We hear the word a lot ‘couldn’t you just…’ ‘It will be ok, just…’ ‘I just need to…’
Only sometimes that word can fill you with a sea of emotions. ‘Just’ is the shortened version of all that we fear. I had a pleasant and supportive conversation with a family member yesterday, regarding my anxiety and depression. (I felt that was enough and neglected to mention the ED). They understand the feelings and pressures from those that have no concept of the difficulties we face. The call was initially for an invite to a function, some distance away. It would be a happy event but it is unlikely we can make it. I am now filled with anxiety. I have to decline this invite and then anticipate people will want to know why. In trying to help they will offer alternatives and the ‘just’ comment will start.
I don’t want to explain how my illness makes me feel repeatedly. It gives the horrible feelings a voice. I’d rather talk about how I’m overcoming my demons and trying to get better. The truth is I don’t want to be so far from home on my own. I would have to negotiate crowds of people who I don’t know and not have any place to escape to. The thought of it is too much already. Yet I feel like I am letting people down.
Previously I would have gone and put others first, like many times before. I can’t do that any more. Quite likely because I didn’t look after myself for so long, things went too far. I used to be a free spirit and would head anywhere on a whim. Now I need to be at home. What is good is that I like that, it doesn’t make me sad. It just creates anxiety because others expect me to still be the ‘old me’ and why wouldn’t I want to go and see them? That is what bothers me, I’d like people to just listen to when I say ‘I can’t’.