Depression, Paranoia and the ‘Anti-arrogance’

Part of the reason behind this blog, was for me to talk – to myself if need be – about the ups and downs of my life. A cathartic way of unburdening myself of the things rattling about in my head – without the need of a late night heart-to-heart with someone who’d probably rather be listening to themselves snore. The thing that’s been getting to me today is ‘other people’.

Commuting through any major city at rush hour is always going to be stressful, but when I’m not feeling at my best emotionally, the trials and tribulations of getting from A to B feel… personal. That person who bumps into me as they get off the train, that guy who cuts in front of me on the escalator, that woman who overtakes me on the path – they’re all doing it to annoy ME and what’s more they are all working together.

The sensible part of my brain knows those last two statements are utter cobblers. But that doesn’t stop my emotional side from picturing them coordinating their efforts in a panel van like some anti-me SWAT team, ready to leap out at me and ruin my morning.

I’m aware this all part-and-parcel of my ‘dark feelings’. I never like calling it ‘depression’ because that feels too serious, too clinical for me. I’m not ‘bad’ enough to allow myself the label of the ‘depressed’ and until someone else steps up and says so, I don’t feel able to fully join that club. But these feelings cut me off from society and make me suspicious of all around me. I get to work feeling relief that I can close myself off from the real world for eight hours, and hide at my desk.

It’s interesting how all these feelings of outward threat actually all resolve themselves around me. It’s the world doing stuff to me, it’s me these bad things are targeting and it’s me the fates have got it in for. I have some friends who are self-confident and perhaps arrogant and all they talk about or reference is themselves. It bugs me that they think the world revolves around them, almost as much as it pains me with jealousy to watch them soak up and enjoy the world. But that self-obsession is what I’m doing. That feeling that everything is about me is exactly what goes through my head when someone takes ‘my’ chair on the train. But where the arrogant draw energy from this self-centred approach, I lose energy when I place myself in the middle of everything.

It’s like the more the world picks me out, the more of me is flaking away and I have to struggle to keep myself together. It’s not like I don’t like being centre of attention – heck, I’m writing a blog to make my thoughts public – it’s just it has to be on my own terms. I have to be the one in control. If I am, then that energy of attention flows in to me and makes me happier and more confident. Which in turn, allows me to generate more interest – to be the life-and-soul for example. But when I’m not in control, the energy flows from me and I become a shade drifting through the day. I find myself trying to avoid human contact for fear of drawing the wrong kind of attention and haemorrhaging energy that I just don’t have in reserve.

Maybe it’s time I tried to take that control.

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