Waiting for the other shoe to drop 

Etymology:

  1. A phrase born in New York during the manufacturing boom of the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Apartments were built very similar in design with the bedrooms located above and underneath one another therefore it became common experience of tenants living in these buildings to hear a neighbour removing their shoes in the apartment above. As one shoe made a noise by hitting the floor the expectation for the other shoe to make a similar disturbance was created.

Verb:

  1. To await a seemingly inevitable event, especially one that is not desirable.

As I write this things are good. I won’t lie and say things are amazing but they are substantially better in comparison to this time last year. I don’t wake up every day wishing I hadn’t. I don’t loath my body and struggle with crippling self doubt. I don’t turn my phone off and lock my door for days on end, avoiding my friends and skipping work because I can’t physically or mentally face being around other people. I don’t binge drink daily to deal with my debilitating depression. I’m not frequently thinking about suicide or ways to punish and harm myself.

But it comes in waves. In spite of how at ease I feel now there is this incessant voice in my head trying to drag me down. It feels like I am perpetually waiting for something bad to happen, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Mental illness completely disregards logic and sense.

Even when things are on the up with no signs of halting the voices still creep up again and again bringing feelings of dread and existential crisis.

And it’s easy to let these thoughts and fears drag you down, to convince yourself that no matter how hard you try thing are going to go wrong again. It’s easy to believe that there is no point in trying.

Sometimes it’s really hard to remember that there is more to yourself than your mental illness.

After years of battling with myself and everyone around me when I go through these low periods I’ve curated an effective self care routine for myself.  I message my mum who brings me back to earth, I remind myself that for the most part these fears don’t come true, I write, I binge watch Netflix or deep clean my house. I don’t punish myself if I can’t bring myself to leave the house or even get out of bed, but i make sure I at least try to shower or eat.

I remember that I’ve survived this long and made it through every other anxiety attack and depressive episode and I can make it through the rest. I can’t stop these thoughts from ever surfacing, but I can try to stop them from controlling my life.

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