Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stuck

A very good friend offered to talk today, and I spoke with him while my carry-out pizza got cold on the table in front of me. He's one of the main people who I've been able to talk to about the events that happened in July. The problem, of course, is that that's basically all we've talked about since then. I feel terrible about it, and I can always sense his agitation when we meander to that topic. It's not agitation with me, he assures me, and I do believe him. It's agitation with the fact that, almost a year later, nothing has changed. I still feel the same. In many ways, I feel worse. There has been some improvement, of course. I'm no longer self-harming and I actually can get out of bed, go to work, study diligently and do well in my classes. All in all, this has been a productive semester. I've produced some good fiction, and I've made enough money at my job that I don't feel like a financial burden on my mother -- who has been supporting me until now. Sure, I've had some rough patches along the way. I certainly don't get along with everyone at my job, and sometimes the pressure just makes me snap and say something that is uncharacteristic of me. But overall, my life is calm. It's not exactly happy. I get up, I work, I study, I play video games, I read, I write and I go to bed. That's the essential routine of it.

But it's still very, very hard. I could basically take the last few posts and copy and paste them into this space, with some minor modifications. That's how stuck I feel. I don't think it's wrong for anyone to feel tired of me at this point. My friend was right, pretty much all we've talked about for the past year is the same situation. It's the same person who dropped me as a friend after I had a breakdown, the same feelings of exclusion, the same paranoia and angst when I look at a status update or picture on Facebook: "Did he comment? He blocked me, so I can't see. Am I excluded? Do people still like me, despite everything that has happened?" In a way, the paranoia is a progression. It used to be paranoia that led to horrible, mind-destroying depression. Now it's just paranoia that, well, leads to bad nerves, torn fingernails and crying. I generally know how to put on a good face for my family and the few personal friends that I have, but even some of them notice that things just aren't right anymore. And they're right to notice that.

But what is to be done? I'm waiting for reconciliation, but reconciliation might not come, as my friend pointed out. I did go through a rough time over the summer. I broke down, I became irrational, I dealt with a lot of extremely hard life situations -- the full extent of which I can't and won't reveal, at least not on this blog -- and I hurt and confused people because of it. And one person in particular decided to distance himself permanently. I understand why, I do. Perhaps it's just that I feel like I'm better now. Or at the very least, I'm trying to be better. Or, perhaps more accurately, I so desperately want to be better. But I can't really change unless I'm given an opportunity to change. I can't show that I won't abuse lines of communication unless they are reopened. Based on his past experiences, he has no reason to trust me. No one does, really. But part of the reason I'm so desperate for communication is so I can show just how much better I am, so I can show that I can be humble, I can apologize, I can respect boundaries, etc. Right now, I know I can do these things, but I'm still being treated as though I can't. That is extremely difficult, and sometimes it's a little too much to bear. Like I said, I feel stuck: I know I can do better and be more than what other people expect, but unless they take the chance to look and listen, they won't see that things have changed in me. And since they won't see the change, it makes the change a little less real, even to me. Yes, I do often need another person's acknowledgment to feel like I've truly changed or reached a milestone. Maybe I shouldn't, but that's just the way I am, I suppose.

This started out much more coherent, but it's devolved, I fear. I'm not doing that poorly, I suppose. I work, I study, I go home, I call my mother and siblings a few times a week, etc. The weekend was rough, and today wasn't that much better, but maybe it's just that the weather here is terrible. The friend who talked to me today did sound agitated, but he assured me that he'd always be there, even if I felt this way forever. That was nice to hear.

4 comments:

  1. Jay,

    You are loved.

    After reading this entry, I am reminded of the quote, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

    Socrates spoke these words at his trial for heresy and I find the context and setting from which it sprang to be applicable as well. He was faulted by those who held power over him and public opinion for ideas and actions they disagreed with. The fear that he conjured in their hearts due to his honesty challenged their narrow world view and led them to act out against him in the only way they knew how.

    There are those in this life who will makes choices and react to our own actions in many ways that are highly unpredictable and can bring us much pain...but the converse is also true and these are the reactions and choices that can bring joy and healing.

    Seek life.

    Do not waste even a fraction of your life walking backwards, spending so much time, effort and energy at the past events which seem to be crippling you emotionally.

    Paul said something awesome when he wrote, "But ONE thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things that are before." He seemed to value forward thinking and may have been writing this as a reminder to himself, as he was one to never boast about already attaining.

    I know the great need for resolution and closure that you have expressed to me. I cannot mend these gaps or set things right for you.I can tell you that I care. No trite words or cliche's will mend your heart and bring peace to your mind.

    Progress in any given situation is sometimes measured in millimeters and years. I see forward movement in your life due to the simple fact that with a servants heart and humble attitude you continue to share your life with us and in the doing, inspire me and us all to be more than we are.

    Thinking of you today I am.

    Daemon

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Daemon. I think if I was being persecuted for views that I held, this would be easier. The thing is, that's not why I've been ignored or cast aside. I was cast aside because I acted like a lunatic -- largely because I was -- and people don't want to turn around and see that I'm better now. I'm not saying they necessarily have to, but it's just a tough position to be in. I wish I could take the role of the noble, tragic sufferer. But I can't, really. I understand why folks have treated me the way they have, and I would almost understand and support that treatment if it didn't hurt so much. Anyway, thank you. You're a nice person.

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  3. Dude, I'm sorry you're going through all this. I really am. I didn't realize you were blogging again until just this past week. A lot of what you're going through I think anyone who's ever been through a period of depression can identify with, particularly the part about mentally revisiting an uncomfortable episode over and over again. Depressed people will often talk about that particular depression symptom with the "tape" metaphor. "It's like a tape on a loop that keeps playing over and over again in my head."

    The good news about depression though, is that it is treatable, and it is almost always temporary.

    I was depressed when my cat died, and the doctor said "Of course you're depressed. Your cat was your anti-depressant." So I went to a rescue event looking for a new cat. Ended up with this crazy dog. I guess I was never real detail oriented.

    I guess my point is you will find your cat. If not an actual cat, then a metaphoric one. Then one day your metaphoric cat will drink out of the toilet (possibly a metaphoric toilet), and you will laugh again.

    Life will get better as long as there are cats.

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  4. Hey Kurt. I just saw this comment because I've been MIA from the Internet for awhile. Just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement. Still looking for my cat, I suppose, but I'm not nearly as depressed as I was. God bless you.

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