I Want To End It All – Not My Life, Just The Pain

Hmmmm, absence is meant to make the heart grow fonder.  How often is that case, though?  After all, my longish absence from the world of interweb highway matters isn’t the result of a permanent upturn in the health of my mind and soul.  Quite the opposite.

As ever, it’s been mostly down to another absence, that of my partner.  Try as I might, I can’t get over losing her.  She’s still the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and my last thought before I go to bed at night, with innumerable more during the day.

It feels as if my heart’s been ripped out of me in spite of everything I’ve achieved to make my life that much better.  Dealt with debts – check.  Found a full time paid job – check.  Take regular exercise – check.  Attend a variety of activities – well, you get the idea.  Everything I’ve thought, and therapists have recommended, I need to do to get my headspace back in a good place is being done.

Yet still, although admittedly there’s been the occasional good day, there’s an intense sadness lurking within me, and often overwhelming me, a pain that physically goes through my body as well as heart and soul.  If there aren’t tears streaming from me, then they’re at the very edge of my eyelids.  I can’t go on like this.

Yet there’s plenty of plus points in my life now, that are pretty trivial and almost meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but help everyday living go that little bit better.  One thing is, after so many years, my credit rating is improved now to such a point that I’ve been issued with a credit card.

It’s nothing in itself, and the occasions I’ve used it, I’ve paid off what I spent in full within a few days.  It’s purely the convenience of it all.  One thing I bought was travel tickets over Christmas and Hogmanay.  Without having that card I’d have missed a couple of bargains.  Very minor, but gave me a little warm feeling of simply being able to do that.

As for work, I’ve been told by a number of people in managerial lines that they’ve been impressed at how well I’ve taken to things.  I knew if I was given the chance I would be an asset for anyone prepared to take a punt.  It’s heartening to be proven to be correct.

Not only that, but a regular wage coming in means decent food is affordable, rather than the normal mix and match of fruit, veg, and cheap processed foods.  The benefits of that are obvious and are richly enjoyed.

crying woman's eye, black and white image, low key, selective focus

Yet despite all that, the demons in my mind take such a grip on me.  At work, it tells me how useless I am, that eventually I’ll be found out, and every error I make, however minor and even when corrected, is pounced upon, and I hear that voice whispering that it’s yet more proof of being unfit to do the job, no matter what anyone says.

It was that turmoil which earlier today lead me to seeing my immediate line manager, after I had sought help from my GP and therapy services.  I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer.  To say he was surprised was an understatement, which I guess shows how little notice companies take of application forms, where I disclosed what illnesses I had.

I seem to have mastered one of those tricks people with depression try to learn, that of concealing their state of mind to all and sundry.  He said that, by my demeanour and behaviour in the workplace, he would never have guessed there was anything wrong at all, that I was just a good worker doing their job.

The bottom line is that they’re very keen for me to progress my career with them, and that calling it a day will be an absolute last resort, not a first response, as well as encouraging me to seek the help I need.  That’s so reassuring, knowing that work will support me as much as they can.

In a way, though, that’s the frustrating thing.  It’s getting to the point where almost everything that was wrong in my life, which were factors in my depression, have either been eradicated completely or changed into a positive.

Yet for some reason it’s not enough.  Every morning, without fail, is the familar feeling that I’ve had my heart ripped out of me, an involuntary build-up of tears, and that voice in my mind telling me everything I don’t want to hear, ensuring I feel worthless and miserable.

I don’t know how to combat it.  I’m out of ideas.  I don’t want to die, which is a solution many people tragically take.  I just want the pain to end.  I don’t know how to stop it either.  Maybe one day I’ll find the answer.  In the meantime, despite the many positives now in my life, I’ll have to put up with feeling awful.

Hello darkness, my old friend.

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It’s Criminal What’s Gone On

Oh my.  After all those weeks of slow steps forward, getting my life together, and moving on, a week of setbacks.  All part of life’s rich tapestry, of course, but when so much happens in a condensed space of time, it takes it out of you in the mind and soul.

The first mishap is comparatively trivial.  The bank I recently changed to took it upon themselves to reissue my debit card, which I hadn’t asked for, and promptly sent it to the wrong address.

As it happens, the branch nearest to my place of work is a 20 minute bus ride away, so when the time came to get paid, instead of living in the 21st century and going to a cashpoint, I was left waiting in the torrential rain waiting for a bus that never came, with a soggy passport as proof of identity, to claim the few shekels I earned.

Again, though, a minor irritation.  As for work itself, although my attitude and work ethic continues to be as exemplary as I can be, it’s been very intense.  In truth, I’ve struggled, and let the people around know that I am as well.

It’s not so much the job itself that I find difficult, it’s learning all about codes, systems, and procedures in the right order.  I’m disappointed with myself that I haven’t learned as quickly as I think I could.

I will make a success of it, of that I’m certain, but it still grates with me that I’ve fallen behind others.  On the face of things, though, it’s just another annoyance, perhaps fuelled by me expecting too much, too soon of myself.

So it’s wet, bedraggled, and insecure so far.  That, to my surprise, I could handle when I arrived home of an evening.  It’s when I was at home that the real testing thing happened.

Perhaps I needed to have heeded an earlier warning.  A friend of mine close by had their tablet stolen from their home.  Nothing else, just that.  I, of course, empathised and sympathised, but fell into the trap of ignoring the danger of a local thief, and not thinking of the possibility it could happen to me.

Which, of course, it did.  Upon my return one night I was greeted to clothes and linen strewn across the floors, and electronic devices, with their plugs, missing.  What hurt most, however, was the items of sentimental value from times I was with my ex.  To anyone else they were pretty worthless.  To me they were priceless.

