So it’s been decided I need to go talk to a counselor and have therapy sessions. For those who don’t know, I have onycophagia. Basically it’s this anxiety that manifests by me ripping my nails off with my teeth until I bleed - or worse.
Recently I’ve managed to find a way to keep from biting and I’ve been bite-free for a few good weeks now. I mean I still find myself nibbling unconsciously but it’s far more under control.
Or…so I thought.
Last week, the anxiety returned with a vengeance - but it came like a sneaky undercurrent. I had no idea it was even there; everything was fine. I felt fine. Content even. Just frustrated with a few things but nothing I didn’t think I couldn’t handle.
What I do know, is that it was mostly a sense of loneliness. I had stopped praying, stopped studying my scriptures, stopped talking to friends and keeping up with family because - they are too busy to deal with me. What does it matter?
This all seemed to have gone under the wheel of my control without my knowing. I didn’t think that was possible but it is.
So one night, while my parents went off to a party and I was alone at home since I had no plans - I got into a car solely for the purpose of getting myself a hot chocolate and a pastry at the nearest bakery.
I was overwhelmed then, as I drove.
Not with sadness. Not with helplessness. Not even frustration or any kind of strong emotion people usually associate with the following feeling.
It was apathy.
I literally did not careanymore. But not in the giving up sense, where you begrudgingly toss the towel and hang your head. It was that I just didn’t care. I felt empty and without emotion, numb so to speak. And I thought to myself, “dying sounds pretty good right now.”
So (and this is the part that looking back frightened me the most in hindsight) like it was the most natural thing, I just turned the wheel of the car until I was in the opposite lane and just began to wait for the next vehicle to slam against my car and hopefully end it all.
But of course, I am still here. And there is a God.
Because no sooner did I do that something seemed to take over my body for me. Call it my body’s survival mechanism or an angel taking over my body for me, whatever. But without feeling myself doing it, I grabbed the wheel the moment I saw a pair of lights approach me and yanked my car back into my lane.
Needless to say, I had to pull over to give myself a moment to realize what I had done…and almost did. After the body shaking trembling passed and the tears and the sobbing came, I knew I needed to call someone.
So I called the only number my phone showed me when I turned it on and called my friend immediately.
He was shockingly calm when I told him, spoke softly and told me gently “it gets better.” After I told him I had felt so apathetic, he just told me that there’s more to feel here. I listened.
In the end I told this to my church leader thanks to my friend’s suggestion and persistence. And my bishop was also extremely gentle and unjudgmental. He listened with apt attention and without disappointment, sadness and anything that would’ve made me feel worse.
So we came to the conclusion that I would be heading to family services and they would help me with a psychologist or the like to help.
The point is this and why I share this; I know there are many of you out there who go through the motions of life. Who have depression and problems and obstacles so hard to overcome death seems like the only solution, the only relief in the pain and how each jab of pain and misunderstanding outweighs the colors of a sunset or the cool breeze of autumn.
Some of you have to deal with people who just. Don’t. Understand.
And I know. I may not fully know, but I do. I understand that fear of telling someone who will only yell at you - which is why I refused to tell my family personally because I know they would not take it well. They take it too personally - if that’s possible.
But I can tell you, there are people who do listen, who won’t be angry and won’t stare at you like you are some kind of freak - which I felt when I thought the people of my church knew I had this problem because I thought someone ratted me out. It was as if every glance I received from them was trying to see it, the hopelessness and the desire to give up even though by then I felt better and assured.
But there are. At home, in church (and if you aren’t overly religious you can still meet with a leader and talk to them. They can offer a soft relief in silent meditation.) even out there, even in here.
And so I conclude my little story and announcement with an extension of love to you and a gentle understanding that, yes. It sucks. And yes. It does get better.
And if you need a voice if comfort, message me and we’ll exchange phone numbers, skype, whatever to talk. To help.