Thursday, 27 April 2017

Blog 2: Communication

As I said in my last blog; I find communicating with others hard. I feel as if I annoy my friends and family if I message them and you can forget about calling them; the very thought paralyses me and makes me avoid all forms of communication – social media, my phone, visiting people etc. I don’t think you realise how difficult it is for someone with even just a little bit of anxiety to get up and do things for fear of something bad happening or being judged. My anxiety coupled with my depression makes getting out of bed mentally painful and I think that, because they are “invisible” illnesses and don’t warrant casts and stitches like broken bones do, that those who do not suffer from them simply cannot fathom that they exist when the sufferer may only appear to be sad or shy. It’s deeper than that. Bones can heal and scars can fade but mental illnesses can remain for a lifetime – even in recovery. It’s like rehabilitating a drug and alcohol addiction; there’s always a chance of a relapse. Relapses do not make us failures, however. They make us human.

I’m very open about my mental health and I understand a lot about it but there is one thing I do not understand. I do not understand, when in my attempt to communicate with others, why they still insist on calling me when they are aware that I cannot answer a ringing phone. Obviously if it’s an emergency then it would be fine (as the logical side of my brain will more than likely take over) but it never is. I wouldn’t even mind if they called me once and left a message; it would be fine but they will continuously try to get me to answer the phone even though they know speaking on the phone makes me stutter. I need advance notice if you’re going to call me so I can mentally prepare myself and write down things I want to talk about because as I said I tend to stutter and my brain seems to just stop working. My mind goes blank and I’m not capable of giving more than a couple of words as a reply, and it’s just plain embarrassing. It makes me sound disinterested (which I’m not); I just don’t know what to say. I think it stems from only having one friend for most of life and having our friendship be mostly about them and what they want. I’m aware that people just want to chat – and that’s fine – but if you expect me to engage in a conversation with you and be there for you then is it too much to ask that you do the same for me? Am I unreasonable to want that? To not have a friendship that is one-sided? I love helping others but it would be nice to have someone be there for me for a change and to take an interest in who I am and not what I can give them. A well can only give out so much water before it eventually dries out.

My anxiety towards phone calls also relates to a previous job I had which will be the topic of my next blog.

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