I know September is almost over. But it’s mental health awareness month, and I didn’t want it to pass without saying something.
As I’m sure most of you know I’ve had my own battles with mental health problems but this week was probably one of the worst. Like most Americans, I don’t like to talk in detail about what goes on in my brain to much for a multitude of reasons. However, this week requires acknowledgment.
Moving to a new place to start a new job is always a stressful process. But most of the time I try to make friends quickly and blow off steam often. Well, this time was a bit different. Because Beijing is so much more expensive than what I expected, and I’m further away from the things I like; I started to feel isolated. Which causes a chain reaction of interpersonal conflicts, most of which were misunderstood or just plan odd but that’s neither here nor there. All that matters is Tuesday.
Tuesday wasn’t a particularly bad day but it wasn’t the best. That nagging voice in my head that tells me I’m worthless and ill equipped to handle the life of chosen was back, but this time I believed it. I started to feel in over my head, like I had bitten off significantly more than I could chew, and I just wanted it to stop. Usually I’d just binge some Netflix and shut my brain off but i couldn’t even convince myself that I was worth that effort. I walked over to the window of my 25th floor apartment slide the screen and looked down. I asked myself “would they ship my body home.” I dismissed the thought and closed my window.
Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. The next day I had another series of meltdowns. Melt downs trigger by the most innocent things: a sweet old lady saying something nice to me, one of my friends talking to someone I think doesn’t like me, my Chinese coworkers whispering in Chinese, ect.
Luckily, a friend I made here was able to help stitch me back together, but it wasn’t easy. All I could think was how worthless I was, how everyone thought I was putting on “heirs,” how I didn’t deserve to be anywhere. And how much happier everyone else would be if I wasn’t. Basically, my own brain turned on me.
Now I’ve suffered with paranoia in some form or another my whole life, but I can usually rationalize my way out. However, this week was so different. Even my rational brain wasn’t sure what was true or false, so I spiraled until I mentally broke.
I’m doing better now. I talked to people that listened. Didn’t offer advice just listened, I went out to visit a different city, and I listened to podcast of other people who had been where I was.
The long and short of it all is. If you feel alone and or you too have that voice that tries to break you down. Reach out to someone. The biggest lie my mind told me was that I was alone. Because I’m not and I never was.