Tag Archives: mental illness

It’s Happening Again

Well, hello, blog. (*Dusts it off.*)

It’s been six and a half months since I’ve updated, and I didn’t even realize it. Sorry. I’m a shitty blogging friend. But I’m still and still and still folding into myself, isolating.

I don’t expect anyone to read this, but I feel the need to document it. I don’t think I’m having another big break, but there is something that happened during the big break that’s happening again. My sleeping trends are out of whack. Then, I would be nervous and reluctant and afraid to go to sleep at night. Also, I would often sleep during the day.

That’s what’s happening again. I don’t want to go to sleep at night, and then I’m out of it during the day. My mind in general is out of it, and I feel like I’m wading through a morass to access any thoughts. I can feel myself doing a shoddy job on my tasks, and what’s more, sometimes I can’t bring myself to care. The only reason I care is that I know I would regret losing my job, that if I suddenly disappear and stop completing tasks, things would only get worse. I’d lose any source of income.

I just want to live in my own make-believe world. I feel like I can’t function in this one.

My therapist and psychiatrist have been talking about suspected Asperger’s. I realized that, when it comes down to it, my problems don’t matter. Social anxiety, anxiety, and depression. Asperger’s, which would not technically be a problem but a “difference.” I live in this world, and in this world, no one’s going to cut my any slack for mental health issues or accommodate me for any potential Asperger’s. If I have Apserger’s, I don’t even want people to know because I think they would view me through the label of that lens rather than as a person with many facets.

Anyway, my problems don’t matter, and so I have to live up to “normal” standards if I’m going to get anywhere in this world. But I can’t. Oh, I’m pretty sure I can’t. I’m not strong enough.

I just keep feeling like everything’s going to come tumbling down.

And I feel so much hatred, mostly of myself. But then sometimes I also just hate every single person I run into.

For a few months, I’ve been meaning to write a post explaining my absence and explaining why any future posts may be sporadic. It’s mostly related to my isolationist tendencies, but there’s also the factor that I’ve been gone so long that I don’t know if I could catch up anymore. (And my embarrassing new-ish Supernatural fanfic hobby.) Maybe I’ll write that one later, but for now, I’m just writing this ramble because I need to get it out of my system.

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The Me I Could Be/The Me I Could Never Be

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t updated in so long. I really had no idea how much time had passed. Time keeps drifting through my fingers. I’m sorry that I’ve been a crappy blogging friend and haven’t been around.

I’m okay. I’ve remained cocooned in a bubble of self-isolation. My emotions seem to be a yo-yo, though.

The week before last, I visited my family. A week ago, I went back to work. For some reason, my anxiety was working overtime, and I kept thinking I was on the verge of a panic attack. I thought I could feel everyone hating me. Then I had this conversation that seemed to insinuate people there liked me. And for the rest of the week, I noticed other small signs that appeared to indicate that idea.

I went to therapy, and we talked about how I wasn’t content with the status quo in my part-time job situation. We were discussing this job I’m thinking of applying for. I doubt I would get it, but I was thinking of applying as practice. My therapist thought that would be good because I would put less pressure on myself with that goal.

Anyway, after the session, something clicked. I had this vision of the me I could be. Of what I used to be like before the big break, my competitive, success-driven self. My self that strives for competence and always achieves it. (Well, except for the pesky social anxiety, which was ten times worse in the past. I think even though I don’t take medication that strictly addresses social anxiety, it helps. Of course, I think all my problems are tied together and influence each other, but that’s a subject for another post.)

I felt this understanding that my perception of what people think of me is sharply different from reality. That if I feigned competence, people would believe it. (Because really, half the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.) That I could hold a higher position and do well at it.

But then something in me flipped. I knew that this vision of the me I could be was actually the me I could never be. Every time I imagined myself succeeding, I imagined myself failing spectacularly afterward. Making stupid and costly mistakes. Anytime a person wants to talk to me at work, my first thought is always I’m in trouble or didn’t do a good job. I feel like that result is inevitable. I also had urges to sabotage any success I may have. Like I can’t let myself succeed ever. Because I don’t deserve it. Because I’m always panicking, and I’m gonna choke.  I might as well prevent the future disappointment by sabotaging myself first.

