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.

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 »


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.

Posted on: June 16, 2010

I’m struggling a little bit at the moment.

I’ve been working for the past couple of days, which is a good distraction, but my sleep is completely fucked anyway, and it’s hard to get up at 6am after two hours’ sleep, then work 9 hours (trying to motivate teenagers, at that), then go home and be exhausted but still not sleeping anywhere near enough, and then get up the next day and do it again. But yeah, it’s been a distraction, and I sort of made friends with the person I was working with…it feels such an embarrassingly long time since I actually made a friend, so it actually feels like a big thing, when all that happened was I met someone with a few similar interests and we chatted a lot (I wish the small things didn’t seem so big. I wish it could be like the old days, when it all came so much more easily).

I’m finding it hard to calm my anxiety. It’s not full-on panic yet, just a sort of dread that I can feel rising in my chest. I’m pretty sure I’ve failed my degree (I’ve done the maths. Any kind of half-decent grade is unlikely, verging on impossible). And I don’t know how I’m going to explain. To my family, who have always been so unjustifiably proud of me. Or to my friends, whose opinion of me is so out-of-date that they still think of me as “clever”, because last time we studied together was at college, back when I could do anything.

I mean, what do I say? How can I let everyone down like this? I’m going to spend the rest of my life saying, “yeah, sorry, it turns out I’m stupid”. It’s always going to be there. I’ll never be allowed to forget it. Every single job application. The whole of my life, making excuses and avoiding eye contact and shrugging. It’s hard enough to get a job these days even as a graduate with a first class degree. How the fuck will I manage, having gone to university and made nothing of it? Four years, down the drain. Thousands of pounds of debt. Nothing to show for it. It’s a fucking waste and I wish I hadn’t bothered.

And I think, briefly…maybe I don’t want to lie anymore. Maybe I just want to hold my hands up, say “I can’t cope”, burst into tears and wait for someone to come along and make it better. It’s naive, and weak, even to think it. To consider, even for a moment, that this is something that would be easier if people knew. It would just be a different kind of difficult, and not a kind that, really, I’d ever be able to cope with. I know I’m not really coping now, but at least I have privacy. At least no-one feels sorry for me. It’s a small comfort, but it’s pretty much all I’ve got, and I’m not going to give it up because of some instinctive desire to just hand over the reins and let someone else steer my life while I have a bit of a nap.

I’ve found something that is bigger than me. You can call it depression, or unhappiness, or pessimism, or just plain old life, but it’s too big and too destructive, and I’ve been holding it inside myself and it’s been eating away, consuming all of me to make more room for it, so it can grow and take over completely. Soon it will be all I am.

I have another counselling appointment on Friday. It’ll probably be the last one. I left it too late for it to make a difference. I suppose it wouldn’t have, anyway. Then again, I don’t really think months or even years of counselling would be able to change my thoughts. They’re too…big. They’re too much of me.

I suppose I might be a little suicidal. Kill yourself, kill yourself, might as well kill yourself. Better get it over with before life catches up with you. Hurry up and do it before things get worse. Kill yourself, kill yourself. Shut up and kill yourself. Over and over again until it’s all I can think, and no amount of superficial think of something else-ing will get rid of it.

I’m scared, a lot. But to be perfectly honest, I’m more scared of living than I am of dying.

I am struggling, really quite a lot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Too late.

Posted on: March 17, 2010

I’ve messed up. I’ve really, really messed up.

I’ve been looking the other way while my life falls apart. I’ve been ignoring it, for months. Averting my gaze and distracting myself and vaguely believing that sooner or later I would stumble across a way to make things right.

I’ve failed my degree. I mean, I know there’s a couple of months left, but it’s pretty much a given that I’ve failed. I’ve missed too much. Haven’t handed in essays, or done presentations, or turned up for tests. I don’t deserve to pass. It wouldn’t be fair on all the people who do their work.

I got an email from my course co-ordinator. She says that she is worried and I don’t know how to respond. My automatic response to worry of any kind is to pretty much scream “I’M OKAY” in people’s faces. But if I’m okay then there’s no excuse.

Maybe there’s no excuse anyway. Maybe it is just all laziness. Stupidity.

And even if I was honest, what good would it do? It’s too late now. There’s no fixing it, no sorting things out. I pretended it wasn’t happening and now it can’t be stopped.

I’ve handled things so badly. Why am I so scared of everything? Why do I have to lie all the time? Why can’t I just fucking cope?

Every time I hear or read anything to do with university, or my course, or the future, I just feel really fucking ashamed. Like I’ve tried, and I’ve failed, and now I have to close off from it; I have no right to even say the words.

What am I going to do? I can’t stay here and I don’t want to go home (how will I explain? I’ve lied so thoroughly for so long, how can I tell them that I didn’t trust them? How can I admit that all their time and money and effort and all the things they’ve done for me are worthless because I can’t achieve anything?).

All I can think about doing is either running away or killing myself. And I know they’re both stupid ideas, but what the fuck else is there? Go home and admit it and be asked endless questions and have my privacy invaded and refuse to show any emotions and cry myself to sleep and do nothing, and achieve nothing, and be an endless waste and a drain on everybody around me. I can’t fucking do it.

And running away’s a ridiculous idea anyway, because I’ve got nowhere to go to, and very little money, and people would find me anyway and that would just make everything worse. And however tempting it is to just pack a bag and run off, now, into the night – you can’t run away from yourself, can you?

But that only leaves one option. It always fucking comes back to that.

Is it the end of the line? Is it time to just properly, fully accept that living is simply not an option? Is it time?

There’s a suicide note on my computer. I wrote it weeks ago. I can’t bring myself to either read or delete it. But it’s there. It’s comforting that it’s there.

I don’t know what else to do. There’s nothing left. It’s all broken. And I know that I will be disappointing people, letting them down, but if I lived I’d be doing that anyway.

It was always going to be suicide. I used to think it, know it, even before I started to get depressed. Couldn’t imagine myself dying any other way, even back when I didn’t even really know how it felt to want to die.

I wouldn’t be killing anything that isn’t already rotting.


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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