Thursday, 16 May 2013

'I think therefore I am'....really though?

I know it's a really famous quote and all, and I do kind of get the jist but it never really sinks in beneath the surface, doesn't really resonate with me. Am I being a dummy? It's not an unfamiliar place for me to be. Anyway, this quote has been floating around my mind quite a lot recently, bobbing around the synapses when it's not buffeted with all those mundane thoughts about food and thighs and calories and all that kind of oh so important stuff that I absolutely must not let myself forget to think and worry about!!! Because it's completely logical that if I don't spend  an extravagant amount of time obsessing over all that then of course I will lose control and balloon to the size of a pregnant hippopotamus and the world will come to a standstill because I ate that extra square of chocolate... Anyway TANGENT- sorry about that!

So what I started as quite a flippant entry is going to turn quite depressing, sorry. Please stick with me though. So the dude (the rather self assured dude in my opinion) who said the above must have been pretty secure in himself in a way I can't imagine being, for him just to know he was thinking was enough to assure him he was existing. When I'm feeling happy and emotionally stable, when my thoughts aren't so frantic and aren't so hemmed in between the same familiar barriers of anxiety, I am actually able to appreciate this. Unfortunately I'm not always in that level headed, platonically contented state of mind.

As you know I don't much like being alone. I have got a lot better at tolerating it. It doesn't keep me awake at night so much or cause palpitations or send me whirling into the GP's surgery begging for pills to chill me out or knock me out (I wasn't really fussy at that point). But I still don't like it. In reality there's hardly a day I have to face completely alone. My mum works two days a week (long days from 7.30 am til 8.30) and on these days I structure my activities to minimise the time I have idle and vulnerable to thoughts that I don't want to have and I always try to meet a friend or two. If for any reason I can't meet someone I stuff my day with an itinerary full of errands and trips, sometimes inane and unnecessary, but completely necessary by lieu of the fact that they fill the time and fill up the space for grim thoughts and worries. Sometimes if people ask what I've done with my day I perform a kind of internal blush and try to disguise the fact that although I've run round like a headless chicken, travelled on about 7 buses and stayed out of the house from 9am til 6pm, I haven't really achieved much in other people's eyes. Although in my ashamed and skewed eyes; just getting one more day down is a massive achievement, one bettered only by getting to the end of a day and realising I actually enjoyed it (occasionally that does happen-shock horror! I know).

However on those days of being alone, even with my little ram-packed schedules, if I don't meet anyone I begin to feel strange and lost. Meeting people grounds me, ties me to the earth in some way. Once I am with someone or have been with someone then it's as though I can feel my feet firmly on the ground, my steps support the whole and real weight of my body. I am connected to the same world as everyone around me. After a while of being alone I feel like someone's tying helium balloons to me one by one. The longer I go being alone, the more balloons become attached, and gradually I feel the weight coming off my feet. Now people talk about feeling so light on their feet that they feel fantastically alive and vibrant; for me it is the opposite. I feel floaty and uncontrolled, trying to keep myself down and attached to the earth like everyone else. I feel like a ghost, inhabiting the places familiar to me but unable to connect to it. Ok, so maybe this sounds a little dramatic but it's the truth. I don't much like it but I accept it. I can accept it because I know it's not a permanent state of affairs, I'm never alone for very long. So when people say to me 'You always have done so well; even when you were really ill you kept your friends, most anorexics lose them' I don't say much in acknowledgement because secretly I think: if I feel so crap now with friends how royally fucked up would I be without them to keep me in the real world and not floating off into the ether of depression and unimaginable loneliness? It's not a matter of 'doing well' it's a matter of self fucking preservation.

To sum this up I guess you could say I feel I only exist when I'm with people. I don't mean in a crowd, that sometimes makes me feel more like I'm floating or drowning than anything, but among people I know. I crave to hear my name come from someone else's lips, for them to acknowledge I am there and so are they, and we connect across the sea of people who don't know me and don't care about me through the simple calling of my name. I need to be needed, otherwise I am truly nothing. I suppose that's why I want to be a mother so much. I want it because I am selfish and want to create someone and become their world like my mother was (and still is but it changes in intensity as you grow older in some ways) to me.

Wow, deep stuff, well done if your still there, you can go and get a cup of tea and lie down now! Goodnight and beware of the helium balloons!


  1. ohmygosh, i am the same. I am only justified as a person when im surrounded by other people. then i can relax that im not missing out on some big secret that everyone else knows about how to exist, how to be healthy, be free. I need to compare and watch over what others do so that i can feel like its ok for me to just be...
    im home alone alot of the time too (when im not at work hence weekends and holidys are a massive struggle for me - i HATE empty time) so i can relate to that feeling of needing to be out running mindless errands just to be doing SOMEthing... its a tough battle trying to just be at peace with time and space.

  2. well thank god I'm not alone but also so sorry you suffer this too because it's god damn awful isnt it!?
    I marvel at people who can just go home at whatever time they want instead of being terrified to get in before whatever o'clock and instead of stressing they just slop infront of the TV- I would LOVE to be that at peace to just enjoy time. I'd love to know how to 'relax'!

  3. Wow. That whole reality thing made sense to me. I know this is a really late comment, but I just found your blog. Although I am not diagnosed, I believe I have suffered from depression for a really long time. People always comment on how I'm so quiet, well it's because I feel like I'm not actually there. I'm just some cold calculating being looking in. Kinda sucks when you try to make friends right? I'm not as quiet now, but I still am introverted and friendless.