Mental Health

Not Caring to Live

“Let’s stay in our bed and die.”

“I want to lay down and die.”

Just two of the selection of things I casually say without thinking, not really wanting to die, but not caring to live either.  I guess I need to be careful about making these sorts of comments, because one day God will make my words a reality and I’ll have breathed my last breath.

I don’t like life though and I find myself constantly tiring of it, no matter how hard I try and no matter how much I fight to stay positive.  It’s a frustrating battle, where I usually feel like the loser, watching so many others on the winning side.

I know it’s not good, because life is a gift and I’m here when so many others aren’t, but I can’t help wondering how much I’m really contributing.  I feel that I have a purpose, yet I’m not fully living up to it and that my attempts to make a difference are not making any real impact.  So often I want to give up, but I know it’s not the right thing to do, so I keep pressing on, and on, and on.

Some days are better than others, when I’m rearing to go and ready to conquer whatever tasks lay ahead of me.  However, there are so many down days and dark moments, when I want to cry, do nothing and sleep forever.  Sadness overwhelms me and I question, “What am I doing?”  Ostracising myself from others seems like the only option and no matter how much I attempt to talk myself around, the negative thoughts keep batting me down.

Wondering if I suffer from depression, but I have no idea.  I know that my PMS brings on depressed feelings and self-harm has been my uphill struggle.  I know that I wrestle with confidence and I have incredibly low self-esteem, but being clinically depressed – I don’t know.

All I know is that I struggle to believe in myself and what I do.  I find it hard not to compare myself to others and feel inferior as I watch them reaching new heights.  I feel lonely, let-down and lacking.  I’m tired, wondering if my goals are worth working towards.  I feel a sense of hopelessness, doubting my dreams will ever come true.

Most of all, I feel horrible, because I don’t want to feel this way at all and I want to have faith in all God has in store for me.  I want to genuinely believe that He’ll make my dreams come true, have hope in all that He has for me and trust that all I ask for will come from Him.

Yet I can’t shake off that feeling of wanting to “lay down and die”…

Crying Out for Acceptance, Approval & Appreciation

In this world, we find ourselves striving for material things, things that can be bought, things that can be studied or achieved. We want the nice house, the pretty clothes, the flash car, the good grades, the top job to fill our bank accounts with money, and the list goes on.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting these things, as most of them are basic needs and wanting our things to be nice or attractive to look at isn’t a crime. However, it becomes a problem when this becomes our main want in life and our desire for these things overtakes our need for happiness, love, inner peace or our own well-being.

We have a tendency to neglect our mental and emotional health, in favour of meeting the standards society has set for us, striving to make the most money we can, or get the best grades we can, or have as many things as we can. I’m guilty of this myself and I’ve been paying the price for it over the years.

I put myself under pressure and unnecessary stress to achieve the best grades possible at GCSE and A-level. I worked myself ragged as I did all I could to get into my dream university. I found myself emotionally drained and mentally tired, giving my all on a university course I hated, in an institution where I never felt comfortable.

Although my grades at GCSE and A-level were good, I got into my dream university and I persevered for two years at that university, it wasn’t worth the emotional and mental turmoil I put myself through. By putting myself on a pedestal and piling on the pressure, I ended up losing myself and a sense of happiness in the process.

My energy dropped, my mood could quickly worsen and I let little things upset me. I found myself easily getting into depressive states, I cried bucket loads of tears and I was self-harming over the years. I was emotionally dying, walking around in a daze and struggling to fall asleep.

Yet through it all, my desire to make others proud wouldn’t allow me to give up. I wanted to make my parents proud, I wanted to make my family proud, I wanted to make my Textiles teacher proud, I wanted to make my tutors proud etc, etc. However, I can’t say that I was making myself proud – all I saw was disappointment after disappointment.

My GCSE grades weren’t good enough for me. I wanted to get all As at A-level, just like my teachers had predicted, not just one A*. I was regressing rather than progressing at university, which depressed me more and more, because I was trying my absolute hardest and spending practically every waking moment on my assignments.

None of this was helping me and my desire to be the best (or perhaps the world’s idea of the best) was covering up the issues within myself. In trying to be the best, I was crying out for acceptance, approval and appreciation.

I wanted my parents to say how proud they were of me and tell me they loved me. I wanted to make something of myself so that people would no longer look down on me or look through me. I wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t be second best anymore.

Looking back on it all, I can see that all I want and all I’ve ever wanted is love, affection, support, care and appreciation from the people around me. I don’t want to feel lonely (despite not being alone) and I don’t want to feel like I’m second best all the time. Yet what I really need is to learn to truly love myself.