Yep. You read that right.
I know that I’ve been gone for a little while, but life has been a bit of a struggle lately.
As I so publicly share, I am bipolar, which has highs and lows.
For about 2 and a half weeks now, I have been experiencing the lowest “low” I have ever had.
I shut down. I stopped answering my phone. I deactivated half of my social media.
I have now started seeing a new therapist and a new psychiatrist and I am slowly resurfacing.
I had to share with them both the thing that I had been too ashamed to say to anyone else:
That I had spent 5 days in row not wanting to be on earth anymore. Thinking of ways I could disappear without putting anyone else in harms way.
I also wasn’t sleeping.
I remember being up at 2am, searching on the internet places I could go check myself into because I knew that my thoughts were not ok.
I was literally afraid to be alone with myself.
I just kept thinking how everyone would say, “No, not Shelby. I didn’t see this coming.”
I went to work everyday, helping others and putting a smile on my face, but no one knew deep down inside that I was falling apart.
Someone asked me, “Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
The answer is simple: because I thought the people in my social circle wouldn’t care and because I didn’t want my coworkers to stop me.
My therapist asked me what words came to mind to describe how I felt at that time. The first words that came out of my mouth were “unloved” and “unimportant”.
“Unloved” because I felt that I invest so much of myself emotionally into my friends and family and I feel as though it is not equally reciprocated.
“Unimportant” because I share the details of my life with the people with which I choose to surround myself, yet they are capable of choosing to take time apart from me or keep from me the important things that may occur in their life.
“Who is the most important person in your life?”
When my therapist asked this question, it hit me. I told her that I knew the answer should be that I am the most important person, but it wouldn’t be true if I said it. I have always put others before myself. Hell, I even made a career out of it.
(Shout out to not being able to close for the coronavirus.)
I’m learning that I don’t have to do everything at one time and that I can take it day by day. I’m learning I need to find specifically what I enjoy and implement that as self-care. I’m learning that it’s ok to take a step back and meet people where they are without sharing as much of myself with them. I’m learning that I can tell people what I need from them and confront them with the truth about how they have made me feel.
I was told that I have no compassion for myself and it’s true. I’m trying to find my way daily. I’m trying to figure out what I need to keep myself healthy and sane. I’m also learning to find my voice and that I can’t always be a “fixer” for everyone else and neglect myself.
I want to be the most important person in my life and that means not hiding anymore.
I’ll be honest in saying that I’m still not ready to talk to everyone again or ready to answer questions about my current mental state. I’m slowly trying to merge my life back with society, but I know it will not happen immediately and that’s alright.
If you or someone you know is struggling right now, please get help. There are hotlines, online resources, etc.