Depression Burgled

The upset came later.  The first reaction was shock.  Then came disbelief.  I wondered if, in the morning, I was in a rush and threw things around.  I couldn’t think back 10 minutes previously, let alone 10 hours.  I searched.  And searched.  And searched again.

All my trinkets, the saved and used ticket stubs, as well as the electrical gadgets, inevitably, didn’t turn up after a half hour’s searching.  When I finally accepted the truth, that I’d fallen victim to probably the same burglar who’d been active earlier in the week, I had that familiar black feeling ride over me.

I felt somehow fated to have a miserable existence however hard I tried to make my life a happy one.  One negative emotion poured in after another, soon followed by negative thoughts.  It was only a matter of time before thinking of suicide came to the fore.  If this is what life is going to be like from now on, why bother?

I’ve improved the past few days since then but there’s still a heavy heart and a sense of sadness to me.  After all the struggles I’ve had reorganising my life where I live, trying to make a fresh start after losing my true love and then my mind, it feels as if I’m banging my head against a brick wall.  I feel like screaming.

Much as I like the location where I am, and even though I’ve fought and battled to get myself back into paid employment, I get the feeling that karma is playing it’s hand, telling me it’s time to move on, that it’s fated never to work out for me here.

So many negative emotions I’m fighting at the moment, which experience has taught me is the worst time to make any decisions.   I will, of course, carry on at work, doing my damned best to make a success of it.  A five lever lock to put on my front door is an absolute imperative.

Above all though, I’m not going to let that anonymous burglar get to either my friend or I any more than they have already.  If karma is dealing me a bad hand, then sure as hell it will give that criminal their just desserts in some way, even if the due process of law can’t.

Not letting the bastard grind me down.  That’s what it’s about at the moment.

After all, it would be a crime if they did.

It’s All About The Headspace

So far, so good.  One week in and no buildings have burned down, no angry mob with pitchforks chasing after me.  Settling into a routine of regular, daily work has been less difficult than I imagined.

It’s still not without its insecurities.  I have this niggling feeling in my mind that I’m not good enough, that in some way I’m going to give the game away, and do something that will spoil everything, or not be able to do the work I’m now paid to complete.

Everyone has these thoughts from time to time, however, and considering that I’ve spent almost a year grappling with the dark side of my mind, thoughts and emotions, it’s probably a perfectly natural reaction initially.  Logically, I know I’m perfectly capable of completing the tasks at hand and every indication from peers and managers is that I’ve created a better than expected impression.  All well and good.

Up to a point.  There’s still the matter of missing my ex.  She’s still the first person I think of when I wake up and last when I go to bed.  The pain is still felt during the day too.  It manifested itself in an unexpected way one early afternoon too.  A little break to get a drink from the vending machine gave me a bottle with her name on it.  I have, of course, kept it.

It’s not something I talk about, however, and almost all of the work time is focused solely on getting the job done.  Now that I have a wage packet I want to earn it.  Inevitably, when you’re in the grip of, or coming out of, depression, it’s a big ask to achieve that, but I’ve gone out of my way to lessen any anxieties or any environment where a deep state of depression can creep back in.  It’s little things but I think they’re making a big difference.

The first wee adjustment was how I get into work.  With it being a few miles away, and public transport inaccessible, walking is the only solution for this non-driver until I’m fit and healthy enough to be able to pedal up hills on my bike without collapsing on the bed afterwards.  The quickest route looked to be the most scenic on the face of it, being able to walk through a favourite park of mine.

As it turned out, the whole wander was spoilt by the sounds of cars, buses and lorries droning by, car horns tooting away constantly as drivers became more frustrated with each other.  I found myself getting to work and home cursing under my breath.

A bit of variation ended with walking down a one way side street, where traffic is thankfully far less than the roads I’d previously encountered.  I also, just by exploring, found a cycle path I could walk alongside, in a wee bit of countryside I never knew was there.  It adds about around two minutes and incalculable positive emotions to my journey.

Depression Work Sleeping

I make sure, too, that during break times, I either get myself out and about, even if it’s to do nothing other than get out, or sit in a place where there’s natural light, so I can let my mind drift and relax for a few fleeting moments.  And something both Lesley and Anne would approve of, I’ve joined a gym I can head off to straight after work as well as the trade union.  It all helps.

The home life has had a few routines put in place too.  Before anything else in the morning – even dressing in underwear or a wash – breakfast, something I’ve often gone without.  When I get home, I chill out for 10 minutes in my bedroom, slowly changing my work clothes for casual, or simply undressing for another shower.

I think of nothing and take a few deep breaths.  It’s nothing special but it works for me.  As does actually cooking an evening meal, again something I’ve been prone to miss out on.  When your mind isn’t right, meals tend to go out of the window, so getting into a habit of making them is a good one for me.

After all that I still have that voice telling how useless I am, how I’ll soon lose the job, and the pain of missing my ex becomes more and more acute.  What I’ve found, however, is that time with these negative thoughts are severely curtailed due to an overwhelming sense of tiredness soon after 10pm.  Admittedly, no such thoughts is what I really need, to eradicate them completely, but to cut down from spending most of the day tormenting myself to a limited time is a big step forward.

With all these adjustments to my life, my headspace has been filled with far more positive reinforcements.  That in turn has undoubtedly been a huge factor in having such an encouraging start to my return to the ranks of the paid professionals.  It’s all about the headspace.

It won’t, of course, be this easy all of the time, but I feel I’m becoming equipped to deal with work, a broken heart, and everything else that turned my life into a mix of turmoil and mere existence.  I’m really starting to get there.

By foot as well.