12.26.13 Wellness

Maybe It’s Not Okay

Maybe It’s Not Okay

BY Taylor Harrison

It seems strange, as I look back, it has taken me 24 years to admit something might be wrong. I have been categorized as crazy, overly emotional, bitchy, cold, rude, too much, not enough. I think I accepted these labels because I am a woman. I’d think, “women are always super emotional” or “everybody is probably like me, I shouldn’t complain about having highs and lows because some people have it much worse than me.” The things is, I have permanently and momentarily ruined relationships because of the decisions I have made. I have mood changes frequently and to the utmost extreme all of my family, friends and former boyfriends have been perplexed by my actions at some point. I have been perplexed by my own actions. I plan to be social and have a deep desire for connection, but on innumerable occasions, I find myself within hours of said plans petrified to leave my house and can’t bring myself to even be around people I love. I wish I could explain the cycle better. The only way I know how to describe the battle within myself is it is exhausting desperately wanting to be around people, then suddenly not wanting to be around people, followed by being heartbroken when you find yourself alone.

I have fits of rage primarily directed at myself without much warning. When I make a mistake, even mistakes easily repairable, I sob or in an embarrassing yet alarming habit I’ve had for the last 10 years, I pinch or punch myself on my arms, legs and head. Writing this, I feel ashamed to admit I am an adult doing this. It seems like something toddlers would do to themselves. This is difficult to admit, but at the same time it feels likes some of the weight being lifted off of me because I can see it isn’t normal; it isn’t healthy. I cannot spend the rest of my life hiding or writing this behavior off as commonplace.

I need help. I need change. I hate change though. I am afraid of change. I am paralyzed by change. I feel I should have things under control. This is probably what often triggers these episodes. When things around me change, whether minor or major, I cannot properly deal or adjust to them. I become overwhelmed and lose my ability to process things. I blame myself for everything going wrong around me. I think I will accomplish nothing in any area of my life if one thing goes awry. I block out those close to me. I feel I am being whiney and over exaggerating expressing myself to them so I build walls and get lost in my own head. I realize this makes me feel worse, but over and over and over again, I go through this same sequence. I am on top of the world, being the loudest and silliest person in a room, to not wanting to be in a room full of people at all. I have been this way for as long as I can remember and felt it was a regular ordeal to have good days and bad days. I thought these drastic changes were part of who I am. “That’s Taylor just being Taylor.” I, along with everyone else, deserve better than this. It never has been and never will be satisfying or comforting having these extremes be an integral part of my life. It has come to my attention, others don’t deal with extremes this intense and neither should I.

I found myself reading about bipolar disorder and relating to all of the symptoms and sending my parents links asking what they they thought. A part of me still feels I am being hypochondriacal and there is nothing actually wrong with me. I assume I’ll see a doctor and they will shake their head and respond with a simple, “you are fine.” I think another part of me knows there is something wrong and the hell I put myself through repeatedly will destroy me if I don’t take steps towards getting better.

Writing always makes things real for me. I write because everything jumbled in my head comes out clearer. I am writing because it will hold me accountable. It will remind me sharing is always better than suppressing. This is a letter to myself. I owe it to myself to figure out how to be the best version of myself rather than the worst version of myself. If that means seeking help, as terrifying as it is, it is more than worth it, it is crucial.

 

Taylor Harrison is a Texan who now lives in Los Angeles. She has a blog with her best friend and business partner. She believes in telling people you love them when you love them, reciting TLC's "No Scrubs" lyrics to remind yourself never to settle and eating macaroni and cheese regularly. She talks about what it is like to be from a long line of gnome royalty among other important things here.

Comments

  • K

    I just started crying reading this, because it is EXACTLY how I have felt for so long- something I have been trying to explain to those I love. I feel like I wrote this. I have OCD and suffer from incredible anxiety, depression, mood swings, and going to “extremes” with basically anything; as my family would say, I do not know the meaning of balance. Everyone pushes medication, but they make you feel even more dead. I wish mental and emotional health was something more people discussed, but it’s so personal and many feel so ashamed and/or different. It’s so hard being and feeling like someone you aren’t and don’t want to be. You are aching for friends and connection, but you feel so lonely and separated, and you are too terrified to change and leave your little box, even if it is miserable there. Anxiety and depression are awful; at 23, I should be out living my life like she and everyone else should be. Kudos to her for speaking up!!!

  • writinginbed

    Taylor, what a powerful, informative, and helpful piece of writing. You have beautifully articulated the struggle to better understand yourself. You are not crazy, especially because you are able to explore these things about yourself. I know that people want to immediately recommend medication, but I see here an opportunity to do more than just that. I went through a self destructive phase in high school when I could find no other way to manage what I didn’t know was depression. It then put a strain in my first real relationship with a boy. It took many years before I got a handle on why I was so emotional, destructive, and what the triggers were.
    I can see that you’re a very intelligent young woman and you are going to have a unique life. You will always have your friends and our support and I promise you will be joyful in this life no matter how you maneuver through it. Love always, Marianna.

  • Sam

    The last lines say it all, You are strong, brave and beautiful as seen by telling your story. I have anxiety, and seeking help saved my life, without it I would not be able to find happiness. You hit the nail on the head!

  • Thank you for being so brave and sharing your experiences . I have my own version as many of us do . It is an ongoing search for clues as to WHY , and WHAT to do . I encourage you to keep asking questions and be open to the solutions being something unexpected . Keep us posted ! amanda x

  • Jack Jones

    YES!! Perhaps you have just taken those first critical steps toward the process of understanding ~ and more importantly, becoming ~ becoming that person you will like/love and have kept hidden from us (and yourself) for far too long. Good for you, Taylor.

  • Sis

    Thank you.

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