At the bottom of the hole all you can see is up

So this week, as mentioned in the last post for those who still visit and are keeping up, has been a bit crap.

I’ve veered from very sad, to anxious, to pissy, to feeling all sorts of other things. And it all makes perfect sense once I got to the bottom of it all last night at 3am.

I think I should point out at this point that I, like many people, suffer from Zombies.

You think I’m joking?

Zombie memories that is.

They act like zombies: brainless, unstoppable, marauding, hungry and ugly.

They drag me down and I end up fighting with them.

And most of all, when you think you’ve buried them once and for all, they rise from the fucking dead to maraud and cause chaos all over again.

Now they’re not vampires, which was another idea I had. No, Vampires are intelligent and clever and you can talk to them. You might not be able to reason of course as they drain you of blood, but you get that this comparison doesn’t really work (though I might use them in a future post I’m sure!).

Zombie memories have got emotional material attached, but it’s damaged and oozing nastiness, dragging behind without being of any use whatsoever, the frayed clothing and flesh around the real issues.

This week, the Zombie had me, dragging me down into the pit of despair it lived in, filled with old memories of being abandoned, left, losing people I cared about; the loneliness was unbelievable and for a while I became it. I was picking at things my partner said and spinning them into things they weren’t.

And all the while I hated what I was feeling. I couldn’t work out why I had suddenly become this ‘Thing’. It came at night (of course it came at night, it’s a Zombie!) and I woke up with all these negative thoughts. Why didn’t this happen? Why didn’t that happen? Why was this done?

I don’t understand, I don’t understand, I don’t understandIdon’tunderstandIdon’tunderstand…

That’s where a mind like a steel trap comes in handy. I’m fairly logical in a lot of ways and I had to reason the damn thing out.

So what I started with was a page with the word ‘Feelings’ at the top. On this I wrote everything I was feeling at the time in black and where it was in my body in red. This gave me all the specifics of what the zombie was about.

the emotions were (among other related ones):

abandonment

loneliness

a feeling of being left-out

isolation

sadness

Next page had the chain of events:

Reaction (is) Knee-Jerk (based on) Assumption (translates to) attack (to force) breakdown

These events were basically passive-aggressive in nature. And I don’t like passive-aggressive. It makes me angry.

Basically at this point, I lost it with the Zombie, writing:

I was fine

I was okay

This is bugging the shit out of me

What the hell has changed in the last 2 weeks?

I’d found Patient Zero: the one that caused the outbreak. I was at the bottom of the pit – like the ‘Hero’s Journey‘ – there was crisis, a slow downward decline into the pit, and here was the realisation, the change that I need to find my way out; the only way was up, where the light was, and the light was where I wanted to be.

Two weeks ago I wasn’t so bad; I had some odd issues (money’s tight at the moment for example), but I was coping, surviving, and chirpy with it.

What happened during that time matched the kind of zombie I was battling.

  • My school came to an end
  • I have worries around work
  • I am aimless
  • I had an awful cold that just wouldn’t go away

Here were the core issues.

Nothing mattered. I was cast adrift, without anything to grasp, without anything to feel connected to. I was lonely – the people I’d gotten to know over a year were now gone, the structure was gone; my work had dried up mid-year and so there was no structure there either. The aimlessness came out of these: what was I going to do for the rest of the year and next?

The cold was physical symptoms based on these. And it wasn’t going away – I still had a throaty cough a week and a half after the damn thing had gone.

Abandonment and lonliness: a loss of people

A feeling of being left-out: people are gone, school is gone, therefore I’m not a part of anything anymore

Isolation: As with being left out – there’s no-one I can rely on, I’m alone.

Sadness: the result of all these.

The steel trap had worked. I’d caught the Zombie and chopped enough off of it to work out what it was really about.

I needed something to anchor against. I needed a goal. I needed to find something else, and what I wrote was:

Where is my integrity?

What do I want?

Pursue

Now wallowing in self-pity isn’t like me: I usually work hard (one friend said I was the hardest worker they’d ever seen), I am intuitive and I work out ways to do things. I persist. I pursue. I can be like a Jack Russell Terrier the way I go after things.

I wasn’t persisting here. I was falling to bits.

The saying about 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration applied here. I wasn’t putting the effort in. Why? Because I had no clear goals.

What do I want?

  • Career in counselling – need batchelors; 4 years part-time

What do I do in the meantime?

  • Idea: 3-6 month contract in IT then study. – Lots of $ (but hard on me mentally) – would create a buffer

OR

  • part time study and part-time job

And there it was: a solution, something to do, something to anchor myself on and a decision made.

I felt good again. I feel good again this morning. The zombie is dead.

Again…

Author: gotheek

Sometime writer, full time human.