Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Another one of THOSE posts

I am tired.

Whether this is due to lack of sleep, the rubbish weather or the stultifying course I was compelled to sit through this afternoon is a matter of conjecture.

I don’t sleep very well at the best of times. For the last few nights my sleep has been broken by a variety of weird and terrifying dreams – not of monsters and chasing and your average nightmare fodder, but rather of feelings and unseen ominous things and actually I’m going to stop there because it is freaking me out all over again.

I know the increase in sleep problems is symptomatic of how I’m feeling at the moment. The last couple of weeks have been horrible. Tomorrow, I have to do something I am absolutely dreading.

The post that was eaten by blogger (bad blogger! Bad!) on Sunday was very hard for me to write. I have become accustomed to “talking” to a (small) audience and this has meant that, to a certain extent, I have lost my confidence in talking about subjects that are very personal to me. I became consumed with whether I was interesting, or funny, or whether people would comment. As valuable as quality of writing is, I lost sight of my opportunities to use this blog as a means of sorting out the rubbish I carry around in my head.

So, I’m going back to basics, for the next little while.

The last couple of weeks have been exhausting. I have had to confront things that I have been variously ignoring, hiding or pretending are not a problem. Things are a problem. I am in a scary place and am finding it very hard to focus on how to get through it. The issues I have to face seem, at present, insurmountable.

I have spent most of my life telling people I am fine, really I am. Tomorrow I have to sit down and tell a complete stranger* that actually, I am not fine at all. I haven’t been fine for a very long time indeed. And all the while I will be wondering if I’m actually just feeling sorry for myself; that it’s not so bad, that lots of people have it worse than me (and I am well aware that this is the case – every day at work I see, interact with and hurt for people who have suffered things I don’t want to imagine, mostly at the hands of people who were meant to be loving them).

I have to remember that while I may be in some way responsible for the symptoms, I was not the cause of this. At three, or at seven, or ten - up until I left at seventeen - I couldn’t control my home environment. I didn’t choose the things that happened to me. It seems that the damage has been rather more far-reaching than I anticipated.

In three weeks or so I will turn thirty-four. I refuse to still be feeling like this when I am thirty-five. I am going to do the thing that I have been afraid of all this time; afraid that I will be seen as weak, as self-pitying, as someone who should just pull themselves together and get on with it.

It’s gone too far for that. I can’t carry on like this.

I’m going to ask for help.

* I mean a doctor, of course. I'm not going to start going up to people on buses, or anything. Christ, I'm not that far gone.

33 Comments:

Blogger Teeny chimed in with...

Hello,

I've been lurking for a while but I had to comment when I read this. You're doing the right thing, asking for help. There's no shame in it - I've been in dark places and not asked for help because of stubbornness or shame or whatever, and it doesn't get you anywhere. I wish now that I'd done what you're about to do.

Good luck, and all the best.

PS WHY does the word verification thing ALWAYS take me two attempts?!

20 February, 2007 19:22  
Blogger Lardy Big Bot chimed in with...

I think you are incredibly brave and I hope you get the help you need.
I have also done that hideous see-saw balancing act of feeling that 'it' needs to be sorted but not wanting to be 'weak' like oh so many people around me.... all those folks going off sick with 'stress'. They seemed lame and without drive and yet things do come to a head and have to be addressed.

20 February, 2007 19:23  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

hey - was wondering if we were being kept in the dark about something all this time.

glad to see you're taking steps to feel better. it's always the hardest at the beginning. and if support from imaginary friends helps, you have plenty here.

20 February, 2007 19:38  
Anonymous Jim Bliss chimed in with...

Hey there Surly Girl. I've just stumbled across this blog (and apparently into a deeply personal moment) but I feel compelled to comment all the same.

You sound (from the little I can glean from this single post) like you're in a place not unlike where I found myself a couple of years ago. On the plus side; things can get better.

On the minus side though, there's certainly the chance it'll take more than a year to get right.

In three weeks or so I will turn thirty-four. I refuse to still be feeling like this when I am thirty-five.

I hope it works out that way for you (and there is indeed every chance that you'll be feeling a good deal better in a year); but for god's sake don't get discouraged if it takes longer. Set goals, set deadlines, be ambitious about this... but don't lapse into despair if there are set-backs, or if things don't run smoothly to your timetable.

