Saturday, September 23, 2006

Blast from the (sort of secret) past

Back in January, I had the worst month of my entire life. I was unbelievably depressed – I used up about 100 hours of sick time that month, because the thought of going to work was so overwhelming that I couldn’t even get out of bed. I cried all the time, because I didn’t know how else to deal with it. Luckily I had a really caring and understanding boss, and lots of help from people who loved me. I started a “secret” blog, because I needed to write stuff down, but I didn’t feel like it was something I could share with my regular readers (and friends) right then.

It’s far enough behind me now that I can post what I wrote then without feeling totally freaked out – in fact, I don’t feel freaked out at all. I’m in a really good place now, and I look back at what I wrote and I remember those awful feelings and I never want to feel that way again. To be totally honest, I’m sort of scared of January – I’m scared that I’ll have a breakdown again. I know I don’t have to worry – it’s not the MONTH, it’s the place where I was back then. And I’m not there anymore. But there’s still that little fear in the back of my head. I look at all the stuff I wrote then and I remember how I felt and THAT was fear. I was scared of how bad I felt and how powerless I felt to change it.

Anyway. Here it is. January 5, 2006.


Have you ever had a day where you wanted to take absolutely everything back? Everything you did, everything you said, everything you thought, even everything that you felt?

Have you ever done something completely stupid and even in the moment, when you’re actually doing it, you KNOW it’s stupid, you’re fully aware of it, and yet? Done.

Have you ever spent an entire day (or days, as the case may be) thinking yourself into a black hole in which the sheer force of the thoughts are pulling you into an inescapable vortex of awfulness? Like where there’s maybe one tiny thing bothering you, or something random irritated you. And then the next completely unrelated thing that happens (or doesn’t happen) not only magnifies the tiny thing, but then magnifies itself in the process. The next minor irritation magnifies the first two and before you know it, it’s three days later and you’re laying with your face on your desk, crying and wondering how you’re going to make it through the next 2 and a half hours before you can go home.

Have you ever said something that the second it’s out of your mouth (or out in cyberspace) you wish you’d never said it? It’s impossible to take back. You’re fucked. And quite possibly, depending on who you said it to, the un-take-backable (YES, it’s a word – at least NOW it is) ridiculousness that seemed like a fine idea a mere second ago has most likely caused irreparable damage to your relationship with the person you said it to. And no matter what you say after the fact, there’s no possible way to explain away what you said without either making things worse or sounding like a neurotic crazy person. Neither of those are good options. How do you tell someone that the stupid thing you said wasn’t really about them at all, but a result of the awful thought vortex and the self-magnifying random shit? And that that, coupled with your penchant for occasionally being overdramatic AND the above mentioned acts of stupidity collides in what can only be described as a hurricane of self-destruction in which they are the confused and unwitting victim? You can’t. At least not without sounding like a neurotic crazy person.

It’s a day (or days) that you can’t take back. Days in which every decision you made, every word out of your mouth, every thought in your head, was clouded by the hurricane. It’s days when your usually sane and rational and mellow and laid-back self was (if we’re going with the hurricane theme) blown into a wall, knocked unconscious and was taking entirely too long to shake it off. SHAKE IT OFF!! Damn. So now it’s shaken off, but you look back at the path of destruction and wish, over and over, that you could take it all back.

Has any of this happened to anyone? Yeah, me neither. I was just wondering.

15 comments:

Edge said...

The mind is a wonderful creation. When things go wrong with it, it can really cause problems. I totally understand. There are moments I frighten myself, and there are moments I can't believe where I have come from. Now I look at it like a piece of wild and weird PAST. Ove, done and gone. Ready to move on. It meant something, not all of it is understood at the moment, but some is.

http://thunderfish.blogspot.com/2006/06/story.html

Glad you are better.

~Jef

Marissa said...

Whats amazing, Amber, is that while you still own these feelings and they come from you, with the time that has passed you've been able to gain clarity and perspective -- introspection is a wonderful thing. I can't tell you how often I've felt the very same way. And each time it feels like I'm stuck so far down a hole I'll never find way, or rather be able to climb, back out. But somehow, I always do, and then am able to look back and realize how I got myself there, and what it takes (time and time again) to get myself out. I suppose this is life, huh? A learning experince. One giant game. And as I like to say, it's sort of like an EKG. Sometimes we're up, other times we're down. It's ok as long as never flat-line!

I'm so glad you're able to look back with understanding and acceptance! xoxo

Jill said...

Oh yes, that has happened to me. And I think it was happening to me at the same time it was happening to you. I'm glad you're in a better place. I am in a better place than I was last winter also, but I'm also having some anxiety about what this winter is going to bring. I'll be there with you.

Hope said...

You already know my story. I think I may have blogged about my story right after you went through all your stuff. But we never feel completely out of the woods, do we? Thursday I spent the day sitting at my desk plotting ways to leave work early and lay in bed. But thankfully, lately, those days are few and far between. As I hope yours are too, especially since you seem to be in a totally different place in your life now than you were last January. Thank you for sharing, because a lot of us do have days like that.

Edge said...

Something I don't understand, did the job cause the depression or was it something else? Did finding out your company was closing the office change how you felt or make it worse?

~Jef

Amber said...

The job most definitely caused the depression. I hated it so much and at the time, I had no idea it was closing. We didn't find out until April. That would have made it better, because at least there would have been a light at the end of the tunnel.

Cheryl said...

I've definitely been there. And I too have been there due to a job. What I think is important, now that it's over is that it is over. You bounced back; you pulled yourself out of the hole. So, in the future if you feel yourself falling a bit, or even if (god forbid) you find yourself there or close to it once again, you have proof positive that it doesn't last and it will get better. You have provided instant hope for yourself whenever you need it. So, really it's something to be proud of--you didn't give up. You're strong and pushed through and look at you now.

Sandra Dee said...

Bless your heart. Are you doing better?

Leesa said...

I have been there as well. Really hard to get out of there, to get on with your life.

By the way, I have tried posting a comment several times!

Woodrow said...

Yes I have.

Spaceman Spiff said...

To quote a Lyle Lovett song for you, "Look, I understand there are things that people say and do that can't be taken back, can never be taken back. But what would you be if you didn't even try. You have to try. So after a lot of thought and consideration. If it isn't too late, could you make that a Cheeeese burger?"

Not really sure how that fits in, but that is what came to mind when I read the post. Glad you are in an improved state of mind.

Miladysa said...

[[Hugs]] x

-J said...

I want a secret blog!

Amanda said...

wow, amber...i had the SAME type of january, and i, too, am a little concerned for daylight savings time - a time of year i always used to welcome - because i fear my depression was a seasonal thing (maybe that's just drug company marketing mumbo jumbo). but anyway, i totally understand and i am hear for you come january if you start to feel that way again. xo

dasi said...

I don't think I need to say anything - since I've pretty much shared with you before... but don't forget I'm still out here in cyberspace when or if you need me!!