Then I started thinking that if anyone who likes me really knew what I’m like inside, the terrible person I am, the messed-up person I am, they’d be revolted.

It’s just really no one’s ever liked me. For much of my life, I had no friends. I have only one now. The idea of people liking me doesn’t compute. I’m overly sensitive to it. My therapist and I once talked about my biggest trigger, rejection. Perceived rejection. I can see little things as rejection. In general, I’m just much too sensitive, like easily shattered glass.

After I realized that the me I could be was the me I could never be, all I wanted to do was cower in a corner. I can’t go through the big break again. I don’t think I could make it through another one. For the past three years, my life has revolved around laying low, my priority being to prevent any repeat of the big break. Three freakin’ years. I’m pathetic.

Even after all that time, my will is a crushed feather. I’m all uncertainty and indecision.

I’m too broken. Thus, the me I could never be.

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Marooned in Myself

It’s hard to explain where my head space has been for the past few months. I don’t know what I should be saying right now. For the past few days, I keep coming on here to post then freezing and having nothing to say.

Well, at work, a few months ago we applied to have my job become a full-time one. The fiscal year begins in July, and since I haven’t heard anything about the matter, I assume it’s a no-go.

This is going to sound really childish, but I’ve always had a belief that things work themselves out for the best. In my life, that used to seem to happen, anyway. It’s also kept me going. But for the past year, things haven’t gone that way, and I’m just afraid I’m destined to fall. That belief is stupid, anyway. Loads of people don’t have things work out for them, so why should they for me? I’m not so damn special. Plus, the world often isn’t fair.

Ideally, I’d like to stay at my current job and have it be full-time. I’m decent at it. I like it there. I’m finally starting to feel like I belong. After two and a half years, which is kind of pathetic, but still. That’s the way I am. It’ll probably take me that long to feel comfortable someplace else.

I feel like this ideal is what’s best for me and my mental health. The pressure of starting over terrifies me. The idea of interviewing and looking for a new job terrifies me. That’s why I’m not assiduous at job-hunting.

For the past few months, I’ve been isolating. I continue to isolate. It’s like I live in this dream world in my mind and ignore large concerns in favor of small ones, only living from day to day. I drift. I let my mind be consumed by stories, both my own and those of others, whether that be in the form of books, movies, or TV shows.

And I like it.

But it can’t last. Bigger concerns will no doubt crash into it all one day. Plus, I feel hollow and alone. I can’t stay like that perpetually.

But I want to stay like this. Keep my anxiety at bay. Be consumed by fantasy because it’s all I have, because I don’t belong in this world.

The more I isolate, the more anxious I do become when I have to be around people. The more I just shut everything out.

The more I don’t read others’ blogs. I feel so guilty about it. I do care about the bloggers I follow. But I fear that maybe I’m lying to myself about that, because wouldn’t I stay more caught up if I did?

Yet I don’t. I continue to remain in my bubble. And the worst part is, I’m not even doing that badly. Just isolating. But perhaps that’s why I’m not doing too badly in the first place–I’ve inured myself into a self-contained isolationist world.

I don’t know. I don’t know what on earth I’m rambling about. But there you have it: the unlikeableness of me.

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Little Anomalies

I was going to write about how I experience empathy, but I’m suddenly tired and unable to think. That’ll have to be for some other time, like in a couple of weeks.

I’m going to visit my family tomorrow, and I’ll be there for about two weeks. So, I probably won’t be on here. Not that I’ve been on here much lately, anyway. I haven’t been very good at keeping up with blogging lately. But my summer shouldn’t be too busy, so perhaps I’ll be on more regularly in June.

A couple of odd things lately:

I’ve started experiencing intense smells in my dreams. I thought there weren’t supposed to be smells in dreams? And that if were are smells, those smells were intruding from real life. But these smells are most definitely not from my sleeping surroundings. I smell things that couldn’t possibly be there. All sorts of things. Cake. Mud.

I’m curious as to why this is. I’ve never had a keen sense of smell to begin with. Why would I suddenly begin smelling things in my dreams?

