Why do I find it just so hard to get started on anything?
In the time since my last post, I’ve spent a lot of time writing posts in my head. Mostly while driving. The words running on and on, never with an end. I think that’s part of the reason my posts don’t get written. Once I start, who knows how long until I’ll feel I’ve said what I need to? And I don’t have hours on end to sit here and type.
But the the impulse has been pushing me to try to get some of these words out. Just do it. I’ve set another timer, because the last time I did that it was pretty successful.
It’s just getting started. That’s the tough part. Getting started with my day. Getting started writing a report for work. Getting started reading a book for pleasure. Getting started cleaning my room. The best intentions are there to do so, but there’s a block. Something standing in my way.
I feel like I’m talking myself in circles already.
So where’s my head at, right now? Where to begin? There was a period of time, right when I last posted, where things were particularly bad. I was hurting myself often, in the depths of a depression that had me smothered, barely catching any air. Getting through each day was intensely difficult. I spent my time yearning desperately to speak to J, thinking about all I wanted to tell her, and then suddenly feeling paralyzed when in her room or on the phone with her.
What I was struggling most with then, and still continue to struggle with now, is a feeling of helpless. It took me awhile to put words to the feeling, and I still don’t feel like I’ve done the best job of it.
Really, the helplessness is something I’ve tried to convey, something I’ve written, in one way or another on many posts since I began blogging.
These feelings, they are a part of me. A part of the mental illness, which has become so tightly entwined with me to the point that I know longer know how to separate us. I repeatedly come again back to the realization that emotions are part of the package. They are, in fact, never going away. The intensity may dull with age or with medication; J believes that and asserts it often. Then again, it may not.
Things are going to hurt. All of us in this world feel hurt at times, but the hurt is triggered more easily and cuts much deeper for me than for many other people. I have to somehow live right now knowing that it’s an unarguable fact that things will ebb and flow from manageable to terribly awful and back again.
I’m supposed to somehow accept that and keep going. To get out of bed each day not just ignorant to what intense emotions may befall me, but also expecting when they do I will wage the war against them in isolation.
This may sound dramatic, because of course I can get support from a friend on a difficult day by means of comforting words or companionship or a fun excursion. I’m not physically alone. I’m mentally, emotionally alone.
My thoughts and feelings are mine and mine only; no one else can know or feel exactly what I’m experiencing. No one can live through my feelings with me, only beside me, and that feels like the loneliest thing imaginable to me. Especially because it fuels my fear that if they can’t really know it, they probably don’t understand it, and may be judging. I live in the tightening spiral of emotions by myself, and always will.
There is nothing that can change those facts. They are, really, facts. It makes me feel so very helpless and so very trapped.
Even physically, there are limits to the level of support. There’s always an invisible boundary in how involved someone else can become as an ally in the battle. I’ve long felt frustrated with others for not doing more, saying more, being more, when I’m upset. For not being able to understand. Sometimes I didn’t know exactly what I even wanted, but I knew it was missing. I felt that no one truly cared.
Then lately there have been times where I’ve seen another person hurting and had the difficult realization that the best I could do in that moment was to offer kind words or stand by in silent support for some time. I’ve realized that sometimes there’s nothing that can be done right at that time to make it better.
Even if I wished to help them, even if I hurt for them, I couldn’t take their pain away. I could offer my support and then eventually I’d have to move on and let them get through it.
While that makes me sad, while that’s hard to recognize, it also has shown me I can’t blame people for the boundary in how involved they can be. J included. The same way I have to get through my day, so do others. My sadness and shame and frustration shouldn’t swallow us both whole.
If I can’t control the feelings happening and if I know the coping skills I should use to prevent destructive behaviors, why am I still going to therapy? If there is no solution that can truly fix me, no answer that will make things feel better, what is the point? I’m supposed to be relying on myself as much as possible to get through the storms as it is.
This is not a question I’m asking impulsively the way I do when I’m frustrated with J or trying to push her a way. It’s an honest one, a genuine thought born out of that helplessness.
I haven’t found an answer to this question that as truly satisfied me. When I found the courage to share these thoughts and feelings of helplessness with J, she didn’t have an answer either. There was kindness and validation, but no answer. I really didn’t expect that she would have one, although I think part of me desperately hoped she might.
All I have is the recognition that I go because even if J can’t completely understand, even if I am ultimately alone, even if it doesn’t fix me, for that hour I feel as close to understood and connected and hopeful of repair as I ever will.
Except now because these seeds of uncertainly keep worming around inside of me, I am clamming up in therapy. I sit down and stare at her, with so much to say but blocked from letting it out, in case the emotions come too.
Sometimes the words do come, but I still don’t feel any better.
When I was super depressed and cutting a few weeks ago, all these feelings of helplessness were at an extreme. They were feeding the suicidal thoughts and plans. Now, they are simply a truth. The giant white elephant in every room that I try to ignore but can’t. Because even in moments of joy, I can see the truth looking me right in the face.
I think that’s why even though I’m getting through each day right now, I don’t really feel like I’m living. Time management is utter hell as of late and I always feel like I’m running late or letting something I’ve planned to do slip by in favor of making the mandatory responsibilities like work or babysitting get done. I’m just managing. Just trying to keep up. Every day is exhausting.
I’m not sure when that changes or how it changes, but I feel that it’s on me to change it somehow. For as little control as I have, I also haven’t been making the best choices. Eating poorly. Not exercising. Not spending enough time on self-care. I’m not helping my chances of things feeling okay.
I know that even when I can find some strength and willpower to start turning my mess of a life around, the emotions will still be there. And I will still be weathering them alone. That’s the helplessness.
And it’s consuming.