I’ve written before about how the people around me are affected by my mental illness. Honestly, I feel like it’s quite an important part of writing about mental health, especially when you still live with your parents. I try really, really hard to be mindful of how I talk to and treat people when I’m feeling low or anxious, or when I sense my mood is about to take a steep dip down a particularly perilous road. Sometimes it’s difficult, but I’ve never considered myself particularly hard to be around. But. But. Just now, something happened – something pretty little and insignificant, if I’m being totally honest – that has left me a little shaken and honestly has me questioning whether I actually know myself at all.
I’m warning you now. I’m going to treat this post as a bit of therapy. I apologise in advance if it gets a bit mushy and / or melodramatic, and please feel free to just not read. No hard feelings, pinky promise.
So. My sister and I were talking about mood swings, particularly mine and how they aren’t always… nice. Now, I consider my sister one of my best friends, despite the six year age gap. We tell each other pretty much anything, we’re almost too honest with one another and I take criticism from her very badly – sibling rivalry, I suppose? Anyway. We were talking and my sister happened to mention how she feels about my mood swings. She told me that sometimes my moods are so unpredictable that she’s scared by it. She said I can be nasty. She said she’s scared of saying the wrong thing and ‘setting me off’.
I can tell you now that she didn’t mean it in a bitchy way. She was just saying it, just being honest like we (almost) always are with each other. But, God, did it hurt. I’m still shaking, for goodness’ sake! I know it might seem like an over-reaction, and it probably is, but nobody’s ever said those exact words to me before, or made me see how the people who know me most and are around me the most could actually be scared of me. Actually, let me rephrase that. I don’t for one second think she meant she’s scared of me., I think she’s scared of the unpredictability of my moods.
I like to think of myself as a fairly tame, nice person. And the way I see myself has just been dramatically overhauled. Honestly, that I could be considered scary is a slightly hideous thought to me. It’s also very ridiculous, but mostly it just makes me feel sick to my stomach. Am I over-reacting? Quite possibly. But it’s changed the way I think about myself and it’s made me question so much. And let’s face it, it’s never nice to be told you’re a scary, nasty, unpredictable person – especially when it goes against everything you thought you knew about yourself.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. And I apologise profusely for making you read what is basically my diary.