One of the biggest factors that affected me through my times of severe depression and anxiety was the affect that other people had on me. You are probably reading this and thinking this is a social phobia thing, in a way you are right, but what I am really talking about is how people can get inside your head.
People can say whatever they want to my face or behind my back, they can do whatever they want to me but it’s the affect that people have on my mind, how they get into my head is what affects me the most!
Well it use too!
I went through times when just a mere conversation with someone would later on turn me into a mess. The affect people could have on my mind is something that only those that have gone through something similar can understand.
It didn’t have to be an enemy, it could have been anyone!
It didn’t have to be nasty, negative, vicious or threatening…..it just had to be a number of factors….
1. A social environment
2. Talking to people about absolutely anything or even nothing
3. Or just being there around people who are having conversations some which are completely meaningless…..
People will often say, well this is every day life…..yes it was…..
I have long ago lost count of how many times I have been in this situation, and many will think “how ridiculous”…..but the power of other people can be paralysing, it can grind your whole world to a halt!
This is what for many years became my world…..it didn’t have to be verbal but being in the presence of anyone became my enemy, it made me completely mentally insecure, it drove me into a big black hole and it made me believe that I could be around people and I couldn’t be me. It was more than a phobia.
A phobia is the fear of something…..it doesn’t matter if it is a phobia of animals, confined spaces, that something will go wrong, of being in a social environment….the list is endless….
The thing is for me it was not a phobia….I wasn’t afraid of people, of events, of anything really…..it was what happened after these events, meetings, mere conversations that had a huge impact on my life….
I don’t know how to describe something that is not something that I feared or something that wasn’t evident to other people because it may not habpve been out there as a threat, a behaviour or a phobia!
What it was, for me, and yeah it. May be individualised to me and if that is the axe, then thank god….but what people had on me was more than a fear to be around them it was the consequence afterwards…….
I went through a period, a very long period of time, when people getting into my head was debilitating, stopped me from being me, stopped me from functioning……
While what was happening to me seemed to be every day events it was literally debilitating, i didn’t confide to anyone,I didn’t volunteer that what was going on in my mind and that was a detriment to me….
The affect to me from what may seem a simple thing was an impact on my mind. It put voices inside my head, thoughts would go into a continuous slide show for hours, days and at times weeks. It made me question who I was, how I felt about myself, it made me not want to be around these people, it made me doubt, it made me negative, it made me question everything I was and who I wanted me to be, it made me shut out the drama, those that made me feel uncomfortable, it was debilitating and it affected my mood a lot following these conversations, events….
I shut out people, drama, times and places that made me feel like this….but unlike a phobia where you avoid something due to fear I avoided these situations because I knew this was healthy for me. I knew that from the start that these situations were never positive and while I thought they were the people involved were never really friends.
I can honestly say I have been in recovery for some time I have been able to shut out the very thing that left me in deep depression for days and even weeks at a time…..people getting into my head!
It hasn’t been easy and it has meant being around only those who meant something to me, who I knew were honest and dear to me….it’s easy to draw into our friendship circle for the sake of being in a social environment but my greatest learning when mentally ill was recognising those who didn’t leave my head, who had an affect on my mental health.
Some may think this is harsh that I could just shut out people from my life for the sake of my mind but what it did was allow me to recognise those that mattered, the signs of those that were unhealthy to me and it built in me, more importantly my mind, resilience.