Inconsolable

I had a very hard time sleeping on Monday night. I think I was nervous about my job interview Tuesday morning, but I was also just extremely agitated. I couldn’t get comfortable and I felt something that I struggled to identify. Loneliness? Grief? Sadness? Emptiness? Anger? All of the above?

I’m not sure.

When I mentioned it to my wife and we spoke about it, she said that she believed she briefly spoke with a part that she’s never talked to before. She guessed perhaps it was Scooter because this part seemed young, but also very angry, expressing intense anger at my therapist for leaving us (i.e. going on vacation). Interesting.

The interview went very well. I wasn’t particularly nervous for the actual process of being interviewed. My résumé is stellar and I have a charismatic, articulate, confident presence that tends to impress people. I also went into the interview knowing I’m a very good match for the company, so I was more or less scoping them out to see if it seemed like a good fit for my career trajectory. I ended up being quite impressed with the two interviewers. There was a moment when I could tell they switched from “interviewing” me to “selling the job” to me, which felt nice. I love the idea of being a prize candidate and I’ve worked damn hard for it!

What I did feel anxious about, however, was the reality of sitting for an in-person interview. I’m at the tail end of this particular HR process – in fact, I should know by Friday if I’ve been selected. Which is great, right? Well, yeah. Except it’s also terrifying. So although I felt calm and confident about being interviewed, I’m scared as hell to actually be offered the job!

I’m not ready to be an adult again. Being a student affords a sort of nurturing environment, where expectations are high but you’re also recognized as someone still in the process of learning. Being hired means you’re expected to do the damn job. I know this company values taking on new grads to “mold” to their standards, thus they heavily emphasize continued training and education. But still…the days of being the intern are over. From the moment I get a job until I retire, this will be it: 40 hour work-weeks plus some overtime, two weeks of vacation, federal holidays, a handful of days off for illness, personal time, and continuing education.

It’s so overwhelming.

I think part of what motivated (motivates?) my eating disorder is the fear of taking on responsibility. Starving myself holds me in a place where I feel like people need to pay attention to me, take care of me, worry about me; expectations are lower. I feel like a kid.

Anyway. I came home from the interview and I felt utterly exhausted. I called “Mom” to update her on the interview, but she didn’t answer. She called back about a half hour later, but at that point I was too low on energy or enthusiasm to talk to her (or anyone). Then I started to feel super agitated. I laid down on the couch and cranked up the air conditioning, cuddling into a pillow.

But I still couldn’t settle. I couldn’t find any comfort within my own body and it was agonizing. I kept trying to think of ways to distract myself or soothe myself: watch TV/movies/youtube videos, read a book or comic, listen to music, do something creative like draw or color, exercise, browse social media, anything. I made myself something small and comforting to eat for lunch, and then I started to feel myself transition into what I call my “foodmonster” state, where I’ll eat anything in sight. Luckily, Wife and I agreed to remove trigger foods from the house (for now) so there was nothing foodmonster-worthy for me to devour. Which admittedly pissed me off and made me feel very helpless. I wanted to numb my feelings, dammit!!

At this point I begrudgingly realized that I was simply inconsolable. There was nothing I could do to calm down the painful emotions I was feeling. I’m not even sure what I was feeling. I know it was related to the aforementioned concerns regarding adulting, but it was mostly linked to my therapist’s current absence. I wish I could somehow articulate what I keep feeling around this vacation – it’s familiar, but somehow I just don’t have language for it yet. All I know is that it hurts me on a very visceral level. The pain of not having her available to me, of not being able to see her or speak to her, of not having that space to unload and explore my emotions is tremendous.

So I gave in and decided I had no choice but to “ride the wave” for however long it may last. I made myself as comfy as possible, moving to my bedroom with the lights off, the A/C on high and the fan blowing gently on my skin. I tucked myself under a pile of blankets, including my weighted blanket, and snuggled into the myriad pillows and stuffed animals I keep on my bed. Then I just laid there and let myself feel whatever I needed to feel.

Eventually I feel asleep and when I woke an hour later, I was tired, but the feeling was gone. For a while. It creeps back in every now and then, but I’m doing my best to just let it be.

