Hiya friends, welcome back. As I woke up this morning, I knew it was going to have a good day (in regards to the Asshole and Panic). I was right, too. I woke up at a perfect four, and I felt I could take on the world. This feeling happens so few and far between that when it does I fucking revel in it.
I took my happy feeling and got a ton of shit done today. This morning I got up and got a good bit of my homework done. Then I prepped some stuff for dinner and cleaned a few rooms. I also got to work on getting our guest room ready for our first ever house guest in our new place. It really was a great day. In fact, dare I say, I had the perfect four day.
I asked a friend tonight if it was weird that good days always made me reflect on the bad ones. She assures me that this happens to everyone. It’s almost like I can see the Asshole in my memory warehouse, feet kicked up on the table, checking his manicure and saying, “Enjoy it while it lasts, girl. I’ll just sit here biding my time, I’ll wait for the perfect moment to knock you down again.” Then, as he looks at the dark mass hovering near him, he laughs. Man, he really is an asshole.
In my reflective state tonight, I got to thinking about the worst time I’ve ever had with my anxiety and panic. Which inevitably reminded me that, in that time, I never thought I’d come out on the other side. Whenever Hobbs and I discuss this period of time, we just call it ‘The Dark Time’. Obviously, it’s not really my favorite thing in the world to talk about. I mean, I’d much rather talk about my family and friends, or my pets. Actually, I’d really rather poke hot nails into my eyes, then go back there again, which is exactly why I’ve decided to talk about it now. I feel this need to tell people about how bad it can get, how bad I can get.
I can say with all honesty, there are very few people in my life who know about this. In fact, I can literally count them one hand. The only reason I’ve kept this bit quite close to the vest is because people look at you differently the second you tell them. There is a moment after the words come out, that you notice the look in their eyes changes. You are no longer what they thought you once were, and instead they now know all the darkness that lives inside you.
Okay, I’ve procrastinated long enough, let’s do this.
Four, maybe five now, years ago, Hobbs and I were living with some of his family. (It was a duplex, we had the ground floor, and they lived above us.) When I tell you that there are reasons people tell you to not live with relatives, there really are. I was still rather new in my dealings with anxiety and panic, and I’ve said before, I was struggling. The only way I can describe the struggle that I was dealing with is like this: have you ever felt like you were doing everything in your power to keep your head above water, and yet you know that it’s futile? That there is something dragging you to the depths? This is how I felt everyday when I woke up. I never had four days then, and looking back on it, I was certain I never would have a good day again. Between the anxiety/panic and living with people who were constantly finding ways to belittle me, I was drowning, and I knew it.
What people leave out when they talk about anxiety, is the idea that depression is kind of like it’s best friend. The despair I felt was tangible; it took shape in every single thing I did. I couldn’t laugh without being shitfaced. I was actively pushing every person in my life away, including my parents and Hobbs. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with anyone, and judging by the words I was hearing at the time, no one wanted anything to do with me. In that time, I was seeing my life in shades of grey; nothing made me happy. I knew on some level this was happening because I was actually believing the words I was hearing, but I couldn’t drag myself out of it. I tried not to listen to them and to block them out, but nothing worked. I was constantly hearing how horrible I was, stupid, fat, worthless (I actually described myself that way to my mother one night and I’m positive she was trying to climb through the phone to throttle me).
I should clarify, Hobbs was not saying these things to me; his family that lived above us were. During this time though, Hobbs was afraid to say anything for fear we would get kicked out and then what would we do?. (Looking back, I don’t blame him for his fears, and I don’t blame him for not saying anything. He was just as confused as I was.)
I had been dealing with this for a while, and one morning I woke up and honestly greeted the depression. I knew something was different. I went through the day like I usually would, cleaning, laundry, cooking. Later in the day, after Hobbs came home, I stepped onto the porch for something and I heard some of his family talking about me. “The girl is no good, she’s just dragging him down.” The last things I heard were “white trash,” and that was it. I was done. I knew I couldn’t face these people anymore. I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in a mirror then. I remember sitting down to dinner with Hobbs and really giving it my all, he actually said, “You seem better today, that’s amazing.” I wasn’t better, I was gone. I drank my face off that night, I needed the liquid courage.
He went to bed, and I laid there, listening to him snore for a good hour and half, just wondering how he could sleep so peacefully when inside I was so broken I couldn’t remember who I’d been when I was happy. He had no idea, at the time, how lost I was. I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. I wasn’t even crying, I just felt numb. I don’t know if any of you have ever felt that but god, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I opened the cabinet near the sink and searched for the pills, they weren’t there. Now I know that Hobbs has gotten rid of them without knowing what I had planned. I was fucking angry, and I took the fact that I couldn’t find them to mean I needed another way out. I thought about breaking the mirror, I mean, they do that in movies all the time, it can’t be that hard. My next thought was how I didn’t want Hobbs to have to wake up to that. It would be much better for him if it looked like I just went to sleep, no gore, he didn’t deserve that.
I sat there contemplating how I could do this, and thinking to myself that maybe I couldn’t do this. My mom always told me suicide was a cowards way out, but I was also certain my mother had never felt like this. It literally hurt to be there. I didn’t see any other options. I had told people I was unhappy, but I hadn’t really pushed the issue. I left the bathroom and stood in the doorway of my bedroom. He was still snoring. I paced the floor that night, trying to figure out how I was going to do this. One half of me was begging for the calm that would follow, while the other was telling me to fight. It wasn’t until Hobbs walked into the living room and asked why I was still awake that I realized I had stayed up all night fighting with myself. In that moment, I looked at him and just knew I couldn’t go through with it.
I spent the rest of that day, while he was at work, trying to find another option. When he walked through the door that night, I had a solution but I wasn’t sure he would go for it. He barely made it through the door and I said, “We need to move.” He was definitely confused and asked why. I explained that no one could live in a place like this. He said we didn’t have an option. I knew I was going to have to tell him the truth, so I ripped the metaphorical bandaid off. The next words that flew out my face were some of the hardest I’ve ever said, “I was up all night trying to find the pills from the cabinet.” His face was blank for a second and I saw the moment he realized what I was saying. In true Hobbs fashion he said, “Find the place.”
I started seeing a new therapist within the week, on Hobbs insistence. We also started looking at new places. It took a little while, but we found a new place. We never told them we were leaving, just started packing and one weekend, moved out. It wasn’t until we had moved into the new apartment that he finally got the courage to say, “You were going to take them if you found them, weren’t you?” I gave him the only answer I could, “Yes.”
I’m not saying it’s always this easy to get past that point. It wasn’t overnight that those feelings stopped, I had to purge them. I basically cut myself open and purged the darkness that I could get to. Hobbs knows that this is a reality for me, and since that moment things have changed with more than just me. We don’t talk to those people anymore, and I never once asked him to stop, Hobbs made that decision on his own. I knew that certain people had to know, like my parents, so they were told. My mother raged at me, as I knew she would. My dad just doesn’t discuss it, I think it hurts him.
Personally, I try to block this out, my life looked so fucking bleak then. I hadn’t ever been to that place before, and thankfully, I’ve not been back since. I know that talking about it helped me, and I’m not saying that’s all it took, but it helped. If you are, or you know someone who is, in that place right now…reach out. Reach out to anyone, I don’t care if it’s a significant other, a friend, or a fucking stranger, no one deserves to go through that alone. The dark is scary when you’re alone. Sometimes it helps to ask a friend for a flashlight. I’ve got one if someone needs it.
You guys know the drill by now, there are two numbers down at the bottom, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline, use them if you need them. See you lovely lot tomorrow.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
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