Monday, December 26, 2011

Reason for Pessimism

I have been in counseling a little over a year now.  It has helped me immensely in quite a few areas of life. I wrote back in October during the 30 Days of Hope series about how I am more optimistic than I realized.  Then I have days like today.  Days where nothing goes right.  Everything I try has whatever the opposite of a Midas Touch is done to it and I end up crying. Repeatedly. Over stupid little things that don't work like they're supposed to or just don't work for me.  And I cry about Dad because that underlies everything that goes on in my life anymore.  And I end up doing what I did years ago when I hit my last serious, major bout with depression.  I escape to movies.

Last time I was Majorly depressed was in the early 2000s. I was living with my parents after graduating and living outside of Milwaukee for a year and a half.  I was a couple grand in credit card debt.  And that time the straw that put me over the edge was losing my job.  A job I didn't actually love all that much to begin with, but .... being unemployed is hard enough.  Add living with your parents. Add avoiding credit card companies calling.  Add the undiagnosed predisposition to depression lurking in your own body chemistry.  It was a fairly dark time for me.  I was sharing this with a friend once and told him I spent a lot of time watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Which had never struck me as odd until he pointed out that they are a fairly dark series of movies.  I shrugged and just said that I didn't know why but I was drawn to them.  It took me awhile to realize why I had begun and continued watching them.  It was because they were an entirely different world.  I knew, ultimately, it all turned out okay for most of the characters and their world remained intact.  Ultimately it drew me out of my own world where nothing seemed to go right.

I have, apparently, hit that wall again.  I spent a bit of time crying today because my TV won't talk to my Laptop even though I have the cord that should make them talk.  Then I cried because I thought I had figured out a solution and spent over an hour doing the stuff to try that solution only to realize the monitor cord does not actually come OFF of that monitor at all and the hour getting it ready was for nothing.  Then I decided "Screw it, I'm making a cake. And I'm going to eat as much of it as I want."  Only to get up and go to the kitchen and realize I have no eggs.  What did I do?

I laid down on my couch, tears still leaking from my eyes, and turned on Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix I had started last night.  Someone major dies in that one and even knowing that I decided I would rather lay here and disapparate (not a real word, but if you know anything about Potter you should know what that means, hopefully), into their world instead of my own.  When it was over I felt just a smidge less fragile and decided to brave the public eye.  Usually I don't like to go out in public looking like a hag or an eyesore or whatever other derogatory term I feel describes me at the time, but tonight I decided I didn't care.  Who am I trying to impress??  What are the odds I will run into someone I know or, more importantly, run into The Man of My Dreams.  Nil, so out I go.

First to Big Lots to try to find a computer monitor cord for cheap.  STRIKE ONE.
Then to Office Max, which is right around the corner, because they have to have those right?  Yep, for $38!!!  STRIKE TWO.
Then to a local grocery store to get cake, toilet paper and a frozen pizza.  They did have all 3 and I made it home safely and in one piece.  And I started eating the cake as soon as the pizza was in the oven.  But, see, the thing is, underneath everything.  Like, everything is this simmering anger.  Always. I wrote the other night about wanting to smash my plant.  Today I fantasized a bit about throwing the computer monitor off my balcony and/or through my picture window and off the balcony.  I snarled at the guy in Office Max. I flat out avoided looking at the girl at Big Lots whom I've talked to repeatedly on prior trips.  I nearly snapped at the girl ahead of me in the grocery store because not only was she a Couponer, she was married with a huge ring and looked to be about 20 years old.  That my friends was STRIKE THREE.

I snarled at traffic on the 3 block drive home.  I snapped at my car as I was getting out.  I threw small things across the room a couple times earlier today.  I am angry.  So so so angry.

But not because of Dad.  That added a layer for sure, but it didn't start there.  I realized a little over a month ago that I have been angry for years.  Like, years.  And I have no traumatic event to start it.  I have no Thing that ever happened that could explain this anger.  It is just there.  Simmering under the surface.  It rarely boils over at people I know personally.  Once in awhile I will vent to a friend about someone else in my life.  Usually if I go off at all it is at cashiers and poor sales people in the stores that are inciting that incident of flare up.  I don't think I have ever truly gone off completely unprovoked, just provoked by little things that seem WAY more huge because I'm already angry and fragile and irritable.

I have told friends, repeatedly, to pray for me because my own prayers for my own life rarely if ever get a "Yes" answer.  Often my prayers for friends get a "Yes," but mine almost never do.  Nearly every time I cry and have a fit or a breakdown or whatever I circle around to this.  When is it my turn? When do I get to hear a Yes? When will something finally go right for me the first time? When will it stop feeling like Every Single Thing in my life is 10x harder than it is in everyone else's???

Yes, some of that is perspective and no, I don't honestly believe many of my friends are living on Easy Street.  But, most of them are married which continues to be a Big Huge Fat NO for me.  Most of them have beautiful houses, which as long as that last one is a No, that remains a No.  Most of them have jobs they love or feel really fulfilled in and seem to enjoy .... or they are staying home with their kids, which is exactly what they want to be doing, again a Big No for me.  Most of them have the electronics they want and they work like they're supposed to, clearly a No for me.  By far and away most of them still have both of their parents, Big Huge Painful No.

So, yes, on the one hand I see that maybe I have reason to be angry.  But on the other hand, I know it goes deeper than just those circumstances.  I know it is more like bone deep.  More like that parable about looking for roses vs weeds I talk about all the time.  Since that anger is already there, always simmering, I notice the No's more often.  I feel the frustration and irritation and full-blown anger more often.  I actually feel a bit of a stab in my chest when someone gets engaged or posts wedding pics on facebook.  I react more strongly than may be warranted when I see posts about family and parents on facebook.  I very very often think about throwing things.  I walk through a room when I am frustrated and have a moment's consideration of what would happen if I grabbed the shoe rack and chucked it.  Or if I swiped everything off my dresser in one swoop of the arm.  Almost daily those thoughts occur to me.

So, although I did realize in October that I am more optimistic than I realized, I still think I have solid reason for pessimism.  Is it justified? Probably not.  Is it going anywhere? Probably not.  I'll let you know when I figure out what to do about it.  Until then, my pizza is done (which, by the way, melted between the bars on my rack and made another mess in my oven, Another Big No, apparently) and The Tourist is waiting for me to hit play.

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