Mental Health

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole of Painful Memories

Sometimes I think that I’m making progress and the shit from the past has settled down and resumed its rightful place in the past.  Maybe I am making progress or maybe I’m not, but every once in a while some of that shit makes an explosive reemergence.  It only takes one little nudge in that direction to make things fall apart.  There are many metaphors I could use.  What originally popped into my head as a title for this post was scratching the surface and breaking the ice.  But the straw that broke the camel’s back also seems appropriate, as does getting nudged and falling down the rabbit hole into a depressive whirlpool.  I feel like I’m rambling and not making a lot of sense.

I’m in this place of not making sense in my head after something someone said that was not in any way meant to be hurtful.  But that slight nudge pointed me in the direction of this particular rabbit hole, and in I plunged headfirst.  I had a freeze response, and remember focusing my gaze on my hand suspended in the air.  Then the tears began as emotional memories swirled around my head.  Those memories had to do with having my fragile self torn to shreds by my manager at one of my jobs, a psychological shit-kicking that is the reason I now refuse to work any shift other than graveyard.

This whole mess happened while I was working a night shift at said job, and I hate when I lose my composure at work.  The clients were all asleep, so it was just my coworker around.  He was the one that unknowingly triggered my journey down the rabbit hole and then probably wondered what the hell was wrong with me.  This particular individual has been subjected to my own personal brand of crazy more than once now, and I would imagine he’s a bit tired of it at this point.

I’m writing this maybe 3 hours after the incident happened.  I’ve finally got my composure back, but I feel mentally exhausted.  Physically, I’m feeling dizzy and I’m freezing cold.  I feel somewhat embarrassed in the sense that I wish my coworker didn’t have to see that, but I recognize it’s not as though I deliberately chose my reaction.  Clearly there’s stuff that hasn’t been dealt with, even though I haven’t thought about it for a while.

I could come back and edit this later before I publish it, but I think I’ll leave it as is.  My brain feels like a scrambled mess.  Down the rabbit hole and shit out the other end.  I think I need to keep my stupid mouth shut at work.

Building resilience: A guided journal from Mental Health @ Home

Building resilience: A Guided Journal will help you to reflect on and build on your existing internal resources. It’s available as a free download from the MH@H Store.

21 thoughts on “Falling Down the Rabbit Hole of Painful Memories”

  1. Late night residential coworkers are clueless at best, cruel and manipulative at worst… been there!! Trust me, whatever that guy said is worthless. He may have even sensed it would upset you and he wanted to watch the action. Please don’t give him any value in your life.

    1. He was actually trying to be supportive, and I can see that now that I’ve had some sleep and settled down. It just happened to touch on a subject that was really triggering.

  2. I think you are making perfect sense. It’s the ebb and flow, the sneakiness of mental health. Sometimes you carry on and feel the progress. Others, it’s like trying to swim upstream. I think it’s worth mentioning that your sense of seeing past embarrassment to recognition that the reactions are not always in your control is proof that you have not fallen too far down the rabbit hole. You will get back to a place where you feel near the surface enough to climb out. Forgive me, I just had to follow the metaphor, even if it sounds silly. I do hope you are continuing to take moments to show yourself kindness today; you seem based on your previous posts that you are usually so good at finding ways to care for yourself amidst the difficult days.

    1. Thanks 🙂 I’m already fee;ling better after getting some sleep, and it’s reassuring that I’ve managed to bounce back so quickly.

  3. hugs sometimes people don’t mean to say something the way we take it in or they mean well but it came out wrong and some times it’s just our brains I guess. I hope you feel better soon!

  4. I’m certain that you are making progress, at the very least you are developing a better awareness of yourself and your illness as time goes on. It is all too easy to be triggered by something innocent and then the spiral begins… I’m glad you’re feeling better about it now and have a little perspective (often found when distant from the incident).
    I’ve had an extremely triggering day with a new mental health assessment – 2 hours and loads of tears, feeling completely drained.
    Take care x

  5. I’m a nightmare when I’ve not had enough sleep. Some of my worst episodes have happened when I’ve had a real lack of sleep. Pleased to hear you’re feeling better ✨

  6. I totally hate when I lose my composure at work. I’m super lucky that I have a door. The other day I closed it and cried almost the entire morning.

    I hope things feel better for you. <3

  7. Sorry you had to go through this. Any chance you can have a day off soon to recharge? Last time I lost it at work was when my major event for this downward spiral began. It was terrifying both to have myself be seen so vulnerable and because I had to accept people helping me. I also lose my ability to talk, my throat almost completely closes in a fit of crying, and people get more and more nervous by the second when I just can’t explain what is going on, which doesn’t help at all.

    1. I now have 3 days off in a row, with a massage therapy appointment today and yoga tomorrow but otherwise nothing to do. It will definitely help.

  8. i know im late responding to this but…hugs. we all have off days. im sure your coworker was just concerned, and did not think badly of you, hopefully he has some empathy. i hope you can process your feelings from the past with a safe person soon. xoxo

Leave a Reply