I’ve been awake since 3 am and it’s now 5:30. Sigh. I’ve been waking every two hours for a few weeks now, but I have been able to go back to sleep until tonight. During the day I’m tired and tearful. That black frustration with myself for being unable to sleep sets in.
I’m lonely. I’m worried about never working again. I met a former colleague for coffee last week, which was nice, but i did learn that a number of people were hired back to a project I was on over the summer, and I wasn’t called. Whatever. I didn’t enjoy the project. At the same time, I feel I’m not valued and I could have used the work.
Last night I attended my 12 step group. It did not go well and added to my sense of disconnection from everyone. I am not very able to tell a story. I do share, but what I share is these fragments, instead of a connected thing. I don’t know how to share in a way that will mean something to anyone else. I do feel I’m a failure at 12 steps. I don’t get how they work and how they would apply to me. The first one is I accept that I am powerless. OK, but for me, how does that help?
A lot of the people there keep saying how grateful they are to the program. I tend to feel that they think if I was serious about the steps, getting a sponsor, finding my higher power, then I would get better. The fact that I’m massively depressed shows that I suck at the program.
This is really negative. I haven’t plunged into step work etc partly because when I’m working I get too exhausted to go to things. In addition, I think a lot of it is not that applicable to my situation. I don’t really identify a lot with co-dependence – the idea that I don’t value myself but instead try to feel better by controlling/helping others. I don’t think that’s my main issue at all. And, to be honest, I’m afraid of being triggered into more issues that I won’t be able to handle.
Part of it is that I can’t figure out what my issue is. I don’t have a diagnosis. Is it the social anxiety? The dissociation? The depression? The anxiety? The work difficulties? The feelings of disconnection? The isolation?
Being unable to form any connections in this kind of a group seems especially telling. People here are kind. They are there to listen to each other. Truth telling is encouraged and feelings are accepted. I just have trouble expressing my feelings in a way that others can relate to.
I am actually quite competent compared to some who go to this group. I am able to work at fairly complex jobs. But others like me seem able to then also discuss themselves in a complex way that makes sense. You can see they are intelligent and have a grip on what’s going on. I lack that entirely. I probably sound kind of remote and disconnected in what I do say.
The thing I like about it is that I can go and feel really bad and not have to disconnect from how I feel necessarily. In any other social situation, you do need to have a social manner and can’t sit caught up in your own depression or whatever. So I did sit and feel bad, which was at least staying connected to my own truth in that moment. But then, not being able to communicate and connect with anyone ended up feeling really bad also.
Maybe the feelings I have towards this group echo the feelings I had in my family? My family feels very disconnected. When my father stopped speaking to me when I was a young teenager, I must have felt invisible, as if I was nothing and worthless. My mother entirely discouraged any expression of feeling whatsoever. The myth was that feelings were maybe unclean, unacceptable, and that intelligent worthwhile people didn’t have them. Of course, now I know that feelings made my mother uncomfortable, and that it was just nicer for her to pretend that feelings don’t exist.
And yes, that would feel disconnecting. Like I feel so painfully in this group – that feeling of being different, not being liked, being entirely alone.
That would be enough to keep me from sleeping. That frightening feeling of absolute aloneness. If I cry, nobody comes.
I remember one way of trying to feel part of the group is to go up to people after and say how I relate to what they shared. This time I didn’t greatly relate to anyone’s share though. Maybe next time I will try again.