Mental Health

The New Low

dark moment on the road” © enki22, 2013. CC BY-ND 2.0.

I rode the wave for a couple of weeks. Could see the bottom, but my feet weren’t touching. Skirting the edge. Always.

Then, in the morning while I was standing in the bathroom doing my make up it finally caught up with me. Sinking. Gasping for air. Heart pounding. I was thirty minutes late for work.

When I got home my husband was still out. So I took a walk to nowhere in particular. Leaned against brick walls. Circled city blocks. Anything to not be home. To not be alone. Searched out safety.

Today I made it to the gym in the morning. But I didn’t make it to work. Laid on the couch in my gym clothes until noon. It got me.

Nothing “happened”. It’s always undramatic. The final switch flipped off, but the light it connected to was barely illuminating anything to begin with.

A slow sinking. A sun setting. Hurt that creeps in slow and disconnects me piece by piece until even the couch cushion I’m sitting on feels far away.

But somehow the work email was still checked and responded to. I didn’t drag myself to the store for bourbon or cigarettes or pints of ice cream. At no point did I curl up on the bathroom floor and sob. I didn’t take one of those five hour walks where I scrape my knuckles along concrete. Where I stand on the ground and look up at bridges and tell myself stories about how this all eventually ends.

Instead I watched a movie and a bunch of Seinfeld. Took a nap. Sat on the couch and stared out the window and texted my best friend.

And at 3:45 I got up, showered, and dressed. Sat down at our dining room table and wrote it all down. Tried to make sense of it. Tried to shake out patterns and identify sources. Pulled out fragments of my inner workings. Pieces of a pocket watch strewn in front of me. Each one serving a purpose I could name, clean off, and put back in.

It’s not getting any easier, but I’m getting better at it. At taking a breather and getting up again. If this is what bottoming out looks like now, I think I can deal with it.

Not gracefully. Not easily. I will not escape without wounds to lick.

But I think I can deal with it.

10 thoughts on “The New Low

      1. It’s easier to think of helping others. Our strength can sometimes be our biggest obstacle.
        But I have looked at bridges that way myself, and nothing good can come of it. But it is so hard to see that sometimes.


  1. It will be sunny one day.

    I have that letter printed out for when that black dog comes to visit.

    And when he does, I sit with him, pet his head, look into his eyes for a while. He doesn’t bite like he used to. Then eventually he runs off. He always comes back, and that’s okay. I start to watch for him. I even feel some affection for him. He’s my black dog, after all.

    Hope your skies are sunnier soon. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is great, Christy.

      “Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out.”

      Guh. Thank you! Even though I know that one, it’s so hard to remember, to believe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My anxiety depression used to and still causes days like this. In the beginning I used booze to help. I still have bad days and as far are most concerned it’s still a pretty bad case of mental illness. I used to check out for day when extremism stress or changed happened. Over time, I have not completely shut down. No more
    locking myself away in a room depressed and crying
    for days. I still have bad days too but they are very
    Different. As well, without booze a often with out meltdown tears. Life is changing and in am evolving learning to deal with my emotions Simi healthy. It’s a looong journey. But ever time, situation comes up, I’m able to wrap my mind first before outtakes over me. It’s a life journey, but I have to say over the last three years I’ve listened to my body and come ahead of this messy mental game we play. Great post,, looking like you’re gaining self awareness and that the first step in getting a head step on whatever you may be dealingbwith. Believe or not. Soon you’ll see it coming. Love your posts. So self relatable. “Hugs”


    1. Thanks so much, Jessy. It’s amazing what a difference just not allowing yourself to fall into it can make.

      Last night I wanted to climb out of bed, go into the bathroom, and sob on the floor. And not in the “crying helps” sort of way, but in the “I’m admitting to myself I can’t do this” sort of way.

      But I didn’t. So yes, it’s much different than it used to be.

      Liked by 1 person


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