I’m also someone who usually sleeps curled up, as scrunched into myself as possible. If I’m on my back, which I am often, I lie rigid with my arms around a stuffed animal, behind the pillow, or alongside my body. My legs are then crossed at the ankles or just stretched out straight right next to each other.

But lately, I’ve begun to sprawl out in my sleep. Consistently. I have to be sprawled out to fall asleep, often, too. Why would my sleep position suddenly change so dramatically?

**********

I think I’ve figured out why Supernatural resonates with me so much. For some reason, it puts me in an artistic mood, the same mood that impels me to write my stories. I’m not sure how to explain what this mood feels like. It’s got ingredients of inspiration, flashes of emotions and tableaus, bursts of creative energy. Then when I write, it’s like I go into a half-trance, like I’m here but also placing myself in another place. Occasionally I have to pause and sit there, perhaps close my eyes, until the right mood arrives for the part I’m writing. Like something in my brain has to percolate and I have to wait for it to finish until I can fully articulate it.

This artistic mindset explains the weird impulse I’ve been having to write fanfiction. That is not something I do. I don’t want to write any of those novel-length types, just really short pieces. I keep getting glimpses of imagined emotional moments that I feel like writing. I’m not silly enough to have acted on the impulse (so far?), thank goodness. Fanfiction is not a world I wish to deeply involve myself in . . .

I’ve also gotten snippets of an idea for a non-fanfiction short story; it revolves around thoughts about God and angels.

*********

I’ve been thinking about my lack of ambition again. I’m afraid to strive for anything because of the big break.

Today, I described it to my therapist as a “pretend breakdown.” She asked why I called it a pretend breakdown, and I explained it’s because I wasn’t truly non-functional. Wouldn’t I be non-functional if I had a breakdown? Problem is, it’s hard for me to tell, since blending in and not drawing attention to myself are big motivators for me. The therapist didn’t say much in response to that, so I assume she agreed with me. I kept getting irritated during therapy today and thought she was acting like she was bored. Logically, I know she wasn’t, but I wanted to start cursing and getting angry and telling her to fucking pay attention and that if I was boring her maybe I should just leave. Luckily, I reined in those impulses. See, these are the sorts of instincts I have, and with very little justification, and that’s why I feel I’m a bad person.

Then I talked about how hollow I felt, and she asked if I’d ever found anything fulfilling. I said writing, but then I’d sometimes begin thinking it was pointless and lose that fulfillment. She said she thought I could talk myself out of feeling fulfilled. That could perhaps be true. She asked if the point could possibly just be the fulfillment itself. But I can’t fully buy into that, because why should the point just be to make myself satisfied? If it doesn’t serve some other purpose, if all my writing does is sit around and no one ever reads it, what’s the use? It’s a lot of work for very little.

Anyway, back to the big break. I’m afraid. I’m afraid if I have any ambition, reach for anything, I’ll have another big break, and I’m not strong enough to go again through whatever that was.

For some reason, toward the end of the session, I started feeling emotional. We were talking about my upcoming visit to my family, and suddenly a rapid montage of the past played in my mind. I remembered everyone not getting along. Then I imagined lots of shouting and me inwardly cowering and wanting to run away and not get involved. Brief feelings that everyone hated me, intense feelings of self-worthlessness. I didn’t explain all that, though.

If you read my blog at the beginning, you might dimly remember when I used to whine about my childhood. All of that just briefly took over. That’s not a can of worms I’m going to open right now, ha.

Now, my family never hated me; I just felt that way. If anything, these days there are moments when I can almost feel their love radiating off them. This has to do with what I wanted to say about empathy–sometimes I feel as if I can perceive people’s emotions radiating off them when they speak. Maybe that’s absurd. I don’t know.

Oh, gosh, I can’t believe I wrote so much. I’m done with my random rambling.

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Is It God?

First, I want to post this short clip from Supernatural, from an episode I watched last night. In it, Castiel has just told Sam and Dean that he’s going to try to find God. Dean makes a joke about hearing God was on a tortilla, and Castiel responds that God isn’t on any flatbread. This part makes me laugh so much. Misha Collins, who plays Castiel, has such a straight face, and for a second it’s clear that Castiel’s considering the possibility. The moment is just great.

