Struggling

Mentally.

I go through phases like this. They are fewer and further between. I think I’ve said before: I was frighteningly extreme in my moods and severely depressed the last few years of my drinking and used to feel like this all the time, daily, often wallowing in it for hours and hours, lost in my own mind. When I got sober, it faded to every other day… then once a week… then once a month, and so on. Now it only happens every few months or less, but dammit. I hate feeling like this. It’s been days now.

I feel fragile and insecure. I have a few situations with people in my life where, sure, I could maybe point to them specifically and say “I feel that way with Person A because of this, this, and this.” But when I realize I am doing it with every single person that pops to mind, I know it is not the situation or the other people. It’s all me.

At any given moment lately, I feel:

  • Obnoxious
  • Annoying
  • Competitive
  • Jealous
  • Angry
  • Rude
  • Unlikable
  • Judgmental
  • Not fun

And the worst part is the constant projection of these feelings onto other people. What I mean is, I will think of someone I don’t feel quite secure with (um, basically, anyone but Steve) and I will play out scenarios in my mind in which they are speaking/thinking these ill qualities of me behind my back. And I mean everyone. Friends (online and off), in-laws, coworkers. It’s something I did obsessively when I was not in my right mind years ago – sometimes, good lord, I would spend whole evenings doing it – and I’ve never really shaken that behavior. It’s tough to shake.

Steve reminded me that I am not any of those bad things I think I am – at least not any more than anyone else. I am always remarking to him that the older I get, the more I understand how alike we all really are, we human beings, not all that unique in our emotions and experiences – and that is a good thing. We all have bad moments and we all say dumb things and we all feel that way about ourselves from time to time. I have no reason to drown myself in this self-pity and delusion. It’s crippling and painful and it makes me lash out at others, which only makes things worse.

But I hang on to it anyway, like an old friend. It’s hard to let go of familiar feelings, even when they’re terrible, or maybe especially when they’re terrible, because it’s all too easy to go back to feeling like I don’t deserve to be liked or loved or happy. It’s not easy to turn my brain in the other direction. But I’m trying.

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