I’m trapped in my head. I think the hardest things about SRA are the feelings of shame and worthlessness. It’s like they are within me, weighting me down. It’s an indescribable pain. If I pay attention to my body I end up shaking and dissociating. Usually work helps but at the moment it is just stressing me out.
I am away at this conference and it’s been really lovely. At the same time there is this massive gaping hole within me. It’s like black lava. I am surviving but as I said to a survivor friend today, I constantly feel like I am on the edge of a breakdown. I don’t think you could pick it (I could be wrong), but inside there’s a part of me thinking, any day now, you’re off to the loony bin. Maybe I will re-emerge all bright and bubbly with a sharp witted personality and razor edge humour.
A writer spoke at the conference this afternoon and all of her jobs and networks were built at the bar. Too bad for me. Being an ex alcoholic I can’t hang out at those places. Sometimes alcohol gets you places but I’m one of those people where it just took things away. It made me feel even more disconnected. One of the worst things about being an academic is the belief system “if you can’t do, you teach”. I don’t look at other teachers this way, but I look at me like that. It supports the belief I am a failure. I have nothing to bring to this role. I shouldn’t be doing it.
I am thinking of changing industries, yet I have no idea what I would do. Mental health work seems obvious given my head. I seem to have lost sense of what I do and what I can do. Like I have a set of skills but they’re not mine you know. I guess that’s dissociation. I spoke today to someone and started talking about arts education and creative practice and a part of me was like “oh yeah, I forgot I like that. That stuffs cool.” Its like I have to remind myself what I do again. As though the projects give me grounding and purpose. Otherwise I forget the point of living. Maybe I’m switching I’m not sure. I just think I am in a depression.
I keep wanting to defend myself. I’m exercising you know. I prayed and tried to meditate with God this morning, you know. I had moments of reprieve today and it was nice. Then I sensed me again or saw me in the mirror and felt sad.
I feel a lot of shame about sharing my depression and poor mental health. I feel embarrassed. As though it’s my fault. I’m perpetuating it by writing about it. I’m a victim. Keep surrendering moment by moment. Inch by inch.