Sometimes You Need to Reboot

I took a personal day away from the world yesterday. I turned off notifications for all my social media on my phone. I did not message or call anyone. Other than going to work, the only interaction I had with the outside world was going to Starbucks for about an hour to do some writing. I could easily say I needed a break from all the stimuli but I think it was much deeper than that. I literally and metaphorically needed to start over, start fresh, return to default factory settings. Sometimes you need to reboot.

For nearly a week, I found myself getting more and more angry over the pitiful nonsense of messages and notifications from email and social media. Even the sound my phone makes when I get an email drove me crazy. I turned this off before my antisocial blackout. Part of me blames Facebook for changing their algorithms. There was the nonsense and there were issues from work floating in and personal issues; some from the outside world and some from within. The growing irritation with everything in the world followed by the insecurities and confusion of everything that didn’t irritate me, pushed me into a feeling of unrest and panic.

I have learned a lot about myself after learning that I have anxiety and depression. Many behaviors that are physical signs of anxiety and depression I have had since I was very young. I have had these issues since I was very small. Learning this destroyed my self-image entirely and my reaction to this was feeling like garbage and believing I was garbage to everyone in my life. Even if I had no reason to believe so, I thought I had been selfish or awful to everyone I knew or cared about.

I wanted a day of nothing; a day that I could just be in my head and nothing else. I realized that my job has a lot of external stimuli that I never have time to recoup from because I am bombarded by other external stimuli from technology. I had to get away from some of it so I took away my connection to the outside world. I turned myself off and back on again. I am sure that some people noticed my lack of interaction with the world yesterday. I am certain they want to know if I am okay. The honest answer is I am apathetic but I am okay.

The reset feels like it worked. I am ready to take on the world and everything it will throw at me but there is one thing I am concerned about. I believe in my sudden panic, I could have pushed someone away; someone I believe I know well but I still know so little of myself. I think they will understand what I had to do but are they willing to speak to me again? Whatever the future holds, I am ready for it. I am ready to keep fighting.

The Negative Thoughts

You feel it coming. It slowly creeps in like a snake through the forest. You always feel it coming. No matter how prepared you are or how well you fight your own mind; the negativity gets inside your head. You battle as you have before and no matter how many times you win, it always returns. You tell yourself happy things; you tell others happy things hoping that will make you happy. You see someone else is battling negative thoughts and you send them messages and tell them nice things, sweet things, things you, yourself, want someone to say to you.

It never comes, at least not from those you wish those words would come from. Maybe now and then someone tells you a nice thing or smiles at you but you play it off as superficial; it is not real. This makes the negativity grow and fester and engorge your soul. You feel it taking over. You always feel it taking over. How do you fight something that is always there? How do you fight something that never leaves? How do you fight yourself? How do you keep it at bay for so many months only to have it reclaim your life in a single moment?

The negativity. The worry. Nothing is good enough. Even when you help pump someone else up and you think maybe they had a good day because of you; sure, you feel better but it is like a sugar rush. You get your high and then you crash and must force yourself out into the world. If you force yourself out, you can keep the bad thoughts away. At least, that is what you tell yourself. Staying busy is the key, you say; but being busy only postpones how you will feel when you get home.

No matter what you do, no matter what you accomplish, no matter how much you force positive thoughts into your head; you feel your life battery slowly drain. Everything starts to fall away. The little things go first. You hardly notice. Then bigger things and bigger things and the very large things slip into oblivion. They are not gone. You just have no desire to seek them out. You have no desire for any things you once desired. A shell of a person; dead empty eyes. You push yourself out of bed and take some vitamins; B-1; Thiamin.

Do vitamins help? You think they do. You think maybe they keep you from going all the way dark. You think they keep you away from the dark side. You have not been there in so many years and have no wish to return. The negativity, the darkness, the pain from within your own head; it is a tragedy that no one will ever see or hear. Even if you told everyone, they would never see the full picture, hear the full sound, think the full thoughts. You keep fighting the negativity away. You keep sending happy thoughts to the other people with your same thoughts. Always hoping they will return the favor.

