All of those game systems came with a reset button -- a button you could press to get you out of a tight spot and back to the beginning of the game. Sure some progress may be lost along the way but it gets you back to a safe point. In my current situation I am trying to find a way to tap into that when anxiety hits me hard and from all sides. I know I can’t physically go back to somewhere else but mentally I am trying to find a way to reset myself so I can leave work at work and move on to the next task. It is really tough to do that sometimes.
My mental state can be classified as unstable, go ahead and say that if you want. I guess my level of enjoyment is consistently buffered by my own kind of high expectations I have for myself or my expectation that something bad will soon happen. In my current state of mind (a lot has gone wrong, maybe expectations haven’t been fulfilled, living situations haven’t worked out, big decisions have totally failed or gone the wrong way) that would be hard enough. But work in my new obstacles -- anxiety and depression enter stage right -- and a lot of bad feelings multiply in my little head. Not to mention that depression can hit at any time. It hit a lot last weekend (not the one that just happened, the one that started ten days ago) Those are the moments that I need to hit the reset button -- otherwise bad thoughts get momentum like a snowball rolling down a mountain. And let me tell you, that little snowball can turn into a damn avalanche quickly (metaphorically, of course).
It’s times like those when I start thinking self destructively and start reaching out for help in kind of crappy ways. Uncertain postings on social media websites. “Vaguebook” style posts. Letting a lot of people know I am not okay at the same time and generally forgetting that sometimes people will talk about what they see on the internet, especially if it’s something or someone they care about. I have forgotten the power of the english language, especially when you let people know that there’s a whole lot of bad going on.
To remedy this I have tried setting up a couple of centering points for myself. Just events and memories that have worked out and were all around good things. There are a couple of them… you had to have been in the moment with me to understand why these are so good, warming, and nice. These are important things to think about but they are hard to grasp when you think everything’s falling apart.
A note about everything falling apart… with my current condition, it’s real easy for me to start thinking that everything is falling apart when, in fact, it’s merely something not being right. Yes I do worry a lot about things, but that’s because I have seen some things that I planned out and banked on completely fall apart. Those things are painful to experience and they don’t give me much hope for future events. I have spent 46 consecutive hours in bed because I really don’t want to go anywhere for fear of failure. Another note about everything falling apart is there’s been some moments in my life that I have lived through that I consider unforgivable moments -- things I should have been able to prevent, didn’t, and now I have to “pay for them” for the rest of my waking days.
Forgiveness is tough as nails to do, especially when you are faced with trying to negotiate forgiving yourself. That process for me involves re-opening wounds, going back to the certain point in time in which the event occurred, wondering why things happened the way they did, pointing out little things I could have done differently, and… it usually ends in frustration. I get pretty caught up in the moments leading up to the moment. It is pretty tough to get through that stuff and forgive myself entirely, especially if it’s a self inflicted event that’s haunting me years later. That being said, I need to try and work on doing this no matter how much pain it causes me. This will take a while.
Back to the main point here. I have a lot of fears and bad thoughts in my brain. I go through a day at work and consistently get to thinking about these things because when something goes wrong, I think it’s a byproduct of everything else in my life that is somehow related to that bad thing and has happened to me and affected me negatively. If too many things go wrong then we’re in trouble. So that’s where I need to reach out and hit that damn reset button because if we get too far along in the cycle there’s trouble to be had and bad thoughts become really grim ones.
What it feels like is that I am rolling through all these punches by myself, generally. It is true that we all personalize our own experiences. I just wish that my bad experiences wouldn’t keep creeping into my daily life and throttling me when the chips are down. One important thing to consider is that everyone has bad days. Everyone struggles. Everyone aches a little bit. That being said… I don’t really want to be perceived or seen as weak. I want to be a fighter, someone that presses forward even though there are pitfalls. That also being said, I’m stuck in that hole too, the hole that says “Well, show some emotion, but don’t show too much.” That is tough on me because as far as personal information goes I don’t know what is too much, what isn’t too much, and how people are going to react. I guess being visibly emotional is really risky because your ideals get thrown against a wall of reality and the person who is overcome by said emotions is left to pick up the pieces. Usually someone else helps (or tries to) but the majority of the piece picking up has to be done by that emotional person. (Got that? If you’re emotional, you’ve got to find a way to handle your shit somehow.)
I guess to finish the concept of the reset button and hopefully tie that loose end up I just have to remember that despite everything that’s happened, despite the amount of shit that’s hit the fan, despite a lot of uncertainty, despite loss which we can never get back... there’s been some alright moments in this man’s life. Some moments have taken a while to develop, some are instant moments of gratification, some are kind of good, some are very good. All I have to do is consider the good. It’ll be hard in those tough moments, but it’s worth a shot. And if it doesn’t work, hopefully I can find a way to reset myself and get set for the next challenge.