an empty cage

I’ve been here before.

Crying all the time.  Too tired to think about anything but the next have-to that’s in front of me.  Angry and anxious, complaining every time I open my mouth.  Sleeping too much, or not at all.  Eating constantly, or not at all.

I’m a real fun gal.

I am getting a little scared and am starting to forget what pulled me out of the hole the last time.  Metta. HonestyTherapy. I have to work at it, and I know I have to work at it, and it’s not fucking fair.

I am so tired.

I remember what it felt like on the bottom.  Everything was foggy.  I didn’t know what I thought, or what I felt like.  I moved slowly, I talked slowly, but inside I was tied up tight.  The knot in my stomach was constant and the inner monologue never stopped.  “What’s wrong with you?”  “Why can’t you just be grateful for what you have?”  “Don’t you know how good you have it?”  “You are so fucking lazy.  Get up off your ass.”  “You stupid useless bitch.”  “All you ever think about is yourself.  Selfish goddamn useless waste.”

Then the small voice inside me would start to think that if I could just lie very, very still for long enough, everything would stop.  If I could squeeze into myself and get small enough, and still enough, and quiet enough, maybe I could just fade into the scenery.  Nothing would happen and nothing would continue and nothing would hurt and nothing would.

It doesn’t work that way, though, and my life didn’t stop and there was no time for fogginess and slowness.  I had to keep going, and eventually I found myself in a therapist’s office, trying to talk to a total stranger through the wet fog of my brain.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

I don’t want to go back down.  I have to work harder at this.  Meditation.  Metta.  Honesty.  Countering my negative self-talk.  I am a good person.  I am a kind person.  I am a passionate person.  I am a person.


9 responses to “an empty cage

  1. I am at work and have mgr breathing down my neck to complete something on time. (Whatever. I really don’t care about your deadline.)

    I cannot leave this with out letting you know how much I feel for you. I hate that fucking place. I am sorry you are there. I am thinking of you. I will be back.


  2. Oh, Ginger&Lime! I know that awful inner voice, and she’s wrong. You are good, and kind, and funny, and passionate, and thoughtful, and smart, and dedicated, and loved. Nothing is wrong with YOU except your circumstances. You are dealing with incredibly tough circumstances. IF is enough to bring my to my knees, and I’m a strong person. You’ve got that, PLUS this soul sucking job (I know, there are great things about the job itself, but it sure seems like those get swamped by the Monster Boss and the relentless overload and lack of appreciation for your had work), plus the conflict between your passions (music, performance) and your daily grind.

    I know you just came out of therapy, but maybe a quick appointment with someone who has experience with both IF and anxiety/depression? In any case, just know we’re out here, full of affection for you.

    • Bunny, you are one of those whom I look at and wonder, “how does she hold it together?” You are so amazingly strong. Thank you for your kind words. And I’m thinking about trying to find a therapist who has some experience with these issues, but realistically it’s going to be the university counseling center or nothing (not covered by insurance), so I just don’t know if it’s worth it to start again with another total stranger. Also it would feel like a defeat, to come crawling back one lousy month after saying I thought I was doing OK.

  3. I’m sorry. Be gentle with yourself. I know how hard it can be to turn off the negative self-talk.

    I am hear to listen, if you want to talk.

    • Thank you, I appreciate that. I really love having this blog-space to work things out, and it means so much to me that I’m not just sending it out into a void. It feels like a connection. Thanks!

  4. Oh, G&L! I am so so sorry to hear that you’re back in this place. I hope you DO know deep down that that inner voice is dead wrong. And I kinds know what you mean about the desire to squeeze really small– for me it usually manifests as either a desire to claw out of my own skin (like I’m suffocating in here!) or to sink to the bottom of a murky pond. Actually, sometimes actual water does help– a warm bath or a swim can be very comforting, at least in the short term. I echo what these other ladies are saying- we all find you to be brilliant and witty and insightful and caring and compassionate. I hope you find someone to talk to about this who can convince you of this in person! And to help you out of this awful hole. As I know how fucking impossible it is to crawl out of on your own. So PLEASE don’t beat yourself up over not being able to. No one could!

    • Thank you, Leslie. I know what you mean about water being helpful. I spend as much time as I can in the bathtub. I just wish we had a lake or ocean nearby… I just wanted to say also that even though I don’t have much to add, I have LOVED reading your updates. And I’m glad your husband has found a RL IF friend. 🙂

  5. Here I am. I came right here, right after I enter the password to unlock the PC at home. No email, no FB (like that is a hard thing), nothing but direct to G& I don’t need no stinking reader to find you. I know this place by heart.

    That said, I get your posts in my google reader. I read the first lines in my kitchen as I waited on my tea to finish. I HATED having to wait to get to work to respond. I HATED leaving you for work BS when you needed someone so badly. I thought of you all day my dear.

    Your comment back to me is darling. You know, that is some classic G&L. She worries about me being in my own funk. When I come to your house, it is all about you. That is why I am here – because I want you to know you are not alone. God, it sure fucking feels like it though, doesn’t it? Sure, it helps a little to read a comment but it doesn’t last long or at least it doesn’t last long enough for me.

    It is all about the extremes – eating, sleeping. It is like the road of moderation and normalcy is gone. You explain it so perfectly. It takes me back in a flash. Fog and slow motion. It is all horrible but that inner voice is what needs to eliminate first.

    I am not here to tell you to walk it off. In fact I don’t have a plan at all. I just know that voice needs to be silenced. Counter talk is magnificent, but being conscious of the voice, watching for it diligently and stopping it the moment it starts is critical. You cannot assault yourself from the inside.

    I hope you will consider starting over with a new counselor. I used to be a stranger…. ok, so technically I still am, but that is besides the point. You cannot stay here. You could really benefit from a professional directing you through a new thought pattern. You just cannot stay here my love. It will destroy you.

    There is no shame in returning to counseling a month later. One could interpret it that you may have never really rebounded?

    I was in therapy for over a year. I was on medication after medication after med, after med until I found the right one. I swear to God it is the only reason I am alive. I didn’t get suicidal (not to imply you are, I am just talking about me to try to make a point – pls don’t misunderstand) but I actually would be pissed off when I woke up in the morning. I sure could have gotten suicidal in a hurry. My long winded point is that I have been there my friend and it took a lot of people to get me out.

    Please read this as an example of someone who has been there. You are not alone. You need some help my love. It is too big to take on by yourself. Your words are beautifully written in your post but about a horrible, dark place. You do not belong there dear Ginger.

    Please consider talking with someone. I hate to see you feel this way.

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