Maybe I don’t have a soul

Journaling about life and mental health for whoever wants to relate or talk

Numbness

Today I want to talk about feeling numb, because that is how I have been feeling the last few days. It's just like I can't feel anything lately. If I am sad it doesn't feel like it's hitting me, if I am happy, I smile for a few seconds, but then the feeling is gone, and if I feel mad I don't have the strength to express it so I just let it go. Sometimes it is comforting to feel numb because at least the bad feelings are not so harsh, therefore I don't feel so anxious when I am in a numb phase, and the only anxiety I can feel is the physical one, not the mental one, which feels less heavy. But on the other hand, everything becomes so much more difficult to do, because I have no motivation and no will to do anything; everything requires so much effort. It's truly a weird feeling, it's like nothing is there but so much is there at the same time. It feels unnatural and I can't wait for this phase to end, even if it means I will be overwhelmed by the feelings, but it's here so I just wanted to acknowledge it.

Sorry if I am not writing as much lately, it's hard to find the motivation, but I hope you all are doing okay.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don't have a soul

I am mad...

An emotion that comes up often for me is anger. I am mad for so many reasons and I try to repress it so much, since it doesn't feel justified, but today I want to say all the things I am mad about. I am mad that I have depression, I am mad because I technically should be happy, but I am not. I am mad that I can't even say that I am sad, because sadness is a feeling that goes away, but whatever I have doesn't. As I think Jim Carrey said one day: “depression is your body saying fuck you, I don't wanna be this character anymore”. Why would I not want to be my character??? I am mad because I work so hard to be the best version of myself and it never seems enough. People will misinterpret my action and think I have bad intentions behind what I do; people will get advantage of me; people will manipulate me; people will abandon me; so yeah I am mad. But most of all I am mad at myself because I am never enough for myself. Rationally, I know that I am a pretty good person, I wish I had a friend like me, because even if I am not perfect I always try and I always have the best intentions in mind; so why am I not able to be f****ing proud of myself. I am mad that even when I do good things and fulfil my goals, all I can see are my mistakes. I am mad that I don't wanna live anymore. I am mad that I feel like I am not strong enough since I am struggling; I am mad that I feel like it's my fault that my mind is sick. I am also mad that no one can see how bad I feel. People will tell me how good I look and how healthy I look when I am just dying inside and it makes me feel so mad and unseen. I am so mad that I feel so alone. I am just so mad right now and I don't really know how to deal with it.

Hope this can make you express your anger too.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don't have a soul

I am not my depression and anxiety.. or am I?

Sometimes it is hard to understand who I am and if I actually have a personality outside of my mental illness. As I said before sometimes I feel like I am living two lives, which also means that I feel like I have two person living inside of me. I know that I come up as a really extroverted and full of energy person at first when people first meet me; but then with time people can see more of my true self, which for how crazy and stupid I can be, is a type of person who is quite grounded and realistic. My mental illness leads me to some change in my behaviour sometimes like for example: I am very impulsive and fearless usually, but when I am in a bad mental period, it's like I can't make any decisions. But those really drastic changes in my behaviour don't make me doubt as much who I am, because I got used to recognise my patterns and knowing that these behaviours don't actually come from me, but from this sick part of me. On the other hand, sometimes I feel like if I had just one of the two person I would loose a part of me, the part that developed some coping mechanisms which I use so much now that I think became part of my personality, like my dark humour, my sarcasm and my ability to joke about myself, which in some way make me a better person. So sometimes I want my conditions to be a part of who I am.

This scares me a lot because. It's like for how much I wanna get better, sometimes I am scared of getting rid of those bad thoughts, and these battles that continuously go on into my head, because I am scared of who I will be when I will have just the healthy part of my brain in my life. I don't know if it's because I am so used to my bad thoughts, but I feel like the fact that I am never proud of myself, pushes me to be better; the fact that I easily feel responsible for my mistakes, forces me to be humble; and the fact that I know that no matter how I happy I seem on the outside I could be dying in the inside, helps me to better understand that everyone has their own battles, which is why I tend to be a kind and empathic person. Sometimes I am so scared of working on my self esteem because I don't wanna loose my compassion. I feel like that is a part of the journey of healing that no one talks about: the fear of getting better. I know that what goes on into my head is not normal, and it is not healthy for me, but what if once it's gone, there is nothing left of what I like about me? What if the parts I like of myself are so tightly linked to me not being okay, that I'll loose all of them when I'll actually be alright?