A couple of thoughts about God did occur to me earlier today. I don’t wish to get into any theological or religious debates, but I want to document this train of thought.

Earlier today, I was thinking, I wish I could feel as if someone loved me unconditionally, that there was an everlasting force of warm love surrounding me. It seems as if that feeling could help me with some of my troubles. Maybe even fill the hollowness that I sometimes feel is engulfing me.

Then I remembered, that’s precisely what I thought when I was fourteen. (Have I really changed so little?) That’s when I went through my religious phase. I firmly believed in God, and for a couple of years, I believed that a feeling of fulfillment was coming. But it never came. That’s one reason I turned away from religion. That, and I’m not much of a fan of organized religion in the first place. I feel like it keeps people from thinking for themselves. Why should I believe something about the Bible just because an “authority figure” tells me that’s the right interpretation? Why can’t I interpret it myself? This is actually how Protestantism formed, the idea that the common person should be able to read the Bible for himself or herself, not have a third party as a medium (i.e., the Catholic church). Plus, some of the most hypocritical people I’ve met have been the most fervently religious. But I’ve known many wonderful religious people, too, and I admire them.

Then of course there’s my whole personal background, what with my parents being of different religions and so not raising us with much of either one. I can’t accept the idea that there is only one true path to God. There are many paths, and the path can be different for everyone. People might believe contradictory things, and that can still be right since God is ineffable.

Well, I mostly believe in God. I say “mostly” because I can’t prove God exists for sure, so I’m slightly agnostic. It’s a character trait of mine; I can’t commit to something unless I’m 100% sure. There are also some principles I believe in, and they go along with my beliefs about God, but I don’t want to go into that topic right now.

Anyway, I was driving, and I was wondering–if I give myself to God, accept the idea that God unconditionally loves me, accept it fully, 100%, would I feel that warm love? Would it help me?

But is that possible, or would I be deluding myself? Would I be thinking something is true merely because I want it to be true? I don’t want to commit myself to a lie. I can’t be 100% sure unless I have tangible proof, and if I can’t be 100% sure, my mind won’t fully commit to an idea. (This aspect of myself is what has frustrated most therapists I’ve seen, but I can’t change it. I’ve tried.)

This might not make any sense, and it’s probably a passing fancy, anyway. At least, this angle is not something I’ve thought about much before.

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Glimpses of the Past Week

This is not going to be cohesive, just a few snippets of things relevant to my past week.

I saw my pdoc Thursday. I told her about my steadily high levels of anxiety. It keeps me from sleeping at night because my jaw is constantly clenched. I have a perpetual urge to grind my teeth, and sometimes I feel a tingling in my teeth because the urge to chew is so strong. No matter what, I can’t see to relax my jaw. She prescribed me guanfacine, explaining to me some basic facts like it used to be a blood pressure medicine but sometimes it’s now prescribed for anxiety and ADHD, etc. We’ll see how that goes.

I haven’t been able to see the therapist in the past two weeks, and I’m a little sad because I thought we were going to talk about Asperger’s next time we saw each other. The first week, she had to cancel, though I don’t know why. She was out for some reason. This past week, I had to cancel because my plumbing needed fixing.

I’ve been thinking about this Asperger’s thing, and my mind has fixated on something the therapist said, that Asperger’s basically means a person is wired differently. I can’t quite articulate the import of this idea yet, but I feel like it could relate to me. Maybe this is why CBT is something that rubs me the wrong way–it assumes people inherently operate similarly, that thought structures/influences feeling. But as I told my last therapist, I can’t just believe something because I think it. I believe things only if I can both feel and comprehend them. She didn’t think that made much sense. It’s sort of like an intuitive method. I don’t believe something if I merely feel it, and I don’t believe something if I merely think it. I believe it somewhat, but not all the way. Skimming through some things on the Internet, I found something written by someone with Asperger’s, and that person said they had a similar way of forming beliefs. I can’t remember where I saw this now, but it gave me pause.

