Being a Troubled Soul Without Looking Like A Troubled Soul

I don’t know where you’re going, but do you got room for one more troubled soul. I don’t know where I’m going, but I don’t think I’m coming home and I said, I’ll check in tomorrow if I don’t wake up dead. This is the road to ruin and we’re starting at the end.

Along Together- Fall Out Boy

Funny thing about emotions – they can be wonderful one minute and the next, they can fucking suck. I’ve always carried around demons since I was a little kid. But being a little kid, I could compartmentalize my opposite environments.

World One – The Happy World

I am loved, protected, and doted on, really. There is laughter and fun; a lightness and effervescent energetic. I am happy, carefree, fun, and enthusiastic. I love it.

World Two – The Scary World

There is confusion, loneliness, chaos, instability and manipulating. There is a fearful and anxious energy. An internal battle of feeling like I am bad inside, an outcast who doesn’t fit and who is unwanted. The way that “love” is expressed in this world confuses me because it doesn’t feel like love. It feels wrong. I am bitter and resentful, unsure, lost, hurt, and angry. I hate it.

Yet, when I was in one environment, the other didn’t exist. It was as if I was living in two completely different lives. I was two completely different people. I wanted so desperately for my two worlds to integrate as one and for everyone to be happy together. I realize now, I felt an immense responsibility to try and figure out how I could fix things, change things so that I could feel that everything was going to be ok.

In the scary world, internally, I begged and pleaded. I longed for the care I so desperately needed. Terrible feelings would creep in at night or when I was alone with my thoughts, it didn’t matter which world I was in at the moment. Sometimes, I couldn’t control it and my negative feelings would explode in my happy world. But they never showed in my scary world. I couldn’t express how I felt for fear it would exacerbate the situation.

It’s funny that no matter how hard I’ve work on myself, no matter how self aware I’ve become, those negative feelings, never really leave me 100%. I don’t show as a “troubled soul”, quite the contrary. From the outside looking in, everything seems great. I seem great. I know that things are falling into place for me to be happy and successful both professionally and personally. But those feelings I felt in the scary world will creep in more often than I care for, to remind me they are there. And when they do, it’s not fun and it’s not good. It’s when I’m a troubled soul without looking like a “troubled soul”

I know that’s why drinking for me was so unpredictable. Those around me never knew what it was going to be like. They had to manipulate and figure out how to keep me “happy” when I was in a drunken state. Even when I wasn’t actively drunk, my anger and frustration at the world was clearly evident. Not to mention I was dealing with ptsd, presenting with trauma responses, and dealing with an undiagnosed mental issue on top of that. Recently, there were circumstances that led to an extreme overwhelming desire to drink again. To the point where I wanted to say fuck it and down drinks in secret for a short while, like a week or so?, and then I could get my shit together and go on as usual without anyone knowing. (We all know that’s an impossible scenario). I was angry that I knew I was going to tell my boyfriend, my best friend, and my therapist. Because I didn’t want to. I wanted to drink again. I wanted to do what I wanted without anyone telling me otherwise. I knew all the things, all the reasons I quit and all the reasons I needed to stay sober. But I didn’t want to be sober. The level of frustration I felt I haven’t felt since I stopped. This situation put me back at square one mentally. I had to go through all the feelings all over again and that was infuriating. I went about 4 and a half years without alcohol, finally getting to a place where I could live my life comfortably in sobriety, deal with the struggles and get through them unscathed. But this was a different level. It took me a few weeks of white knuckling, talking about it in therapy twice a week for 2 weeks, calling my best friend several times and talking with my boyfriend to get through it. It was probably the most angry I’ve been in sobriety about being sober. Going through that only to be met with scary thoughts… it’s super fun.

While the intensity and frequency of the emotions have lessened with sobriety, therapy and appropriate medication, it’s still a dark, unhappy place to go to. And most of the time, it’s right out of blue without warning. And despite my rational brain telling me that I will feel better, doesn’t help the struggle to get through the storm of it all. It’s quite difficult, because the hold these feelings can have are strong and in the moment, it feels that I won’t get through it and that they won’t subside. Although, rationally I know they will. At the lighter moments of these dark feelings, it’s an apathetic, tired, I don’t want to do “this” anymore. At the darkest, it’s I want to cease to exist. I want my world to stop. It’s a weird feeling of thinking about death without actually wanting it. On the contrary, for me, it’s wanting to live a life that’s extraordinary and wanting that exhilarating feeling of being alive. But in the moment that desire feels like pure fiction and a figment of my imagination, one that I’ll never be able to attain. And that’s when these feelings fucking suck. Because I just have to let them be until they go away.

To express it in terms of music, because why not, I immediately think of the lyrics Stephan Jenkins so poetically writes in his song Narcolepsy, “I’m on a train. But there’s no one at the helm. And there’s a demon in my brain who starts to overwhelm.”

So, here’s to the overwhelming demon, who at this point I think I should give a name to, since we’ve pretty much best buds my whole life. He’s there when I struggle with my ptsd, with sobriety, and even when the sun is bright and shining. And while he’s quiet and chill, he’s still there. He rings the god damn doorbell incessantly and pounds on the door until I let him in. While I relish in his occasional but all to frequent drop ins, he always has to overstay his welcome.

But! So to not be a total bummer with this post, I’m so thankful to my boyfriend, my best friend, my therapist, my mom, and my inner circle for their support. I may not always tell them when I’m going through rough times, but having them in my life helps me get through. I’m also grateful for my dad and my uncle.

While I’m not religious and don’t have traditional beliefs, I do believe that they watch over me. I can feel their energy at times, and even if that’s all in my head, it helps. I wrote at the end of my last post for encouraging others, “you are stronger than you think you are”. And now I use them to encourage myself. Even at times when I don’t believe it, I know I’m stronger than I think I am.

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