The Day I Broke Down Over Porridge

The minute I woke up I knew something was wrong in my brain. I felt awful. Not the normal awful hungover feeling, as I had been drinking the night before, but something much more dangerous.

To make the situation worse my friend was asleep next to me. She wasn’t a very close friend, so I didn’t want to explain to her what was happening. Even if I did want to tell her, I didn’t even know what was happening to me. I wanted to lay in my bed alone and wait it out in the safe space until I felt normal again, but that wasn’t really an option.

When my friend woke up, I made normal conversation and she convinced me to go out for breakfast with her and our other friend to get rid of the hangover. I was relieved when we got to the pub because now, I wouldn’t be expected to talk as much since there were three of us. However, I could feel my brain getting worse by the minute. Both of my friends ordered full English breakfasts, but I decided to get porridge with fruit in the hopes that the healthy breakfast would make me feel more normal.

My head was feeling very dark by now and I had stopped talking completely and was just looking down at the table. Every thought going through my head was negative and it was making my body feel very heavy and weak. I sensed my friends thought there was something wrong, but they didn’t say anything.

When my food came, it felt as though my brain plunged down. A thought came into my head with such ferocity that it shocked me. The thought said I shouldn’t eat the porridge in front of me and, not only that, but I should never eat anything again so that I die. I don’t know where this thought came from, but it was overwhelming.

I was broken out of my negative thought spiral when one of my friends asked if I was going to eat my porridge. I looked up at her with tears in my eyes and I watched her facial expression turn from neutral to concern and bit of fear. “I can’t”, I said simply, and tears started flooding down my face uncontrollably. “Do you want me to go to the toilet with you?”, my friend replied awkwardly, clearly surprised by my sudden breakdown and not knowing entirely what to do. I nodded gratefully and set off to the toilet with my friend trailing behind me. I knew other people in the pub were staring at me as I was crying quite aggressively, but I didn’t care. When my friend and I got to a cubicle, I sat down on the toilet and the tears ran down my face even harder than they were before. Then a strange noise escaped out of my mouth. I sounded like people from films when they are in lots of pain after watching a loved one die or something like that. It was hard to believe that it was me making those noises. I felt so horrible and I had no idea why. All I knew was that I wanted the pain to stop.

I felt desperate so I decided to go outside and call the Samaritans. I’m not going to lie; I can’t remember any of that conversation with the person on the phone, but I do remember they made me feel a bit calmer and I am grateful for that. When the phone call had finished, I looked around me and realised I was stood on a patch of grass near the road. My head felt very fuzzy and slow, so I just stood there for a bit.

After a while my friend came up behind me and asked if I was okay. I told her I had spoken to the Samaritans and I felt a bit better but very spaced out. I must’ve been acting very strangely because a police officer came up to me. I don’t remember what they said to me, but my friend has since told me that they asked for my name and date of birth and I apparently took a long time to reply and I actually gave them the wrong date of birth. I promise you I do know my own date of birth; I was just in a very bad state at the time. My friend walked with me and told me to call in sick to work and so I did. I was exhausted by this point, so I went home and slept the rest of the day.

This day in my life was horrible, but I got through it. In some ways it even helps me because now when I feel very low I know that I can feel terrible, even for long periods of time, and still survive.

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