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26 June 2002

I keep having the feeling that I am always perilously close to emotional collapse, and am holding on only by sheer willpower and the refusal to give in.

I've felt like this for a while, but it's been pretty intense ever since school's ended. I just feel like so much is wrong, and so little is right, on so many different levels. I keep feeling increasingly depressed about the big-scale social issues I care about; it all seems utterly hopeless. It's wretched that so many people suffer and so much is unjust, and I know I'm not going to make a dent in any of it. I have to try not to think about it.

So I try to think smaller-scale, about the personal issues in my life. This is really not a good strategy to attempt to stop the emotional distress. I just feel so... lonely. I mean, I know that I have friends who like me. And that's a good thing. But, nobody really actively loves me.

The concept of active love is one that I came up with a few years ago. It's something that's beautiful when you have it, and aches when you're without it, no matter how many friends you have. Because you can have plenty of people who think you're a nice person and care about you. Yet you're not really on their priority list, they don't think of you very often without particular reason to. So if you only have friends, and no one out there actively loving you, you know that whatever time you care to think of it, there's probably no one out there who's actually actively thinking of you and caring about you at that moment.

Oh, being without this is not tragic. One should be able to be content without it, especially when you have the benefit of perfectly good friends. But it hurts especially when you know what it feels like to be a recipient of active love and to drink it in, and then you feel the emptiness of its absence. And, when nothing else in your life is going particularly well and you're looking for something that's happy and meaningful, you notice the lack.

There are just very few things that are helping me stay happy and positive recently, and many things-- some large, and several million small-- that are getting me down. I just feel worn out. It seems like there hasn't been anything that's made me deeply happy in a long time, and so when the small things that make me happy become fewer and farther between, it's really, really hard.

But I told myself several months ago that I was going to be stronger, that I was going to take personal responsibility for my emotional state. And sticking to that is all I can do right now. It takes a lot of energy to keep bringing myself back from the brink of collapse, but I keep doing it, over and over again. I'll end up in tears over something else that feels like it must be the last straw, feel utterly miserable, then grit my teeth and shrug my shoulders and move on.

Oh, I'm not constantly miserable. I've had good and happy moments since I've been home. But there haven't been that many, and inbetween I just have this feeling of general unhappiness. I'm really incapable of keeping my mind blank; I'm always thinking about something. And none of these thoughts ever seem to be uplifting. There's nothing big to be happy about, and all the little things never seem to be enough.

I don't know. I just feel really lonely and isolated and deserted. Sometimes I feel like I want to cry out for help. I don't know how I could be helped, and I think that it probably isn't a good step in the whole "Britt's journey to self-reliance and emotional health" thing, but honestly, I've been emotionally damaged recently, and I need to find a way to heal that before I attempt perfect emotional health. I feel sort of battered and bruised inside right now, and as the bruises heal with time, there's this sort of all-round ache that will not leave.

I suppose by writing this I'm effectively crying out, although that wasn't my purpose-- I just need to write things out sometimes. Of course, I feel like I'm whining and complaining, and that this unhappiness of mine will drive people away from me. (Did I mention the wonderful consequences for my emotional well-being of my increasingly critical perceptions of my character? Yeah, I know, I'm bright and cheery.) But I suppose that if people actually care about me, hearing this won't send them running, and if it does, then it's probably good for me that they don't stick around so I know where we stand. I don't know, I'm confused. I don't have any grand plan. I can't keep calculating the effects of what I say on other people. I just say things and throw them out there and see what happens.

The summer is stretching out in front of me, long and lonely, and I'll consider it a victory if I can somehow find a way to at least make it tolerable. Not that there's any guarantee that things will get better when school starts again, but there will at least be a lot more of the small things that make me happy. I've just got to hang in there.

 

Last updated 5 September, 2002

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Intellectual Property Rights denounced by Britt Gordon-McKeon, 2002