Monday, 16 July 2012

Saturday 14th July

On Saturday I had what I believe can only be described as some kind of breakdown. 


The past 6 months of getting on with stuff, and putting a brave face on and making jokes about my situation came out in one rather spectacular show of emotion.


At the end I sat down and wrote everything that I was feeling.


I have ummed and aahed about whether to post this because I know there are some stronger people than me who will dismiss it as self-pitying nonsense but I've decided that I will post it. This blog is supposed to be about me and it would be a gross omission to leave out something as significant as this.


I apologise in advance. It's a lengthy one and I'll give you a medal if you made it to the end.


To those who will roll their eyes after reading it - sorry. But you couldn't make me feel worse about myself than I already do so don't worry.


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In hindsight it had probably been coming on all week, like an unseasonal change in the weather.

All week I wasn’t quite right. I wasn’t on form and my usual lists weren’t doing the trick at keeping me on track. I said that I was going easy on myself  for a week after a knockout couple of weeks on the job searching front but the truth was that I wasn’t capable of doing anything other than give myself time off. I wasn’t actively not looking for work, I was just unable to muster up the energy to do anything at all.

Tuesday was a bad day. I cried over stupid things which isn’t like me at all. I get mad and frustrated at stupid things but not cry. They were so insignificant that I couldn’t work it out at all. At one point I cried because I couldn’t find where I’d put my book. I got upset about something someone said on Twitter – normally it would bounce off but it really got under my skin. After 2 weeks of almost incessant running and 30 Day Shredding and eating healthily I had put on weight yet again.  Only a couple of lbs in a couple of weeks but a nonsensical gain which made me well up.

But I carried on because that’s what you do. Told myself I was entitled to have some crappy days, after all, I’m in a crappy situation at the moment.

I got upset on Friday after being rejected from a job I didn’t want anyway – but the reason behind not getting the job highlighted all the things that I feel are wrong with the current system of dealing with unemployment and I was so incredibly frustrated that I couldn’t find any other way to express the emotion other than through my eyes.

Saturday started off totally normally. The Person was taking part in the UK Corporate Games and was Dragon Boat Racing on the Docks right by our flat. I went down to watch the first race and cheered him on and came back to the flat to hang out for a bit before going down to watch some more races.

I don’t even know when it hit me which seems bizarre given the reaction it had. You would have thought there would have been some significant moment that indicated the point when I slid into oblivion, but instead I just found myself in there.

I’ve spoken before about The Pit. But my god that pit was a niggly pothole. This baby was a yawning chasm which had opened up out of nowhere.

I went from fine to very much not fine in the blink of an eye. The Person came home to find a completely different person in his flat to the one he’d seen a couple of hours before. A snarling, unpleasant, awful person who was a really not nice human being.

I didn’t go down to watch him race again. Want to know why? I hated that he was having fun. I hated that he was winning at something and doing really well at it. I hated that whilst he got to have fun with his friends I had to sit in the flat alone because I have no friends here. An oversight had meant that he didn’t have his keys with him, meaning I was forced to stay indoors to wait for him. No big deal normally but it absolutely enraged me because this is exactly what I do 5 days a week – sit in the flat alone.

I knew that I was being unreasonable and ridiculous and when he text to say they were in the Final of the Dragon Boat Racing I dragged myself down to watch and cheer. And I did. But I don’t know when I’ve ever had to try so hard at something.

I knew that I was being unreasonable and ridiculous and when he text to say they were in the Final of the Dragon Boat Racing I dragged myself down to watch and cheer. And I did. But I don’t know when I’ve ever had to try so hard at something.


In the end I snapped. And I hated myself for snapping but I think it had to happen. It’s funny because in the past I would have called is self-pity but this wasn’t it. I wasn’t sitting there going “Poor me, my life is so bad” or going “Good god woman, get a hold of yourself, people have it so much worse than you.” It was self-loathing. This was a feeling which, quite frankly, dicked all over self pity. I hated myself.

I hated myself for what I’d become. I hated that I’d suddenly turned into a person that actually resented someone else for going out and having fun. I was some kind of pondlife with, quite literally, no worth. I hadn’t been able to prove myself sufficiently to be able to avoid being made redundant, I hadn’t been able to prove myself worthy of employment to anyone else, I wasn’t even capable of obeying science, which states that if you’re burning off more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. I couldn’t even stop my sunflowers being attacked by aphids. A restyle project I was undertaking wasn’t going to work, despite my best efforts, leaving me with a ruined piece of furniture. I’m a person seems apparently incapable of keeping friends. I can’t even run without getting injured. I was not only burdening The Person with myself financially, I was now burdening him with a complete wreck of a human being.

