**TW: contains mild references to self harm and damaging eating habits.**
I spend a lot of time avoiding reality. I run (metaphorically speaking) from myself and from my feelings. But sometimes I get tired and my legs won’t carry me, so the truth catches up. I realised when talking to my Therapist today that the overriding wave of emotion I experience at least once daily is guilt. Everything I do brings its own helping of guilt. I spent some time with my Mum last Thursday afternoon and I felt a gut wrenching guilt over so much lost time, of so many hours wasted, crippled under the weight of Mental Illness. So much so that I barely enjoyed the time I was spending with her. I feel guilty if I finish a meal, that I somehow don’t deserve to eat, or to be nourished in any way. I feel guilty if I take some time to practice the Compassion Focussed Therapy in which I’m currently participating. I feel guilty that I can’t work, that everyone else in the house is in full-time employment while I stay home every day. I feel guilty if I spend money I didn’t ‘earn’, despite having been a UK tax-payer for more than ten years. I feel guilty if I don’t do ALL the chores. I feel guilty if I laugh.
I deal with this by applying a compensatory-type method to my life. I have erratic eating habits, and frequently binge/purge. I SH (albeit superficially at the moment) while thinking about something troubling, and seeing the consequences of my behaviour as some kind of absolution. I would do anything to help anyone…I really would. I devote hours to listening to, and reassuring, people I’ve never even met. But I follow none of my own advice.
If I weren’t in this position, and someone else (close to me or otherwise) was describing something similar, I’d think it absurd. I’d be able to reassure them, to make them realise that their thinking was skewed by illness. That they were a slave to the complicated thing that is the human mind. But I can’t apply the same logic to myself. I just can’t.