TW: disordered eating/thinking, anxiety.
*Not that it would be, but please don't mainpage*
I think I need help. In that I really need a therapist. I kind of knew this before in a vague "maybe I need one", but it has recently become crystal clear that I cannot continue the way I am now.
It started with my noticing that I'm no longer all that interested in or enthusiastic about the things I used to love so much. A small example: I can't be bothered to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special or the new Sherlock episodes. I just don't have the energy. I'm not reading anymore. I can hardly even get myself to go outside and walk around.
Even cooking, a hobby I love, doesn't hold the same magic or satisfaction for me anymore. I made a (objectively lovely) Christmas meal for myself but only because I couldn't bear the idea that I'd be alone for the holiday AND eat a shitty meal on top. I didn't enjoy it, couldn't enjoy it. Instead, I've been eating junk. And I put so much energy into appearing normal and functional and not a walking ball of anxiety that I don't have any left for any semblance of self-control.
The anxiety and fear is ruling my life and it's exhausting. I want to apply for the upcoming Fulbright fellowship...but every time I look at the website (or think too deeply about it, really), I am consumed and overwhelmed by a fear of failure and deep-seated insecurity. I'm scared at work all the time, because I'm a temp, and I'm scared that I'm not good enough now nor will I ever be good enough to keep getting work with this company that I love so much. I'm scared that I'll never amount to anything. I'm scared that I'm stuck and I'll never be unstuck.
I'm also lonely. I mean, I have friends. I have good friends. It doesn't feel like enough, though, for various reasons. But how can I make friends when I don't have the energy to go out and meet people? (Or when meeting people gives me such anxiety?) Or when I completely shut down in groups because I'm so nervous about saying the wrong thing or sounding stupid that I can't bring myself to speak. (And, man, I'm more inclined to lurk here - HERE, on GT where I have seen so much support and interesting dialogue - because I feel like I'm not even half as intelligent/funny/whatever.) I stumbled onto this comic and it so encapsulates how I feel right now that I started weeping.
(ETA: this comic is from here, which I think I saw through io9?)
The thing is: I'm just barely fit for human interaction, which I want when I'm alone and don't want when I'm with people. Last night, I opted out of an event with some work people that I'd been looking forward to because a) at the last minute, I got so anxious about not fitting in that I had a panic attack, and b) I just...couldn't get the energy to go outside. Or, tonight, it's an acquaintance's birthday, and she's having a gathering at a bar and I kind of want to go but it's making me SO anxious because we're not that good friends and I'd really just be tagging along with my roommate who's her good friend and would they even want me there? Who would I talk to? What would I say?
And because of all this, I've spiraled into a hole of self-hatred that I can't climb out of. I had been doing so well and making great strides this year with regard to my self-image that it's especially disheartening to look at myself in the mirror and think that I'm this ugly ugly person. Someone posted a video of me over New Year, and all I could think when I saw it was how ugly I looked. How lame I am. I've started...I've started kneeling in front of the toilet again, debating whether to make myself throw up or not. I have made myself throw up.
I feel like I'm sleeping all the time, but that I'm not sleeping enough either. My hands are shaking all the time. My brain is so scattered. I can't concentrate on books, even though I love to read. I can't write. I can't...I can't do anything. All I want to do is zone out. Or drink tea. Or eat.
I can't let this keep stalling my life. But I also can't control it anymore.
I don't even know where to start looking for a therapist who takes my insurance. When I try to find one through my healthcare provider, I never get results that seem relevant, then I get overwhelmed and give up. I've also never sought or gotten professional help before - and, you guessed it, it scares me.
(And, okay, a part of me is irrationally worried that I can't be helped because this is just who I am, that this is as good as I will ever be. At the same time, another part is completely in denial about needing help and saying that I just need to wait this out [where "wait this out" means bury it until it's triggered by something else and comes boiling to the surface for another several weeks of this feeling].)
Sigh. I'm so tired, I don't even know if I'm making any sense anymore. I'm going to bed.