If I have any regular readers, I’d like to apologize for not blogging in about 2 months.
If I can be honest, I’ve been avoiding it.
Each time I’ve considered taking to the keyboard to write out some half-assed dribble with hope at the end, I realized that I was terrified and paranoid of what others might think or say about my work so I did what any brave soul would do–I hid and avoided responsibility.
I don’t have to tell you that when you avoid things you know you want to do it only works against you.
It robs you vitality, excitement, and joy leaving you feeling as if you’re rotting from the inside out sitting in a corner, alone, waiting for death to greet you with an icy kiss.
Maybe a bit dramatic but it’s a terrible feeling when paranoia, insecurity, and fear win.
It’s a terrible feeling when fear keeps you shackled in chains and bound by your own fear of judgments and ridicule that may never be spoken into existence.
But it doesn’t always win, does it?
At times, you have been able to do things and conquer things that you had never dreamed of.
You had moments where sweat was pouring down your face, your heart was ready to beat out of your chest and your mind racing in hundreds if not thousands of directions but you faced that fear head on!
You taught that class, gave that presentation, aced that interview, performed in front of that audience, passed that test, got that degree, sang that song, won that championship and delivered that speech!
You get the point by now.
You faced the thing that you feared the most head on–and won!
When Mr. P (Paranoia) visits, it’s as if you have never been able to trust anyone, even yourself.
You fear people you’ve trusted for years, you fear the intentions of strangers and potential new friends, you fear the repercussions of your thoughts and actions, and you fear Love.
You fear to love in any form, at least I do, so you do what any extremely anxious person would do, you push them away.
Paranoia robs you of love, connection, and a fully engaged life.
When I’m feeling paranoid and fearful, I find myself:
- Avoiding others with any excuse possible
- Locking all the doors in my house-even to my room
- Closing curtains and letting the safety net of darkness embrace me (which in reality only exacerbates depressive symptoms)
- Experiencing a real fear that if I leave the house something bad will happen
- Overthinking comments and statements made by others whether directed to me or not
- Very uncomfortable with loud noises, sudden movements, sounds, etc.
Needless to say, when Mr. P visits, my life becomes a wreck! But how I experience paranoia, may be very different than how you or another experience it.
Mental Health America lists some signs of paranoia on their site:
Symptoms of paranoia and delusional disorders include intense and irrational mistrust or suspicion, which can bring on sense of fear, anger, and betrayal. Some identifiable beliefs and behaviors of individuals with symptoms of paranoia include mistrust, hypervigilence, difficulty with forgiveness, defensive attitude in response to imagined criticism, preoccupation with hidden motives, fear of being deceived or taken advantage of, inability to relax, or are argumentative.
The cause of paranoia can be a little more complicated. Mental Health America also addresses the cause on their site:
The cause of paranoia is a breakdown of various mental and emotional functions involving reasoning and assigned meanings. The reasons for these breakdowns are varied and uncertain. Some symptoms of paranoia relate to repressed, denied or projected feelings. Often, paranoid thoughts and feelings are related to events and relationships in a person’s life, thereby increasing isolation and difficulty with getting help.
Luckily, my paranoia has diminished and I’m feeling like my old self again. When I’m feeling these intense feelings of fear and anxiety, I usually notice it’s because of a lack of personal connection in my life which has me so close to my fears that I’m unable to see anything but my own personal horror movies.
However, I’ve noticed that if I connect with someone (a therapist, supportive friend, doctor, clergy member, etc.) that I’m able to break the isolation which often causes my paranoia.
I also realize there are things in my life which can exacerbate paranoid thinking and anxious feelings so I’ve had to cut those out and move toward health, wellness, and an overall sense of well-being.
I’ll see my doctor soon and talk with her about a potential change in medication, possible referral to therapy to process some difficulties in my life which increase my feelings of isolation and powerlessness which only increase my fear and continue to up my self-care to decrease my chance of a relapse in symptoms.
Needless to say, fear has gripped my life these past few months but faith will move me forward.
Faith in my God, my doctor, my support system, and ultimately myself.
Mental illness is very difficult to manage alone, almost impossible, so it’s important to lean on your support system when you need them.
Sadly, I often think to myself, “I don’t want to intrude, bother them, overwhelm them, etc.” and keep my demons to myself where they often have free reign on my mind, heart, and soul.
Not a good thing.
We need people to express our fears, doubts, insecurities, bad days, shitty situations, etc.
We need a support system to listen to us, love us, support us, and even challenge us.
However, they cannot help us if they don’t know.
It starts with picking up the phone and saying, “I need help.”
I had to and maybe you do too.
I know it’s scary and it seems like the last thing you should do but it’s always OK to ask for help.
Right now, in my life, I need help.
If you do too, just know Reader, you are not alone.
Be well friends,