Diary 48

I start to rely on people again as soon as I feel that delicate feeling creeping back. I panic slowly, thinking ten times over the implications of each emotional urge and getting overwhelmed yet again. Cried on my drive home again tonight, actually sobbing like a child making it hard to see. I feel a breath away from becoming an angry ex-girlfriend. I feel trapped and stunted and unable to please anyone and disappointed in myself and the world. Do all relationships die? Do any last longer than this? Are friends just temporary? Because if I have to do all this over again each year, I really fail to see the point. Fresh start, new friends, new name, new place, new boyfriend, new feelings and catchphrases. Time, familiar feelings, more of the old heartbreak reaffirming enduring neuroses about life, people and my psyche. Am I doomed because I choose to see it this way or because it is this way? Who cares which one it is, when it makes me feel like this? I actually feel like driving a knife through my arm. This is new. I don’t feel safe with my boyfriend anymore and I don’t feel sane. I feel it is unfair to ask him to bear with me any longer and I am not even trying very hard at that anymore. I just want to be able to cry in private, stab something, forget all the hateful feelings that rise up every time someone insignificant makes a careless but deeply offensive remark, and try to see my life as something elevated from the situation I feel so stuck in right now. I’m sorry but I don’t want to kid myself. I don’t want any pink glasses. I want nothingness. I am convinced I will always be alone because I will never get it entirely right with another person and I will NEVER know what the right thing to do is for myself. I do not want to be kept alive but away from sharp objects. I don’t want to go on a list but I want peace. I need major change or you are going to lose me. For real. I am starting to experience a new kind of energy and it’s not good. I feel like a different side of me is taking over, parts of me are shifting positions, and right now all I can think about is that knife in my arm.

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8 thoughts on “Diary 48

  1. Come on Darcy, you KNOW you’re being stupid now. Hurting yourself will just make things a hundred times worse AS YOU WELL KNOW – God woman where do you live? I want to come and give you a great big shake.

    Get to the doctors TODAY, tell them how you’re feeling, tell them you NEED a week off work, spend 2 days tidying your home and then the other 5 days tidying your life. If your boyfriend is standing by you through this shit it might just be that he loves you?!

    If you can, get away somewhere (Scotland’s beautiful at this time of year and if you go far enough North you don’t need money, just a tent, sleeping bag, food and a kettle BBQ to make a safe fire in, find a moor and away you go!)

    If the doctor says you need medication, take it, but stop sitting still in your stagnant life because you’re sinking and the deeper you go the harder it is to get back. You probably need some medication to help pop you back on the right track and it definately wouldn’t hurt to get a councellor to talk to but you also need to want to get happy again yourself.

    Sad to say bad things happen because you make them that way. No matter how bad your life is someone elses is a whole lot worse, depression is (among many other things) dwelling on what you haven’t got / won’t get and not focusing on what you have and will achieve.

    I know it’s easy for me to lecture from all the way over here, but I’ve been almost to the point you’re at and I got better with nothing other than really good friends (who I guess would count as councellors, ) St. Johns Wort, sunshine and an “I am not giving up!” attitude – if I’ve done it then you sure as Hell can get happy again, if you actually want to.

    Come on girl please do as I say and leet us know tomorrow what the doctor ordered.

    ps. If you live somewhere with a shitty NHS just go to the doctors say it’s an emergency and sit there all day – they’ll see you eventually. You don’t have to tell the nosey cow behind reception anything if you don’t want to.

    • I agree with everything Cathryn is saying, trust me when I say you will get to a point in your life when you can face these demons down, but you have to stay in that positive ‘eff you world’ attitude for as long as you can. I know it sounds selfish but you just have to be sometimes to get yourself to that place where your happiest again. Your boyfriend will stick by you no matter what crap comes his way if he truly loves you, my husband has had 21years of mine, he calls me his crazy wife who he loves dearly and he wouldn’t want me any other way, and as hard as it is to talk to him when my moods are black, I find that you have to talk to them so they understand and can help as much or as little as you need them to.
      Ignore the shifting positions they’re only trying to trick you, be strong and keep fighting. x

  2. I think it’s a bit niave to just say that they’ll stick with you no matter what. Sometimes they’ll just get fed up and leave you for no reason at all. I agree that you should tell him what’s going on though.

  3. They’re the right person if they fight just as hard as you have to, and if they don’t kick ’em to the kerb and concentrate all your energy on yourself.

