Loopy, Lonely and Lost

I don’t even know what this is

Posted on: January 9, 2016

I’ve been having feelings that I can’t control.

It’s a very specific feeling but I don’t know what its name is. It’s like the equally evil half-sister of anxiety.

I don’t feel nervous or scared. I feel…guilt. And regret.

You know the feeling, right? It’s like…

  • An exam ends and the teacher’s collecting the papers, and your eye is caught by the back of the paper, which has a long list of questions that you didn’t even see, let alone get round to answering.
  • An elderly relative makes you a drink in their priceless antique china, and the cup slips out of your hand, and you can see it arc through mid-air, falling down to smash against a table and spill tea all over their pristine cream carpet.
  • You walk out of a shop, carrying an expensive new purchase that you’re really pleased with, and wander into another shop…where they have exactly the same item, on sale. Half the price you paid for it. With a free gift.

It’s the feeling you get in those situations. The flash across your mind before logic and common sense and self-soothing platitudes kick in. Just before you start apologising and trying to fix it, the moment where you think you’ve just fucked everything up.

It’s a jolting, fire alarm going off in the brain feeling. Internally screaming stop, halt, end. For God’s sake, CTRL+Z. Rewind, delete, restart.

The feeling that you’ve done something terrible, you’ve been foolish and so stupid and if only you weren’t an idiot you could have avoided this whole mess, but you’re shit, an awful person and now your life, everyone else’s life and the whole world is ruined.

Your stomach drops. Not even a metaphor. You can feel it, like it’s jumping off a cliff, like you wish you could. You are so angry with yourself, and so disappointed. You don’t deserve to fucking live.

You’ve done such a bad thing and you feel so guilty and you just want to turn back time and not do it, or do it differently, but you can’t. You’re stuck with this mess you’ve made and you don’t even know how or why you did it, but it is the careless, clumsy, stupid action that will define your entire life.

This is why you shouldn’t be allowed nice things. This is why you shouldn’t be allowed out of the house. You want to run and hide for as many lifetimes as it’ll take for the shame to disappear.

The problem is, nothing has happened. I haven’t done something stupid. I haven’t made a mistake. Nothing is wrong.

But I have this feeling fairly constantly, with sudden extra bursts of regret forcing their way into my brain sporadically. I try to think sensibly – everything’s fine, nothing has even happened, I haven’t made any mistakes, and if I do then they will be fixable, making a mistake is not the end of the world – but the thoughts get crowded out by the panicky, guilty feeling.

It’s making me very withdrawn. I’m finding it so hard to speak to anyone. Work is hard. Every time someone has a meeting I start worrying that it’s about me and something bad I’ve done that I don’t know about. I can’t meet people’s eyes, I take hours to build up the courage to ask simple questions. Sometimes I go to the toilet just to get away from my colleagues, who I feel are observing and judging me.

I have this constant desire to go back in time and fix all my mistakes, but I can’t even think what they are. I find it so difficult to move forward with anything because all I can think about is how I’ve messed everything up.

I’m so confused and worried and tired. I want to destroy everything, scribble everything out, leave no evidence. I feel watched and judged and laughed at. I want so desperately to hide and to be alone. I know I’m worse than useless. I know I’ve done something terrible.

I just can’t think what it is.


2 Responses to "I don’t even know what this is"

I cut tonight. I feel terrible. Please be stronger than I am. You have the potential to do great things. I know the depressions make it difficult, but you do.

Be strong. You have a lot to offer.

I’m sorry. I had a breakdown. I didn’t mean to make it about me.

Thank you for your blog. It helps me, more than you’ll ever know.

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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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