have to question what the point actually is.  Are they trying to help?  Or are they trying to make it look like they’re helping, when they’re really not.

So, in regards to mental health, Australia and western society can shove it!

I am tired of empty words, hollow platitudes, and empty promises.  I’m supposed to be grateful for being born in a ‘first world’ country, but I’m not.  Not even close.  Give me something to be grateful for, and I will be, but I will not show gratitude for half-measures or false hope.

Ugh.

I know I’ve digressed pretty badly, but what I have on my mind needs to go somewhere.  Better out than in, right?  I am hoping that all of this will still tie into the purpose of this post.  If you’ll indulge me for a tiny bit longer, that would be great.  I’ll try and be brief, fingers crossed.

I found out last week that in addition to being on the autism spectrum, I also have Schizo Affective Disorder.  But here’s the thing, no one told me.  I got tentatively diagnosed in November last year, but no one shared that with me.  If it wasn’t for my employment consultant; mental health issues are taken into consideration in regards to employment services here in Australia; reading the relevant report in an attempt to understand me better, I would never have known.

That aside, it does explain a few things.  In particular, the violent mood swings, and getting manic when I’m really low.  Problem is, I’m not taking it well.  It’s just one more thing I need to try and overcome.  While it is what it is.  I don’t need it right now, but given time it could lead to some answers, like why there are some things I can’t even remotely cope with.

Anyways, thanks for indulging me…time for the main event.

As the title suggests, I am unfortunately on a hair trigger.  I have been told many times over the years, by many people, that they don’t know what they’re getting into with me on any given moment.  To be fair, without getting melodramatic, I don’t even know myself a lot of the time.  Being honest, I do know what my main triggers are; which I won’t get into right now; but the things that get me without warning I’m not really sure where to start.  I will say this, my thinking is that it is the most trivial and insignificant things that set me off.

As an example; and the reason that I decided to get my act together and write this; last night my Dad asked me a question about dinner, a question I couldn’t easily answer.  That little thing, was enough to set me off.  I felt like I was going to lose the plot.  I felt manic.  My mind was racing and I didn’t feel as though I could do anything about it.  I felt out of control.  Later on, when I was out pick up dinner, another customer tried to smile at me, and ask me a question about whether I’d been served or not.  And this was the response in my mind.

How dare you.  How dare they.  How dare they even speak to me.

This was over someone being polite.  The fact that it was a woman made it worse; my issues with women run deep, but that’s for another time; how dare she be in my presence.  There was a lot more going on in addition to the actual words running through my mind at the time, but I can’t adequately describe it.  I don’t really know where to start.

Raw and animalistic.  That’s all I can come up with right now.  The fact that something so trivial can illicit such a strong fight or flight response, is deeply concerning.  Ultimately, it is what it is.

It’s this unpredictability of dealing with mental illness that gets severely overlooked by the community at large.  They don’t get it.  To be fair, how can they?  I’m happy to accept a level of ignorance by the community at large due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.  But wilful ignorance?  I think not.  Especially when I’m held to a higher standard by others, in spite of my being on the spectrum, and having Schizo Affective Disorder etcetera.

If I’m honest with myself, and trying to take ownership of it, I need to admit that my being on a hair trigger is one of my defence mechanisms, and one of my most powerful.  I’ve had a lot of practice over the years.  People are far less likely to try and deal with me if I look like I’m staring daggers at them, or I’m trying to burn a hole in their head with my eyes.  Having less people around is in many ways simpler for me.  I dare say that I would almost completely cut myself off from society if I was better company for myself.

I know that I’m not.

At face value the solution would be; in spite of where I’m at; to open up more to people and try to be more outgoing.  As far as I know that is ‘Managing Depression 101’, keeping to yourself is bad, opening up is good.  The problem I see is this, I can’t protect myself from others, and the things they may do that get under my skin, when I’m too busy fighting myself.  I believe that is something that is very much overlooked by people in a general way.  There is a reason why I withdraw from people, and other people grappling with mental illness potentially do the same.  Here’s the issue that stems from that.

No-one asks why.

I know it’s unrealistic to expect other people to have that level of insight, but it might be important that I at least try to accept that people in general don’t have the level of insight that I may have.  To be fair, especially given where I’m at, the insight I do have is a double edged sword.  It is just as likely to cut me to shreds mentally, as it is to be helpful.  This is doubly so if my insight is tackling an issue that doesn’t add up, or I don’t have enough information.

Moving away from that, because I lost my train of thought on that point, as unrealistic as it is, it would make a refreshing change if people in a general way started question why a person like myself is where I’m at presently.  The important thing to remember is that the person in question would ideally accept the answer they get.  I’m where I’m at for a reason, other people dealing with mental illness are where they’re at for a reason too.

For the sake of increasing awareness about mental illness, I’m going to ask the following of people who are standing on the outside looking in.

Do you want to help, or not?

It’s important that if you are genuine and sincere, you are honest with yourself.  As someone dealing with mental illness, I have more than enough on my plate, without having to deal with misguided attempts at help from the outside.  More importantly, I have been on the receiving end of egotistical do-gooders too many times over the years, I’ve had my fill.

