CW: Self-medication, suicidal thoughts (nothing specific about either), depression
Where to even start? I’ve written an entire novelized version of everything, but, oh my goodness, this year deserves a summary and a post.
This year, I’ve become a real human. I’m no longer a wannabe emotionless robot. I’m human with all the joys, sorrows, successes, and failings that humans have!
I also no longer believe that I have alexithymia. Through noveling about this year and my past in the 3rd person I have discovered some very interesting things about my inner and early life.
At some point, in my past, I made the protective decision (or my mind did, it doesn’t really matter how conscious it was) to get rid of my emotions. To me they always felt dangerous. They constantly got me in trouble and nobody ever taught me how to deal safely with them or kindly with myself when I was overwhelmed with feelings.
So poof. I disappeared them. But of course, one’s feelings are part of oneself and so they never really went away. Instead they piled up and periodically would overflow, at which point I’d have a severe meltdown and construct a stronger, better containment system.
In college, I know now, my containment system went down completely. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever experienced. The more I tried to reach out and tell my friends what was happening, the more isolated and alienated from everyone I became. I was so overwhelmed that my thinking and feeling were incredibly erratic and probably damaging to those around me, just as they were to me, myself.
So I withdrew and self-medicated in an attempt to avoid the obvious solution, which was to stop living altogether. But I knew that would hurt the people I loved to an extreme degree so it wasn’t an option, not really. No matter how seriously I thought about doing it, the thought of my parents and siblings and Counterpart having to deal with the aftermath was too much for me to consider inflicting on anyone, no matter how much pain I was in.
I spent the next two years stoned out of my mind all the time. Cannabis saved my life, there’s no doubt about it. It allowed me to manage without feeling completely overwhelmed by my emotions. It allowed me to rebuild my containment system in the image of the Chernobyl Sarcophagus, because that was one of my interests then: the abandoned city of Pripyat and the nuclear meltdown that so closely resembled my own inner life at the time.
My life was saved, but the problem, the root of it all, hadn’t been addressed at all in any way. I didn’t have the support, the self-knowledge, or the strength to cope with how overwhelming and terrifying my emotions had gotten.
My emotions had been treated so poorly by me. I’d locked them away nearly my entire lifetime. I threw them into a dungeon, denigrating and ignoring them instead of caring for and tending to them as they should have been.