I’ve been feeling an ever-greater dichotomy in visibility: I feel far too visible physically, while nearly invisible metaphorically.
I am aware I have at least some degree of body dismorphia. It is heightened in situations where I know people can not only see me, but are actively looking at me. For example, yesterday I was getting a haircut. My anxiety over the situation was greater because I knew my stylist was looking at me (not to mention I had to see her seeing me in the mirror in front of me). When her assistant came in, my anxiety grew. Her next client showed up a bit early; she could see me, too. We were all in the same fairly small room together, and I was sweating profusely because I was so aware of how visible I was. It felt like I was a whale in a bathtub under observation.
When I have to go look for clothes for any reason, my anxiety escalates before I even get to my clothing-centric destination. I dread asking anyone for help, as they would have to look at me and potentially gauge what clothes I could not only fit in, but what might also look remotely okay on me. And don’t even get me started on trying on clothes. Shoot, I bought two pairs of pants online; they were delivered over a week ago and I’ve yet to try them on because I don’t want to have to look at myself in the full-length mirror.
Juxtaposing all this is how invisible I feel (at times). Sometimes I feel like everyone is noticed for something…except me. Sometimes I feel like, no matter what I do, I’ve dissolved into the background of life, mostly colorless, scentless, nothing more than a whisper of a thought.
I very nearly don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror anymore. I’ve actually asked myself: where did I go?
I can remember a time I didn’t feel these ways. I can remember when I used to feel moderately healthy (in physical shape, at any rate; I’ve been chronically ill for over 20 years). I can remember when I felt like I was out there doing things with my life.
I may not be in shape. I may not feel remotely physically healthy, but I can at least claim the last one: I’m still trying to do something with my life. I keep writing even though I think it’s useless and pointless and that I’ll never get anywhere. It’s like I literally can’t seem to stop. I think it’s both wonderful and supremely frustrating.
I keep trying in spite of myself.
I used to really believe I’d make something of my life. I mean I really believed it. Now, I don’t know. I’m quite fulfilled with my relationship and creature companion (and ridiculously grateful for both, albeit in different ways), but it’s me, personally, I feel saddened by. I know my anxiety and depression make my brain lie to me, but some days (and nights) are far worse than others. Some nights I have to manually tell myself what I’m feeling isn’t true; it’s the depression telling me lies. I often feel like I don’t matter. That no one likes me. That everyone is mad at me. Statistically, that seems unlikely, but my brain shoves it on me anyway. I feel like if I talk to people about my issues (or myself at all, really), I will drive them away. Because of my life history, my brain tells me everyone will leave without warning, anyway.
It’s fairly miserable.
Last night was rough. My brain was loud. My thoughts were unhelpful. I cried over stupid things.
Even in my rough spots, I try to focus on the positives where I can. I know it’s good that I keep going. Even when sh*t feels hopeless, I keep going. I’m so grateful for that. I feel mostly hopeless about writing, but I keep trying, who knows why. Sometimes I tell myself it’s because I still hold out hope I can make it a career. Sometimes I tell myself it’s because I’ve paid for this website (etc.) and to stop would be a financial waste. Sometimes I do it because to not do it would be yet another failure and I’m not sure how well I’d do with that. I feel vulnerable sometimes because I put all these words out on the internet (visible), but then feel that almost no one will see them anyway (invisible) so what does it matter?
I mean, for that matter I could type a whole slew of gibberish here and who would be the wiser (incidentally, a sincere thank you to the ten people who are reading this!)?
SPLURGITY BLURGY DOOO
DOO DOO DOOOOOOOOO HORCHATA SPLURGY DOODLEYDOO
I will keep trying to make something of myself, but it’s hard when I’m caught between making myself visible (self-promotion, which I always inherently want to apologize immediately for), and wallowing in feeling invisible (very few people read my writing even though I’ve been doing it for years, and please don’t think for a minute I don’t appreciate you reading this right now because I absolutely do more than you will ever know). Like so many other things in my life, I will continue to search for the balance.
If this didn’t make sense, I apologize. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me, either.
Please be kind to yourselves, friends. Please be kind to each other, where you can.
Now I’m going to go play with stickers. They do me the HAPP.
Thank you. For being here. For your time. For everything. <3