I’m probably being incredibly unrealistic, but to be fair it is my firm belief that one of the first things to go out the window is a persons’ ability to trust others while dealing with mental illness.  In my case, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, having my trust violated in the first place substantially contributed to the problem.

So, for those of you who have a loved one with mental illness, try and be mindful of the situation as a whole.  If you even have the smallest concern that you might not be able to handle what could be coming your way, find another way to help them that doesn’t involve them opening up to you.  Yes, it is invalidating to admit that you can’t help someone, I sincerely understand that.  But believe me when I say that it’s better than the alternative.

Opening up is difficult enough without having to deal with the issues of the person you’re trying to open up to.

Accept that in encouraging someone with mental illness to open up, that they may take you to a place that you’re unable, or unwilling to go.

Apart from opening up in some way; what I’ve got on my mind needs to go somewhere; the goal is still to try and increase awareness.

Anyways, time to wrap this up.  I do have more to say, but it’s a little jumbled and disorganised.  I’m hoping that means that the important things have been said.  Thanks for tuning in, and indulging me for the front half of this post.

Part Two – Web of Fear

In the wake of my first blog post, where I talked about rejection and failure, I got to thinking about the interconnectivity of my emotions. More importantly, HOW interconnected my emotions actually are, especially on the negative side of the emotional spectrum.

With that in mind I started with my anger. It is such an obvious place to start, because I’m so intimately familiar with it. I spend a lot of time being angry; angry with myself, angry at the world, and if I’m not angry in the moment then I find something to be angry about. I need to reiterate one of the final points in my last post.

I feel like I’m doing something wrong, I’ve messed with my sense of ‘normal’, if I’m not angry.

My anger has become such a core part of who I am, there are days that I feel as though that is all I am. This really does show how atrociously my mental health has been managed over the years. More importantly, when I have gone into the counselling room all I have done is talk about how angry I am, instead of considering what that anger might be sitting on, or fed by. It has been touched on by counsellors over the years, but I think it is apparent that I was unable and/or unwilling to even try to explore it. Put simply, I was not ready. But, being realistic is anyone every truly ready to confront stuff like this? My money is on ‘no’, but I can easily concede that I could be wrong about that.

Given that I’m already thinking about interconnectivity, it isn’t much of a stretch to treat all of this as a web of emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Working within that, you could say that my anger is the big, fat, over-fed spider in the middle. Before I continue, it is important for me to note that my anger, as toxic as it is, is nothing more than a symptom of emotions, feelings, and thoughts that I have not confronted, accepted, or made peace with. Thinking on that, the cause is how my emotions, feelings, and thoughts are feeding my anger.

Considering this, what I really need to start trying to do is….

Stop feeding my anger, stop feeding that big, fat spider so freaking much!

After my last post, in combination with some light research, and considering bits and pieces that have been said recently, I decided to look at what my anger is sitting on, and being fed by. Frustratingly, one of the answers has been staring me in the face for a very long time.

Fear.

My fear is most likely the biggest culprit for that big, fat spider being over-fed for so many years. But, I haven’t been able to confront it. After all, what do you have to be afraid of if you can scare it away by yelling at it? Things can’t hurt you if you push it away, or run away from at it, then yell at it from a distance.

The simple fact is that I live in a constant state of fear, and on really bad days I live in a state of panic and near terror. I am fearful and scared of almost everything, regardless of how irrational or unjustified it even is in the first place. Even though it is overwhelming, I need to try and put those fears down in writing, so that even in the here and now, they have just that little bit less power over me. It’s easier to confront the monsters under your bed if you turn the light on, and call them out so you can look them in the eye. If they’re so big and scary, then they won’t be concerned by you trying to stand up to them, right?

So, naming it and owning it.

I live in fear of rejection and fear of failure. Ironically, I fear success and things getting better, because I’ll have something to lose. I fear loss. I fear my emotions, I fear talking about my emotions, and I fear bottling them up. I fear people, I fear dealing with people, and how they may deal with me. I fear hurting people, and fear being hurt by people. I fear death, but I also fear life, being alive, and even trying to live. I fear the known, and I fear the unknown. I fear control, and I fear being out of control. I fear the predictable, and I fear the unpredictable. I fear the best of myself, and I definitely fear the worst of myself. I fear being open, and I fear being closed off. I fear loneliness, and yet I fear being around people. OK, I’m struggling to think of more, so I’m guessing that might be all of them. I will admit, that some of them don’t quite make sense, but it’s important to not read into that too much at this time. I was trying to let things flow, and reading into it will defeat the purpose of letting it out in the first place.

So yeah, I’m scared of a freaking lot!

It’s funny, I’m feeling pretty spent after letting that all out. I was originally hoping to further explore the web in more detail, but I’m pretty washed out right now. So I don’t forget, I do want to quicky name some of the other things that my anger is being fed by. These include depression, anxiety, and insecurity. I know there were others, but I’ve completely forgotten them!

I think it is safe to say at this point, that even though my anger is the big, fat spider at the centre of the web, it is primarily being fed by fear – hence the title.

Time to rest and reflect.