Our very own solitary confinement
I’m not going to say I’m depressed. I think by saying that, it perpetuates a truth I don’t want to have. I will say I have a ‘low mood’, and that I’ve had this low mood for months. I can’t seem to shake it, I’m doing all of the right things but I’ve lost myself. I’ve lost myself in negative self talk once more. Spiralling out of control with this exact phase, “you are a complete failure, no one wants you, you’re 35, completely unlovable, completely unloved, you’re too much, you don’t belong here and everyone knows it. You shouldn’t be surprised, you were always going to end up alone. You’ll die alone.”
It would drive the sanest person insane, correct?
What if I tell myself this story for the rest of my life? What if I just can’t stop this insanity?
No matter how much fucking yoga I do, I can still hear it. Useless, ugly, fat…alone.
I can tell other people can sense it too. My whole demeanour changes and I become this victim. A victim to my own disgusting inner voice. And if there is one thing I hate, it’s being a victim. A victim, I am not.
What can I do? At the moment I’m not sure. I’m just being gentle. I’m just tiptoeing around, trying to keep my routine as best I can. I noticed just how much it had taken over this morning when getting out of bed and having a shower felt like I was at the start line of a marathon that was going mostly uphill. I had to softly talk myself into getting up, moving, making coffee, keeping things the same. Even if it is just the bare minimum it is much, much better than the nothing. I could easily have shut myself in my bedroom today and talked to no one but, what good would that have done me? None, it would have left me at the mercy of her.
Why am I writing this? Honestly I don’t know. I know for sure I’m going to have an over share hangover the second I publish it. But, maybe, just maybe it will help someone else. Maybe, by saying I feel desperately alone might free another person to be able to look in the mirror and say the same thing. Because guess what? There’s no shame in it. Just like saying you’re tired, or you have a head cold, you can admit you feel alone.
I watched the Kalief Browder story on Netflix last night and I listened intently while they talked about the inmates at Rikers Island and how their time in solitary confinement drove the majority of them to experiencing extreme mental distress. In a room by themselves for months at a time, it incited anxiety, heart palpitations, self-harm, hallucinations, voices in their head and eventually suicide attempts. What if we look at the solitary confinement being possible while still surrounded by people? What if not expressing how you feel and not connecting was our own solitary confinement away from the four walls of a grotty prison cell? I believe it’s entirely possible. But, unlike those men, we can do something about it.
We can talk, we can write, we can move our bodies freely in the world, we can dance, we can listen to music and we can connect. I’m going to keep doing these things, over and over and over. And, if ultimately I am alone, at least by sying it out loud I won’t feel lonely.