Just Frances

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I fell

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 26th, 2013 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: widowhood, sad, immigration, health, friends, fear, family, faith, crazy, confession

The truth is, I fell. I fell really, really hard and I spiralled a bit. OK, maybe I spiralled a lot.

It started last September when I began to lose hope and faith about my visa situation and my academic abilities. I was worried and stressed and frightened and, quite frankly, stressed beyond safe levels.

By October, I had spiralled so deeply into a world of stress and misery that I had a hard time keeping myself composed when my Mom was here visiting. I struggled to enjoy her visit, and I’m sure it dampened her holidays.

When I learned that not only did I pass my master’s course, but that I did so with distinction, I was momentarily joyed. But then I fell again. And even when I got the good news that I had a temporary extension on my visa (giving me more time to make my application) I struggled to be happy.

When November came around, I was still struggling to get up. My graduation was filled with bitter-sweet joys and memories and the uncertainly around my visa meant that I had to cancel plans to return to the homeland for Christmas. And when December rolled around, so did the loneliness of being alone.

Yes, I fell. And to be honest, the bruises and scrapes from that fall are still healing. I still feel tender and uneasy on my feet and I fear that my instability will cause me to tumble again at the slightest little obstacle.

Part of me wonders if I would have felt as out of control and desperate if my blog had been up-and-running. Part of me wonders if I would have been better if I had someone to share my life with. And part of me wonders if I would have fallen no matter what support mechanisms I had in place. And part of me wonders what would have happened if I fell without having friends (real and virtual) to reach out to.

In fact, whilst I was in mid-spiral, I found myself wondering if it was possible to fall any further—and if my state of desperation was the tipping point for irrational thoughts. Yes, I found myself wondering where the line was between desperation and suicide.

Oops! I said the ‘s’ word! But I promise you, at no point did I contemplate harming myself. I merely found myself wondering if the poor souls who have chosen that route felt like I felt. And I found myself looking online to see what others had to say on the topic. I even wrote a short piece about why I wouldn’t kill myself, no matter how bad things seemed. (I may share it here one day, but not today.)

So no, I wasn’t suicidal then and I’m not now. But I did frighten myself by even wondering where that line was. Hence the reason I got in touch with those friends, as mentioned above.

Thankfully, I have managed to stay on my feet since the New Year. Yes, I've managed to be a happier me. I’ve had a moment or two of tears and stress, but I’ve managed to keep myself pulled together—despite my continued stress about my visa.

Yes, I have managed to re-connect with my Desiderata view of the world.

So, if I’ve picked myself up, why am I admitting that I fell? Well, I suppose it’s because I keep thinking about it. It’s because I am afraid of falling again. And it’s because I need to admit my weaknesses and fears from time-to-time. And it’s because I want to acknowledge that everyone falls—and that sometimes people will fall and you may not even notice it.

And I’ll leave it there for now because I have to go to Edinburgh to spend the day with a friend. After all, I’ve learned that the more time I spend with friends, the less likely I am to fall.

Comments

I know that probably no one can change the way you feel but I want to know you are in good company. I’ve been feeling that way myself and it is scary. Especially with a new baby. I don’t want to be labeled with postpartum, or have anti-depressants that I’m allergic to shoved down my throat. I know that I have reasons for feeling this way and a pill is not going to make those reasons go away (but how I wish it could). I also tend to get that way when I’ve been in the house too long or when the weather has been bad for too long. Sometimes I get that way right when the weather changes. Your also were limited with your funds in ways that you haven’t been in a while. That can be depressing too. Don’t worry so much about falling again, because you most likely will. All that you can do is learn what helps you get back on your feet faster and you seem to be doing just that. Hope you shake it soon! I really admire your ability to get things done when they need to be done. You’ll get through this!

by Sharon B at 12:49pm (GMT) on January 26th, 2013

Oh, Sharon. I am so sorry to hear that we’re in common company here. Especially as you have the wee one to think of. I think you hit a good point there, in that I don’t want to be ‘labeled’ as as something (depressed or otherwise) and I certainly don’t want pills. I know what’s causing my emotional pain and I believe that I can fix it by being more active and surrounding myself with positive people.

That’s not to say that medications aren’t the right choice for some people, it’s just not right for me—at least not now.

My hope is that these feelings will subside once my visa is here and I can finally start to think about my future. I think that a lack of ‘stability’ is in part to blame for these negative feelings.

But, I do know that having friendly people on the other side of a Facebook message (yes, that’s you!) helps. And so does sharing these feelings with the nameless strangers who read my blog.

And, Sharon, I am always here to chat if you need me, too. (And we need to discuss that swirl I want to make for your wee boy!!)

x

by Just Frances at 1:22am (GMT) on January 27th, 2013

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