And I thought I was never going to stop crying. I have never ever cried like that. Not at births, marriages, funerals, break-ups, not even ET. I literally could not stop myself. I wanted to scream. I wanted to just not be here anymore. I’m not making any grand “I wanted to kill myself” statements, I just wanted to not exist anymore because there was literally no point to me.

I had no worth as a human being. Nothing I did went right. I had nothing to offer anyone except misery – I’m some kind of vacuum which just sucks in people’s souls and doesn’t emit anything out.

I had nothing left to give. I knew I couldn’t answer another well-meaning text asking me how the job hunt was going.

And believe me I know my problems are few. I’m not dying. I have family. I had someone to go to when I lost my job, some people don’t. I know all these things and I loathe myself for it.  Not pity, loathe. Actively hate myself for not even being capable of dealing with a minor bump in the road. I’m supposed to be a capable person. But no, I’m so worthless that I wouldn’t even be capable of dealing with a major life event like death, I’m so worthless I’ve crumpled at the first hurdle.

I should have been tired. I should have been completely drained of energy. I had cried and cried (and I mean gulping, heaving, lung-shaking sobs) for well over an hour and I literally could not stop myself. I kept willing the tears to stop but they refused. I think The Person thought I was getting hysterical and said “That’s enough. You have to stop.” And to be fair it calmed down, but I still wasn’t tired.

And so I got up and came and wrote the words you’ve just read (if you’ve got this far).

I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. I would have thought that after all the crying and now the outpouring of emotions on to page I would feel as if a weight had been lifted. I know that sometimes you need a good cry just to get it out of your system. But this wasn’t a normal cry, this was something which almost had a life of its own.

And now I don’t really feel anything. Which is such a cliché I have hesitated to write it and tried to find a clever way of saying it without using the word “numb”. But it’s true. I don’t feel relieved but nor do I feel any pressure on me. I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other.

It’s funny really because just the other night we were talking about how different we are when it comes to emotions. To plot a graph of The Person’s feelings during a day you would be presented with a more or less horizontal line, with maybe some increases or decreases to indicate changes in emotions (most likely around feeding times). My graph would be like a print out from a seismograph featuring massive, almost impossible peaks and troughs in a 24 hour period. What can I say, I have big reactions, I’m either ecstatically happy or unreasonably outraged or incredibly sad. Now I think I have achieved my horizontal line; there is no turbulence

Maybe this is a good way to be. Maybe this is surrendering myself to the fates. Maybe if I was Godly I would be saying “Ok. Let’s do it, you’re doing this for a reason so let’s keep going until I’m out of the other side.” Perhaps, when you get to this point where there is nothing left to give and no more fight and no more cheery platitudes to offer up, this means you’re out the other side. Is this what they mean when the say that when you’ve hit rock bottom you can go no further? 

I guess I just sit and wait.

17 comments:

  1. I'll have my medal.
    Stay strong, I know it's difficult xx

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  2. You are not a bad person for resenting being stuck in the flat when The Person was out having fun. I'd have been livid. You are not a bad person for having dark thoughts. You are allowed to be unhappy and resentful because they are natural and real. If you pretend those feelings are not there and suppress them you will explode like you just did. If you acknowledge how you feel it is easier to control how you act. You have taken some mighty knocks of late, it is not surprising you are off kilter. You will probably feel empty and drained for a day or so but getting hold of the bad stuff and holding it up to the light helps you see it for what it truly is and file it away under interesting and a bit damaging if ignored. Don't ignore the bad stuff even if you don't share it with anyone at least acknowledge it inside your head, it gives it less power.

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  3. I think you're brave for posting this and for being so honest about your feelings. Ok, so you're not dying etc, but you are going through a shitty time and you are allowed to have feelings in reaction to that. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.

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  4. Absolutely, you sit and wait. You'll be okay because you have to be okay. No judgement here, lots of love and best wishes xx

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  5. Pin that medal on me. You must have read "Women are from Venus" etc and know that women "fall to the bottom of a well" - that's what you have done. The next stage is to claw your way out. xxxxx

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  6. Love the random ET reference in there... :) Keep going, xxx

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  7. I think you've described really well something that lots of us have felt at one point or another - being strong, keeping smiling, putting on a brave face and then all of a sudden, over something really trivial, it all comes out in one go. Hope it has released some kind of pressure valve within you and you start to feel better.

    Don't be too hard on yourself, your job search sounds like it's going much better than any of mine ever have, even in times of comparatively plenty. You'll find something soon. Make time for the things you enjoy but with no pressure to be perfect at - crochet or watch a film?

    My favourite quote is one of Winston Churchill's: "If you're going through Hell, keep going" - you'll come out the other side eventually.

    Lots of love xx

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  8. Everything you've said is entirely justified given your situation so don't feel bad for having those feelings. I had a similar meltdown when I was made redundant and apparently unemployable for 9 months. It left me feeling stupid, useless, worthless, stuck in a rut, you name it, I felt it! After my meltdown I developed a 'nothing else can hurt me' approach and it helped me get back on my feetagain.

