This is the second installment in my Kink and Mental Health series. For a little background on my experience with mental health issues, please read the first.
I have a tendency to think every tiny mishap I go through is the end of the world.
"Oh my god. I just spilled a cup of sand into the sandbox. It was one more cup of sand than it could handle, and the sand spilled onto the sidewalk. The world is going to die in the worst explosion in the history of ever! Good god, man! Help me clean it up before we all spontaneously combust!"
That's only a slight exaggeration.
I exaggerate a lot, too. When I was younger, I'd only make tiny exaggerations. I suck at numbers, so I could never remember exactly how many times something had happened, and my father, ever the military officer, insisted on precise guestimations. Not wanting to guess too low, and have him find my plight invalid, I'd guess too high and hope he didn't call my bluff. Finally, he explained to me that, if I was going to exaggerate, I should make it clear I was exaggerating for the sake of communication. So I began making my exaggerations so far out of the realm of possibility that I thought for sure everyone I was speaking to would know I was exaggerating.
And ya know... I think most of them do. I think some of the ones that mess with me about it know that if they fluster me, I will easily lose sight of the point I was trying to make. And they take advantage of that.
I often go into a sheer panic about things that make no difference whatsoever. Like the other day, when M went to the track. I'm not used to being away from him for long periods of time. Nothing bad ever happens. Things always go swimmingly. He always gets home at a decent time. And we manage to have a good night. And life goes on.
But I freak out every time.
I'm not good at being alone. I used to enter into relationships based solely on the fact that I wanted someone around all the time to talk to and hang out with. A sort of guaranteed friend. Someone who would move with me when I moved, and be able to duck and weave like I could.
My moods swing more than most people change their underwear, and I don't always know why, or if there's a reason. I get confused and lose my train of thought really easily when I'm frustrated. Things quite literally just stop making sense to me.
All of these things, and more make telling the difference between what I'm really feeling, and my mental illness, really difficult.
For example, I'm pretty clumsy. And most of the time, I just take it in stride. My depth perception in my peripheral vision sucks, and my ability to tell how big an object is going down the toilet, so I'm always trying to stuff too big objects in too small holes convinced they should fit. But it's just part of being me, so most of the time, it doesn't bother me.
Unless I'm in a down swing. Or already having a panic attack. At those times, my frustration spins wildly out of control. I start throwing things or slamming them around, or stomping around the house. I've been known to just sit down and cry. I've screamed "I QUIT!" at Master, and gone on to explain to him why he should just find another, more qualified slave.
And it doesn't even occur to me that my clumsiness doesn't usually bother me. That on a normal day, I'd just pick up whatever I dropped and go on about my business. And oh my god, I just got peanut butter on the floor! The ground on where my house is built should just open up and swallow me! I am the worst slave alive!!!11!11!!!!1!!!1!!!
No... scratch that. I'm the worst human alive.
And the difficulty doesn't end with me. Sometimes those around me can't tell the difference between my mental illness and an actual emotional problem.
Case in point, another issue I have is that I occasionally just sort of... switch off. I'm usually a rather warm person. In general, I babble incessantly, joke around nonstop, smile and laugh a lot when I'm on an even keel. I like to have fun and debate, and try to get along with everyone around me. But some days, with no real indication as to what causes it, I go completely blank. I still function just fine, going about my daily routine without any real hitches. I'm aware of my surroundings, and I know what's going on. I just don't react to anything. I don't talk much, and when I do, my answers are as short as possible. There's no up, or down, or any sort of emotion at all. It's almost like talking to a robot.
Which is very similar to when I'm upset and haven't decided how to broach the subject with the person I'm upset with.
It's damn confusing and makes for interesting conversations. Sometimes I feel guilty for it, and even though it's exasperating, I do my best to reassure those around me that it's really not them, it's me. And I'm not always successful. And they often do more reassuring than I do. But without knowing the underlying cause, and figuring out how to avoid it, I'm kinda stuck. So that's something I'm working on.