Being a human on this planet, whilst fascinating, beautiful and ultimately a privilege, can also be a complete headfuck.
The world these days is absolutely mental and, due to the evolution of modern mass media, it is pretty much impossible to shield yourself from the seemingly incessant stream of bollocks going on.
Every now and then, my brain decides to deal with this near constant influx of random crap by casually imploding in on itself and ceasing to function like a normal human thinking machine.
Over the years, I have become quite adept at noticing the signs that I am going down a mental health hole which I have narrowed down in this blog post because expressing this stuff is supposed to be cathartic and that right?
1. Making completely unaffordable travel plans
Whether the cause of my mental health blip is situational or a surprise ‘oh I am randomly not functioning’ sneak attack, my first gut instinct when I start to feel the beginnings of the big sad is to run away from everything and everyone.
As a result, I will often find myself manically researching holidays in a fit of unregulated escapism with absolutely no regard for my bank balance or personal safety.
I guess I am operating under the rational that being on an extreme adventure holiday in the arctic circle will momentarily distract me from the intensity of my thoughts and emotions, even if I am living under the vague threat of a polar bear attack…
2. Weird eating patterns
The next sign of a lapse in my mental stability is a complete collapse in the stability of my eating schedule.
What my brain considers to be an adequate source of sustenance during these periods suddenly becomes incredibly dubious.
Often the notion of three healthy meals a day will completely disintegrate and I will find myself randomly eating the most immediately accessible food at whatever time my body decides it should probably ingest some calories.
Honestly, eating Cheerios dry out the packet at 1am when I am in fact the complete antithesis of cheery is a real vibe…
3. Impulsively buying shit online
One of the main ways in which I monitor the state of my mental health is by keeping track of how much random shit I’m buying off Amazon.
If I’ve got over five functionally useless items in my basket, I know it’s time to get concerned. If we hit double figures, it’s crisis point – like, I’m only one impulse buy of a make your own bath bomb set away from a complete mental collapse.
I’m not sure why I experience this impulse to buy copious amounts of useless shite as I am normally not a particularly materialistic person. I guess part of me thinks that if I accumulate enough random objects it will eventually fill the insatiable chasm in my soul. Or maybe rock salt lamps are just chill and pretty and that. Who knows…
4. Getting trapped in existential thought spirals
Another sign that I am tits deep in the mental health bollocks is a complete loss in my capacity to lift myself out of meandering thought patterns.
The tiniest thing can send me spiraling into a pit of existential angst and leave me contemplating the very nature of existence.
Ironically, during big sad times, my brain becomes completely numb to big life issues and instead decides to grapple intensely with insignificant concepts which is always a wild ride.
5. Crying over illogical things
My emotional system will also be irrationally sensitive during a flare up of the big sad.
It doesn’t really matter what emotional input my brain is experiencing, every single thing will go into the emotional processing machine and come out the other end twenty-billion times more intense than it should be.
As a result, any kind of remotely sad/ happy/ frustrating/ cute input into my system will immediately translate into OK SO APPARENTLY WE ARE CRYING NOW which is always a good look.
6. Having deep introspective chats with the dog
I live with two dogs, both of whom absorb the brunt of my emotional and existential chaos.
Something about the simplicity of a dog’s priorities is incredibly comforting and grounding when you are feeling the full brunt of your human brain.
As a result, I will often spend extended periods of time stroking their fur and telling them about my inherent self-destructive tendencies and the pitfalls of my ego etc. whilst they look up at me with a simultaneous sense of complete understanding and total bafflement.
7. Malfunctioning in social situations
I am not particularly good at the performative aspects of social interaction at the best of times.
However, when my brain is functional state, it is usually able to flick through a rolodex of socially acceptable responses and select an appropriate one for the type of conversation I am engaging in.
However, when I am going through a mental health flare, the complete overwhelm in my brain will cause a glitch in the system and the rolodex will start to spit out random responses regardless of the context of the situation which can be awkward and confusing for all parties involved.
8. Apologising excessively to everything and everyone
During a mental health flare, I will also become irrationally convinced that my existence is inconvenient to everyone and everything which logically I know is not true but for some reason is suddenly a completely compelling narrative for my big sad brain to believe.
This particularly stupid side effect manifests itself in a myriad of different ways.
Sometimes, it will involve me saying sorry to to someone after they bump into me and then proceeding to say sorry for having said sorry when they tell me it was ridiculous for me to have said sorry in the first place.
Other times, I will find myself on my knees, weeping whilst cradling the withered form of my dead house plant, beseeching my failures as a mother. Honestly so random guys!
9. Regressing to sentient flesh lump status
Over the years, I have developed an elaborate network of coping mechanisms to prevent the big sad crazy depresso times from developing in my brain.
However, whilst you can put measures in place to stop yourself going down the hole, there is not a massive amount you can do once you are there.
All you can really do be present with yourself as you are, embrace the concious flesh lump vibes you’ve got going on and know that eventually the big sad will fuck off into the ether and you will feel like a slightly less deranged version of yourself again.
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