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  9. Don't apologise for having feelings nor for expressing them, it is dangerous to keep them bottled up. Let it out, you may not feel better but at least it is out there.
    As for now feeling numb, please don't freak out but you may possibly be just the tiniest bit depressed. Been there and there is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. You feel how you feel, don't beat yourself up. Just keep going and you'll get through. At least you've still got your sense of humour with the ET reference.

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  10. I just wanted to show support. You are not a bad person at all and these meltdowns happen to the best of us, sometimes for no reason at all. You have been through a terrible time lately and its totally understandable this has happened.
    Don't be too hard on yourself, your body and emotions needed a release, now rest.

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  11. You have no need to apologise- after everything you write, it is totally understandable how you feel, felt,
    Essentially, you are living in a vacuum at the moment, you are neither one thing or another and that has got to be strange, depressing, and knock you for six. Unemployment is an absolute BEAST and I have seen how it affects people time and time again, neighbours on either side of me became alcoholics, one died, it's horrible what it does.
    Yes, as you say, you are not dying BUT, the pain and difficulty, you are going through at the moment, is difficult and painful for you, it is a scale at which you feel/felt you can't cope. Just because someone else's pain or difficulty is another type, or seems 'comparatively worse' by human judgements, e.g. death, that doesn't make yours any less difficult or hard to bear. It is yours and it is this situation you are in. What we experience at the time feels difficult.
    I AM of the the Godly persuasion, so I choose to trust in God when I feel I am in the utter depths of misery because that is how I cope, how I know and hope it will be better, but that doesn't make it seem any less difficult at the time, it's just knowing that I have something to aim and hope for.

    You keep sitting and waiting and as I said to someone else who said they were depressed today, can you get away from the city/town, can you go and find somewhere beautiful to walk, full of greeness, freshair and nature? This is my sanctuary when I feel I cannot cope and it never fails to calm me and allow me to think.

    Sending you a hug. Get thee to a cat and have some stroke time! Nothing like a purring cat!

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  12. You are not worthless and I don't believe that you have a reason for loathing yourself. I think that you are a very strong woman who is making the best of the crappy situation that you're in. It's not your fault that you were made redundant either, please don't think that it is.

    Do you still want to come and visit next week? I have a midwife appointment on the friday but will be done by half ten. the bus is an hour and a half from you to me, I can meet you at the bus station. looking forward to seeing you :-)
    xxx

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  13. That sounds so crap and horrible and I am so sorry you have to go through this. A favourite quote of mine is from the blogess (whose blog I think you would really enjoy, she is ridiculously funny and has depression and anxiety) and the quote is "depression is a lying bastard, and this will pass".
    I think its great, because its good to remind you that even though you may be consumed by self loathing, its something that will pass, and that this self loathing is something that is caused by your (possible)situational depression.
    I think its great you blogged about this, and please talk to people who love you, or a doctor or counsellor about how you feel. And don't feel stupid about this, if you scratch the surface of anyone, I guarantee they have or will go through something like this in their lives.
    Taker care of yourself xxxxxx

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  14. Sometimes the little things are the triggers that release a whole wave of (not always wanted or expected) emotion - on a particularly low day for me it was the slugs wiping out my third attempt at growing beans in my poky little rented back garden. Seriously not the end of the world but set off a train of thoughts that resulted in some pretty black thoughts. And i did the same - actually, I wrote a letter to someone, which I never posted but I did keep it and I have looked back at it at times and so far have not felt quite that awful again. Hang in there x

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  15. I've never read such a load of self-indulgent twaddle...
    Sorry, just wanted to be different.
    I echo the messages above. Nothing, absolutely nothing, you've written makes you sound bad. You're coping with a very, very difficult situation and it's hard; I think you're amazing for staying as positive as much of the time as you do.

    And as to the idea of not being able to hold on to your friends...I know at least one person in Hull who misses you.

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  16. Oh dear...hmm...you know what? You aren't alone. We've all had these moments. It is shit when life isn't going your way. It is crap when you don't have a job and something to preoccupy you and there is the fear that you may never find something and this whole thing will drag and drag and drag. I've struggled through years of crap and frustrated feelings. I don't know what advice I can give except that you just keep going and one day (for me after like 3-4 years) it suddenly gets a bit sunnier.

    I know this is going to sound gay and hippy but have you taken a piece of paper and written a list of what you want? A simple list and then each morning mediate on these thoughts for a little while? Also, a positivity diary helped me. Every day write down the things you are thankful for. It helped me slowly...

    I hope you'll be alright. I wish I could come and sit with you and have a good old chat. Sometimes talking to different people can bring temporary relief and new perspective...

    Big hug...keep writing and don't be afraid to get it out if it helps. xxx

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