Suddenly feeling unsafe

Today changed so fast from feeling relatively safe and stable to feeling totally unsafe, being consumed by an unbearable unnamed feeling surging within.

It was so unexpected

I had gone to the goodbye gathering of a very dear person I’ve worked for and with on various projects sharing lived experience of mental health conditions. I had expected to feel sadness. I wasn’t prepared that as soon as we arrived I felt discomfort, disconnection, unreality, fear, trepidation, certainty I had done something wrong that I couldn’t understand or repair, a sense of an anti-climax, a desperate rupturing loss, incomprehension, a sense the people there weren’t at all as they usually are, physical pain, cold, desperate thirst, the wish to run. None of it made sense.

I fought the urges and feelings for an hour and a half…

…then had to go. The feelings became terrible…

Even my body itself, my skin, my hair, my core, all felt unbearable and, of course, inescapable.

I don’t know why this happened and that itself is frightening. I’m worried how it may have impacted my behaviour to others and that it wasn’t okay or good enough. I wasn’t okay or enough.

I don’t know what the answer is or when these feelings will stop. Still, for once, I was able to say to my husband,

“I have these terrible feelings.”

For once I articulated that, instead of letting it build silently until I became apparently colder and colder outside, whilst the terrible things wound tighter in me, until explosion point, when I’d hurt myself or get angry with people or situations. Together we tried to articulate some of the feelings. Together we tried to find some ways to redirect, to ground myself, to self-soothe, and to create (cutting out Christmas pictures for cards).

Gradually, the threads of the feelings, which I could somehow experience separately but only name as loss at first, separated a little and I could name more as I have here.

It’s a very little step and most people would think this all self-centred ruminating. However, it’s an important small step for me. Just speaking the fact that I had terrible feelings was a little change which helped me veer away from a destructive path.

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