Oldest Friend

I’ve been a bit stressed out recently. No, at the moment, I don’t feel like saying why. Mostly because if I did, it would reopen a HUGE can of nonsense I’m not emotionally equipped to deal with right now. The main point is because of it, I had a “mood crash” recently. Normally, this would entail crying my guts out, possibly for hours, and likely being so paralyzed (possibly for days) with stress, fear and anxiety I could barely function. Or being sucked into a pit of despair where I just feel numb. Whichever it was, I’d have fantasies–strong and very persistent ones–of taking my own life.

I did have a suicide fantasy, but it was extremely fleeting. A “dust in the wind” sort of thing that might’ve come as an old habit. Also, I’ve yet to feel the overwhelming hopelessness and terror I’ve come to expect. I’ve been waiting patiently for it to happen, but… though I have had a bit of a low mood, I haven’t reached despair. And eventually, I felt okay. Moreover, it wasn’t the usual “HAPPYHAPPYHAPPY! HA HA, I’M FINE! REALLY!” thing I tend to do when I’m trying to convince myself and everyone else I’m happy. I simply feel okay, like I can deal with this, albeit still a bit panicky since I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I also feel out of my depth.

I don’t know who this person is who doesn’t have those awful feelings. I don’t know who this person is who doesn’t have that pain and really DOES seem to bounce back. I don’t know how she conducts herself or how she should react when the old familiar ways (self-defeating and destructive, yet reliable and safe because they were so familiar) no longer feel quite right.

Is this person still painfully shy? Or is it just deep-seeded habit?

Does this person maybe know how to function in the real world?

Is she capable of things that just look too scary? Things that look so scary that I’m scared “she” might succeed and drag “me” along with her, but it becomes too much to handle?

What if in spite of everything, it’s just too little, too late?

Really, all I’ve known is the depressed version of me. It–my depression–was protection in a way because in the fog of it, I never had to think too much about the world beyond it; in that state, I really wasn’t capable of such.

My world consisted of me and my cat. It was small and safe. It wasn’t exactly a happy world, but at least I knew how it worked.

I know how strange it sounds to freak out over a mental state I’m guessing most people call “normal.” Or to mourn a part of yourself that’s caused you so much grief. But when “normal” is a thing you’ve likely never known (or if you did, it was so long ago that you’ve since forgotten), it’s a massive adjustment.

I’m sure I’ll be fine eventually. For now, though, I’m trying to figure out who I am all over again.

Posted 02/20/14
Category: All Blog Entries, Personal/Life


2 Responses to "Oldest Friend"

  1. There was a Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk was being tormented by a mind device with a torturer nearby. In that same episode, the torturer found himself exposed to his own device and there was no one there with him as he succumbed to it. At one point Kirk said something to the effect of how awful that man’s fate was: without even the company of a tormentor. He just was left alone: with his own thoughts.

    That grimness aside though, that’s what I find that depression and familiarity often are. They are the tormentors that you are at least familiar with, or the prison that you have become long accustomed to. You know the rhythm and the rules involved with those states. But then, when the rules change, or those tormentors are vanquished, or you find yourself suddenly released from prison it can be a truly overwhelming and terrifying experience.

    Suddenly you feel small, or insanely restless. You still struggle with the pain and the stages of needing to overcome, but there is a battle and a war where it was all just torpor before. It just feels raw and more immediate. You are new skin after the blister is gone or ripped off of you and you were never a callous. The metaphors can go on from there, but the important thing is that there are stages and you knew that no supplement or even a few good days is an eternal cure. You will still get sad and upset. Life will still be a bitch at times. But now you have found other ways of coping with it.

    I can relate to that small universe that you have with your cat in that sense. I have my room and the basement in my parents’ house, but now I am beginning to understand that these places are not sealed off from the world and I can’t always just be in them. I need to be out there again. I am feeling that restlessness too and my work has been taking me there. Last night, I started to really, truly, horribly miss again what I had before moving back and I was actually in tears, quietly screaming and writhing around at all the emotions I postponed for so long. I also don’t kid myself and think it’s over because I know, deep down, that I will never stop feeling.

    Yes, the tormentor might be gone sometimes and yes, you may slowly be getting out of your prison, but you don’t have to do it alone. The tormentor can be replaced by a friend and your prison can become a greater home again: you just to work at building it.

    • The Pixie says:

      I know every day won’t be sunshine and rainbows, mainly because it hasn’t. It’s more that that familiar state of unrelenting horribleness I’m used to falling into seems out of my emotional range now, even though a part of me keeps waiting to embrace it. Having it just *not be there* is disorienting–like I’m missing an old (if admittedly toxic) friend. It’s a program that generates errors because the “else” condition is missing.

      I’m glad to have someone like you in my life who at least has some idea of what I’m dealing with and why I can’t just “Be Happy It’s Over, Yaaaay! :D” now that certain things are better. Thank you; I’ll probably be re-reading this reply a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *