6 MIN READ | Mental Health Stories

Chris Gilham

There Are Days When I Wish I Was Numb

Cite This
Chris Gilham, (2021, August 25). There Are Days When I Wish I Was Numb. Psychreg on Mental Health Stories. https://www.psychreg.org/wish-was-numb/
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Feelings are just terrible. Why do I have to have feelings? I’m sure there must be good feelings sometimes, but right now I can’t remember them. I feel pain, sadness, distant, anxious, and useless. Depressed, depressed, depressed – I’m sick of feeling. 

These feelings make me feel physically sick, as well as mentally. I know I don’t feel bad all the time, but Christ it seems like it these days. I wish I was numb. Why can’t the feelings go away and never come back? Nothing good, nothing bad, just nothing – beautiful nothingness.

I have ups and downs, but right now I think there are more downs. Is this because the downs hurt more, and are more powerful than the ups? Maybe I have more ups, but because they don’t hurt, I don’t remember them? I’m not sure, but I don’t think so.

Every task is too much right now. I try but get nowhere. Small tasks seem insurmountable, even those that I think I like doing. 

What’s this all about? 

It doesn’t matter if the tasks are easy or difficult. Actually, the easy ones are often the worst. If I do manage to get something done, or a couple of things it can feel like a huge rush, and then a monumental crash. I fucking hate it. The agony.

What’s the point of doing most of this stuff anyway? Most of it seems totally unnecessary to me. Yet, people in the world around me think things need to be done, and that gets me on edge.

I have so much energy inside me trying to escape. It’s like a volcano trying to explode, but it isn’t quite ready. I feel like water in a kettle being heated up, but I don’t quite reach boiling point; I need to though. If only I could reach boiling point and release this uneasy energy.

Millions of thoughts running through my mind. I get exhausted from within. I sleep because I’m tired, or sometimes not tired. There’s less pain when sleeping, I guess. However, some dreams mess with my mind, and I wake up in more pain. Tricks of the head, why does it do it? 

How do I explain the lethargy? My legs are like lead. I physically can’t move, yet inside I feel like I could run a marathon in under three hours. This, at the same time as my head tells me to sleep again. Argh, the conflict!

I’m so thankful that I’m gamble-free and sober though. Thank fuck! If I wasn’t, what kind of mess would I be in? 

Having said that, I wouldn’t be feeling this pain now if I was drunk. I know this isn’t an option though. I know where drink takes me and gambling. It’s not somewhere I ever plan to be again. 

Why can’t I find something fun, relaxing, productive to take the pain away? Why does it have to be booze which doesn’t really work anyway? I know it makes everything worse. I wish I could find something healthy that gives me that same feeling of ease that that first drink did. 

I’m lucky to have people who love me but that adds so much pressure too. I worry about how they feel, and how my challenges and feelings make them feel. It’s a cycle that can get faster and faster and drag me down. Them too, I guess? If other people don’t worry, then I have less to worry about. That’s how it feels.

I must try to only concentrate on me. I can’t control other peoples worries. Hopefully, if I’m OK they won’t worry, but if they do then that’s their worry and not mine. I can’t own it. It’s too heavy.

I think it just gets frustrating at times when I know there is nothing to worry about, but other people think there is. I understand why others feel like this though. Especially given what happened in the past. That is the past though. I try and live in the present; whether it’s good or bad, it’s the only place I can live.

Sometimes, just let me be. I’m not hiding. I need space. I want to be on my own, it doesn’t mean I am isolating. I know I have in the past, but these days I just need space to try and quiet down my head. It’s important.

It’s hard not to think that life would be easier if people didn’t love me though. One of the hardest things, is to think others feel bad or are worried because of me. I know that I won’t always feel OK and that’s OK for me, but is it for others? I don’t know and that makes me really anxious. 

Recently, I have felt like I never want to feel anything again, but that’s OK. I think I can deal with that but can others. It will pass. Everything does, good and bad.

