I used to use LJ for this type of thing. Keep it friendslocked so I wouldn’t scare away randoms. LJ is not the proper place for much of anything now, however, so I needed to find another outlet, and Tumblr has won that lottery. I apologize in advance for this, but I think I need to type this up and post it; please ignore as needed. Writing down my thoughts via pencil and paper seem to be too limiting for me. I
want need and crave someone to reply or even to let me know that they’ve read this.
To let me know that I exist, that someone sees my struggle, and to empathize.
Empathy. That’s been one of my problems as of late. I feel like I can’t get a break, even though none of this is happening to me directly. I tend to react to others’ emotional turmoil, problems, and issues as though they were my own. It is very handy when trying to comfort a friend in what is happening to them, but it is very painful to experience over, and over, and over again. I’m completely drained of my emotional capacity to do, well, just about anything. My tears are on a hair trigger, my rage is being barely held back, and my focus is completely shot – and mostly about things that aren’t happening to me directly. The world is a crappy place sometimes, and I feel like it has been particularly crappy to myself and my close friends as of late.
I was diagnosed with my first anxiety disorder four years ago this month. I was later diagnosed with severe depression and I knew I needed help. I started going to therapy two years ago (also this month). For the first one of those years, I was getting better. Therapy was helping a great deal, my daily mental state would sometimes go above a 5 (on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst day I’ve ever had). I still had some bad days, but that’s progress, right? I knew I was in a somewhat precarious state, that something major could still send me back to where I was or even worse, but I was getting better until November. Today, I’m in a worse state than I was two years ago. My daily mental state hasn’t gone above a 2 this week.
Part of my problem is that I’ve been in crisis mode for too long. I feel like I haven’t had a rest since November. I feel like I’m constantly fighting, constantly putting out fires, constantly afraid, and constantly suffering since then. I lost hope in November, my brain has been trying to catch up ever since, and I’m exhausted. Every day is another step toward something worse, every day is pacing toward an end where I can no longer exist. Each morning, I find out whether or not I will be able to receive the medical care I need to survive, and each morning I have to wrap my head around the concept that some people would wish to see me die. Some of my own family even agree with these hateful words, without realizing what effect it would have on anyone… what effect it would have on me. Most people with those viewpoints don’t care at all – basically, the “shut up snowflake and grow up!” mentality that I loathe so much. “If you don’t like it, leave!”
Leaving. That’s actually something I’ve been considering. I would need to leave the US entirely, and that’s a huge can of worms that I’m not going to go into depth here about. Suffice to say, this is another source of my current woes – the idea that I’m going to let someone else win makes me quite angry. I don’t want to leave behind others in a similar situation to myself, I want to fix the situation – to make things better. I have to accept that I’m simply not able to do that, and that hurts. I can’t make people see that caring for people and protecting their right to thrive is important. I can’t make people feel empathy.
Then there is the fact that leaving would potentially kill me.
My entire coping mechanism for, well, anything at all at this point, is being around my friends. They can smile, laugh, and for a while I feel a lot better. Lately that feeling doesn’t last beyond that night, but that’s a lot better than nothing. Leaving the US means leaving my friends behind. Leaving all semblance of comfort and protection behind. Making my situation worse in the short term for the hope of a better situation in the long term. I’m not sure which situation is worse, and I’m afraid.
I feel trapped, surrounded by negative things that I have no choice on, surrounded by things completely out of my control. One of the focuses on my therapy has been to point myself at things I actually can control and resolve them. This was one of the ways I was making things better for myself – I was able to focus on just the things I could change, improve them, make things better, then take another look at a situation. From there, I would find another thing I could change (however small), change that, and repeat. Sure, the big things weren’t going to go away on their own, but having a better grasp at the situation at hand would let me stand up against it more easily. That’s… not the situation I’m in right now. I feel as though nothing is in my control, and even the parts that really are under my control are so tied down with my anxieties that I can’t touch them anyway.
My beloved is in pain, and I cannot do anything about it. Just typing that sentence sends me into tears. I want to be the person that can make things be all better, the proverbial hero that can save the day, the person that can be helpful to everyone, even for just a little bit. It is a core part of my personality… and I can’t. I’m not even useful from a comforting perspective anymore; I’m so burnt out that I’m subconsciously avoiding conversation topics with them over the idea that it might cause one or both of us even more pain.
If that statement sounded any alarm bells, congratulations – you saw what my therapist saw this week. She brought up the idea that I have codependency issues on top of everything else now. It isn’t too surprising, given my personality type and mental state, but it is also not a formal diagnosis. I basically have a need to help others when I can, and that need can make things worse for me. Often, as of late.
I don’t know what to do. I try to put on a mask so I can interact with the world, so I can be the person that I know I should be deep down, but that mask is slipping more and more often. Close friends aren’t the only ones noticing how I’m losing it now, and I’m not even sure if putting on the mask is even with it anymore.