The roller coaster of life

A while ago I posted on the big roller coaster of life. It’s funny how that roller coaster hits when you least expect or need it. How, when you’re fragile, it doesn’t take much for the roller coaster to tip and how, when that happens, your fragility escalates tenfold, so that if you have, say, an 80 per cent capacity to do something usually, and in fragile mode you only have, say, a 30 per cent capacity to do it, then when the roller coaster hits it pushes you over the edge and leaves you with zero capacity to deal with ANYTHING. I hate that. I’m sick of it.

A couple of things happened yesterday to take that roller coaster over the edge. First up, I talked to my boss about my career direction. He initiated the conversation and has said in the past that he wants to help me be happy and if that means helping me into another role then he’ll do that, even though it’s not in his interest. We talked about the things I like and don’t like about my current job and where I might head, what I might do – in my current environment or elsewhere.

What upset me about this conversation is that last week he’d said that he could sort something in my current area to make the job more manageable and more enjoyable for me. I didn’t feel like any of this came out in the conversation with him. I left feeling unwanted and upset and convinced I should take the job I interviewed for last week… only to get home to a rejection letter. I don’t take these things very well – it’s my first rejection in years. Very disappointing. I just don’t do rejection or failure.

It left me feeling flat and hopeless. Also angry at myself that I’ve somehow allowed this depression-anxiety-PTSD thing to take over and, in so doing, I’ve completely buggered up my career (and my life). I’ve gone from golden haired child to liability; from capable to completely useless; and now I don’t know how to get “me” back.

In some respects I wish I hadn’t deviated from the workaholic path. In some respects I also wish that I’d never started therapy. I’m not blaming my therapist for any of this, but… why did she have to tell me it’s ok to be depressed when you’re dealing with heinous shyt from the past? Or that there are jobs out there that people actually enjoy? Why did she have to undo some of the programming I got from my mother – keep your head down, work hard, life is something that happens to you while you’re waiting around to die, you don’t actually have a right to enjoy it, blah blah blah. Ok, so most of those things are pretty unhealthy, but I knew how to do that. I don’t know what this other thing is or how to do it or even who I am anymore. If I’m not a crazy workaholic person, then who the f*** am I?

It’s funny how it’s so incredibly hard to believe there’s a good mental space when you fall off the edge. A friend said this pretty much defines depression. I guess it does. And so does wanting to crawl under the doona and stay there in an induced sleep for the next six months. I have spent most of today in tears… either spaced out at work unable to think, or hiding in the toilets crying. So pathetic, and I’m so sick of it.

I said to this friend that I was too depressed to see my therapist this week; that I didn’t want to disappoint her. She said that’s just naughty and my therapist is there to help. It’s nothing to do with me disappointing her. I still don’t want to see my therapist for fear that she’ll be disappointed and think I’m weak and pathetic, but I’m sure Miss Reliable will show up before the appointed time. She always does.

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5 thoughts on “The roller coaster of life

  1. This is a lot to deal with … it would leave anyone feeling unsettled. It’s not just you; this happens to everyone in therapy — destabilization is part of healing, and it’s one of the scariest parts. I’m sure your therapist knows this, and that she will not be disappointed.

    You’re starting to take risks, and it’s really hard to do when they don’t have an immediate positive payoff. Sometimes it can help to focus on risks that did have a good result — your kitty, and moving house, for example. It’s easy to let the disappointments color everything, and that’s perfectly understandable.

    I think you’re still making amazing progress, but it never gets easier … I sure wish it did … it just gets harder in more productive ways. You’re branching out and taking chances and thinking bigger than you’ve allowed yourself to do in a long time. Those bigger chances have the risk of bigger hurt. But even the fact that you’re thinking in those ways is a major breakthrough.

  2. David, as always you are so incredibly insightful. I am starting to take a few risks, small ones, but they are getting bigger. And, with that, the fall feels all that much harder. Thank you, too, for seeing this as progress, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I particularly like what you said about “it never gets easier…it just gets harder in more productive ways.” So true. Perhaps I’ll carry a little homunculus of you around with me, along with the one of my T? 🙂

  3. Hi Kerro,

    I’m sorry that these things happened close together. That is a lot to deal with, and for anyone. I wanted to share with you something about myself and this might help or it might not and I am not saying it just to talk about myself but to suggest this might be a part of what you are dealing with in your reaction to what you are going through.

    My mother abuse and often family as well have told me explicitly (like your boss did) that they will help me, be there for me, listen and care about my expressed concerns, but the truth is something else. I trust them and like Lucy with the football they grab the ball away from me and I fall on my ass. Well this is an incredible trigger for me when anyone does this to me. It unleashes a boatload of crap and for a while I wallow until I figure out how to climb out of the stinky smelly mess that someone else has deumped on me after they told me they were going to do the right thing for me. Anyway, a trigger is a powerful thing and knowing it is happening can help to manage it, work on it, figure out how it started being a trigger in your life, and how to lessen the impact.

    The failure thing I totally get. As I have healed it has gotten a lot easier. I know on a deep level that it is not about me personally and even when someone else thinks it is about me I know that it isn’t and that helps lessen it’s impact. Though that might not help you right now. But please know that you have mad skill sets for a job and you will find something that brings more fulfillment and life into your work life.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  4. Kate, thank you also for your insights and sharing your own experiences. I think I experienced something familiar in that people would say they’d help me, or they loved me, or it would be ok… then didn’t. Then those people would trick me and watch me fall on my ass…and then laugh.

    So, with all that, I guess it’s no wonder I react to some things the way I do.

    I hope those good and healing thoughts find their way to you as well.

  5. Hi Kerro,

    Yes that makes total sense. I’m so sorry that others did that to you. The triggers impact will lessen as you heal, I know it sucks, but it will. And please keep in mind that there are those who do care about you and who will listen and support you, and that they will not triumph over your failures, they will care and have concern for you. I hope that helps in a small measure for you when the hurt happens. You are not alone in healing.

    Thanks for the good and healing thoughts finding their way to me.

    🙂

    Back at ya.

    Kate

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