Yes, hello sadness cycle there you are…Ironically every time I am in my “happy” cycle I tend to fool myself into believing that it will last. I was debating whether or not I wanted to “out” myself since I have been on such a good run, but the truth is, I fooled myself. It is an odd occasion where I am not feeling both happy/sad at the same time. I should start charting the degrees of what I am feeling. Today I am 51.8% sad and 48.2% happy. I am being consistent. It was not until yesterday, when I felt completely overwhelmed and started to have thoughts of not mattering to people that I realized this is truly a pattern of mine.
The things leading up to my current feelings are very clear.
I have exposed myself with information that I feel is making me naked in front of the whole world. I then, felt foolish over the things I shared. I felt like it was silly to feel exposed over what type of music I like or that I always wanted to go to the ballet. Most people do not find that exposing at all. However, to me I am sharing things that by my now expression of liking them is more intense. I have the feeling that NOW everyone else will know what I am thinking or feeling. I have voiced my liking for things before with no real consequence to me because I kept hidden my true feelings in my mind. Once I openly confessed how much I cared for something in my recent posts it was like my words revealed the real me, but to other people they were just words. I tend to forget that people do not think of them like I do.
Words and music are very personal things to me.
Many times I feel like I have closer relations with them than people…Ok, I actually do. I have deep attachments to some of these things that I have been sharing lately. Then, after I have shared them I relived past meltdowns/shutdowns, and other experiences about some of the things that I have exposed. Once those enter the picture I feel guilt or shame, or the worst possible feeling in the world for me — stupid. If I spiral down to the point of feeling like an idiot, well then I have mastered my perfect point of depression cycle.
I am not there yet, but that is also the reason for this post – to stop it.
What makes me feel stupid? It is not the feeling of lack of intelligence about certain topics, or questioning my ability to think and reason through most things. It is not about my ability to be educated, or feeling that I lack the ability to regurgitate information acquired in an articulate manner. No, it is not that at all, though what I am about to say does trigger doubt in my intellect sometimes. It is feeling like I am being made fun of, being misunderstood, treated poorly, feeling like I am misunderstanding others, and I cannot figure out what it is true or not. It is wondering if my aunt is angry with me for some reason though I have done nothing to make her angry, and if she was she would tell me. It is feeling anxious because I did not call my dad and step mom on Christmas because I couldn’t from social stress. It is the feeling of being invisible with all of my family members on fb while they are all “living” it up with each other and nary a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year sent my way.
I did email my dad that was all I could do.
David skyped his dad and step mom and, then his mom and her side of the family and I could barely get off of the computer long enough to say: “Hi”. My mom was here when David skyped his dad so I could say: “Hi” and not have to worry about talking very much. David did thank me for my feeble attempts to be social though I am a good faker in that area it tends to eat at me and gnaw at my insides until I crack. I have another post that I have been working through titled “Faking Happy”. There is a statement in there from David that I believe is worth sharing more than once. He said to me several days ago: “You have the ability to stay in long relationships completely unhappy, and no one knows it except for you.”
Yea, that spun me into several paths of thought.
It also brought tears that were completely unexpected. I can go through all of my long-term relationships and see this, with family, friends, ex’s, and even in my workplace. I was willing to work to the point of my complete illness both mental and physical because I did not want to hurt my bosses or upset them. These were bosses who used my abilities for their gain and did not treat me right at all. I remembered the last boss I had at a major retailer. We had an agreement I would come to his store if he got me in to do another round of what they called “Round Robin” sessions. The Round Robins were a day involving three sets of interviews with usually three executives all at the same time including store managers, district managers, and the Human Relations district manager. The regional manger would be there for certain positions. It was very challenging, and not the best thing for a person with anxiety issues or Aspergers. If I had known then I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself, and felt like such a failure.
I had gone through them twice already, and felt I could finally do well through them and get promoted.
There is a whole story with all of that, but basically my anxiety would get the best of me and my true self would not show. They always commented about me “not looking them in the eyes” and felt that I was too insecure and timid. HA! Me timid? I may be a lot of things, but when it comes to work I have never been timid. I was good at every job I did there and I knew it. I was a good trainer and most of the time a good leader when I did not have to deal with social nonsense.
Back to the story, I had been working over night for several weeks and was out of the loop.
