[TW: description of experiencing a meltdown, some suicidal thoughts, thoughts of self-harming, and possibly other things that I can’t think of at the moment]
I sit here, still a bit shaken by the epic meltdown I experienced three nights ago, and I worry that if my friends really knew me, really, that they wouldn’t like me any more. The worry, you see, is that I’ve somehow (unknowingly) tricked them into liking me because otherwise why would they? Especially not if they saw me during a meltdown, which is why I hide during them. I don’t even let Counterpart see me during the worst parts of my meltdowns if I can hide.
Last week some things happened that took me right back to my college days. College was bad. It was a very bad and dangerous time to be me and I try not to go back there ever in my mind if I can help it, but sometimes I can’t avoid the ghosts of my past.
That night, that meltdown night last week, I could feel it coming on all day long, but I couldn’t put any of it into words. I managed a few cryptic texts to one friend in the early afternoon, but my words weren’t clear enough to make known the storm that was brewing.
So I took a nap, hoping to goodness that being in a dark, quiet room would help. That sleeping would help. Maybe I wasn’t to the point of no return yet. Maybe it could still be stopped. Alas, that hope was but in vain, as I would soon discover.
The train had already left the station, the plane had taken flight, and there was no turning back because the meltdown was going to proceed right on its own schedule. Or something.
So, around the time I woke up, I realized that this meltdown was going to happen. In fact it was happening. I had rapidly slipped into a state that I could most accurately call “ultimate uncaring.” This is the state in which I just don’t care about anything or anyone (especially not myself). If I’m driving a car when this state hits, then I start thinking about how little I would care if I just happened to turn the wheel a little too far to the right and maybe ended up with my car wrapped around a tree.
This state doesn’t involve me actively wanting to end my life or anything like that, it’s more just actively not caring if that should happen to occur.
But it didn’t stop there this time. That’s generally where my meltdowns have gotten to in recent years. But this one kept going until I was very seriously considering the fact (not a fact, but I thought it was at the time) that clearly everyone will be better off without me. Therefore perhaps I should be more proactive about removing me from their lives.
The desire wasn’t so much to stop living completely (although there was some of that too), but rather it was mostly to get in the car and drive drive drive far away. Just to see where I ended up and start fresh there. Just never come back. Along with that part came an overwhelming desire to hurt myself for wanting to abandon my family, my loved ones.
It’s intense just even remembering that part. Goodness.
Relevant side note: I recently took up running as a hobby — I’ve found that it greatly helps my mental health and I’ve felt immensely better since starting to run somewhat regularly.
On that meltdown day, sometime between short naps that occurred between children needing me for everything under the sun (because of course they did), I determined that it would be helpful if maybe I ran a few miles later when the weather cooled off a bit.
Once things began deteriorating to the point where I was seriously beginning to plot in my mind the exact route I would take out of town and the direction in which I would go while seeking my new life, I realized that this would be a great time to put that running plan into motion (quite literally).
The running helped. I ran several miles and it served to calm me down enough to not want to abandon my entire life and all those I love. The sensation of running long-ish distances also mimics somewhat the feeling of self-harm, which helped on that end as well. I felt like I was running away, but I wasn’t really. I felt like I was hurting myself, but I wasn’t really.
When I came back home, after I showered, I hid. I locked myself in the garage and let the meltdown continue. It wasn’t a loud meltdown, but it was a very weepy one. I cried and cried. I managed to send a Facebook message to some close friends who understand and that helped some too.
But of course my friends couldn’t see me then. They couldn’t see me unable to function and crying and completely overwhelmed by being taken back to college days in my mind. They didn’t know how my mind was rambling on about how I should be locked up and never let out.
And today, days later, I still feel raw. I still feel tired and unable to function the way I usually do. Mostly I handle this part by trying to minimize everything I find difficult or overwhelming, even when that means I fall far short of my own expectations.
Then I feel completely unlovable again because of what use am I really? And this will happen again eventually, it always does. I’m not strong enough to prevent this.