My mood has always depended on the little things.
This fact is often helpful. If I’m slowly dying from an eating disorder, but I bought cute boots and my coffee is delicious, then I’m in a good mood.
Unfortunately, the inevitable flip side is that if everything in my life is going well, but my bus is five minutes late, it’s a disaster.
Today is an example of the latter case. Sort of. Pretty much everything is going well for me right now. I’m making friends, I’m earning good grades, I’m getting #thosegains around three times a week at the gym. I also feel incredibly lonely a lot of the time, and my depression is much worse than I would like. But I’m not overdosing anymore, so my doctors are thrilled.
Anyways, here is the actual story. I made a burger for dinner and put it in my room while I used the bathroom. I knew Zoloft (my cat) wasn’t in my room, so I figured I had time before she tried to eat it. I came out of the bathroom and looked around for the cat, and my roommate told me she put Zoloft in my room because she was digging in the garbage. I ran into my room to find Zo eating my burger. So that went in the garbage and I had no dinner.
This story probably sounds like a bummer, a minor inconvenience. But tears are streaming down my face right now and I am considering just taking some Ativan and calling it a night.
Here is the event in my brain. I am exhausted. It has been a relatively long day. I’m really not feeling great emotionally. I came home feeling weak, and looking forward to eating. I spent around ten minutes making this burger, which is about nine minutes longer than I usually spend preparing a meal, and I was going to eat it in my room and watch YouTube videos. This was going to make me feel okay. I was in the bathroom for maybe thirty seconds, and now all of that is gone.
I could go make another burger and continue with my plans ten minutes later than I had anticipated. But instead I’m crying in my bed without dinner because that wouldn’t be the same. My expectation of eating THAT burger and watching YouTube videos and being happy is gone. And I did nothing to deserve this.
I understand how unreasonable I am being. I don’t understand why I am reacting this way. But I am. And I have done this before.
Maybe I have been approaching this breakdown all day, and this seemingly- innocuous event was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Maybe my happiness is just fragile, always a cat-eating-a-burger away from shattering and becoming depression and loneliness and sadness.
Maybe this is a symptom of my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which had irreversibly fixated on having THAT burger when and how I planned to have it.
Maybe my control issues have been triggered by this sudden change of plans. And the fact that I can return from a trip to the bathroom to find a different reality than the one I had expected is what’s crushing me.
Like I said, I have done this before. When I was younger, I would attribute my extreme reactions to something “serious” happening in my life at that time. And adults understood. My childish meltdown was the outcome of bottled and displaced emotions originally caused by a “real” problem. I have a specific memory of getting unreasonably angry with my friend Lacie on the same day that my dad was moving out. I remember crying to my mom that “I don’t want daddy to move out.”
But that wasn’t why I was upset. I was just angry with Lacie. And I always felt that I was lying when I blamed my emotions on a larger problem. Even today, I don’t feel like ongoing stressors finally caught up with me. I feel like I wanted that burger.
So, I don’t know why I reacted this way. Maybe there is some meaningful psychological reason, or maybe I’m just a piece of shit who flips out over nothing. Either way, it feels like shit.