I commented the other day in Koi's lj about what I felt was my "emotional vacancy" in the face of disasters and other people's crises. For a while I linked to this. Then I felt self-loathing come over me, and posted an apology, then took even the apology down, along with my original comments. I've been avoiding the emotional pull of the tragedy. I've been feeling depressed and desperately out of balance for over a week and it has nothing to do with what's going on in New Orleans. Whenever I've veered close to the news I've been hit with some degree of the anguish everyone else has been feeling, and rage and shame. I slighted myself by saying that I can't feel things like that but I do sometimes avoid them, like when I don't feel I have the emotional resources to go there, like now. I'm wrapped up in trying not to drink or cry and trying not to completely space out and start losing traction again at work. I feel like a pathetic excuse for a human being right now, and all I can do is keep trying to tell myself that this self-hatred is old and familiar, an old known enemy, and probably a backlash of coming off two drugs and starting another that isn't helping yet, and even so, thinking about all this just drives home how self-absorbed I'm being, and the more I disgust myself at a time when the rest of the world is showing rightly focused concern on what's going on. And here I am posting about this instead of lending my voice to the outrage. I've been wanting to just slink away from lj and everyone. But these are the same kind of feelings that I've had in the past when I'm at my worst, and if I give in I'm going to backslide and sink even more into the shitty dullness and immobility and self-hatred and the old patterns I've been working at pulling out of.
So this is my self-absorption and me talking about myself when terrible things are happening to other people but if I just go mute it'll be harder for me to pull out of the tailspin. I could easily spend the better part of a year or longer worrying myself sick over what other people think of me and I know that because I've done it before. So anyway, I realize this might seem like a pretty pathetic spectacle, and some people might even read all this as if I'm trying to divert attention away from things that are important and to myself. It's more that I was already focused on myself before this and still am and probably will be for a while. And if I'm posting this now it's for the same reason I drew attention to my comments in Koi's journal in the first place, as a kind of self-disclosure. Because I feel like I have to try and know myself, even when I'm an asshole, and then I usually feel obliged to explain myself so that I don't feel like I'm fooling people.
I might not have posted this at all but the daily digest for my yahoogroup women's sobriety list came. I went from no-mail to digest months ago, trying to make myself pay more structured attention to my issues, and then began regularly deleting all the digests unread, but I looked at this one today, and someone was mentioning how she thought that women who abuse alcohol "feel deficient in a core way" and are "just fighting to feel better." Not related to Katrina--just a general comment. I couldn't find rules against quoting (or any at all) and I wanted to. It struck me because it's what I was commenting about the other day, a sense of insufficiency or shortcoming in myself that never entirely goes away. I've been feeling like an alien for that, more than just recently--always. I know this is a bad time to be wrapped up in my own shit, but maybe if you've clicked through and read this far, it's of some kind of interest. Or you could be disgusted by now. I do have a vulgar craving for people to like me even when I'm showing them my loser side, so I'm going to resist dwelling on whether I repel people. Go, me.
I'm turning off comments only because I don't want people to think I'm fishing for comfort or absolution or anything. I just wanted to talk, because it usually makes me feel better to put my thoughts into words and get them out there, and to imagine that people reading my lj might be (at times like this) a kind of faceless but benevolent support group--supporting just in the sense of listening--even if that's kind of a rose-colored glasses view.
And, just to keep in character, I'm now going to go eat cookies.