I just wanted to share this fear of mine with you guys, so that if it ever happened to someone else you know you are not alone. Remember though that it takes courage to do the things that scare us. So even though sometimes it's comforting to staying in our mental illness, because we know it so well, and we know how we think with it, but don't know what will happen once it won't be there, healing is the brave choice and at the end of the day, healing doesn't mean changing who we are, but just becoming a healthier version of ourself. Therefore we can only become a better version of ourselves, since we will find a way to stick to the qualities we like about ourselves, without though the unhealthy loops we are stuck inside right now. So be brave and try to work on your healing journey every day.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don't have a soul

Happy

I think happiness is what everyone search for, but most people don't know or haven't tried to understand what would make them happy. I think that basing ourself on the feeling of happiness to be able to say that we are happy is too unrealistic because feelings come and go, and we can live a happy life but still have bad days. So what would be my happiness? I think that I will be able to say that I am happy when my mind will be at peace, which I think will happen the day I will come to an understanding complete enough of my mental health which would allow me to be able to live most of my days living in the moment and being able to control my mind from getting stuck in the past or stressing about the future. I think that more than being able to full-fill my goals, like being a doctor or hopefully finding love one day, that is what I want: finding my peace of mind. Because I know that I am very stubborn, therefore I will attain my goals one way or another, and I am independent enough to find joy in not having a lover too, but I know that no matter how hard I try, until I don't find my peace of mind, I can't fully enjoy my achievements and I will always look for something more, hoping it will give me a sense of worth. Nothing will ever be enough to give me this feeling though, I have to first work on finding it independently of my achievement and then aliment it by full-filling all of my dreams. I am now choosing to see happiness as a goal, because I am going to work really hard to get it and once I will have it, I will work to keep it. I am going to get to my happiness, to my peace of mind and no one will be able to stop me, people can only slow me down.

Think about what is the one thing that you need to be happy, and start working to get it, you will get there too I know it.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don't have a soul

Self harm ... why did I do it?

I would like to start by saying that I never actively tried to kill myself, because I never found a plan that would suit my requirement: my suicide looking like an accident. And for the longest time I also stopped myself from self harming, because I didn't want to worry whoever was close to me, in particular my parents. But in the end of 2019, my depression got so bad that mentally torturing myself was not enough and I decided to hurt myself by not eating when I was supposed to, or as much as I was supposed to, pretending I wasn't hungry. Luckily, I stopped before actually putting my health in danger, but I had lost over 6 kilograms and I am a rather thin person, so even if it was not under the minimum healthy limit for me, I came close to it. Then I used another couple of methods to self harm in ways that were not physically noticeable, like smoking cigarettes until my throat was hurting, or purposefully training until my whole body was hacking, even more when I was hurt, like when my back problems would be present. I am not sure that at the time I fully realised what I was doing but later on I did, and I know now that I was using these methods to punish myself whenever I would feel guilty. This is the first reason I think someone would look for ways to self harm, when someones does it, I think that the want to give themselves what they think they deserve... pain.

Another reason though, maybe the most painful of the two is the one I discovered this spring. At some point this year I was so overwhelmed by my anxiety and my depression, that one day under the shower, I was staring at my arm, wanting to cut into it, probably like I never did before, that I started scratching it in the region I wanted to cut, and I scratched until I saw red spots appearing on my skin. The red spots were a bit of blood, nothing too bad, just a bad abrasion. Afterwards though, the pain felt comforting. In some ways it was like I was finally feeling something, even though it was pain it was something; in some others it was like all of the mental pain I was feeling was finally justified, it was finally real because it had become physical, and it was a way to refocus all of my mental pain in one single point, instead of having it go all around my mind and my body, since depression and anxiety also make me have physical pain like heartache and migraines. It was liberating. It felt somehow releasing even considering how much it hurt. So then I did it again in zones that were more hidden since the arm was too noticeable. It was also easy to hide it to my parents since in September 2021 I moved for university and when they saw me again, my bruises were just scares at that point and I could lie to them about the scares.