  4. This is not a preaching-to. It’s not even an exhaustive list of all of the things I think would help. It’s just a way of expressing all of the ways I deal with life which help me cope where you seem to struggle. Doubtless you know half of this stuff anyway but I want to reach out to you and I also wish sometimes I could have an effect on how you think because I feel so powerless. If nothing else maybe just the sentiment will be enough to let you know I am thinking of you and I want to be there for you. I know that you have a medical condition which I can’t hope to understand but I also think that sometimes it is easier to compartmentalise people into these nice easy categories like ‘sick’ and ‘well’ so that people know how treat other people who they see as different from themselves. Also I distrust the medical establishment; “from the people who brought you drapetomania – the disease that makes slaves want to escape” etc, etc. So here goes, I present:
    10 things I want you to remember, or a guide to approaching stability.
    1. Try not to have expectations.
    Of people, of things, situations. This is a bit like the foundation of Buddhism (i.e. desire leads to suffering) expectations can only lie unmet and give you a feeling of disappointment. Even if they are met you just convince yourself that you set the bar too low. And whilst you are waiting on those expectations, sometimes you let other opportunities slide by that would have been even more satisfying, you kind of have to be in a relaxed-and-ready state all the time to move fluidly, like you are a dancer waiting for your partner to lead. It’s very hard to do this, so again don’t expect yourself to be able to do it all the time, just recognise that life is easier when you do and you will find your approach changes unconsciously so that you are more like this. And further to that, don’t depend on anyone or anything for what is ultimately your own happiness. It won’t work to say ‘oh when/if I have this I will be happy’ because either you won’t get it and you’ve then given yourself an excuse to feel shitty, or when you do and you still feel the same you will be forced to think of ever more unattainable things for happiness to ‘rely’ on. It’s just a way of putting up barriers and it’s counterproductive. Be content with what you have and how things are, find reasons that it contributes to things being better for you if they are this way.

    2. It is okay to doubt, and question yourself, and your motives.
    This is what makes you a Good Person™; arseholes do not do this half as often as they should and in order NOT to be an arsehole you have to do it regularly and in some depth. Finding stuff you don’t like is also part of the Good Person™ cross to bear, again arseholes find everything about themselves perfect as fault is something that lies with other people, and hence they treat everyone like crap. The next step of this is not to beat yourself up about anything you find in your explorations, again you are placing unrealistic expectations on yourself, it is enough to recognise your shortcomings and resolve to try your best to rectify them most of the time and more importantly OVER TIME. Maybe a long time. Maybe forever.

    3. Everyone else is exactly as worried as you are.
    They really are. About the same stuff too, they just have different ways of coping with it that you haven’t developed yet which help limit their reactions. But you can and you will if you want to. Even if you think you are different you aren’t; mental illness is a spectrum, everyone is on that spectrum at some point. All it takes is a few convergent factors to push anyone up or down this coil (except for with purely neurological disorders like dementia of course). There are some specific concerns that perhaps person A has that person B doesn’t but the roots of all these concerns have to do with questions about ourselves, (what we are worth and capable of, who we ‘really’ are) and nobody goes through life without ever having that called into question. You will never get a definitive answer to these questions by the way because people as entities are always in flux; we are not one thing but many contradictory things all in one package. Those contradictions are what cause us distress. We have to learn to accept being contradictory or we will never be happy with ourselves.

    4. Be HAPPY with yourself.
    You have never done anything that wasn’t formed by a combination of the personality you inherited at birth and your experiences to date. So cut yourself some slack, you are only who you were meant to be. There is no point in being unhappy about the past, you only have control over the present, and even then only of your reaction to the present. But you do have control, even when they tell you the only way to control yourself is to medicate you into oblivion. Drugs are a tool, not a solution. You are not broken, just because you don’t conform to somebody’s idea of what a ‘normal’ person should be like, your life is valid even with all of its inconsistencies and trip-ups. You can’t help but learn from experience, but you can choose what to learn from each one. Sometimes people will try to take this choice away from you and tell you how to feel but they have no right to regulate your reaction. Only you do. So when I say be happy, I don’t mean force this emotion into your life, that won’t work. Acceptance is more the name of the game. After all the definition of happiness is not being able to identify anything more that you need, and essentially in that quiet space in your head between all of your thoughts you have everything you need, just you, just the ability to go on being. You are worthy of peace. You can find peace if you stop looking for respite.

    5. Others are worse off.
    No, not just dying, poor and ill people in every country of the world, and I don’t just say this to feel smug about what I have or shame myself into relishing my advantages more. We constantly compare ourselves on an uneven footing with people we feel have had more luck, or money or whatever in life so sometimes we need the perspective of seeing everything we have to build on, everything we can see as a strength. It’s balancing your own viewpoint because any situation is never just as simple as you think. Some of these less-lucky-than-us people have strengths we could never hope for too, and it helps to think about the ways in which everyone gets a raw deal some of the time and then other times has it good. Then you can see that everyone has their individual challenges, some people’s are insurmountable sure, but most people’s aren’t. Some of those you would say have less advantage would never see it that way themselves, and some of the advantages you imagine that others have are just that, unreal, at least to them. It is worth taking time to consider that you have been wrong about your assumptions, because we usually are.