Anxious Always

Everyday feels like you are fighting against the world. The truth is, that world you keep fighting is you. You fight against your own thoughts and cannot stop yourself from overanalyzing every situation. Why did you say that? What are you doing? Who wants to be around you? At just the right moment, these thoughts can cripple and paralyze you. Nothing is ever good enough and you are never good enough but you keep fighting yourself because there is nothing else to do but push forward. There is nothing to do but hope things will get better. They always do but your mind creates new obstacles.

You want nothing more than to walk up and tell everyone how much you struggle but you also do not believe anyone would care about anything you say. So, you tell no one. It is easier. Endure the struggle because that is what people do. Is it not? Sometimes people ask you how you are and you answer and say you are doing well and sometimes the answer is honest because in that moment you are doing well. Sometimes the answer is a lie and you say you are well because that is what people say. It is scripted and predictable so the other person goes away and leaves you alone.

People attempt to be polite and show you courtesy but you hate being around anyone. You enjoy being around a small amount of people like in a coffee shop where each person has their own space and no one talks. You feel social in this way. You feel less like a freak this way. Someone tries to talk to you. Nope. Nope. Go away. That is what you want to say but you do not because that would be rude and you would hate yourself for being rude but then you hate yourself for listening because now the person will not stop talking to you. Just walk away.

You spend all your time avoiding people, even people you like and want to see, but you avoid them anyway because that is what your instinct tells you is right. Then something happens. You meet someone new or you start to know someone better and you feel something. At first you do not really know but you are curious and explore. This person makes you comfortable. You are comfortable with friends but this feels different. A connection of sorts. You cannot explain it. You enjoy being with and around this person. This person is not like anyone else you have ever met.

Naturally, you try to spend more time with this person. Your schedules never seem to line up. It is like this is not meant to be. You continue pursuing something because this person touches you in a way that is unfamiliar. There are levels to receiving another person’s touch. Strangers touch you and it is as if every nerve in your body is connected to this one spot that is being touched and all five senses are gravitating towards this spot. It feels like danger and you need to leave. Then there is the touch from a close friend or family member. You have known this person or many years and you feel no threat.

This person who touches you differently in a new way. You cannot explain what this is. They seem like a close friend but the touch is still very different. The touch feels like they are being cautious. The touch feels like they know how you feel around other people and want you to feel safe around them. It is like they can sense your uneasiness. They touch you lightly, gently. In a way that says do not be upset, you are safe. How is it no one has ever touched you this way before?

You attempt to move things to another level with this person. Social interaction is a foreign concept that you will never understand but you try. You want to take this person out on a date. Every person you have taken this step with immediately ignores and avoids you. You feel this could happen again. You do not want to lose the only person who has ever made you feel the way you think normal people feel. But still you take a chance. You do it. No response. They ignore and avoid you. You were right. It happened again.

Three weeks pass, you have moved through each of the five stages of grief because that is what you do with the smallest issue and this felt like a larger issue. The person contacts you, casually, as if nothing has happened. You start talking again, only a little at first. You also act as though nothing has happened. Are you a hypocrite? No. You just do not want to lose another person when so many in your life have left you. You still want to tell this person how important they are to you but you feel they will not feel the same. That is okay.

Maybe they struggle with their own thought the same way you do. Maybe they were just as scared and anxious as you were. Maybe they did not know how to tell you no without hurting you because even though they are not interested, they still like you and want to keep you around. There are always too many maybes. You force yourself to stop creating maybes and just be happy that someone wants to talk to you sometimes. But there will always be maybes. There will always be what ifs. Why did you say that? What are you doing? Who wants to be around you?

It is a never-ending cycle. You cannot stop the thinking. You cannot stop the worrying. You cannot stop. You only want someone to hold you but you do not want anyone to touch you. You find someone that could bring the comfort you seek and then you screw everything up before it even starts. You always screw things up because that is what you do; you overthink, you worry, you screw up, you panic over nothing, you jump into something too soon because you are afraid of missing a chance that will only come with patience. But there is no patience in anxiety.