In answer to the question in my last post, it seems like the time to stop is now. I have a cold so I’m off work (a decision which took validation from four separate colleagues before I was convinced it might be acceptable, even encouraged, rather than lazy and weak), the weather is grey, a lovely holiday has just ended. Internally I am still struggling to restrain my screaming, twisted conscience from beating me and yelling obscenities because why can’t I just get on with life, I’m letting people down, that’s unforgivable; but externally at least I am actually just sitting.
But because I’m just sitting, and because I’m not communicating with anyone and I’m not in the office or at church or at Rainbows or in public, the chances of anyone coming to help me are slim. Even when I am in those places I don’t tend to go about raging like some kind of dervish, I just get on with things and keep the raging internal. And this presents a conundrum: how is anyone going to understand the actual, heart-rate-increasing, concentration-sapping, headache-inducing panic I feel when a decision like this, one that in spite of my progress still amounts in my head to giving up, that most final and contemptible of acts, has to be made. By the time I’d spent an hour deliberating (read: mostly staring into space trying to suppress the panic) yesterday I was so weary I couldn’t have carried on working even if I hadn’t been physically ill as well.
I’m not supposed to need help. Maybe I’m supposed to accept it when offered because it is, by definition, helpful, but I can’t rely on others to deal with my feelings. Especially if I don’t tell them how I’m feeling. But who wants to know, anyway? We’re British, we don’t talk about feelings. And it’s so easy to get stuck in a cycle of feeling lonely and misunderstood and just not cared about, but that isn’t the point – the point is that I have to do this myself, that whether I tell people about it or not they can’t sort it out and of course most of them won’t understand because they haven’t been here. The trouble with just sitting is it leaves a huge space in which to just think, and thinking for long periods of time only really has one outcome when you are depressed.
Ironically, just sitting is actually meant to be a key to recovery – I’m just doing it wrong. If I could just sit and not focus on the inside of my head, and notice the chill in the air and the grey light outside and my nice soft colourful blanket and the grinding of my laptop (it’s been doing that for months), then I would stop feeling so anxious and all the cycles would stop and maybe just for a bit I’d be okay. I think I can do that sometimes these days, but not when I feel worst and it matters most. Like now.