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28 thoughts on “Inconsolable

  1. Paper Doll says:

    The end, where you talk about just letting the wave ride, where you feel inconsolable, that’s where I am. I am going to dive into a pillow of stuffies and blankets, put on my heating pad, and watch something – once I manage to eat.

    I don’t have many words right now, but thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. Your post reminded me that it’s ok to try to ride this out.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sirena says:

    In the face of being inconsolable, you chose to use self-care and that’s so great. I also love how supportive your wife is and how open you both are about the parts. Out of interest, when does Scooter normally come out?
    P.s. Adulting is the WORST.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ambivalencegirl says:

    How you describe your eating disorder is so accurate, it’s just complicated and honestly makes no sense yet perfect sense. Foodmonster time, I love that word. I hate being hungry. A bottomless pit yet filled with emotions and emptiness at the same time. I still can’t quite distinguish the difference between exhaustion and hunger but they both require nourishment it some way. Take care Andi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      Absolutely. I hate being hungry, too. It’s intensely activating for me and I just feel completely chaotic internally. I’m also still struggling to identify what hunger is, differentiated from other sensations (it’s hard!). Thanks, dear ❤

      Like

  4. Attachment Girl says:

    Andi,
    The feelings you are describing around your T’s absence sound like they’re coming from such a young part that you were pre-verbal. i found those the most difficult feelings/memories to deal with. The intensity can feel more like tides moving through you, they’re so strong and visceral, but since you are thrown back to a time before you had access to speech, they feel so impossible to express adequately. Every time I tried to describe them to my T, he would understand enough to help me, but I never, never felt like I really managed to convey my inner experience. I think you are remembering the early deprivation when you absolutely should not have been on your own but were. No wonder you feel inconsolable, there was no one there to console you. It could sometimes help me to remind myself that these feelings, no matter how intense, were memories and I already survived it. Your T will return and you will no longer be alone with the feelings. But in the meantime, have compassion on yourself that you managed to survive such a painful, visceral experience of abandonment. But you’re not being abandoned now. Hang in there.
    AG

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Hi AG, thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment. You make such a good point, one that I hadn’t considered. I think the idea that this wound comes from a time when I didn’t have access to language yet makes perfect sense. It would certainly explain why the emotions around this are so difficult to articulate. That does allow me to settle a bit and although I struggle with self-compassion, I’m thinking my instinct to “swaddle” myself may have been more poignant than I realized at the time.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Bradley says:

    A tough day, but successful in so many ways. Your confidence regarding the interview and the job is commendable. Also, I’m impressed that you felt the need to take care of yourself and you chose to relax and ride the wave. Positive stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. e.Nice says:

    I echo the others. Really good job on taking care of yourself. I imagine it was a combo of missing therapist, job interview, and all the scary stuff. Adulting does suck. But there are benefits too. Really happy interview went well and really, really proud of you for taking care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. alicewithptsd says:

    Good job on the interview, and I hope things go the way you want them to go. I don’t really like having to be a grown up either. I’m always amazed at the people who have feelings similar to me, that manage school or going to a “real” job. I’m not sure I could do it. I think it’s brave of you to try, and really, just, strong of you, too.

    I’m sorry you felt inconsolable. That sounds really awful to have such painful feelings and no access to words. I struggle the most when I can’t find the words. I think it’s really good that you stayed with the feeling, I’m not sure I would have been able to. Sending hugs and support. This week is almost over. Xx💟

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rachel says:

    Sometimes I find it hard to distinguish exactly what the feeling is, and the source. Because there might be a lot of different reactions happening all at once. Your response to your feelings is so inspiring, really proud of you for giving yourself a lot of love and acceptance. I know it wasn’t easy to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Life in a Bind - BPD and me says:

    It’s so amazing that you decided to ride it out and then did it! 🙂 So hard to do, rather than trying to fight it or _do_ something to make it go away, but I think when you _do_ ride it out, it’s more peaceful after, and a bigger gap before the feelings come back – or at least, I hope you find that’s the case. Not as long now to go until you see her again, thinking of you x

    Liked by 1 person

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