But its a lie that we are taught is real, and it to some of us it can do more damage than good.
Today is almost a week since I had a bit of an emotional tumble, and I wanted to reflect on that a bit. Tomorrow will be a week since I fell down a small hole of depression, it caught up with me and luckily i was able to pull myself out with the help of some very kind very wonderful people in my life. What happened? Why did this happen? I let that little gremlin in my head win, it’s the easiest way to describe it.
I live alone, all the people I consider friends exist on the internet. I don’t get to hang with them, I don’t get to hug them, I can’t just invite them over and sit next to them sharing our thoughts, jokes and innuendos. Even though I am mostly okay with living alone, i think i am really the kind of person who likes just having someone around near me. I am bad at small talk but I just like to have people close.
To make matters worse Skype reminded me of my mortality with the birthday notice for a friend who died 4 years ago. He was my age and we worked together at PetsMart when i was younger. We developed a very strong friendship but lost touch when i moved to Hawaii for college. however in 2012 we had found each other again through Xbox live and started to talk nightly and made plans to play Mass Effect 3 together and much more. Then one morning after having talked late the night before I got a call saying that he had been found in his bathroom dead. I spent the next few weeks having panic attacks and heart attack symptoms as my mortality was questioned and I lost a friend. Naturally this reminder had me look back on my life and compare it to others. That devious gremlin then spent the entire time reminding my how i haven’t lived up to any goals i set for myself and told me everyone was better off than I was. And I had lost the will to fight back.
It was also the anniversary of breaking up with my last girlfriend, nearly 10 years ago. I have not dated since that time. And once again i compared myself to those around me. My coworkers, my college friends are all paired off, they live these happy lives and share their days with someone else. I let my gremlin tell me that I was nothing because I wasn’t like them. I let myself feel guilty for my insecurities, i told myself that no one would want me because I am not like those people on TV. I am a chubby balding man in his late 30’s and who wants a George Costanza when the can have a Tom Hiddleston or something like that?
As expected listening to these voices, letting the lies win, its much easier to just give in. Sometimes constantly fighting them makes you tired, you are not perfect, no one can expect you to hold up against an onslaught forever right? Well my friends last week I lost for just a little while. I got to work on Tuesday and felt like a ball of black matter was inside me, slowly draining any energy I had. I couldn’t stand up. There were times where the waves of hopelessness and despair consumed every once of myself, so much so I had to lean against walls for fear of falling and screaming in the frustration of it all. Somehow I made it through work, i don’t know how i did, and i dont know how no one noticed that all i wanted to do was cease to exist.
That night I closed all my windows, turned off all the lights got in bed and stayed there for hours, wide awake and bawling my guts out. Trying, in vain, to expel the blackness, to make it go away so I could be myself again. To be honest guys I hadn’t had an episode like this in a long time and I was scaring myself. Somewhere in the night I had decided that all of you would be better off without my weak emotional stupid ugly face around and I decided I would delete all the social media apps. I spent Wednesday in basically the same state and well into Thursday.
I will not lie when I said part of me reveled in the pain, the part of me that wanted to win, and it was trying to take hold. Then something happened that could have gone a lot worse. At work someone responded not very nicely to something I did and in my state I took it very, very personally. When i got back to my office I found myself wanting to hurt myself, the pain, the shame and the dark thoughts were so much that i had to make them quiet, and the only logical reaction was to make all this emotional pain physical. That was the first step to reminding myself of how far I have actually come.
There was a time in my life where I would self harm, its long ago and I haven’t done it since my teens, but to have those feelings again were not as welcome as they once used to be. I immediately went across the hall and told my coworker. She helped me call my doctor and set up an appointment, one that I will be going to this week. You guys i cant tell you how happy i was that i recognized something even in the pit of despair i was in and made a decision to stop it.
It was that little victory that slowly turned me around, later that night naturally I tried to ignore CR and everyone, but part of me couldn’t and by the end of the night I had started to engage with people again.
Now I know people deal with all of this stuff differently, some don’t get just a couple of days, but I just wanted to share my little hiccup to remind the gremlin that it doesn’t have power over me, that I will continue to fight, because even as I write this I can feel that I am still not entirely better, and I probably wont ever be better because this is just how my brain is wired, but i can recognize that I am not perfect, and no one else is either. But if i stay engaged and keep pressing on I can feel better with you guys beside me.