Thin-skinned

I’m not a very thick-skinned individual. I think maybe I used to be and it’s been worn down over time. I suppose in some spots I’m still able to take a shot. It’s true not everything gets to me. But the things that do? They really do. I am more comfortable severing ties than taking on painful treatment.

The internet strikes me as a potentially hazardous place for someone with a low-threshold for verbal abuse. On the other hand I feel like a little exposure is necessary to build up my tolerance. It is only going to dwindle at the rate I have been going. It may come to the point where I can’t handle any criticism at all, even the constructive kind. Well-meant advice will feel like insults. It’s already hard not to feel like I am being judged quite harshly.

Of course, for that issue… it’s because I am being judged quite harshly right now. In this instance, it’s not an astounding surprise that the person judging me is myself. I see everything I have done wrong and everything that I have failed to do and I deem myself defunct, weak, lazy, undesirable, and unremarkable. That list is not complete. It is far too easy to come up with adjectives describing my faults. It can start to feel like that’s all that I am.

It is almost 3 am. I am having an insomniac moment despite having taken a sleep-aid. I’m not sure why that is, maybe it has more to do with my state of mind. I tried to lie there and get tired again (after having slept a few hours to begin with) but that “on” switch was just refusing to turn “off.”

I realized last week how long it’s been that I’ve had trouble with anxiety and depression. Not a helpful thought, but it struck me that it’s been an ongoing issue for roughly half the time I’ve been alive. I’m not even thirty yet, so maybe to someone else this is not a lot of time… but I feel like I’ve been watching my mental health wax and wane for about fourteen years.

It makes me tempted to use the term “veteran” to describe my level of experience, though I do shy away from that somewhat. Am I really? Doesn’t that word imply a certain savvy-ness that I don’t truly feel that I possess? I suppose there are little tricks I’ve picked up, insights into the nature of my illness, but looming over anything I might consider knowledge is the notion that I am still floundering to this day. Besides this, it is hard to feel proud of any gleaned insights when you know that insight is not a guarantee of behavior change.

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