A Window to My Conscience – Entry III

The Past 6 Months

Over the past year a lot has happened in my life. Last year I was diagnosed with Social Phobia and Panic Disorder and put on medication to help try to control it. It worked for a little while, but then in November of 2014, my father committed suicide. I won’t get into the details of it, but after the funeral, things started to change. First, let me tell you this: I have found closure. He is my father and I will miss him dearly, and I think about him every day. But he is gone. I am now focusing on getting better myself. My anxiety got worse – I started having 3-4 panic attacks each week – the smallest things would set them off. I went back to my doctor. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Now, with the help of some very close friends and some medication, I am in the process of getting the help that  I need.

But still the fact remains. I have a mental illness.

But what does that mean? What does that say about me as a person? Where do I go from here? What about my friends? What if they aren’t okay with me being sick? My family? My coworkers? How do I go day to day when all I can think about is worrying if I’m going to offend someone or have a panic attack? Is medication the solution? What if I can’t find a therapist? What if I can’t afford the medication? How much of my personality does my illness effect? My intuition? my sub conscious? My dreams? Am I just some broken person now?

All of these questions (and more) have popped into my head over the past six-months. The biggest one: What about my friends? I don’t have a lot of friends. 6-7 that I talk to regularly. What if when they find out that I have a mental illness, they want to leave.

Well, as it happens they did. And they didn’t leave. In fact they help me every day. They have helped me understand that I am worth something, and I am important to them. They encouraged me to talk to my doctor about getting into therapy. To talk to someone. Sure, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve said things that offended them and gone nights where they didn’t want to talk to me. But they always came back and they say they always will. True friends.

I’m learning more about my illness every day and I know I will get better. The future has a lot in store for me, and I have to get better to see what is there. To see my friends smile at me without fearing what they hide behind those smiles.

Now, mistakes have been made. Friends have decided that they needed a break from my problems. A break from me. And while my immediate reaction may be anger, it won’t stay. Because I understand them needing a break from this, from my anxiety. Because I do too. Someone once told me that it’s just as hard for those who love someone with a mental illness to handle the person with the mental illness as it is for the person themselves to handle the mental illness.

In my eyes, this cannot be true.

Someone without a mental illness cannot fully grasp how difficult it is to live one. It’s like saying it’s just as difficult for someone to watch actors in a play as it is for the actors to be in the play. You can watch and imagine how difficult it is, but without living it, you can never truly understand what it’s like to not want to get out of bed because you’re afraid of the outside world. Afraid to speak to strangers because of how they judge you. Afraid to let people in because they will only end up leaving you; it’s what everyone has done in the past.

INFJ 6w5

In my adventure to learn more about myself, I’ve taken more MBTI tests (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and Enneagram to try and help me understand why I make the decisions I make, and what my motivations are. It has revealed that I am an INFJ (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging). The label feels good in itself – feels like there are people on the planet that understand me – people who are like me. INFJ is the rarest of all 16 personality types at only 1-3% of the US population. It feels special in itself. Empathy for me is almost like a super power. I walk into a room and I read the overall emotion of the room and it changes my mood. I value helping others over helping myself and yet, I fear that I’m not meeting my own potential.

I trust my intuition and usually I can tell peoples motivations through conversation. I am good at ‘reading people’ some would say. I pick up on all aspects of conversation easily and they help me determine people’s motivations and intentions through interaction. I am unlikely to have ‘casual’ relationships. Whether it is with platonic, or intimate, I avoid relationships with people whom I feel are not in it for the long haul. I value depth in all my relationships so it’s not likely that I would pursue a friendship if I don’t see it as one that will be deep and lasting. When it comes to intimate relationships, I think my past relationships have failed because I didn’t truely feel that the relationships would last forever. I was only seeking the companionship. I have the ideal intimate relationship in my head – and I know what I am willing to compromise on and what I am not.

Through the Enneagram I’ve found that I am a type 6 wing 5. This says that I am driven by an innate sense that I have no firm foundation to my life. Nothing really solid to hold on to. This couldn’t be more true about me. I’ve taken in a way in the past that lead me to becoming too attached to my friends, almost dependant on them, and it has pushed some of them away. That’s why I understand when someone “needs a break” from me. Because I lack a basic trust in the universe and seek something I can hold on to and in the past it has been my friendships. It’s something I cannot do anymore. I thrive on the sense that there is usually more to any given situation that others let on. I have to learn to not let this sense control me though as I have done in the past. I am keenly aware of power dynamics in relationships. I can usually tell who has power, who wants power, who will use it and who will misuse it. Where others see the status quo I often see a balance or an imbalance.

