I used to have a rule. If I ever feel like getting high and staying home instead of going out and doing something — anything — then I’d make a point to do the latter.
Otherwise, it would mean I’ve given up. That there’s nothing out there for me, and anything the world has to offer is no better than what I have in my house and on the internet. It’s a rule that served me well for years; one that kept me healthy and balanced and off my ass.
So when I found myself in my neckbeard nest after another month, not particularly caring whether I got up or showered or shaved, I knew I was in a bad spot. Of course, just knowing there’s a problem isn’t enough to rouse one into action when basic hygiene hardly feels worth the effort.
The only activities I managed to do, perhaps because they made me feel something, were listening to terrible music and watching things suffer as they died. Eventually, I even started tanking ranked games so I could get easier matches (an empty calorie habit I hadn’t had in years). Without the motivation to do anything productive, I lost more and more of myself until all that remained was a husk of a person.
I gradually turned to Heather for relief. Each day I’d just wait for her to come home from work so she could help take my mind off the suffering.
Meanwhile, the stress of the holidays caused her to retreat to work and sleep and social media. We ended up seeing less and less of each other at a time I needed her more than ever. I would tell her how hopeless and sad and unsatisfied I was, and she kept expecting me to get better cause I hadn’t cried in months1. I couldn’t help but think of Kath in Portlandia, trapped in the backyard tent, firmly telling Dave while freaking out, I REALLY NEED YOU RIGHT NOW, and vainly trying to hug through the mesh.
Nothing I did could make my biggest ally understand the depth of the hole I was in. I felt abandoned and unheard while she kept acting like nothing was wrong. Eventually, even the brief moments we did have together lost meaning.
Things finally came to a head when my anxiety got the better of me and I had a full-blown panic attack. On a night like any other, my heart suddenly started pounding violently in my chest, then I couldn’t breathe or feel my hands. I had nothing to look forward to anymore, no way to form positive memories, and my body decided to warn me of this by repeatedly and violently ejecting the contents of my stomach.
Seeing me in such a distressed state was finally enough to make Heather understand how wretched I was feeling. She apologized and promised to make me a priority again, but I was left not knowing who to trust or what to believe. My panic attacks continued on and off for a few weeks, until I reached a point of desperation where I was willing to try anything to get them to stop.
- My 2g dose of aripiprazole was certainly doing it’s job. My psychiatrist described it is putting my emotions in a cast. The lows were less low, but I paid for that in numbness. [↩]