So grateful to wake up today in a different place.
Last night I got to a really really low point, and I’m sharing this here because I feel it’s good to record what happened and to say, to myself and to anyone reading this: it is possible to feel like that and then come out of it and not feel like that the next day.
Part of what helped me was writing. I used my blog for processing my feelings, and in the process of writing I began to see a pattern, to see what was behind things. I find writing helps me a lot – sometimes just to vent, to let feelings out, sometimes to understand myself better by verbalising things, but in this case it went further and helped me understand what was going on and why I was feeling so low suddenly.
(I don’t always do this publicly. Sometimes I write in a private journal. I choose what I’m willing to share with the rest of the world.)
The really horrible bit last night – well, I wrote a bit about it on that rambly post which helped me see where it was coming from, but basically I was having one of my really really dark procrastination times, when I’m putting things off more and more and more until I start to hate myself. I hadn’t had one of those in a long while. (Not that I hadn’t been procrastinating for a long while, just not to that horrible extent.) So at some point I posted something brief about it on Google+, just saying it aloud, because sometimes that’s all I need, just to bring the bogeyman out of the dark cupboard.
I got lots of comments, some from people who could identify with me, and it was really good but… I still had this massive lump of crying inside me that was wanting to come out. (Somehow my instinct was not to let it. There are times when crying is just the thing, and there are times when it only makes things worse.) And then I got up from the computer and went upstairs to the bathroom and whilst I was upstairs I shut the bedroom window and looked at the bed and realised:
part of me really wants to just lie on the bed and just… not carry on. give up. stop.
An image of a bottle flitted briefly through my mind.
I thought: oh, that’s how it is.
I walked out of the bedroom, went carefully down the stairs, and started writing that rambly post, because I needed to deal with what I was feeling but not in a lying-down-and-giving-up sort of way.
From my counselling training I remember learning about CBT, where you’re taught ways of fighting the unhelpful thoughts by replacing the bad tape with a good tape. For example, if you keep getting thoughts saying “I’m worthless” you might train yourself to answer back and say “I’m a human being made in the image of God” or “I know there are people I really matter to”, or something. Basically it’s about training yourself to think differently.
But sometimes what I find most helpful is not answering it, just acknowledging that it’s there and distancing myself from it. This is how it was last night, it was me saying: oh, I can see there’s a part of me that feels like lying on the bed and giving up. That feeling is there. Now let’s make a cup of tea or something.
Sometimes fighting it means giving it too much power, devoting too much energy to something that is destructive and that will, in my experience, just go away after a while anyway.
Today I woke up feeling ok. Even last night, after doing all that blogging, I felt better already. So I felt it was worth recording the events of last night, to record how horrible it really was, so that I can say to others who struggle and also to myself for next time I struggle that yes, it is possible to feel horrible like that but to come out of it and feel better afterwards.