I recently read a magazine article about “visualisation”—a theory that says that you can manifest things you want by thinking about them very hard and believing they’ll come true, and that we “become what we think about.” This makes sense to me to some extent: a constant barrage of negative thoughts, for example, can easily transfer to real life. Sometimes I get stuck in a bad-thinking place, and it’s difficult to snap out of it. So it must hold true that if you think positive thoughts, the tide will turn in your favour, right? I’m tired of sitting around soaking in self-pity, waiting for the universe to come save me, so I thought I would try to take responsibility for my own emotional state by giving this visualisation thing a try.

I took out a sheet of paper so I could make a list of the things I wanted to manifest with my positive thoughts. Faced with that blank page, I realised how often I don’t even know what I want. Or how I feel. I suppose visualisation works only if you know what to visualise. How would you know for sure whether something was right or not? What if you got it terribly terribly wrong—would you be able to visualise your way out of it? Plus, doesn’t it take a certain excitement away, of not knowing what the future holds? On the other hand, my usual technique of waiting around for things to pop up on their own is not only really stupid, but also really boring.

I can only conclude that this kind of thing doesn’t work for me because I am not enough of a believer. I am a doubter, a worrier, and a dweller.

Lately I’ve been feeling like damaged goods. People around me seem so unimaginably free, and I wonder why they would want anything to do with me, tied down as I am with my barrages of bad thoughts. All I can do is drag them down with me. I don’t deserve their like or their love when I feel like I’ve gone bad, like my mind is rotten, while they seem fresh and wholesome. I don’t want to spoil them too by explaining what I go through. Anyway it would take hours and hours to truly convey what it feels like to battle with your mental health.

I feel as though I’m carrying around a massive weight. The weight of feeling constantly dishonest. Of pretending to fit in with other people who have never had the issues that I have. I’ve gotten good at putting up a front; only those who really know me would guess that anything was wrong. I don’t like to admit weakness and I don’t like to ask for help.

I could try to visualise not being the way I am, but I simply cannot imagine ever living with a “normal” level of anxiety. And that is the only thing I know that I want. ♦