I came in one morning to discover that the Round Robins were going on that day. My boss failed to tell me, and he did not even sign me up. He forgot about me even though he had been walking with me every night, complimenting me, and was even amazed at the amount of work I had accomplished in such little time. The people who I was talking to could tell that I was beyond upset, I asked where he was and they told me that he was part of the interviewing sessions.
I walked out.
They tried to stop me and calm me down, but I was done and I was not coming back. I sobbed uncontrollably the whole way home. I sobbed for hours, and I did not leave my bed. I felt such excruciating pain in my body that I cannot even describe. I felt broken. I felt rejected, invisible, and I could not understand why someone could not care the least little bit about me when I had poured my life into that store for him. Well for the company, but I was devoted to him as a boss. It triggered every moment in time where I put my trust in an authority figure, proved my loyalty and abilities only to feel trampled on and ignored. He called me leaving messages for me to come back, I did not pick up the phone I heard his messages on the machine.
I did come back and he apologized over and beyond.
He was honest in telling me that he didn’t have a good reason he had just forgotten. He forgot me. Do you know what that did to a person like me? It solidified the already pounding voices that had told me I did not matter. My hard work and over 60 hours a week that I put in did not matter. The fact that I drove 45 minutes to work, was there on time, stayed as long as he needed, fixed things in other departments for team leaders who were not fulfilling their job duties, and spending my days off if needed there…did not matter. My reactions may seem a bit extreme, but it triggered a lot of emotions at the time. I was also still deeply wounded by past relationships where the men in my life made me feel as if I didn’t matter. I got over it, I understood his reasons.
He did have a lot going on.
The positive that came out of it was that I did not have to go through those series of interviews ever again! He felt awful, and since I had already gone through them twice, he was on the committee, and I had proved my abilities and how capable I was I got promoted anyway. They also could not locate my previous reviews that had stated that I needed more “growing”. It was strange. I look back on some of my situations where I felt completely devastated by things like that and see how a lot of the times they ended up working out in my favor. It does not take away the feelings of rejection, the feelings that I was not even thought of was extremely painful, I still feel it today. I do not know how other people handle these types of things. I do not know how people get over these thoughts, or when the sting of familiar feelings hit how do they not relive them.
My mind has to work double time to cope with this stuff.
I am nowhere near where I used to be, and that is a positive. I read several posts yesterday from the blog Life with Aspergers about Aspergers and depression. I cannot tell you how much these posts helped me. I combed through them and applied what I was learning. I discovered my biggest problem is much like my anxiety problem was I have not accepted this cycle. I finally accepted my anxiety which has helped immensely. Even though I have confessed my understanding of the cycles, I still have not accepted all of them fully. I had hidden thoughts that somehow if I had the information that it would miraculously disappear. I am not talking about being in severe depression — I know the difference between that and my cycles. I would go to a doctor if I was feeling that way. This is the depression that comes and is triggered by certain things, but I know that it will go soon enough.
I get negative thoughts, but mostly because I hold in my hurt, anger, or frustrations.
I also can cause myself a great deal of stress by fixating on my confusion. I will start to think things like I shouldn’t post ever again, or share my poetry, or walk out of my house because what does it matter anyway. I begin to believe that people do not want to hear from me ever again. I have images of family, and friends rolling their eyes at my emails or comments. I then think they only reply because they feel obligated. I start to tell myself that I need to clam up. I need to wither away into my own small world with no social contact so that I will not feel the social confusion, or anxiety.
It’s funny as I am writing these out and sharing them I see how silly they sound.
That reveals to me how I should not waste time on these kinds of thoughts or worry about things like whether my family even knows if I exist. I have accepted this cycle and I can already feel some of the silly thoughts leaving me now. I confess though they feel real, but I know that many of them are not. I am going to listen to this song for a while ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE~Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers and work through some of these thoughts. I am tired of faking happy. Tomorrow I will shoot for 68% happy and 32% sad…my gradient of joy. My acceptance of the depression (sadness) cycle is a healing process for me with my acceptance comes the ability to think of new ways to handle and process it. I am exchanging unhealthy patterns for new healthier ones one layer at a time.
If you have not read these I highly recommend them they are great resources.
This post from another blog helped me too.
And another song because I think Kevin Spacey is tops!
Also because I was listening to the soundtrack of Midnight Garden of Good and Evil…maybe that made me sad? No, it was a series of things including sensory stuff. Without further ado I give you “That Old Black Magic” performed by Kevin Spacey who always makes me smile. (I loved him in Se7en, another favorite…Big surprise!)