Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Which is better?

Posted on: April 10, 2011

Shame or death?

I can’t help but feel like it’s a straightforward choice.

Things are going well, you know. I’ve been in my job seven months, and my manager keeps piling on the praise, telling me I’m brilliant. I can’t even describe how important that is: to feel, for the first time in years, like I can do something. And going to work, being surrounded by the same people every day, has helped me make friends. I find it so hard to commit to staying in touch with people, so scared all the time of being ignored or rejected, but when I have to spend time with people, that’s avoided, and I feel liked. I went out with a friend from work the other night, we got stupidly drunk and danced around, and I felt on top of the world. It was one of those surreal sorts of nights, the kind I always used to have, where you’re laughing at the memories days later, and can’t quite believed certain things actually happened (there was a conga line. And a dream interpreter. And some Christians with baked goods).

In a time when everyone’s struggling, I have a steady income and no outgoings. I have routine and security and plenty of entertainment. I am so fucking lucky.

And yet. And yet…with the exception of those occasional swirling maelstroms of mindless, directionless activity and elation, even when things are going well, I am being eaten away from the inside. I have spent so long living with the prospect of my death. It became something I used to get through things: it doesn’t matter, I’d tell myself, what happens. Humiliation doesn’t survive death, so there’s nothing to lose. You’ll be dead tomorrow. It used to spur me on to get things done despite the rising panic and fear. But now, I can’t imagine staying alive.

For as long as I can remember, it was always going to be suicide. From the frightened little girl holding the kitchen knife, making threats to get heard, to the cocky teenager who thought she was invincible to all things except herself, to the haunted, obsessed young woman, whether I’ve been thinking about it or not, I have always known. It’s the one thing I promised myself I’d have control over.

Every time I pause to think, even for a moment, I can feel the rising guilt and shame and fear. I feel like my insides are being scooped out, and I feel the emptiness like a physical pain.

Things are going well, but I still feel I can’t live. And it’s so fucking stupid, because I’m torn in two. There’s the part of me saying, live, you idiot. Things are going okay. Life might work out alright. You can’t give up now. And there’s the part of me saying, whatever happens, living is not an option. Too much has happened, and you are too weak. You cannot live, it hurts too much.

I feel like I’m carrying too much. All the memories and fears and resentments. The endless regrets. My shoulders ache with it.

There was an item on the news about the increase in prescriptions for anti-depressants. My mum said, “What did people do before all these pills?”

I took a deep breath, and said in my most neutral of voices, “Killed themselves, probably.”

She doesn’t believe in anti-depressants. She believes in sitting around crying all day, hurting people. And I don’t want to be her, but I am a hypocrite, because I’m more like her than I want to admit.

I’m scared that if I live, I’ll end up just like her. Lonely and miserable and manipulative, self-harming in the living room (she won’t admit that’s what she does. She says she’s plucking hairs. But I reckon picking at your skin with tweezers til you bleed, every day, is probably not the most effective of hair-removal methods).

I’m not good enough or strong enough to change. Fuck knows, I’ve tried.  So if I want to get off this path, there’s only one option.

It’s infuriating. Life is good, and worth living, and I still can’t cope. I feel like an over-sensitive child, throwing toys from the pram.

If I was someone else, I could do this. But in the absence of a way to become someone else, it’s probably better to become no-one at all.

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Hello

My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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