I often imagine being alone only needing to look after myself. Keep myself alive day to day; fed, watered with some simple shelter. Maybe, most people won’t understand this (some will though, people like me), but I have often felt like the more that I have the worse I feel. A simple life when the only thing to worry about is sustaining myself from one day to the next seems so appealing. 

I have a family though. I need a home for them. Being homeless is not an option for them, even if it is for me.

Wow! this head of mine! I’m writing what comes into it as I think of it, so I don’t know if any of this makes sense. I wonder if I will share this with anyone or keep it to myself. I know I will talk about it at meetings; I always do, but will I share these scribbles?

Tonight, feels like one of those nights I won’t be sleeping. It’s getting pretty normal to be honest.

I’m trying to stay in the moment, but tomorrow has jumped into my head again. Fuck tomorrow, in fact, fuck off you aren’t here yet! Today has felt shit enough without you rearing your ugly head. Anyway you are going to be better than today. That’s what I’m going to pray for anyway.

I feel like a fraud, a failure. I always have. I don’t believe in myself at all. I have no self-worth at times like this. I often say that everyone deserves happiness. I truly believe this but right now it’s hard to relate it to myself. I think everyone except me deserves to be happy. I’m not worthy of anything. That’s how I am feeling right now.

I can’t keep this stuff bottled up these days. I have learned that and that’s why I write my thoughts down, and regularly talk to people about what’s going on. Where would I be without my fellowships and other recovery and mental health meetings?

Actually, I know the answer. I would be dead having taken my own life. That was the plan and I wasn’t scared. I do know in the nearly four years since then I have been thankful to be alive. I need to remember this more now than ever.

Thankfully, even though I struggle so much in my head I have learnt to love me. This keeps me from hurting myself. That’s not to say that I don’t think that death could be a great way out. It’s just that I wouldn’t inflict that on myself. It’s more about the sense of relief I get, if I imagine myself passing away in my sleep. No more feelings, no more pain, no more me.

I do at times feel like I have lived my life. I’ve done what I needed to. I’ve loved and been loved. What’s my reason for being here any more? I imagine it like a car. I’m a car and I have a flat battery. Yes, I could put a new battery in and get going again, but then that’s the start of another long journey and do I want to keep driving? Depends on the day, I guess? Some days I would change the battery, and other days I definitely wouldn’t.

Others will tell me I need to be here for my kids and yes, I get it. This is about thoughts and feelings though and not what’s right and wrong and expected of a parent. I love my children and I will be here for them as long as I share how I feel and keep doing the right things.

Fuck me, life feels like a rollercoaster at the moment. A big scary one with massive ups and downs. I’d  rather be on a smoother ride. Something a lot slower and far less bumpy.

So, my ADHD assessment should be confirmed soon. Well, the appointment letter should come through at least. Fingers crossed it does. If I am diagnosed, hopefully it will help me to understand why I have struggled so much with this stuff through my life. Not going to pin too much on it though. I’m just going to keep going one day at a time. Whatever the outcome I will be sticking close to my doctor.

Before I (try to) sleep, I need to remind myself that even on days like today and all the other days like this there are reasons to be grateful.

Today, I am grateful to have written this. It’s got it out of my head. I’m grateful to have spent time with Luca and taken him for a walk. He is always happy to see me. Being a dog, I don’t need to worry about him worrying about me, and that’s just the best feeling. Also, I saw my other favourite dog Anca. 

Crikey, I was petrified of dogs all my life until a couple of years ago. Now I’m not and that’s something to cheer about. I think I just smiled writing that, so I’m grateful that I can smile. Shows me things can get better and gives me hope. I need hope right now.

I love my kids, my family, and my friends.

I’m sober and gamble-free. Thank fuck.

Might be a good idea to do this again tomorrow!


Chris Gilham is one of the presenters of All Bets Are Off! Podcast. He tweets @gillsy1002_


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