I'm 35 now. Almost 36. I was suffering from severe clinical depression for about six years before I admitted it to anyone (and yes, the roots of it go back a long long way). I finally sought help when I was 33. It's taken almost three years to get to the point where I can say, "things are moving in the right direction" at last.

Just bear that in mind, and be patient with yourself. And with others. You'll get there too.

20 February, 2007 20:06  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

Hello,

well, I've been around since pretty early days, and I think we all welcome 'THOSE' posts as much as the funny ones.

Like several other bloggers, you seem to have done an extraordinary good job of rising out of a very shitty family situation.

But just becasue you've got a good job/relationship/daughter nowadays doesn't mean the past will disappear. We're still listening.

*And you're still funny.

20 February, 2007 20:52  
Blogger Random Reflections chimed in with...

I don't think people read you just because you can be funny. You are who you are because of things that have happened in your life, so we take the rough with the smooth and hope that you manage to deal with those things that are troubling you so much at the moment.

Although I have read your blog for ages, I hardly ever comment and now I have done so twice in about as many days. What is the world coming to?

20 February, 2007 22:29  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

i feel i ought to say thank you for every comment, and to everyone who has mailed me over the last couple of weeks.

i'm trying very hard to stay away from self-pity, but i know i have a hard road ahead and i am really scared of initiating the process so all support and encouragement is very gratefully received.

thank you all xx (oh lord, do i sound like gwyneth paltrow?!)

um.

*shuts up*

20 February, 2007 23:23  
Anonymous Beth chimed in with...

You are so brave to both do this and write about it. Kudos to you, and good luck with the feeling better. The first step is deciding you need to.

21 February, 2007 03:17  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

I'm possibly the person closest to SG as she deals with this and even I feel I cannot help other than to support, encourage and love her throughout what is to come.

I don't pretend to know or understand the issues that have shaped her life. All I do know is she has turned my life around in the last 3 years and I will do whatever it takes to make her as happy as she makes me. SG has given me a peace I never thought possible.

I love you.

21 February, 2007 08:38  
Anonymous Thursday chimed in with...

Putting your hand up and saying "I need help" is incredibly hard but you've taken the first step to achieving what you want, i.e. refusing to feel like you do by the time you're 35. Well done you.

21 February, 2007 10:50  
Blogger zanna chimed in with...

So proud of you honey, the hardest thing is asking for help. Please don't pretend to the doctor that you're ok or play any of it down, what happened was horrendous and you have every right to be a total wreck! You're not though, you're a fabulous person and way before your 35th birthday you will feel as good as you deserve to.

21 February, 2007 11:50  
Anonymous sooz chimed in with...

If you're now compelled to deal with whatever 'it' is - then you've been through the hardest bits by struggling on so things WILL get better.

Difficult and painful times ahead yes - but nothing as solitary as trying to keep it together by the skin of your teeth.

I tried to email you when you first closed down to say 'hang in there' but it wanted me to put your email address in - which I couldn't do cos I didn't have a clue how to find it!

We don't expect you to be anything other than who you are - whatever you write. So there!

21 February, 2007 13:25  
Blogger Clair chimed in with...

Therapy. It rocks. Best thing I ever did for myself. Hope you'll feel the same way too, horrid though it seems at the start.

21 February, 2007 14:31  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

Well done you. You know you're doing the right thing. We're here if you need us. Let us know how you get on.

*Long distance hug* (even though I bet you hate it and squirm like a six year old trying to avoid being kissed by a bearded great-aunt who smells of parma violets and piss).

21 February, 2007 14:47  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

Putting the hand up or out and saying "it should not, need not be like this" is the biggest brave step.
Thinking of you.

21 February, 2007 15:25  
Blogger Larry Teabag chimed in with...

Best of luck Surly Girl - I'm sure you're now taking the first tentative step on the road to recovery.

But can I also encourage you to reconsider the option of opening up to strangers on buses? Not that it would necessarily help or anything, but it might lead to some amusing blog-posts...

21 February, 2007 15:57  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

LISTEN.
if i want entertainment i'll go mug a bum. i come here because i like you. i liked you from the first time i happened upon this place.
i won't reiterate my views on therapy; i've made myself abundantly clear prior to this point. (therapy GOOD. feeling like shit BAD. ok fine i just ruined that table thumping declaration. fine.)
there is nothing i want for you more than for you to be able to enjoy who you are the way we do. the way i do.
i've fought some of the same battles you allude to. rallying support is precisely how you win those battles. now go ahead and feel whatever you need to feel! you are loved.
XOOfn

21 February, 2007 18:00  
Blogger botogol chimed in with...

a doctor? don't tell her anything! I bet she doesn't even have a blog.

good luck.

