The "Old" Me

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*Trigger Warning* Before continuing, please note, this post contains some emotional content and discussion of self-harm behaviour which can be a potential trigger. 
It's 2:38am, I'm wide awake, crying and writing. I'm also in bed, under the covers, and I have my headphones in. I do this a lot, well I used to; just get my iPod, put my music on, my headphones in and drift away to a land of good memories and dancing (I love to dance and often choreograph my own little routines in my head).

But now, I listen to music and it actually makes me feel worse.

Once upon a time music was my saviour. Now it reminds me of the old me; the old
friendly, bubbly and outgoing girl I used to be - dancing, having fun and being silly. In London, in Leeds, in Thailand, in Barcelona, in Brazil, in Ibiza, in Valencia, in America. Blah blah blah, you get my drift - I love to travel.

I've been very lucky to have some amazing experiences. Anxiety free and all. Actually in "the old me" days, anxiety didn't even cross my mind. I was confident. I loved going out and spending time with my gorgeous friends and my family. And NEW PEOPLE! I like meeting new people. And I laughed. I really laughed.

But now, things have changed a lot.

I put my headphones in now and I either, 1) Get paranoid that by blocking my hearing and closing my eyes a Scary Lady that haunts me will sneak up on me and harm me in a horrific way OR 2) Forget the outside world and start to picture the old me & my gorgeous friends dancing and having fun, which gets me all hopeful and really wanting to go out and enjoy myself!

But realistically, as lovely as No.2 sounds, it just wouldn't happen. Even though I may want to socialise at times - though rarely now; the fear, paranoia and exhaustion will stop me before I even choose bottoms to go out in!

Now I listen to songs that take me to memories of Barcelona or of Brazil or of America with family and friends. And to other awesome times dancing in Leeds (where I was lucky enough to live a pretty decent student life for a few years), and I cry and cry and cry, the same way I think I would if I was mourning a friend. In fact, it feels like I have lost a friend - I feel the pain too, the mental & physical pain; the emptiness in my stomach, the heaviness of my limbs, the monster at my throat - strangling me. I guess I am in mourning - to me, the happy me has died and I'm mourning her death. Now I also realise that I was quite harsh on "the old me", and damn, now I can see how fucking awesome she was.

The new me can hardly even go outside on her own or make a phone call. I struggle with using public transport and don't like being far from home any more, even if my mum is with me. I get scared when people walk past the house or knock on the door - they're lucky if I open it. I can't even check messages from my friends, or answer the phone, or meet up with the people I love.  I'm THAT scared. I'm THAT exhausted. I'm really struggling. How things have changed...This is mental.

"How did this happen?" is a question that I ask myself often. I want to know so I can go back and fix it, but really I can't do that, and I think that's why that question bothers me so much. It doesn't matter. I just have to start again, from now.

I hold, cuddle & punch my pillows. I toss & turn. I squeeze my hands, I punch the walls, I slap myself, I bite my nails and use them to hurt myself, I bite my lips, I cut my arms... I scream bloody murder in my head, in mourning of the girl I once was, and petrified of the life I currently have. What if this is it? What if this is how I spend the rest of my life?

I don't want this life.

This is not what I had planned or what I was hoping for.

And it scares me that I might never have that "old me" again.

So now, it's very rare that I use my headphones or listen to anything other than Radio 4 or Florence + the Machine.

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