This isn’t meant to be an apology, just an explanation. An explanation for why I act like I do. I know I’m difficult, I know I’m weird, I know I’m… different. But please, please don’t give up on me. Not yet.
I try to reach out to everyone I care about every once in a while, to try to connect with you all. Sometimes these attempts go unanswered, sometimes they get a response. I know I’m flaky, and honestly I would give pretty much anything to be reliable. But it’s just the price I have to pay, what accompanies being mentally and physically ill. I’m trying to make peace with that, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the guilt. I desperately want to have a social life, to be where my friends are. But it’s not that simple, I have to pay a price for having fun.
My anxiety means I critique every single thing I do. Why are you walking like an idiot, and what on earth are you wearing. You honestly think you look good in that. Why did you choose that drink. What are you doing with your hands right now. People will stare you, you look weird. Why did you say that, what on earth possessed you. You’re not even out the door yet. Everyone will hate you, I mean they must do if you say things like that. Your eyeliner will smudge all the way down to your chin, and you won’t even notice. And your lipstick, oh god it’ll go on your teeth. What a fool you are. Why bother even going out, you’re just an embarrassment. No-one will notice if you’re gone anyway. They’ll probably stop inviting you to things because they hate you. But that’s good for you, you’re a waste of space, you shouldn’t go anywhere anyway.
That’s what goes through my head before I even leave my flat. That’s what having an anxiety disorder does to your head. It’s messed up, I know.
Let alone what being chronically ill means. My wheelchair helps a huge amount, but I’m too anxious to use at the things you invite me to. It just takes my anxiety to another level. But please, please don’t stop inviting me.
Just… be there. Don’t frown if I say I need to leave, or that I’m too ill to come in the first place. I’m trying to fight against my demons, trying to balance a lot of plates in not a lot of time. If I run away, it’s probably because I’m having an anxiety attack. Or I’m about to projectile vomit. Neither state I would wish for my friends to see me in. Please don’t say that it’ll be all right, that I’ll win, that it’s not a big deal. It will mean more to me if you’re just sitting silently next to me. Physical presence rather than a cliché.
I’m not asking a lot, or am I? No, I think it’s just what a proper friend would do. Maybe 2017 will be the year for having a clear out, to pay more attention to the people who try with me, and get rid of those who don’t. Clearly, if you’re reading this then it definitely means your a keeper.