I felt very ashamed though afterwards, like I had done something so wrong, this is also why I chose some spots that were more hidden when I did it again after my arm. Now though, when I look at my scares I feel kind of proud, proud that that is all I did to myself and I am still alive and fighting and they became a reminder of the fact that there are gonna be moments when I am not gonna be well at all, but somehow I will survive, a reminder of a place I will fight not to go again. I am also proud of the fact that these are now scares, which mean I was able to stop hurting myself physically and let my bruises heal; this gives me hope about the fact that somehow I will also find a way to stop hurting myself mentally.

If you ever did harm yourself, or are doing it right now, I would advice you to search for support, it could be in a friend, a medical professional, or an anonymous post somewhere. I would like you to remember, that it is understandable that you did it, and you don't have to feel ashamed, those scares might also become one of the parts you love the most of yourself, because they are a sign of a lesson you learned, and a phase you lived, you need to let them become scars though, because hurting yourself physically might feel comforting but it doesn't help you heal, and it doesn't help anyone else. I hope you will allow yourself to heal and realise you don't deserve punishment.

Lots of love, wish you the best

Maybe I don't have a soul

What if my heart stopped... would you even miss me?

Sometimes I feel like people don't actually care how I feel, but just if I am alive. What I mean is that people will check on you if you get yourself into obvious dangerous situation, and once they know that you are, they stop asking. They don't ask themselves why you would put yourself into these situations. It's fine, it's not there responsibility. But why would they care about me when I am in danger, if when I am obviously dying inside in front of them, they will avoid asking how I feel, or avoid talking to me at all. It feels a bit fake. It feels like they think it's there responsibility to know that my heart is beating, and that's why they ask, to have clear conscience. Am I alive though, just because my heart is beating? Can't you see that my soul is slowly sliding away, and I will soon be just an empty shell walking around?

I am a genuine person, so when I care about someone, I don't just want them to have an heartbeat, I want them to be alive inside and out. Therefore when I check on someone, I also check on how they feel, even though the answer might be bad. So I am sorry if I think you don't care about me when you just care about my heart beating. I am sorry if I feel this is hypocritical. I am sorry if I don't actually think you are worried about me, but just about how my death will impact you. Answer to me, if my heart stopped, would you even miss me, or would you just miss the comfort of seeing my face around knowing that you might be responsible for it, since you checked if my heart was beating. If I am alive it is not thanks to you, it is thanks to the friend that asked me how I was feeling, that asked me where I was when I disappeared, that made me talk when I stood in silence, that hugged me when there was nothing else to do and it is thanks to me for fighting my demons. So if you want to check only on my physical health, do so, if it can clear your conscience, but when I will be dead, don't pretend you miss me, and excuse me if I don't think you are my friend.

Sometimes I feel like people asking me how I feel is just a form of politeness, if you feel like me you are not alone.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don't have a soul

Smile and put on a happy face

The joker once said this sentence “smile and put on a happy face”. I think I miss being a kid and not really knowing what this means. When I saw the Joker movie in 2020, I was in a pretty bad phase of my depression and I remember just hearing this sentence eco in my head for the rest of the movie and for the few days after, and sometimes this eco comes back. This responsibility, this duty to seem happy even when we are not. Happy is the standard. If someone is not happy, there is a problem, and people start thinking that they are somehow ungrateful. “Why are you not happy, you know how many people wish they would have what you have”, they say. But how can I explain to them that I am not happy, because even though I am blessed I still face a lot of challenges. When I try to explain it, they will tell me: “It's not a big deal”, “Why are you so negative” and so on. And I just wanna shout “BECAUSE IT MATTER TO ME, AND IT HURTS ME”, instead I shut up, nod, smile and say “You're right I was worrying for nothing” and return to my silence. The fact is that this world is so focused on seeing things so black and white, that if it is not a matter of life and death, or at least from the common point of view, it is nothing important. But for me, when something bothers me enough to feel bad and not just numb it is a matter of life and death, and having to smile and put on a happy face just worsens everything. I would like to express myself, express my sadness as much as I express my happiness, express my indifference as much as I express my enthusiasm, express my numbness as much as I express my energy; I am instead left here with this mask, this smile and no one sees my tears. I wish it was different but it's not... so I smile and put on a happy face.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don't have a soul, but I have a smile on my face

Depression and anxiety, what do they feel like to me?

