**Trigger Warning: mention of anxiety, suicide, death, and grief**
I often wonder how all the mental heath problems I have fit in my head. Obviously this stems from a purely juvenile, cartoon version of my head being an empty vessel with the mental illnesses collecting like floating amoebic blobs ready to expand and contract depending on which needs more attention that day. I sometimes feel like I'm collecting labels like limited edition figurines. I don't think I’m trying to do this, more that I'm just noticing it happening and then doing something about it in an often futile attempt to help myself. I’ve recently found out that I have OCD, this is something I have long since suspected as I have some classic symptoms but it’s not something I’ve ever pursued a diagnosis of as I never thought it was bad enough. I laugh. Bad enough? I never thought losing countless nights of sleep because I couldn’t stop intrusive thoughts, or smacking myself in the head to make the horrific thoughts go away was bad enough? I never thought how germ-phobic I am, how I physically recoil if anyone so much as breathes on me, or how I am 90% flammable at all times because of how much hand sanitizer I use was bad enough? I was coping. Newsflash: I wasn’t coping.
Now I have something called Health Anxiety. This is now what used to be called Hypochondria but since that word, like so many others, has been used to mock and degrade it has been changed to reflect the seriousness of the condition for the modern day. The stigma is still there but only if you can find its maiden name. Apparently this is a branch of OCD and in reading that I basically could no longer deny the existence of having it. Goddamnit. I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to in order to cope; such as distractions...like writing this piece or waiting patiently for my NHS therapy to begin. I’m having a lot of medical tests done, I suppose to rule out anything physical and I have to wait until they are over before I can begin therapy. I suppose I understand why, they can’t very well go around telling me it's all in my head if it’s not. I’m not really sure how I'll make it until then though, I am so afraid of death that I have made a crude will, and every night before I go to sleep I say goodbye to my partner and my cat. I don’t know if you can imagine how soul destroying that is, to be so convinced you won't wake up in the morning that you have to say goodbye to your loved ones every single night, but it is.
I think more than anything I am afraid of the uncertainty of it. Not what happens after, I’ll be dead so I expect I won’t care but it’s about the when and the how. I’ve never wanted to live forever, in fact I’ve spent most of my life being completely suicidal, wishing to die, or feeling invincible but if someone came up to me right now with an immortality elixir, or immortal vampires were a thing then I would snatch that elixir quicker than a magician whipping a tablecloth or whine at/charm that vampire until they gave it up. I’d live forever in pain and anguish right now if meant that I could just have the relief of certainty from this anxiety. Can you tell I’m getting kind of desperate? I’m going to try and afford some private therapy while I’m waiting as I need something, anything to take some of the pressure off. I miss the days when I wasn’t so anxious. Or disabled for that matter. Fuck sake.