The author finds himself walking between depression and hope. A strange place to be. (Written during a depressive episode in 2010.)
Mood music for this post: Henry Rollins’ “I Think I Know You” performed over “A Warm Place,” from Nine Inch Nails’ “Downward Spiral” album:
Yesterday was a perfect example of the strange place I’m in emotionally these days.
It started well enough. A good Mass at church in the morning, a phone conversation with an old friend, the laughter of my wife and kids filling the house. I found myself looking forward to the coming week’s work projects and was especially looking forward to my 2-year-old niece’s birthday party in the afternoon. I even made it through several pages of Slash’s autobiography.
Then, somewhere between 1 and 2 p.m., I had a brutal mood swing. It came on as suddenly as the flame that ignites when you drag a match across sandpaper.
The match in this case was more worry about the financial difficulties I wrote about over the weekend. The allergies assaulting my senses didn’t help matters.
I’m usually pretty talkative at family events, but once we got to my sister-in-law’s house I found myself feeling socially awkward. I looked around at family members who I usually love to be with and decided I really just didn’t want to put on a happy face and socialize. My head started to throb.
So I did what I’ve always done in situations like this. I found a room nobody else was in and dozed off. I’ve always had a kill switch inside me that goes off in times of heavy emotional stress. I go right to sleep. Then I wake up later feeling fine.
It’s a gift, I suppose. It keeps me from doing other things, like getting smashed or being mean to people whose only crime was to me in my presence when I wanted to be alone. I used to binge eat during moments like this, too. But as the reader knows by now, that’s not an option these days.
So I’m pissed with myself now for letting my emotional weaknesses get in the way of what should have been a nice afternoon with family. Fortunately, my sister-in-law Amanda took a lot of great photos so I can at least see what I was missing.
As a result, I missed precious moments like…
Sean showing off his latest Lego creation:
Duncan running around with the remains of his snack all over his face, along with a little blood from some rough playing:
The birthday girl blowing out her candles:
Why toss my dirty laundry on here, when the better thing to do is just let it go and move on? Because it’s a relevant example of how one’s demons can still surface at the worst moments, even when you’ve reached a solid level of recovery as I have.
No matter how strong a person in recovery is, he/she is still ALWAYS seconds away from failure.
That’s not a complaint. Just a simple fact. I’m not a special case.
As is usually the case in this blog, I have a positive ending for you:
Because I have God, an amazing family and recovery on my side, the troubled emotions will surely pass. They’ll pass because instead of sitting on my problems, I’m going to do something I’ve learned to do in recent years.
I’m going to tackle the source of the bad emotions head on and do what I must to set things right.