    6. Don’t allow negativity to creep in.
    It wants to, reject it. It is subtle, but you can be blunt, just tell it to fuck off. It is banned. Be positive to everyone else and it will be more natural to treat yourself with the same respect. Joe public is an arse to you? Just think how awful things would be if you were him. At least you aren’t a pig; whoops okay that was a bit negative but see point 1, I don’t expect to be perfect here! He has a lot more work on his personality to do than you do, but again it isn’t really his fault, he is a product of circumstance. So let that frustration go. If you can accept the faults of others without internalising your rage then you will be more able to see that people can easily accept your small flaws, maybe don’t even notice them. When people are fuckers, whether it is deliberate or not, leave them to it. Wish them well because they need it. They really do, nobody that behaves in a horrible way is loved and appreciated properly or else they would show a kinder face to the world. Either that or it is a nice person having a bad day so they can have a bit of sympathy for free. You will feel better about things if you try to think of positive reasons for everything, and good intentions behind every act. Sometimes you will just be paying lip service to this ideal, but eventually that way of thinking will colour your thoughts and make you more positive.

    7. Being a Good Person ™ means getting stepped on, unfortunately.
    But it’s okay, better the stepee than the stepper. Sometimes I think I take the above (point 6) too far, and give people the benefit of the doubt when they clearly are taking advantage of that, that is my personal top fault, I am not able to draw a line under it when other people take my good nature for granted. I think you have to be careful about repeat offenders who know this is how you deal with things but apart from in those situations I always console myself with the notion that I would rather be me and be shat on than be somebody else (or a different version of me) who does the opposite and feels the opposite way about people. I know that I’m not perfect, but I am what I want to be, or at least I make an effort to be that person and in doing so I am fulfilling that ideal. If other people use that against you it says more about them and their failure to be decent than it does about you.

    8. Emotions are good, irrationality is good too in small measures.
    God if I was rational all the time it would make me inhuman I swear! Vulnerability is not a crime. You can enjoy being sad, that’s why they make weepy movies for chrissakes. Being upset reminds you what is important to you. Fight for the things which are important to you. Get your riot boots on from time to time and get stomping. It makes you feel alive, and gives you a feeling of power which might not be real but is certainly palpable enough to change your mood for the better. Love the things that scare you, because being scared means you have something to lose, and having that thing makes you stronger. Appreciate all of the things which evoke a reaction from you, cherish them and put those feelings to use.

    9. You are never alone.
    Or rather we are alone together. Everyone is unique and cannot be replicated, every mind is different but this is something we all have in common. There is always a forum, or a single ear to relate everything to, and they are easier to find than we convince ourselves. Believe in the idea that people care, because somewhere someone does. Maybe because they feel the same. Go to a pub and talk to the person next to you, go to a Skeptic’s Society meeting (that is my equivalent of church! Do that too if so inclined) and get into the discussions. All dialogue is relevant. It will make you feel connected. Sometimes this is easier than talking to people who actually have a stake in our emotional well-being. The version of yourself that you didn’t think you would let anyone see will come out eventually. Don’t be afraid of her. Let her see the light a little bit. She’s worth talking to, worth talking about.

    10. Look after yourself.
    Obviously this is all about looking after yourself but I mean in a very practical sense. A healthy body removes certain barriers to health of the mind inside. I know it’s a drag, and I am crapper at this than most people but I can tell when it’s affecting my mood so I know it is important and if I notice this then I shape up. Eat properly, good stuff and stuff that you really enjoy. Love that food it is nourishing in more ways than one. Drink lots of water, ah refreshing and energising. Exercise (ick, I can’t believe I said that!) supposedly it can give you a high and feelings of euphoria and stuff so I guess it’s not entirely lame. While we’re on it, don’t take mood altering substances, caffeine is the enemy! So is Gin (it’s a depressant and it tastes gross, so just don’t). Pretty much all alcohol is banned actually, some kinds of drink have beneficial emotional effects for some people and I’m sure you know which ones work for you but when you are fragile it is best to steer clear of messing with your vital chemistry any more than necessary. Bring yourself comfort wherever you can, warm blankets, cups of tea, ogling Mike Patton – I mean um, engaging with the visual arts, whatever makes you secure and safe bring it closer. If you feel most comfortable with baby steps, or small breaths or whatever then do that, respond to what you know that you need even if it seems silly to do it that way.

    Thus endeth the spillage of strange and hopefully beneficial things. Once again I am not trying to offend and I apologise unreservedly if I have. Treat me kindly! I’m not saying you have to do any of this stuff, just putting forth some of my musings in the hope maybe it can get through where other methods of support haven’t. All I would say however is don’t dismiss it just because it’s easier to do that than to try it and see if any of it works a little bit, if you want to dismiss it then think carefully about why that is. If it is because I’m out of line I can accept that but I had to do it anyway so I hope you will forgive me. I don’t think this is the only way to be, but it might be a way you haven’t tried, or tried out in full. I think you have to commit to this as a philosophy for it to work, but my experience is only subjective so hey. I’m not trying to ‘save’ you, urgh, that would be gross of me, just trying to start a conversation, even if this is the only part of that conversation I ever get to hear. Make me proud Banana, you are someone special I know that for sure. Love and kisses. xxxx

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