A Final Thought

This raises the question: Who am I really? I want to get to know myself a lot better than I already do. To learn my motivations, my good and bad traits, things I can change to better myself and things I can’t change – my character flaws – that make me who I am. What do I want out of my life?

That is what I aim to find out.

A Window to my Conscience – Entry II

I had a dream last night. It took me to a place where I go every so often to get away from it all. From all the anxiety and stress, from the torment and the hate, from everything. It always looks the same:

A beautiful river about 250 meters across, with a wide concrete beam bridge spanning it. On either side of the river, wooden docks float with the tide along thick concrete abutments. On the far side of the river, I see a town. Trees look like paint brushes painting the blue into the sky, houses look like models nestled into the green luxurious landscape.

Jutting into the sky on my side of the river is a carnival. A ferris wheels, a roller coaster and various other rides shoot up like towers. Lights flash and buzzers ding and whirl, the sounds of people winning (and losing) at the various prize booths. Screams echo as the cars on the roller coaster drop down another hill, inside a tent a circus master stands on an elephant trumpets triumphantly. Everything is painted in bright hues of greens and reds and yellows, even the entertainers are colourful some in baggy clown suits with huge red shoes and big floppy bows and flowers, and some of the workers in the booths wearing colourful striped top hats. In the river beside the carnival there are lots of river boats. They too, are bustling with activity, colours and lights; probably part of the carnival I figure.

I sit looking up the river. On my left is the river and across it the beautiful, tranquil landscape and to my right sits the flashing lights and bright colors of the carnival. Behind me sits the beam bridge bustling with people and cars crossing to and from the carnival. Yet here I sit. I always just sit. I’m happy there, at peace; I can stare at the beautiful sights around me, and feel at rest with the world; nothing can phase me.


That’s the place I usually go. I usually just walk around, play a few carnival games, talk to some of the workers, then wake up. But this time…this time was different:

This time I stood inside one of the carnival buildings. Abandoned shop walls lined the sides of each of the three floors. Stuffed animals falling apart hanging from prize racks. Bright colors all faded and tinted with grays from old age.

On the opposite side of the building I could hear music; classical music. I approached it only to see a crowd of people dressed in ragged and torn up clothing. Some of them sitting on the ground smiling and laughing and some of them dancing. Not dancing to the rhythm of the music, just dancing. Like they were listening to their own music in their head, or that they were hearing different music than what I was hearing. It was apparent to me that they were homeless, all ages, but mostly teenagers and young adults.

I moved up to the second floor where I saw more people. Not happy people, but sad people. There weren’t very many of them, and they were all walking around. Just pacing around the floor, stepping over or around obstacles, some of them wringing their hands together and others biting their lips and staring at the floor. I started walking with them too. I was wringing my hands in front of me and biting my lower lip as I looked around at all the lost people here.

That was it; this must be where the lost people go.

One of them approached me and without stopping he asked me why I was here. I nodded a hello at him and said “I don’t know” to which he responded with “me either” then just appeared to fade from my sight. I stopped and watched as he just faded into nothing while he was walking. It didn’t even appear to phase him. He was just gone.

I decided to leave the building. I walked down the stairs and the music had stopped and the people were gone. I walked past one person on my way out of the building and we nodded hello to one another, but never exchanged words. Outside, it looked a lot like it had inside.


Mini-game booths stood (for the most part) ragged torn and falling apart, the ground was littered with napkins and faded tickets. Trash cans had been tipped over, their contents spread on the ground around them. A couple boats still stood in the river, but most of them were on their sides resting against the chipped and worn concrete abutments. The river looked dark, almost black and a heavy fog sat around the carnival. I could make out the shape of the bridge in the distance, what was left of it anyway. A section appeared to have collapsed in the center leaving two concrete ends and the corner of a large chunk sticking out of the darkened water. I couldn’t see the other side of the river.

Then I saw it. The bench where I usually sat was in pieces. Splinters of wood and chunks of concrete scattered on the ground.

I turned around to see a man in an orange vest walking off of a pier where there was some rusty scaffolding. I called out to him with a “hey! do you work here?” he walked over to me and leaned on a short wall beside him. “Yeah” he said, his voice was heavy with a Boston accent.