21 February, 2007 18:52  
Blogger DavetheF chimed in with...

Just to say I understand what is happening (though of course not how you actually feel), since I have dealt with this kind of thing more than once, practice makes perfect, as they say. Seeing someone with a detached and expert view is absolutely the right thing. It can be slow, but things start to get better JUST BECAUSE you are dealing with them out in the open instead of hugging the hurt to yourelf.

Very best wishes

Dave F

21 February, 2007 19:22  
Blogger Melissa chimed in with...

I hope the visit was helpful today, and you start feeling better soon. Reiterating what others here have said, it's the opposite of self-pitying or weak to ask for help. This is what the doctors have trained for, after all, and the right one can make a world of difference.

21 February, 2007 19:52  
Blogger Justine chimed in with...

Thank you for putting that somewhere that I could read it.

21 February, 2007 20:33  
Blogger Shell chimed in with...

see? we're rooting for ya! be all of who you are, always ... even the crunchy bits when it's their time ...

and i'm so smiling that otherhalf spoke here as well!

*hugs

22 February, 2007 01:39  
Anonymous overnight chimed in with...

wordfail

Stared at my reflection in that plate glass but never went through. Not bad enough, not yet.

So brave, please let us know if the Euro NCAP means anything, and that there is grass is not greyer on the other side.

warmwish and bookmark on one post

OE

hey the word-verif was DRYUP

22 February, 2007 02:16  
Blogger Kissing just for practice chimed in with...

Glad that you're back, and really hope things work out for you.

Tried to post a comment a few times, but blogger ate them.

22 February, 2007 09:35  
Blogger Vicus Scurra chimed in with...

Yes, yes, yes, you have my best wishes as well, I guess.
Will that do?

22 February, 2007 11:18  
Blogger belladona chimed in with...

Too right. Don't worry whether other people have been through more than you - that doesn't mean your problems are nothing. Don't worry about the blog either - I always find you in turn funny, touching, true and silly - I like silly btw.
This was better phrased but blogger ate it, grr.

22 February, 2007 12:10  
Blogger violetforthemoment chimed in with...

I have tried to post something here about five times, hope this one gets past the blogger sentinels. Massive respect to you for coming to this decision, it's the harder road than turning in on yourself and takes a lot of strength - which means you do have that strength, and I hope it works out for you. I've done something similar lately and even sitting down and saying this stuff to my doctor felt like a massive weight being lifted.

22 February, 2007 12:23  
Blogger Angelina chimed in with...

Been a lurker for a while and love your writing.

Can't begin to imagine what you must be going through but my heart goes out to you. I hope you begin to feel better soon. xx

22 February, 2007 13:22  
Blogger realdoc chimed in with...

Therapy is the business, I don't know anyone who wouldn't benefit from the process although it can feel pretty traumatic at times. It took me years from knowing I needed help to actually asking for it. I went through the whole 'there are people much worse off than me' thing, yes there are but that doesn't make your problems insignificant. I just hope you have a decent doctor, blogger or not. Good luck.

22 February, 2007 17:44  
Blogger Bohemian Punk chimed in with...

I found this blog through Urban Chick's blog. Maybe you just need to have a pastrami on rye? That always cheers me up. Pastrami, btw, is like corned beef, but brined, smoked, and spiced. It's the best deli meat in the world. I'm getting cheery just thinking about it.

On a serious note, I hope things take a turn for the better.

22 February, 2007 17:46  
Blogger mad muthas chimed in with...

brave girl - even making this initial decision is moving you in the direction of healing. i wish you well on the journey.

23 February, 2007 19:35  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

Really hope this helps you. Sorry I've been absent for a while (whole moving to Oxford/new job/new house thing) but I'm back now.

Feeling bad sucks. I hope you find the happiness, peace and resolution that you need.

02 March, 2007 11:55  
Blogger rockmother chimed in with...

Oh god - I'm far too late and don't know if you'll get this but interestingly I remember why I started reading your blog in the first place as I stumbled upon it at a time when you were posting about your person that can not be named and it struck a chord with me. I really admire you for taking this step Surly and you are sooooooooo lucky to have your other wonderful half as he is too!! Take care and best of luck. Sorry I haven't been around much - been going through a bit of stuff here and there too xxxx

01 April, 2007 22:52  

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