Hole inside

I was in town earlier when that thing happened. Not the knot-in-the-stomach-panicy-guilt-ridden-anxiety-dread thing, the other thing. I realised I was feeling hollow, as if there was a hole inside me, in my gut, and I was being chipped away from the inside. I remember wondering how far the feeling could go, could you get chipped away completely until there was nothing left, or would you just become a thinner and thinner shell, the skin of a person with nothing inside, a facade.

Now this was clearly a not good thing that was happening, but it wasn’t exactly distressing, because I wasn’t exactly properly connected to myself to be able to feel upset. I have a whole list of metaphors to try and describe the feeling: I had slipped sideways; I was misaligned with my self; like part of me had misprinted and was slightly to one side (remember old fashioned 3 colour prints that had to be lined up?); the connection wasn’t wired up properly; I was dislocated. There were more metaphors I thought of earlier but I forget them now, anyway that should give a general idea.

So, there I was, wandering around town, with this hole inside me, knowing that things weren’t right but not quite caring, no that’s not right, not quite being able to remember how to care is more like it and not sure what to do. I was a bit like Goldilocks trying the too hot porridge and the too cold porridge except the just right porridge was no where to be found. I didn’t want to go home, but I didn’t want to stay in town. I remembered feeling like this in town before, remembered wandering around aimlessly for a while and that that hadn’t helped in the end. I couldn’t remember anything that had helped but I knew that when I came round having done nothing all day would make me feel worse. I knew that I’d had a badly interrupted nights sleep (thanks to a certain small person) and I’d not had very much to eat, so maybe I should get some food, it couldn’t hurt and may well help (plus you can’t really go to sleep in the middle of town). But I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to eat. I didn’t want anything sweet, I didn’t want soup, I didn’t want a sandwich, I didn’t want meat, I didn’t want anything vegetarian.

In the end I got a fruity yoghurty smoothie thing, but waiting around in the busy cafe whilst they made it wasn’t fun, I didn’t like being amongst all the people and I had to concentrate to reply to the baristas banter.

I’m not sure what’s going on with this one. I can’t see an obvious trigger (although the sleep/food thing can’t help) but I do associate it with being in town. Maybe it just manifests itself differently in different situations or maybe it’s town related. I don’t think it happens frequently, but it was familiar. It’s hard to concentrate on the feeling now, but I want to try and pin it down. If I can’t work out how to prevent it happening I would at least like to think of a plan for when it does happen.

The distraction of a fabric shop helped temporarily (ahh, fabric), but it came back again as soon as I left. I did go home once I had my smoothie, as I knew my husband was there. He could tell something was up, but I couldn’t really explain what, I didn’t have any words. A big hug helped, but his sixth sense was obviously impaired by being ill and he went off and starting doing something and the feeling stayed and I was in one room, still all listless and not knowing what to eat but unable to go and find him in the next room and explain.

I had jobs that had to be done this afternoon and I think doing something helped, the feeling lifted slowly, like a mist. When I remembered to check it was still there and then now its gone but I can’t tell you when it went. I think picking the kids up from school helps bring me back into focus, they sort of demand all your attention. But I was really tired and had a nap on the sofa after picking them up – but was that related or just catching up on last nights lost sleep.

I’m not sure I like the sound of this dislocation thing. I don’t wish to to overplay it, but I realised today that the whole feeling unconnected thing reminds me of a temporary watered down version of what Allie describes here and Fiona describes here and I do not like the implications of starting to have similarish feelings to people with clinical depression. So instead of forgetting about the feeling once it’s gone I’m trying to get a handle on its slipperyness and find all I can out about it and what might trigger it and what might help.

Work in progress then. But I have cogitated and remembered and written it down and now if there’s a next time I can start to track how frequently it happens.

3 thoughts on “Hole inside

  1. I admit that your experience sounds similar to my depression. But, I always end up in knots trying to figure out if these experiences are all part of my depression, or just part of life. I refer to it as being “unplugged” – when I feel like I’m not engaged on any front, and I’m simply not plugged in to what’s going on around me.

    Whatever the feeling is – clinical depression, something else, just an “off” day – you’re already way ahead of the game. You notice it, you’re thinking about possible triggers, and most importantly, you realize that you’d like to have some strategies in place if/when it returns. Those are all positive things!

  2. Unplugged is a good expression for it. Thankfully it’s not returned since, in fact today has been really good. Now to remember to keep mulling over strategies so that I some up my sleeve if it happens again (when I’m feeling ok I forget so quickly about the bad days)

    • Glad to hear that today is good. Not just good, but really good! 🙂 I’ve realized that I definitely need to have strategies – got through a bit of a rough day yesterday with very specific goals. In fact I should probably keep an ongoing list of the things I know I can (need to) do when it feels like a crisis is impending. Hope your good stretch continues.

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