Contradictory to what it looks like, I have been reading “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.” I’m doing another post unrelated to stories because I feel like whining tonight. I kid, I kid. I’ve just had a couple of things on my mind and I wanted to explore these thoughts a bit more.
When I think about the way I respond to imagined or real discomfort I feel ashamed. I won’t get too into the details because that would be repetitive, but I will say that most of my methods are unhealthy. Then I began to consider how some of my peers deal with their issues and how their methods can also be unhealthy. So now I’m thinking, “what the deuce is wrong with us?!?” I used to be quite judgmental towards drug addicts, sexual deviants (what I mean are people who engage in culturally sexually deviant behavior. Like having multiple sexual partners is socially seen as deviant behavior. Or someone who engages in unprotected sex), and the like. I was always thinking what was the deal with those folks. How could you ever do drugs? How could you sleep with so many people? I don’t get it. How could you even consider killing yourself? That’s cowardly. To me those things were so foreign that I thought whoever engaged in related behavior was flat out crazy. My friends and I would talk about those kind of people. They would be the butt of our jokes and even the thought of being grouped into those categories was an insult. I admit that I was a little douchebag in my younger years (whose to say I’m not now….). After my depression/GAD started to develop I began to engage in self-destructive behavior. I stopped eating and lost over twenty pounds in the process. I might snack just to rid of the urge to vomit that came with prolonged hunger, but the act of eating seemed like a weak humanly need. Almost animalistic. I scratched myself. Wrote insults on hidden body spaces where they couldn’t be seen. I stopped speaking to friends/family without explanation. I slept like sleep was going out of style. I would spend some of my summers days in bed until three in the afternoon. And when I look at these habits that I still sometimes indulge in I’m just like, “Amber, you boob….this is ridiculous. Grow up!” It seemed like I should know what I was doing wasn’t right and that I should just stop. But I was struggling to stop and this was inexcusable. I studied Sociology for a semester and one of the things I remember from the class was that there is no such thing as common sense because many of our behaviors/beliefs differ per group. AKA we all have different cultures. I believe that those of us with mental illness, who have experienced traumatic experiences, who have been bullied, who are sick, etc have created our own subculture: the broken vessel subgroup.
I step back and consider how I feel like I’m broken. I never feel like I have anything together or anchored down. I’m always looking for the greener side of the grass. I’m consistently unhappy. I’m not taking my antidepressants because that seems like work and I hate the fact that I have to work and fight to think like a regular person. Each time I ponder a solution I always assume that I can only achieve peace through death. I just feel like everything about me is broken. Then I look at how I respond to these feelings and I realize that I’m just doing the best I can to self-destruct at a slower rate. I’m trying to fix myself the best way I know how, but the ways that I know aren’t very sufficient. So now I’m thinking about people who do drugs, starve themselves, have willing unprotected sex, etc and I’m like they’re broken people trying to fix themselves too. If you’re unhappy, you may try to solve that with cocaine or ecstasy (if you’re unhappy and rich mostly as those are drugs higher on the rung). If you feel too fat because you’ve been ridiculed for your size then you’ll throw up all of your meals. If you’ve been told you’re unattractive or worthless you may engage in sex with multiple partners. These are some seriously broad generalizations, but you get what I’m going at. You’ve established that something is wrong with you (broken) so you’re trying to right that wrong (self repair).
I also think to myself that I pity those around me because they’re dealing with a broken vessel that they have no idea how to repair. And the more I try to fix myself, the more I push away from them because I don’t want them to help me in the repair process. I want to fix myself. I want to believe that I’m not THAT weak to where I can’t solve my own problems. And as we know we cannot handle everything on our own and that’s perfectly fine. Even though I know this, it feels far from fine. I have a difficult time accepting help. I don’t want people to know I’m broken because what do most people do with broken things? They throw them in the trash. So I’m sitting around trying to glue all of my shards back together and it’s just a hot ass mess. And when the feeling is painfully acute I feel like I can implode. It’s unbearable. Some things I say and do I just feel like an idiot for and I want to take all of those things back and tell people, “I’m sorry I’m a work in progress. I’m honestly doing the best I can. Don’t leave.” And other times I want to shove them out of my personal bubble so that I can prevent them from leaving; I just eliminate them first. It’s greatly frustrating and I wish I could better explain, but emotions are hard to pen into words. Being broken is hurtful because we want others to help fix us, but we don’t want them to know we’re broken. If you admit that you need help then you’re subliminally admitting that something is not right about you. People don’t want projects for friends or spouses. They want completion. And you’re trying to get there on your own due to fear and it’s just a vicious cycle that’s consuming every bit of energy you have.
I was exhausted at work today. I really wanted to just get in my car and drive to no man’s land. Somewhere in the hills where the goats mysteriously climb mountains (really, how do they get up there…). I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I didn’t want to laugh at anything. I just wanted everyone to leave me alone. I think I was reminded how unhappy I am when I returned from Florida because the drive back was like awaiting a prison sentence. It’s back to work. Back to responsibility. Back to aimlessly wandering in this world. The weight was so obvious that my coworkers kept asking me what was wrong. To which I wanted to reply, “GET OUT OF MY FACE!” and then I would run away and never return….Donald Miller said he believed that there is a force in the world that doesn’t want us to have beautiful stories so it wears us down until it has us questioning the reason for living. My brother in law says that he believes that when it gets darkest in our lives this means that a breakthrough is coming; we’ve just got to hold on until the breakthrough comes. And I’m wondering if I’m the only person whose sick of holding on. Why me?! I’m a genuinely caring person. I help those around me. I encourage my friends. I don’t set fire to people’s homes or rob the elderly. Why am I on the brink of self-destructing at every moment? Why can’t I get a win in for once? I’m tired of being in the loser’s circle. I can’t imagine how people who have terminal illness or are constantly in pain deal with continuing to live. When I say that I am barely making it, I mean that I am BARELY making it. Then I consider telling someone about the thin thread I’m living on and the only way I can describe the feeling is shooting myself in the foot. And don’t get me started on praying about it. I’m just….ugh. That’s as much as I can say on that.
I try to be forgiving with myself as I further understand why I do what I do. I really am just trying to survive. A comic on tumblr said that we start out as mushy things. Then we face rejection and so we build this protective shell to keep ourselves safe from from the pain of the rejection. So in the end we’re just metal shells being run by mushy things. I think that best describes what it’s like to be broken. We’re just patching ourselves up to save/protect ourselves and we’re still just broken people on the inside. It’s very interesting to think about.
Thus my nightly whine is complete. I am now off to watch Golden Girls and sip cranberry juice.