Sometimes I get in despair-spirals. They have some of the following flavors:
- I’m not good enough
- I’m shameful somehow
- Life will never get better
- Life is too hard
This sometimes feels cathartic, like it needs to come out. Like it’s good to have a nice cry and let this feeling be felt. If I find myself starting a spiral like this but I try to short-circuit it, it’s not likely to work; or it works but leaves me feeling somehow even worse.
When I’m in it, too, of course it feels bad, but it’s also kind of appealing. It’s raw and pure and there’s no responsibility; if I say “this all sucks and I never wanted any part of it,” then it’s not my fault that I’m so miserable in it. (where “this all” can be “this spiral” or “my current situation” or even “life overall”)
Of course, eventually I have to come out of it. I’m learning that, the sooner I come out of it, the better, despite the kind of “warm bed on a cold day” appeal of the spiral.
I’m also learning what it’s like to be able to come out of it. I can’t just get out of it on command, at any point, but when it’s been a while I can start to hint at the ability to come out of it. And the language matters: “snap out of it!” doesn’t work, and “it’s ok, no hurry, do whatever feels right” leaves me stuck there. But “could I come out?” feels pretty good. I can ask myself that and sometimes the answer is no but sometimes it’s yes. Then, I can start to feel positive again.
This whole set of feelings and reactions seems really important to learn.
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