I came on here to delete my last post, because it was so personal and so raw, and not the kind of thing we’re supposed to talk about.
But I am going to let it stand.
That’s because it is actually a very good depiction of what it’s like to be inside an RSD spiral. It did, in fact, get even worse after writing. I decided that probably he realised in real life I am a bit fat, so I stopped eating for almost two days. Or maybe he thought my breath was bad so I became obsessed with mouthwash. My rational brain knew damn well neither was true.
As I may have mentioned before, my brain runs on parallel tracks. I can know something is ill advised, irrational, and bad, but on another simultaneous track my world has fallen apart and I am beating myself up about something that was actually not my fault at all.
The next day I looked back at all the whatsapp messages (and then deleted them, and him) and realised that I had not bombarded him at all. My behaviour was perfectly reasonable and in keeping for the beginning of a relationship. And, in fact, I had been on top form. Casual, chatty, witty, quirky. I sent him some super texts, that he just replied “haha” and a laugh emoji to. He went to see a film I want to see so I asked him how it went. He said “Yeah, OK”.
I realised that actually I had been great, and he had fallen short. It still was the best connection I have ever had with anyone on a date. I do respect that maybe whatsapp isn’t his preferred communication choice (but I offered to phone…), but really there is only so much I can do, and he had plenty of the best of me, more than he deserved.
The stuff about being lonely and having no friends was an exaggeration but contains some truth in it. I am currently working on ways to remedy this. But I am fine, I really am.
Anyway, the thing with RSD is that when it strikes it is brutal, and I plummet into the depths, but it is usually short lived. I wonder if it is a kind of emotional version of ‘man flu’. (By the way, I definitely get man flu). It is a way of dealing with it by complete immersion, and then full recovery. It may actually be quite efficient.
But at the time I find it so hard. I cannot bear being anything other that healthy. Illness, heartbreak and hangovers are all things I simply cannot afford to have. I have too many things to do, too many people rely on me, and feeling under par brings me disproportionately low.
The whole grey phase of this particular RSD lasted about 48 hours, which is the usual, and then I woke up one morning to a blue sky and was totally fine, like waking up from an illness. The interesting thing about it though, is that even in the greyest depths there is another parallel track in my mind. This is the track on which I appreciate the garden, and the birdsong, and the bright pink salvias still flowering in the garden, and my boys’ beautiful thick brown hair, and my son being the narrator in the school Nativity play, and Wolf Alice’s ‘My Love is Cool’ album (my favourite at the mo) and and and… so many good reasons to be alive. Holding on to that parallel track, even if it’s by my fingertips, is the key to survival. It’s the life raft to cling to during the RSD storm, until I wash up on the shore.