“How long has it been like this?” I asked him looking at the worn and decrepit carnival around me. “I remember it being so beautiful here.”

“Beautiful?” He replied raising an eyebrow “Naw, it’s always been like this.”

It’s always been like this…

That’s when my alarm woke me up.

I believe that dreams have deeper psychological meaning than we usually give them, and I get the feeling that this one relates to recent events in my life. When I woke up, I was initially sad about it, but then I was angry. Angry that the happy, upbeat place that I loved so much had turned into such a depressing, morose dark place.


I think I realized why it appeared the way it did. Your mind creates your dreams from things you see and hear in your life; even if you don’t think you remember it. My mind created the life-filled colorful carnival by mashing together things I’ve seen in my life.

My mind created my happy place, and my mind could tear it down; and it did.

But what emotion could cause my subconscious mind to destroy something that had been so beautiful? Anger and anxiety. But anger? I haven’t been angry in a long time…ah…that’s the problem.

I realize now, that over the past 3 years there has been plenty that should have made me angry. What I thought was me not getting angry, was actually me not letting myself feel angry and internalizing everything. This dream made me realize that by internalizing my anger, I am slowly destroying myself. I’m letting my subconscious mind tear down the things that I’ve tried to hard for so long to build.


It’s time to let the anger go. I’m going to write down everything I can think of that should have made me angry in the past year. Then I’m going to bury it as deep as I can.

It’s time I let the anger go…

It’s time I move on.


A Window to My Conscience – Entry I

I’m going to do a series of posts that won’t be poems. A sort of writing project. A series of thoughts. And I’m inviting all of you to take a look in my brain and take from it what you will. I don’t know how many parts this will be, but this is the first one.

Two weeks ago…my girlfriend ex-girlfriend broke up with me. Initially, I said we broke up, that it was a mutual decision. I’ve read articles on how to get through a breakup, and now I realize that it wasn’t mutual. She broke up with me, and the sooner I accept that, the sooner I can change myself and move on.

Moving on…


Some of my friends suggested trying to get her back…to chase after her. I won’t do that though.


Because. Because, I want to move on more than I want her back. These past two weeks I’ve felt my heart pulling me to chase her, and my mind knocking me on my ass. One pulls one way, the other pulls another. Tearing me apart. Clean in two.

And it hurt.

It hurt like hell.


But I want to move on.

Work has been a nice break…a break from the emotions, from the pain of the loss, from my heart and brain splitting me down the middle…a nice break…a clean break.

But it made me think. We are all so busy in our lives, jobs and paychecks and money, that we forget what we really need to be happy…we forget about love and about friendship and self worth.
busy living life

I have to look back. Before I was old enough to be interested in girls. Back when girls were “gross”. I didn’t hate myself then, not like I do now. I was confident, and full of myself. Foolish, and filled with pride. Then I grew up, and the world changed.

School said they could teach it, Parents said they had lived it, but I knew kids that had more happen in their lives than my parents ever did in theirs. So had they really lived real life? The answer is no. No one has lived my life, and no one but me ever will.


Love is one of those things that no one can live without. Everyone has to have it in some way or another. Whether it is from themselves or if it is from someone else, everyone needs love.

In one way or another…

And 2 weeks ago when She broke up with me, I felt like that was gone. People keep asking me if I’m okay and I say I’m fine. I’m better than before but I’m not okay; not yet anyway.

“I can handle this” means “please help me” and no one seems to notice. So I drown myself in my work. The only thing that keeps me sane, keeps me safe from the call of the void.


Oh trust me, if I could save myself from drowning, I would; but right now I can’t. right now I’m drowning in this ocean of emotions and I can’t even see the water. I’m too caught up in staring at the darkness in my own heart…the darkness that’s taking the place where love had once filled. The hole that people look through and see their own monsters.

Ambitions drowned by fears, love replaced by darkness, happiness and its twisted smile. Its treacherous grin.

I know that right now, I’m not okay. Right now the dark surrounds me. But it won’t be there forever…it can’t be there forever. Until the day when the light returns to where love once sat in my heart, the place where darkness right now sits, I’ll keep running.

Running from the emotions, running from the monsters, running from the darkness, running from the pain and running from myself.

Running from myself.

empty bed

But I know I will be okay. Some days are harder than others, and some days I’m filled with energy and life. Someday, I’ll escape the feeling of emptiness and truly move on with my life, and when that day comes, I’ll be ready for a relationship.