Something I am often taking into consideration when making decisions, is my ability to cope with it.
For example moving somewhere new
And, more specifically, moving abroad
More recently I might have the potential to do a job I believe I would really enjoy, and to do a job in Germany which is similar to my current job, but would mean I could be with my partner.
Both have the potential to take me outside my comfort zone
And so I am spending much of my time working out how safe I would and could feel in both those situations, on the basis that my problems are here to stay
I was first diagnosed with a control disorder when I was 8 years old
I never really considered myself as having mental illness, specifically, until I developed serious depression when I was 19.
That first diagnosis wasn’t talked about, the condition just stayed with me
And I only (re)discovered it’s name at University, during the end of that bout of depression
Looking back I think it’d be easy to argue I always had some form of issue
But it developed most when I was a teenager
When I was bullied by multiple people, in multiple aspects of my life
The self hate I felt when I was 19, was extreme
I didn’t like the fact I had mental illness
I didn’t like that others would see it, and make judgements
I don’t agree with diagnosing yourself with something
But at the very least, following two pre-assessments (the NHS works in strange ways), it’s fair to say I’m somewhere close to or on the autistic spectrum, with both pre-assessments suggesting Asperger’s
At times it seems that a diagnosis would again confirm some sort of inevitability for things to be harder, as does the knowledge that if you suffer with depression once you’re more likely to suffer with it again
But they already as they are, most of all a diagnosis would mean possible support and a label you can choose to use or define yourself by or not.
Often believing you are doomed because of something (real or not) means you already are
Regardless of diagnosis, I feel different, and at times that has been debilitating
I rely on film, music, videos, and everyday interactions to reach an understanding on how to interact, on what to say to people
It almost undoubtedly makes me more malleable to what people say and do
I am often more reliant on specific people, I do not do well with small talk, but I love to listen
The people I am close to, I am very close to
Which was problematic in my last relationship, I was malleable, because I believed he understood me most
With the people I am close to, I feel able to speak my mind, and I can talk about issues I’m having
With others I often feel out of place, because often I am quiet
The kind of conversations people have in films I am unable to have, and I feel awkward because of it
I am only starting to understand properly that people like me anyway
That just because some people judge me, doesn’t mean everyone else views the situation that way
But it is difficult when that is partly how I understand the world around me
I have issues narrowing things down to feel able to make a decision
The outcome being I can be paralysed by a decision for a prolonged period
Often I am reliant on the opinions of people I trust
And I need to talk about things a lot
And as opposed to act on a whim, I want stability and security
And this includes looking at what is likely to affect my mental illness
And with a long distance relationship it has felt like I have been faced with a decision
A decision on whether to commit by going to a country whose language I speak, but not fluently
There is a person who when I’m with him, I feel safe
Who I am beginning to understand loves me as I am
But I always fear that my issues will eventually become too much, as they have before.
Or I can analyse many other things, and conclude based on films or experience, that it might go wrong, it might not work.
I fear being too much for him, or that the world I would have over there would amplify my issues.
I am not at the stage where I can speak fully freely with him, for a long time I tried to be stronger than I was, because I wanted to be different, until eventually bit by bit I told him the stuff I had
I do not feel able yet to talk about issues in the depth I sometimes need, I have issues beginning a conversation like that
And this is something which scares me, because I believe I would need to
I believe that this is something which might not change
The thing is this is defining myself by my issues
And for someone who does need security, I have done things which defy that
I went to University, I made friends
For all the times I needed to go to events with someone I felt secure with, I have also been to some where I only knew people a little
5 years ago I choose relatively last minute to go on a 6-week dig abroad, with only one person I vaguely knew
Two times since I have been to dig in Germany, the first time of which I knew noone, the second only a few
I have flown and travelled alone multiple times, even if they were to see other people
These are things I wouldn’t have done so much when I was younger
The prospect of going there is scary
My job prospects are not so good, I fear being in a job which I may find less fulfilling than one I could get in the UK
It is a risk if I chose to stay there for a prolonged period, only to eventually return to the UK
Not being able to speak my Muttersprache [mothertongue] at times can be overwhelming for someone who can get frustrated or upset when not understood
Often the extra time to process, or not fully understanding a sentence, can mean I end up talking even less than I would, cue increased anxiety about not fitting in
I do not have the familiarity to know what topics to bring up
Not having a support network is scary, especially one whom I may not be able to express the complexity of my feelings to
And being in a small place, at times, makes me feel like I’m not making progress, I’m not living a life, I’m not doing things.
I am probably better equipped than I was
And this person says he would be there for me, look after me, though he doesn’t know all my concerns
I fear relying on one person, because I did that before, though perhaps now I understand (in theory) better that I can reach out to other people, that I am quiet but that is not to say people don’t want to hang out with me
But the language barrier does make it hard
I can choose to go out and do things, I only need a car, but often I would want that he would want to do those things with me
Not being able to have such in depth conversations at times does scare me, not automatically messaging me in the morning or about his day does give me anxiety when apart because I spent a long time associating talking constantly throughout the day as love.
I find it overwhelming when anxious sometimes to ask about his day, or say something about my day. And then I feel anxious for not talking enough
That’s not what love is, but those things give me a sense of security
and he does message, but the fact it’s not constant makes me anxious, the fact it might only be a few messages in a day and a short conversation, does make me anxious
When my anxiety ends up being a topic of conversation it bothers me, because it gives a sense that perhaps if I wasn’t anxious I would have more to say, I’d be more postive about what I was doing
Maybe I am stronger than I was, and I don’t need to be defined by my issues
I have started to understand better that I am liked
I am better at rationalising and dealing with things than I used to be
And if I feel alone, or unfulfilled, there are ways I could do challenge those things
I could learn instead to challenge them better, as opposed to feeling anxious or down that I have them
I could technically do this in either scenario, though it would be hard
Neither position is confirmed yet, perhaps there won’t be a choice as such.
Perhaps in the event of staying in the UK, long distance eventually won’t be so overwhelming as it has been; as I understand myself, him and the relationship better. As I hopefully trust more.
In the event of going to Germany, perhaps my expectations will be exceeded, and I will learn to cope better, and if they’re not and I don’t, would it be so hard to come back?
Right now, and for months previous, I haven’t been able to stop but feel anxious at relatively regular intervals, I’ve felt like there’s a decision to be made, but it doesn’t mean that it’ll always be that way
I fear feeling anxious and depressed, and at times this fear is debilitating, but it doesn’t mean they’re inevitable
He said I need to at least try, because I can’t spent my life being depressed, I can’t assume that’s the way it’s going to be
And though I have issues believing it, it does make sense to try
I have defied my issues before, and I can keep trying
I can learn to try and see more positives in myself, to not let depression or any other condition stop me, just learn to do things anyway
Learn to not think so much, and just do