Socially Phobic

March 26, 2007

My happy place

Filed under: Social Phobia — iambrave @ 6:01 am

seems somewhat ironic to me right now, as it existed at one of the lowest of all of the low points in my life. I’ve had problems for a while, for my whole life, maybe, but last year was the first time that I had my first real nervous breakdown. Well, my second, to be fair. But that can be another story for another time.

Things started getting bad in the fall of ’05, I guess it was. I was working at a fairly stressful tech support job, but maybe it wasn’t that stressful after all. I mean, it was for me, and others were surely stressed, but everyone else seemed to be handling it all right. What I mean to say is that, to date, I am the only person that I know of who had a certifiable nervous breakdown and ended up having to quit entirely.

Before I quit, there are a few things that stand out in my memory. I remember crying in the shower every morning before work because the urge to not have to go and face all of the pressure was just so goddamn strong. I remember never being able to relax on the weekends because I was just so terrified of the week to come. As a side note, let me just say that I am scared right now because I am starting to feel that way again. I have to get up tomorrow, and I have to go to work, and I have to go to class, and the thought scares the shit out of me. I can’t really put the reasons that I am so scared into words right this second. I know that anxiety is maladaptive fear, and that fear is a primal instinct, so maybe its true description is something that predates language and is unspeakable.

But back to my happy place. I went on for months with the crying and the terror and then one morning Mr. IAmScared and I were leaving for work together and I was sobbing and he knew that I couldn’t make it and he told me to just fuck it. He asked if he should take me to the hospital, and I said no, because I knew that it wasn’t that kind of problem. But I went back home that day, and I never went back to that job again. That’s a long story, of doctor’s notes and potential disability, and I will talk about that someday, too. But damnit, if I keep getting lost in the details I will never get to my happy place. Maybe I shouldn’t go there, because it’s the closest goddamn analogy I can think of to the descriptions that people give of dying and walking into the light and when I say that I mean that it is a warm, golden place and it will suck me in if I can find it again and the problem with my happy place is that if I stay there, I will never get to live the life that I want to live. At least on some level.

So, after the job was over and done with and I had made the personally brutal decision not to go back to my job my days of solitude began. It was such a relief. It was safety after months and years and decades of trying to be something that I knew in my heart that I wasn’t meant to be – a functioning person. You have to picture it for yourself – an apartment where the sunny, southern California streamed in just right in the afternoon. Palm trees outside the window. A dog. A couch. A Xanax prescription and a nap. Nothing to do but sleep the day away and maybe drag myself out to therapy once a week and the psychiatrist every so often.

I don’t think that I am lazy, unless laziness can be defined as relief from profound anxiety. I think that it is probably the dream of a lot of people to be able to nap the day away and that most people will never have that luxury. It probably isn’t as luxurious as it sounds. The guilt was harsh. I hadn’t earned my break from life, and I usually didn’t let myself forget it.

Except…I could forget on those sunny afternoons. The drugs and that perfect sun. Those early days in which I wasn’t supposed to be doing anything except trying to heal, according to professional opinion. I want to go back to my happy place. But I can’t, not tomorrow. I need to go try to sleep now because it is my plan that I will be getting up tomorrow and going to work and going to class and all that I can hope for the time being is that the tears in the shower will elude me, at least for the time being.


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