249? Random number?
What about the other volumes?
Well, starting now, this will be how I document my severe bouts of anxiety and depression.
When I just can’t seem to turn it off. Or rather, I can’t find a light and turn it on. When I feel myself – mind, body, and soul – sinking into a dark hole. The more I try and struggle to climb out, the deeper I go. Increasingly clawing my way out. Reaching and grasping for anything and everything. Desperately wanting, needing, to find a reason for existence. When I just can’t seem to find it and it’s too hard to comprehend why I should keep trying to do anything. What is the point?! But then the anxiety makes it so that I’m too scared to consider the eject button or take action of any kind because that’s what the anxiety and depression do.
They are so terrifyingly dark and paralyzing.
I think I find myself in that place about 10 times a year. BUT I find my way out every time. Each time a little easier than the last.
So for each moment like that, I will document as a volume. Smaller random moments will be chapters within those volumes. Next month I’ll be 25, so will begin the new volume. Of course the numbers will be off, I would start at 251 instead of 250 and the timing will hopefully be more spread out as I learn to cope.
With that all said, I don’t mean to make anyone feel sad nor do I want or need anyone’s pity. This is meant as pure catharsis. Reflection and revelation. Even celebration as I’ve grown and learned and become stronger.
Some posts will probably be in the thick of it. No happy resolutions at the time. Just writing my thoughts and feelings down to help me process them. This is my brain dump afterall.
So, what prompted the first of ideally-not-very-many of these posts?
For context, I enjoy talking to people and interactions. However, I am highly anxious. After reading, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, I discovered perhaps I am not quite the introvert I thought I was. It’s very likely that I am living as a mis-labeled highly-anxious extrovert. I really depend on other people’s energies.
So imagine my difficulties with transitioning teams. Leaving the comforts of my old team that I’ve come to call family. I was able to truly feel myself around them. But now I’m just over half a year into this new team and I’m still struggling. Things have gotten a lot better. I have made massive strides and done well outside my comfort zone. It is a process. I have to accept that there will be these moments where I’ve taken a huge step forward only to be knocked back a few. This was one of those times.
A text from this morning as I vented to a dear friend from bed & already late to work:
“Yea. Idk what’s going on as of late. We had a team event last night and I’m having the hardest time relaxing and connecting with people. Replaying moments in my head. Feeling paranoid that nobody likes me. Etc.
I think I’m just trying too hard to be friends with everyone but idk how to talk to anyone and too scared to initiate or keep up a conversation.
I don’t really want to go to work today, but I left my stuff at the office.”
Last night, my anxiety got the better of me. Threw some gut punches and I swung back. Then this morning I was feeling the energy drain. I fell into that dark place. And I fell hard.
Then somehow I got myself out of bed. Into my car. Off to work. The whole time I didn’t necessarily want to die, but I didn’t necessarily want to exist anymore. But I was trying and that’s all that mattered. I am proud of myself.
Once I got to the office, I felt relief. I didn’t feel as much dread. Nothing was as bad or terrifying as my anxiety let on. I don’t know what I even expected.
But I faced it. Kind of.
I spent a lot of time with my old team to sort of recharge. I did force myself interact with some people on the new team though and I felt really good about it.
At some point, I even realized that it took me months before I could comfortably talk to or imagine myself being friends with anyone on my former team. This was the same, but with more things outside my comfort zone I was juggling. Not just with my social anxieties, but going through therapy, trying to exercise regularly, learning how to code better, and learning new systems, and new programming languages. I’ve been carrying a lot of shit and trying to hard to fit in. I forgot my own advice to just work hard, be kind, and do good things. The rest will come together if it’s meant to be. The key is to stay curious and keep learning. Each experience is a new opportunity to learn about yourself more than anything.
I’m especially proud because I feel like I’ve processed this one much faster and better than I have in the past. There is still a lot I need to work on. Things I still could’ve done better.
But I take note. I try my best.
And I move on as does life.