I started with a strong piece about wanting to die, I think that it is time now to face my truth and explain how I feel.

Choosing where to start is hard, but I think that the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about how I feel is: hopeless. Why hopeless, because it feels like whatever I do, I can't get rid of my demons. There is always gonna be a voice inside my head telling me: “I am not good enough”; “I am worthless”; “The world would be a better place if I was gone”; “Nobody can understand me or love me”; “Why would someone love me, I can't even love myself, and why should I, I am rotten to the core, there is nothing left to save in me”. The rational part of me knows that these feelings are not the reality, therefore I have to constantly be in control of myself, because if I would let myself go and just feel whatever is happening, I would have nothing that fights those thoughts in me and I would probably not survive. My hope is gone in the sense that I don't think there will ever be a day where I will be able once again to just be, and where I won't need to be in control to survive. To make it more direct, I don't think I will ever be happy again, not fully, maybe in some specific moments of a day, but when happiness ever comes back to me it never lasts long.

It is hard enough having to deal with these thoughts on there own, but having anxiety I also tend to care a lot about my environment which means that I will get overly stressed thinking that people could have the same opinion of me that I have of myself. Whenever they change their behaviour the slightest towards me the first thought that comes to my mind is “what have I done wrong”. So then I start exhausting myself building up a thousand scenarios on what could have been the reason or what will happen when I'll end up disappointing someone in the future.

I read somewhere that we get depressed when we live in the past and we get anxious when we live in the future, and even though I think there is so much more to those two conditions, this statement has its validity. Having both at the same time is like getting stressed over the future and thinking the worst will happen because history repeats itself, and no matter how much we try to change things, the future doesn't hold better outcomes than the past has already shown us. It's like being stuck in an eternal loop of stress, sadness, hopelessness and anger.

The truth is though that I learned how to make the difference about what are my true wishes and what are my dark thoughts, which in some ways it helps not being actively suicidal or to voluntarily hurt myself, because most of the time I can still reason with my brain and not follow my “wishes”; but sometimes it feels like I am just living two lives: the one that everyone sees, where I am not suicidal and I act like everyone expects me to, and the one inside my head, that is in a constant battle.

Since I live these “two lives”, I feel so lonely. I feel like no-one can understand me, which is why I tend to not express how I feel, but also I don't feel justified to say it out loud. From an outward prospective, I have a great life: my parents are still together, I was born and raised in a stable country, I am doing the studies I want to do, I have friends, and so on, so technically there is nothing wrong with my life. It therefore feels like I shouldn't be allowed to say that I am not happy I shouldn't even be allowed to feel it. I am also so scared to talk about it because I am afraid that if someone sees all this darkness hidden inside of me they will leave me or they will get worried for me and I don't wanna worry anyone. So I feel so alone.

I know that I am suicidal, but I don't think that I actually want to die I just want a break. A break from having my mood constantly depending so much on the rest of the world, since it is my escape from my mind and I want to take care of it. A break from being a burden, from messing up, from disappointing everyone including myself, from the conviction that I will never become something good, and from the tiredness that comes from fighting all of these feelings. Therefore I don't think that I want to die, I just want an escape, and death looks like the solution.

My problem is that I can't commit suicide, because I don't want anyone to feel like it was their fault if I was not strong enough to live. So to enable myself to kill myself I would have to find a way that would be taken for an accident, and would never be suspected to be a suicide, but since I don't think that there is one I am stuck dealing with this situation everyday. Which is pretty hard because I am stuck with myself, and I hate myself, I am my own bully, a bully that I can't get rid off. And I constantly feel overwhelmed.

