I’m often described by psychiatrists as high functioning. They arrive at this conclusion through my ability to work, pay my bills and turn up to appointments. This perception is consistent with how most of the people that I interact with on a daily basis, view me. But, that’s only part of the picture.
High functioning is often associated with being driven, focused and goal orientated. I can be all of that… and more.
The problem is that when I’m focused and goal orientated, I’m ONLY that. There’s no balancing influence from any other part of my being. I skip breaks at work, I work longer, I do work at home… all of this adds to the focus on work, to the exclusion of everything else.
Then something snaps, and I lose time. I wake up in strange places. My thoughts start coming in sing-song poetry. And I get hurt.
But the hurt doesn’t matter; because, as soon as I wake up, I’m high functioning again.
It becomes a cycle. All I remember is the high functioning work.
This is the place I’ve been in for the last fortnight, or so. It feels like my only reality. I don’t have access to anything to do with healing. I don’t have access to anything, unless it’s for work. I don’t care that there is nothing but work.
I know I’m losing time. But because I don’t have any sense of that as being distressing in any way, I really don’t see the problem.
I’ve been in this place before, but not for this long. It’s usually associated with denial, but I’m fully aware that there has been abuse in the past… I’m just not connected to it in any way. But then, as a contradiction, I watched this flash mob video yesterday morning (which is aimed at raising awareness of child trafficking, sex slavery and exploitation), and cried.
I’ve always liked Annie Lennox, but never really connected to this song until I heard it in this context. The girl in the video is ignored, despite holding a rather large sign. Then, people come in to be with her, before leaving her again… alone to deal with the world around her. People will soon forget that anything happened, and nothing will change.
Some of the lyrics touched a nerve…
I wish that I could be that bird
And fly away from here
For I am just a troubled soul
Weighted to the ground
Give me the strength to carry on
Till I can lay my burden down
Give me the strength to lay this burden down down down
Give me the strength to lay it down
But my my I feel so low
My my where do I go?
My my what do I know?
My my we reap what we sow
They always said that you knew best
But this little bird’s fallen out of that nest now
I’ve got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I’ve just got to put these wings to test
Then, when the girl was left alone, there was a change to the lyrics, which highlight the isolation that is felt…
My my I feel so alone
My my where do I go?
You would think these tears would mean something, some connection; but they don’t. All there is, is an intellectual reasoning as to why the video moved me to tears. I’m not even aware of the reason for the tears now, or that it was “me” crying them. I can now watch the video with no emotion. It’s a puzzle to work out, rather than to connect to.
I know this state is dangerous, but because I’m not connected to anything, I don’t get a sense of urgency to alter what is happening. Maybe high functioning isn’t a myth, but for me, I get a sense that it’s lonely. But don’t worry, I’m not connected to that feeling for long either… time for more work.