Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘Fear

I’ve had this problem before, more than once. I suppose everything is just a repetition.

This fucking job. My boss is so keen that I apply, keeps asking how the application is going, and I tell him I’m doing it, it’s going well, it just needs tidying up.

Sometimes I type up paragraphs. I read them back and feel sick with the arrogance and lies leaking out of those words. Highlight, and delete. Hope no-one can tell by looking at me what bullshit I’ve been writing. Positive words sit uncomfortably on my shoulders. I feel the need to clarify and negate them. I feel like a liar, even hinting at any sort of competence.

I don’t even feel depressed, not really. I just can’t bear to praise myself, can’t see any good in me. I can’t tell you why I deserve the job because I feel that I’m fundamentally unemployable, lucky to have the job I have, a dead weight. I can’t even tell you why I want the job because I don’t know. It sounds interesting and people tell me I’d be good at it and I suppose there is some indestructible kernel of pride in me that doesn’t want to be seen to be giving up.

My qualifications, my experience, my knowledge – none of it seems relevant. It all just crumbles away. How can I convince them I can do this when I don’t believe I can do anything? I want to advance but I’m fucking terrified of sticking my neck out and saying I want this job, I can do this job, and I can tell you why.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to convince anyone to employ me. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t employ myself. I’m useless. But the alternative to applying for other jobs is to stay where I am, doing what I’m doing, and stagnate. What am I supposed to do?

People say I’m quiet. I don’t know who I am any more, this meek, pathetic thing. I am so afraid – of movement, of staying still, of being completely lost. I don’t know how to cope.

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Like a punch in the gut.

Read the rest of this entry »

People say that courage isn’t about not being scared, it’s about being scared but doing what you have to do anyway. I suppose that means that cowardice is being scared and doing nothing. Not necessarily that moment where you’re stuck, the shock of the first impact of whatever it is that scares you – that’s understandable. No, cowardice is being afraid for weeks, months, years, and still, still not acting.

Cowardice is a lifetime of paralysis, of frozen limbs and wishful thinking, of closing your eyes and bracing yourself for the moment when that long-forseen destruction occurs. And there’s no reprieve for cowards. Read the rest of this entry »

Fear

Posted on: May 14, 2011

Everything just feels a bit fucked up.

Work’s mostly going quite well. I’ve learnt by now that the best thing for me is structure and just the right amount of pressure – if I feel like I have to do something, or I’m letting people down, then a lot of the time I will do it, which means yeah, I’m getting out of the house, and yeah, I’m getting through the day. I’ve got something to do, and that helps, it really does.

It’s not always great, though. I’m expected to be friendly, socialise with the people I work with. And that shouldn’t be hard, they’re all really nice. But everyone I ever meet seems to want to analyse me, seems to want to tell me exactly how I appear. It’s nerve-wracking and worrying and I don’t really see anything of myself in the words that people use to describe me. That frightens me, a little. The thought that I have so little control over how I come across. The thought that I’m not how I think I am.

I can’t afford to fall apart. But the pressure is mounting, from all directions.

Every time something goes wrong at work, my heart beats a little faster, I start to panic, thinking it must be my fault, waiting for someone to tell me I’ve done something appallingly bad. Every time someone asks me a question about myself, I close off and feel deeply ashamed for doing so, because the questions they ask aren’t invasive or overly personal, but they feel like it to me.

I don’t know when I stopped being able to disclose anything. I don’t know when I started being so terrified of letting anything slip. I know that I was a secretive child, and I know I’ve always kept some things to myself. But lately, I don’t even answer questions about my preferences in music or film or tv or books. I don’t even answer questions about how I like to spend my spare time, or what I do when I’m with my friends (not that I ever am anymore), or what I’d like to do with my future. It shouldn’t be hard, letting all that stuff out. It should be easy. It should be a simple, pain-free route to making new friends, but I guard all that information so fiercely, and feel myself panicking whenever I’m asked about it.

I don’t know when I started living entirely within myself. I don’t know what it was that made me trust people so little that I feel uncomfortable with them even recognising my face.

I know I will spend my whole life alone and terrified and sacrificing everything I have for the protection of meaningless secrets.

I don’t think of myself as depressed anymore. When I think of depression, I think of the way I thought it would get better. I think of my complete and utter naivety in thinking that just telling someone, and doing everything they said, even when it hurt, would be good for me and make it go away. I think of depression and I think of an illness, or a phase, or a blip. Something I thought could be overcome, as long as I was strong enough, or brave enough, and just kept trying. Depression was always something that could be beaten – I rarely believed I was capable of beating it, but that was because of my own weakness, rather than the strength of the depression.

I know better now. I’m not ill. I’m not going through a phase. I haven’t stumbled off the track or had a few problems or needed a bit of help.

I have become it. It’s not a layer on top of the real me anymore. It’s all there is, all the way down. And there’s no way out because it’s who I am. I called traits symptoms in an attempt to separate myself from them, but it didn’t work, and it’s not true.  I can’t distinguish myself from it anymore. If there was ever any good in me, it was consumed a long time ago.

