Sunday, January 19, 2014

Too Much Information

2013. And I thought the year before had been a rollercoaster. Looking back, 2013 had some pretty ridiculous highs and lows, and both ends of the spectrum ended up changing the course of my life.

But right now, I'm only going to talk about the lows. Right now is going to be a truthful glimpse into my mind. I'd turn back if I were you.

I guess everything ground to a halt in the fall, when I was in the deepest rut yet. I always hesitate to bare this kind of thing here, but for the first time in... ever?... I'm largely at peace with my life. So maybe it's worth saying: life has been miserable these past few years. Maybe not "life," but my own broken self and my navigation through it. The only times I really escaped it were on my travels over the past year, sunbeams on an otherwise cloudy terrain.

One particular day this past fall, I started to become unexpectedly terrified by my own thoughts. And the next day, and the next, and then every moment. The first time it happened, I was crossing the street to the building where I worked at the time, and a car cut around the corner with willful indifference to the pedestrian crossing (like they do). I watched it, and watched myself keep walking, not breaking stride, and I realized that I was disappointed it hadn't hit me. Next day, same corner, I was waiting for the walk light, and a bus drove by. As it approached, I imagined myself stepping out in front, my skeleton flying apart and scattering all over the road, accompanied by a pain so complete that it would beautifully mask all life's other pain. It was a fanciful thought, but one that returned repeatedly after that. I had lived under a cloud of depression for a long time, but that was the first time I understood what despair really was.

Then I started starving myself. It started when I skipped lunch one day at work, and then it became a habit. Then I stopped eating in the evening. For about a week, I lived on one latte a day. When I wasn't at work, I slept through the initial hunger until it tapered off into a feeling of pure weightlessness. I felt like I was a piece of the world—not a part of it, but a piece in the way that a phone booth or a lamppost might be. I was constantly angry, resentful towards everything and everyone, almost daring anybody to push me past breaking, curious to witness the devastation, and completely helpless to turn things around. 

And the only reason I mention it now is because it's no longer applicable. I have a new job. My depression and anxiety are finally being treated. After 8 years of migraines I've finally located the cause and have effectively eliminated them. I even have friends. It's truly a new era for me.

This isn't something I bring up here much, because this digital space is supposed to be a haven that I have carved out, where I could release in some tangible way all the things pent up by a lifetime of habit.  But the haven doesn't work if people mention anything it contains it to me in person.

So why exhibit these things to the internet at large?

Because digital space is one of the only places where I feel comfortable. Because sometimes you just want someone to listen. I don't want sympathy, or concern, or commentary or advice or any interaction at all, really. All I want is to stop being my own obstacle. I want to be able to say the things that inevitably stay hidden inside me. I know writing this will cause a backlash, but fear of that backlash has always kept me withdrawn from other people and it nearly destroyed me, much more than I allowed even my closest friends to believe.

I can't express enough gratitude to the few friends who stuck by me through it all. In the end, though, this was largely something I have struggled with alone, and will probably continue to do so all my life.

I don't know why I'm saying any of this. I'm a fool, but now I'm a fool on my own terms.

This is 2014. I'm almost 30 years old now, and life is finally back on track.

I wrote all of the above in the middle of the night, energized by the blissful serotonin fusion of SSRIs and Maxalt. Today I reread it, laughed at the final sentence, and figured why not.

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