Friday, 23 October 2009

of triggers and spirals

Yesterday, in spite of a post that desperately tried to cling on to the positives, something triggered a downward spiral. Those spirals are strange things that can happen to people, and fortunately I don't get them very often. Even in times of bitter and deep sadness and grief, where days hold wells of tears, they don't necessarily take me down that dark and unpleasant place that one particularly strong spiral made me visit yesterday.

It made me wonder about the significance of triggers, and the underlying causes. Not that I'm any wiser. It's as if there is no reason I can put my finger on, all I have is knowledge of the trigger. With a day's distance and being back in control of the eye taps (at least most of the time), it's clear that the trigger was mainly that. This makes it more complicated because of the outburst of anger that followed the trigger. This cannot be ignored and it will revisit me. I lost controll and don't even regret it. At the same time I don't want to revisit before it's back on the balancing board.

What it felt like yesterday was more than unpleasant. A feeling of a world collapsing, the worthlessness of all my strive, the inability to see any light. Mr Cartside tried his best to alert me to the negativity that kept streaming out of me, in an attempt to stop the flow, and to try and divert it to the positive. But all I felt was negativity and I could not, would not divert it, could not focus on the positive. Something had shook me at the core of who I thought I am, spitting on it, and telling me that it was all but an illusion.

For as much as I analysed the trigger, I can't find the underlying reason, other than the implications of the trigger which go something along the line of lack of trust, potential of exploitation and lack of acknowledgement. Why this tickled my funny bone, I don't know. Normally I would stand firmly above this and confidently and sensibly defuse the situation. This time, my fuse blew.

The day was completed on autopilot, neverending activity, the comfort of the usual drag of end of day housework. Cubling wanted to play hide and seek. Mummy wasn't playing. I should have felt bad about this, yet I didn't. There was no trace of fun or smiles left, instead clear reluctance to engage with anyone, even my beloved little girl.

The fascinating bit is that this hole is unimaginable from the perspective of my normal being, it is so far removed, it turns me into an entirely different person. This is what depression and mental illness must be like for many a lot of the time, the lack of understanding of the profoundity experienced when interacting with other people and inability to escape the power of the mind. Let me be clear - I'm not clinically depressed, never have been, and I take comfort out of knowing that I will feel better soon. This is a mere visit of the dark side, I am very lucky in this respect.

For now, I seem to have managed to get out of the quicksand at the bottom of the pit, and I have a feeling it will take me a little while yet, lots of rows of knitting and a few more teary outbursts to lift myself out of it and return to normal.

Now all I need to decide is whether to click "post" or not. The argument for posting is that in better times I'd be able to look back at what this feels like, and with me, others who may be in the same state I am in. The hope that analyising brings clarity and healing. The argument for not posting would be that I'd be seen as a drama queen, not being taken seriously, making myself vulnerable when I already am. The knowledge that I'll have to defend posting this if I do hit the post button. The knowledge that I'm being defensive already. That wretched defensiveness that is my shadow.

I feel I've hit a button. No, not that one. Yet.


Mwa said...

No need to defend yourself. We all feel like that sometimes, and I find it very healing to read that other people do. I hope you find your way out of the hole soon!

zooarchaeologist said...

I feel like that a lot, its challenging not having time to just feel at peace and rest with yourself. You will feel better soon. I thnnk its the brains way of making you stop for a while and reflect.

Funnily enough in my last blog post, I wrote about the book that I go back to read when I start to feel a bit like this. Its an upsetting read, but from it I draw huge amounts of inspiration to carry on and appreciate where I am and to literally count my blessings. This approach does help me.

Clair said...

Hi. Just wanted to say thanks for following me! I've been having a rootle around your blog and loving what I see. I wished I had another language to teach my children but I have a poor smattering of schoolgirl german and french.

I also wanted to say, how bizarre, you must live very close to my work- I get the train to Mount FLorida every morning...I keep looking for the Otters that I've been told live in the Cart but so far, no luck...

Anonymous said...

I so understand. MY dad is manic depressive and when I have those days like you had yesterday not only do I have the distress of the moment but also the fear that it is not just a passing feeling but that I too am like my dad - it is a frightening place to be - that place where you can se no good in the world or in yourself - but I really hope today you feel happier. I love your blog for its honesty - your honesty - have a good Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Reading this made me so proud that you have spoken out and so ashamed that I have not.

I have a rough draft of a blog entry called 'baby blues at 7 1/2 months? surely not' but I havent posted it yet. Why? Like you I feel that everything should have a positive spin.

Yet as someone who has had Depression I know all too well that days like you described (very beautifully by the way) happen.

The positive is it is one day and you can go to bed and put those feelings to rest and wake up to a new day and new feelings.

You are not alone always remember that.
Take care

Anonymous said...

PS; Whilst on the subject of positivity, is there any chance you could do me a humungous favour and post a link of my blog on your site?

In my sheer determination of not wanting to go back to my depressingly mundane 9-5 desk job, I am following my dream career of being a writer. So far the feedback is good but need at least 200 people to follow my blog in order for a big magazine like Marie Claire to publish my work.

I hope you can help me out?

Take care and I have put a link of your site on mine already.

cartside said...

Mwa, I'm sure most people experience days like that. Scary days.
Zooarchaeologist: I'd read your post about this book, and thought to myself I couldn't read it at the moment. Normally though books like this do make me appreciate how incredibly lucky I am.
Clair, I used to live just at Mount Florida train station, which was incredibly handy! Welcome to the blog and hope you stay around a bit!
ourprivateblog: the frightening bit is definitely the fear of it becoming a lasting state of being. I've been there once, a very long time ago, and still scared it might happen again.
Kate, thanks for your lovely comment(s). I update my links reasonably regularly, and it's on my to do list, just not getting the time/inclination at the moment. Will look into it. Will follow your blog later on today.

Anonymous said...

Hi you. Hope you are feeling better today. I'm no stranger to the dark side (though manifested through anxiety more than blackness) and want you to know I'm thinking about you. Recognising what it is and trying to talk about it is part of the necessary 'normalising' process. Let's do some knitting together really soon and we can talk more. lol J xxx

Metropolitan Mum said...

Sounds familiar. Although it has been a few years since I last saw the big black dog. You have put it in beautiful writing, despite it's sad origin. Thank you.



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