Archive for April 4th, 2010

Living in a hamster wheel

I have been trying to work out if I would feel the way I do about myself if I were suffering from a physical ailment, rather than simply being a bit batshit.

For example, the proverbial pint of milk.

Some days, I can drive to the local fruit and veg shop on the outskirts of the nearest village and can shop there without any problems. Some days, I even manage to go into the village itself, find somewhere to park (old village, narrow streets, far too many cars…) and do normal things like go to the Co-Op or the doctor’s.

But on others, if I can’t find anywhere to park, I panic. One evening, I ended up driving straight through the village and out across the hills in floods of tears and was horrendously lost by the time I talked myself into pulling over.

And on bad days, just the thought of going anywhere is enough to reduce me to a quivering wreck.

Now, when I’m feeling quite rational, I understand that my panic reactions are nothing more than the PTSD at work – I can’t control the situation so my hindbrain overreacts and tells me I’m in danger – and my gut reaction to the “danger” is to flee.

However, just as I end up with a conflict between my rational self and my emotions on my bad days, so I spend my good days in an equally destructive conflict.

Meaning? Well, as I said above, my rational self understands what’s going on and tries to deal with “that” me with empathy and kindness. But something else in me (pride?) is appalled at what I see, views it all as a sign of weakness and failure and is, quite frankly, embarrassed and humiliated by the whole thing.

Would I be like this if I was recovering from an illness or an accident?

Well … probably.

Do I feel like this about other people who are in my situation?

Hell, no!

I would ask why I feel like that about me, but I already know the answer. Indirectly, it’s a by-product of my upbringing. But it’s also directly related to why I’m in this state to begin with. And if that makes no sense to you, don’t worry, I know what I mean.

And that is, I think, at the heart of why I am where I am. Maybe if circumstances were different, I’d have a better relationship with myself. But there’s only so much shit you can swallow before you end up blaming yourself for being in that position in the first place.

I suspect (well, know, since so many friends have told me so) that the first step to my recovery will be to accept what has happened and – more importantly – that none of it is my fault.

I don’t see it like that, however. And therein lies the problem – and the answer to my question.

Anyone else feel like they’re trapped in a hamster’s wheel?!