I was driving late tonight, listening to music… Sometimes that’s when I feel most alone with my thoughts. Sometimes it’s when I feel the most inspired. Sometimes it’s when I feel the most hopeful, or the most hopeless. There’s just something about being alone on the road, in my car with the music filling that enclosed space that makes me think and feel.
Tonight was no exception – but the feelings that came rushing over me when a certain song came on were not hopeful at all. Quite the opposite.
You know, I used to store razors everywhere with me… just in case. In my car’s glove-box, one stuck in the vinyl of the sun visor, one in my wallet, when I was in school – one or two in my backpack (can you imagine if I’d been caught? Actually — funny(ish) story: One of the times I traveled abroad to England, I took my old school backpack with me. Of course, it was cleaned out and had been collecting dust for nearly 10 years…*gulp*. Anyway, I went through customs and everything was quite routine. But, once I was on the airplane, I was fishing around in a small zipper pocket for something, and felt something sharp knick my skin. I carefully closed my fingers around it, and realized it was a razor. A very old razor, that had been tucked away in there since high school. I had no idea it was in there, must have totally missed it when I was packing. I panicked, obviously. Can you imagine if they would have caught me with that? I would have probably been detained as a suspected terrorist! The horror!)
Back to the driving-in-my-car story… So, this feeling of absolute hopelessness washed over me. Okay, it was more like a tidal wave that nearly knocked me down. And I started thinking about all the things I wish I could change. All the things I lack. All the things I’ve lost. It’s not exactly “healthy” to think of all those things, but what can you do? Once they’re there… you can’t do a lot about it – at least, not when you are trying to recover, like I am. The old me would have had a razor in that car somewhere, and the old me would have cut that feeling out of me before I had a chance to process it (the fact that I was driving would not have mattered to me… I always was good at multi-tasking). But this is the “new me” – the “new and improved version”, so that is absolutely not an option anymore. So, I have no choice but to weather the storm and just deal with it.
I think a lot of people are under the impression I am stronger than I truly am. Especially lately. Lately, I feel like I am slowly cracking more day by day, and eventually I will just fall apart. It’s scary, because I feel like I have some kind of image to live up to – not just to my online followers, but to my family and the very few people I may call friends… And if I break, then what? Will people look down on me? Abandon me? Perhaps. My family always have done that, and I’ve lost a lot of friends that way, too. It’s a very scary thought.
So I’m thinking about what I’ve lost in the past 6 months. My relationship, my constant, the love of my life, my person… Because I am a broken flawed selfish person who is so terribly incapable of making people happy when they absolutely deserve to be happy and not deal with my bullshit. That is on me, and it haunts me every single day that I am aching to just go back in time and make it all right. But I can’t go back in time, it’s not that easy, and that kills me. So there was that, and really even stopping there would be misery enough – but then there’s losing my blogging gig with healthyplace.com and the fact that they robbed me of MY ideas, MY hard work… That was a loss that stung more than I thought. Then, there was losing my job. My actual job, that i’d had for the past year and a half, the job that made me feel like a productive fucking member of society after years of being looked down upon, disowned, judged and outcast for not being able to work normally. And since then, I lost my apartment I was proud to be able to finally afford on my own. And in the month following I have gone back to barely being able to afford to buy food, even toilet paper… stupid shit like that. Who wants to live like this?
I’ve been looking for a new job, something I can DO without having a nervous breakdown. I feel so fragile already… And the more I look for things and apply for things the more worthless I feel, the more incompetent I feel, the more fucked up and broken I know I really am. Before, I could hide it behind “but, I have a job! I make good money!” (and they say money can’t buy happiness – but the person who said that was never selling off their possessions, going without food and using paper towels from the laundry room as toilet paper because they were flat broke. No, money actually can buy happiness – because money = security and security = peace of mind, which is a key to happiness.)
I have been terrified to even tell my family about my situation – they already look down on me. They know something’s going on, but I haven’t heard from them or seen them in ages. Instead of supporting me when I am down and out, they run and hide and look down on me and gossip about what a failure I am. What a disappointment. An adult with the mentality of a child. An absolute fuck-up. Where did we go wrong? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE NORMAL?! The only time my family really supports me is when I am doing well for myself and then, and only then; can they really look me in the eye and treat me like a human being. That hurts me so much.
I don’t feel sorry for myself, exactly. Before anyone starts thinking that – I actually blame myself for every single thing that has gone wrong in my life. Everything I have lost. It’s on me. Even if it’s actually NOT my fault, I am the kind of person who takes it all on my shoulders and blames myself for everything. I don’t feel sorry for myself because part of me tells myself that I deserve it. The same voice that always told me that I deserved pain, blood, chemicals, deprivation and loneliness…. That voice is still there. Even in recovery, it comes out when I am feeling low. Sometimes, that voice comes back when I am driving alone at night, in my car, listening to music. I just respond to it differently now, and can silence it for longer periods of time.
So I’ve been sitting here thinking about my feelings. Dwelling on my losses. Feeling hopeless and trying to think of something… anything… that I can do to raise myself back up out of this pile of shit I’ve sunk down into – and my mind is screaming at me to just push it away and use pain as a distraction… but I know those kinds of distractions are temporary. As soon as the feeling wore off, I’d just have one more thing to add to my losses: My recovery.
And that isn’t something I want to sacrifice… because as bad as life can get, it’s much better in recovery. I bet it doesn’t sound like it – because hurting myself seems so easy, so quick (much quicker than typing 1,500+ words about my feelings) BUT in the long run, it just makes everything worse…
So… I push on and try to stay strong. I am writing these words on the screen instead of carving them into my skin… And I guess that is something positive I can add to the ever-growing list of losses I’ve been tallying in my mind tonight.
"Maybe I am broken, in some way I can't say ‘Cause I don’t wanna change, but lord knows that I need some help Won’t you save me from myself? I wish I was numb, alone here in my cell Because something in my heart is making me not feel so well Won’t you save me from myself? I get no sleep ‘cause I’m all alone Like a living shadow where there once was bone One cut deep and the other went sour And no one’s to blame but I feel so shattered Maybe I am lying still inside my shell ‘Cause I keep making waves and falling victim to the swell Won’t you save me from myself?" -Hanson, Save Me From Myself (from "Anthem" album)