Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well.
Today’s blog post has been one I’ve been absolutely terrified to publish; I was so scared to sound ‘crazy’, to be judged or berated. I have been so afraid of what people might say. Then, I grew a vagina (I already have one, but I hate one people say ‘grow a pair of balls’, because vaginas are way stronger than balls sooo), and decided to just hit the Publish button, and hope that this post may help even one person.
My mental health in 2015 and the first half in 2016 was horrendous; my health anxiety and general anxiety and fear of life left me barely able to leave the house; I started having cognitive behavioural therapy (would recommend), hypnotherapy (didn’t work for me) and taking anti depressants (really helped), and with the help of an amazing therapist, I came out the other end.
There was one thing going on in my brain that put the fear of God into me; it happened non stop, and made me think I wasn’t sane. I thought I needed sectioning, and I was petrified to tell my therapist, because I genuinely thought she would either call the police, or the mental health team at the hospital and I would be sectioned.
I was having, what I now know are called Intrusive Thoughts.
They hit me like a truck; one day I was living my life, and suddenly, I was crippled by anxiety, and imagining the most terrible things.
I would be standing talking to a member of my family, and I would suddenly imagine them being shot or stabbed. It would make me want to throw up, want to run and hit my head against a wall, screw my eyes up and get the horrible images out of my head.
The thoughts that entered my head ranged from throwing myself in front of trains, to swerving into oncoming traffic, to, as previously mentioned, my family members or friends being killed, and a whole host of truly horrible, horrific thoughts.
I was so scared, because when I’d imagine these things, it wasn’t me; I wasn’t trying to think it. The thoughts would storm into my head like a military troop, and refuse to leave. They’d fill my head, killing everyone I loved, causing so much pain and suffering. I became so scared of myself and my own brain; was this my body trying to tell me that I was dangerous, and wanted to hurt the people I held dearest?
Being in my head became a seriously awful place; filled with nothing but terror and destruction. I used to be cutting vegetables and suddenly think ‘What if I just got this knife and stabbed myself with it? What would happen?’. I knew I’d never do it, I didn’t want to die, I couldn’t think of anything worse! However, my brain would force unsettling and often terrible thoughts into my head, at any time, about anything, and refuse to let them leave.
One day, they got to the point where I couldn’t go on anymore, and confided in my therapist. I thought ‘that’s it, I’m going to be locked away’. I was absolutely shocked when she kindly and gently explained to me that it was completely normal, not just for someone suffering with anxiety/OCD, but for anyone. We all have ‘intrusive thoughts’ to some degree (you know when you’re holding your friends baby and you’re like ‘Imagine if I just dropped him/her on the floor!’, but you’d never DREAM of doing that, EVER), but they can be a form of OCD, especially when they become really horrible images, like mine were.
I asked her if it meant I was dangerous, and she told me it definitely didn’t mean I was dangerous. She said the people who have these intrusive thoughts are often the people who would be least likely to ever harm someone as they’re so disturbed by them.
After hearing that I wasn’t actually an insane and terrible person, it comforted me a lot. I still get intrusive thoughts from time to time, but I feel a lot calmer about them, I understand they’re not real life, and I simply tell my brain ‘NO – that is not something that’s happening or will ever happen, I’m in control of my own thoughts, so stop it.’
I know that I’m not alone in experiencing these, and I truly do hope that this post has brought some comfort to any of you struggling. I know that some people may read this and think ‘What the hell, that’s so weird that you think things like that!’, and I know it may seem strange to someone who’s never gone through it, but it is something that happens to many of us.
I am the type of person that tried to give CPR to a dying fly when I was 5; I would never want to hurt or harm anyone, which is why these thoughts scared me so much before I talked them through with my cognitive behavioural therapist. I am so happy I did, as it made me feel so much better knowing I’m not alone.
I really hope this post helps some of you and brings you some comfort and reassurance.
All my love BGP xx