I’ve also discovered something else about Asperger’s that bothers me. There seems to be some content about how people with Asperger’s feel more deeply than others but that they just can’t express it (despite common conceptions). That sounds like me. From most of what I’ve read, though, people with Asperger’s lack empathy. As I’ve mentioned, I think I have more empathy than the average person. And if I have Asperger’s, I’m afraid it would imply that my empathy is somehow false, that my belief that I can easily understand other perspective is somehow false. What would this mean for me as a writer? Because that’s the force I draw on as a writer, and I think it’s something a writer has to possess. If I don’t have it, then there’s something not genuine about my writing. My creative writing, anyway.

I’ve been continuing to watch Supernatural. More slightly spoiler-ish rambling here. The episode “It’s  a Terrible Life” (Season 4, Episode 17) reminded me of myself in a way. The message was that being a hunter is something that’s in Dean’s blood, and he’ll find his way back to it no matter what. That’s how I feel about myself and my creative writing. It’s in my blood, and even when I foreswear it, for months or even years, I find myself coming back to it.

I think “On the Head of a Pin,” Season 4, Episode 16, is my favorite episode of all time. So far, anyway. There’s a lot that happens in it. At one point, Dean is torturing a demon, and the acting is superb. His expression is so cold, as if there’s nothing inside him. And what does it say about me that I thought it was kind of hot? There must be something wrong with me, lol.

I like Castiel a lot. Dean is still my favorite, though. Of course. And I’ve never liked Sam that much. I mean, he’s okay, but I much prefer Dean. I think I might be more like Sam than Dean, so what does that say about me, once again? However, I do think maybe I’m more like Dean than Sam emotionally. Maybe that’s why I find it easier to put myself in his place.

I think Season 2 is still my favorite season so far, but Season 4 is definitely spectacular as well.

Well, I rambled more than I meant to. I guess I just wanted to say these things.

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Anyone Other Than Me

Sometimes I wish I could be anyone other than me. I shouldn’t. My life isn’t so bad. But I am, and my destiny is to be completely alone, always.

I’ve known it ever since high school. I’ve known that, once I got out into the “real world,” I wouldn’t be able to function like an average human being, that I’d never make connections, ever, that my life would be one of neverending failure and isolation.

It is, but it’s because I’ve done it to myself.

But I can’t do otherwise. I can’t be anything other than what I am.

I can’t form connections with others. If anyone engages me in a conversation, my instinct is to flee. How am I ever going to find friends if all I do is run away?

But I can’t do otherwise. I get too nervous. I choke up, have nothing interesting to say. I enter Awkward Annie mode.

Then I’m afraid of the person eventually finding out how pathetic I am, the fact that I really have no friends, that I’ve lived here for over two years now without forming any connections.

If they knew that, then they’d know there’s something deeply wrong with me.

And even if that weren’t a factor, it’s just . . . I can’t form close bonds. I’m incapable of doing so.

I crave them so much, but they’re something I can never have. It’s impossible for me, like it would be impossible for me to magically become six feet tall. It’s not something that’s inside me.

I’m destined for a life of loneliness. All my dreams of making human connections are silly, childish. The idea of finding a “true love.” That’s not only childish, but it’s also something that can never be for me.

I have more empathy than the average person. Lately, on occasion it’s as if emotions radiate off of others and I can feel them. Yet no one will ever know that I have even an ounce of empathy because I can’t express it. I can’t even express my own emotions.

It’s not possible to dig them out of my soul.

I instinctively know it. If I live until I’m, say, sixty, I’ll have lived a life in which I’m always alone. My need for a human connection will never be met. Writing, reading, films, TV shows, all stories, they just serve as a poor substitute for something I will never have.

I’ve been feeling odd all day. Maybe this sounds idiotic, but I feel as if I’m on some predetermined trajectory, like a storyline that is manipulating me, keeping me in motion. And in this storyline, it’s certain that I’m destined for a life of coldness, one in which I receive no (or very little) of affection’s warmth.

Most other people get at least a semblance of that at some point in their lives.

And thus, I wish I could be other than me.

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