It’s too late to go back, and there’s no going forwards.

Maybe I could have chosen another route, but I can’t anymore.

Every day, I am less.

Posted on: October 5, 2010

I’m now officially trained and doing my job. I don’t know how the hell that happened.

I’m finding it a bit difficult, if I’m honest. Halfway to a panic attack most of the time – all day, every day, shaky and nervous and that awful sensation in my chest – like my heart leaps a few inches forwards – every time the phone rings or someone asks me something.

I’m becoming a bit withdrawn. People have stopped mentioning my confidence. They might have even stopped noticing me altogether (far too often, I speak, and everything just carries on as normal. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m speaking more quietly or if it’s because I’ve stopped being interesting or even if it’s because I’ve stopped existing – I often feel like that’s the case).

So I’m speaking less, and I’ve stopped drawing attention to myself: arriving last, leaving first, sitting alone at breaks (if a computer’s free, I’ll go on Facebook. Not to do anything, just to look busy, sat there looking at the profiles and comments and statuses of yet more people who’ve forgotten I exist). I come home and I try to hold it together for long enough to make it to my room, where I sit quietly and cry guilty, frustrated tears, thinking vaguely of running away or dying or just vanishing in a puff of smoke (because it’s not necessarily that I want to get away, or hurt myself – although I find the vivid images of both hard to erase from my head -, it’s just that I want everything to stop. I want to go back in time and erase myself from history. What I want more than anything is to never have existed).

The man who was training me kept telling me not to panic. I know he was only trying to help, but in a way that made me panic more – partly because I’d been hoping I was keeping it together enough to stop people noticing, and partly because I know that if it’s noticeable then it’s a nuisance and a burden and I fucking hate that.

I also kind of have a problem with doing things. I haven’t contacted my previous employers to chase up a P45. I haven’t taken in any proof of my unemployment to my new work. I haven’t even contacted my uni about my dissertation (it’s probably too late now, and even if it isn’t – I’m really not ever going to be able to do it. I still don’t even know what the fuck to write it about).

I’m not sure I can define what the problem is. I’m sure it’s mostly just laziness and stupidity and fear, but perhaps there’s something else, too. For all my worrying about the future, for so long my biggest coping mechanism has been living in the immediate present. Right here, right now. Thinking about the future makes me panic even more, and it’s not an unusual day when the only way I can get through it is by promising myself that I’ll die as soon as possible. I never do it, and I very rarely even mean it, but the only way for me to function in the present is to pretend it’s all there is. Thinking about the future is the surest way I know of making me feel overwhelmed and terrified and like I really do need to die, just to get rid of said future.

Which is all well and good, until I actually have to do something that relates to any kind of future further afield than the next week or so. Because I can’t make it make sense, I can’t make myself connect with it. The only way to survive the present is to trick myself into thinking there’s no such thing as the future.

Life isn’t going brilliantly. I mean, it could be worse, of course – but when is that not the case?

The good news is that I’m not suicidal. Hardly even thinking about dying, actually, so…gold star and a smiley face for me..

I don’t really know if I could even say that I’m depressed. This mood, it’s not the melodramatic hand-wringing I know I’ve been enveloped by before. I’m not weeping all the time (just occasional tears, slipping out of my eyes when I’m not paying attention), or thinking of hurting myself in any way. It’s just…nothing.

I’m constantly tired, but sleeping very little. I haven’t washed my hair in what feels like weeks, but what I hope is less than that. I haven’t been out of the house for over a week. My social circle consists of my parents and my brother. I haven’t spoken to anyone else.

My birthday brought the predictable flurry of Facebook comments, which felt empty and pointless and devoid of any meaning (although to be perfectly honest, it felt no more empty and pointless and devoid of meaning than every other thing in my life). I hate the thought of people pitying me, people being nice because they know I don’t have any real friends (maybe I used to, once. But I’ve blocked them out and driven them away).

I have a job interview in a couple of weeks. I probably won’t get it. They said they wanted someone “bubbly”.

My life has shrunk. I’m not sure I can even properly remember a life where I felt I could leave the house. The thought of shopping and meeting friends and chatting and laughing and drinking and dancing…it all seems so foreign to me now. I’m actually quite scared when I think about going outside, now. Terrified when I think of seeing anyone I know. Terrified that one look at my face will tell them how much of a failure and a disappointment I am. To be perfectly honest, I’m almost as scared of staying in the house as I am of leaving it, but I have to choose one or the other.

I feel trapped, but also afraid of being anywhere else.

Every day is long and empty and I can’t see my life ever being any different. It’s a frightening thought, that this might be it forever. That I’ve made my bed and now I must lie in it, lonely and scared and completely without hope, for the rest of my life. It could be decades.

All the dreams I’ve ever had have turned to dust. There is no way out.


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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