It's like I am a ticking bomb, and even if I don't know when I am going to explode, I am going to do it at some point. I am fighting a war that I can't win, because I am loosing even when I am winning since I am still alive.

I said what was hard in my condition, I wanna say though that I am still able to feel the positive emotions so when I can't find a reason to live, I focus on the one thing of the day that made me smile, and that is what I would advice you to do if you guys feel like me.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don't have a soul

Clown therapy

I spent this weekend doing a course about clown therapy: how to do it and how this could help me be a better physician later on (spoiler alert: I am a med student). How you could have guessed from my last blog, it’s been a tough moment for me lately and how one of our coordinators has said “this course comes to you in the best moments”, and for me it really did. It was the first time in months where I felt good.

The weekend was so interesting, we talked about empathy and sympathy and how there was a difference between them, we talked about ethics and so much more subjects. From that, I felt like I grew as a person in just 48 hours. It’s impressive how in just few hours I have the impression of having changed and became better because of the subjects that were brought up, but moreover because of the discussions that emerged from those subjects and the opinions of 26 other people. I realized the real importance of sharing from this experience, it gives you a different prospective and helps you get to an improved view of a certain subject way quicker, it’s truly fascinating.

But moreover, what i truly loved about this weekend is that we created a group, where, for the first time of my life, I felt like I belonged and there was no judgement; we were all at the same level and we were all moving together. It was just mind blowing. I had forgotten, or I am not even sure I ever knew, that this kind of spaces existed. Which says a lot about the world we live in.

We live in a world where competition and exclusion feeling are so present that we are impressed and chocked when we see compassion, kindness and inclusion. People are so focused on being the best, that to fulfill this desire, they focus on the character traits that are obviously “powerful” to the world, like intelligence, strength or beauty and lack to nourish the ones that may not lead you to this feeling of power like the ones stated above. But this weekend we saw how being empathic, gentle and humble makes you be a way better person in every way. There is wisdom and a bravery in being able to see the world from someone else’s prospective, taking actions with respect for other’s boundaries, interacting with others without comparing yourself to them and creating so a competition, and facing your own limits; this doesn’t make you in any way weaker, it just adds to your character. We have to fight this stereotype that feelings are weakness, they are so powerful and they make us who we are, we should learn to accept them better also to learn how to deal with them better.

This experience also made me think a lot and I still have to answer a lot of questions that were brought up by it, this is just a rant of my first feelings and reflection about it, can’t wait to go on with this project and learn more about the world and myself.

Hope you are gonna find this interesting,

Lots of love,

Maybe I don’t have a soul

Live, why?

People say live a little, enjoy life, but why should I want to live in a world where all I do is give: give my energy; give my kindness; give my advices; give my care; give all of me; and all i seem to get is a fight inside head that even when i am winning, since I am still alive, it feels like I am loosing it. So live?! Tell me why would I want that?

Why is everyone so excited about life and i am here contemplating death everyday?

They say life is beautiful because it’s full of freedom, but there is no real freedom in this world: the social rules, the law, the popularity races, the standards, the categorizing of groups, the opinions of other; all i see is rules and limitations, while in death there is nothing and this sounds like freedom to me.

They say life is full of opportunity, which is true but is it worth the price of all opportunity coming with judgement and consequences which often trouble our inner peace? While death offers better opportunity no matter what you think there is after. If you think there is something after death, they say there is peace, which means that you will still have opportunities no matter whether they are talking with a loved one or jumping from an airplane, there will be no inner battles. And if you think death is the ending, it also is the ending of those inner battles, which seems like a huge opportunity to me.

They say life is full of hope and hope is the last to die, but death is my hope and i want my hope to be the first to live. So can someone tell me why? Why should i want to live?

PS: I wrote this text and I am publishing it for two reason: I needed to express my feelings and tell them to the world staying anonymous while saying them, and in the hope to help someone that feels the same way to see that they are not alone, so if you feel like this know that you are not! It’s okay to feel like this, and you are one of the strongest people in the world if you are still holding on.

Lots of love,

Maybe I don’t have a soul

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