When I can’t trust my feelings

I’ve noticed a pattern, and I don’t like it.

It starts out when I’m in a lot of pain or extra tired or unusually weak or suffering from some other symptom in the extreme. Sometimes I’m upset or stressed out, sometimes I’m not emotional at all. After all, I’ve been dealing with these symptoms for a long time. Sometimes I’m fairly zen about it. Sometimes not. The pattern plays out either way.

The details vary, but something or other upsets me: a friend’s comment, a lover’s actions, a parent’s advice…. something. I respond by explaining why they upset me. I think I’m being reasonable. I always address issues head-on. Only instead of the usual productive conversation, they’re hurt. They’re upset. They can’t understand why I’m so sad/angry/hurt. Their reaction is just wrong! We talk. I feel bad and I don’t know why. I apologize. And eventually I have to admit that I’m not seeing things clearly.

This happened again today. It happened 2 days ago, also. It happened several months ago. It’s happened sporadically over the years. And I don’t know how to stop it. Because I don’t know that I’m not seeing things clearly until after I say something that someone else finds hurtful or offensive. I don’t realize it until it’s too late.

Until now, the people I care about have been very forgiving. They seem to understand that sometimes I’m just not myself. They know that whatever it is, it’s not intentional. They know that when I feel better, I return to myself. They know that even when I seem irrational, I care about them. But I wonder, will something happen some day when they won’t forgive me? Will it go too far?

This has happened twice in my current flare, so I know how to be extra careful. But what happens during the next flare? Or the one after that? Who will I hurt next? Who will I accuse of doing something terrible, when they were only trying to help me? I know it will happen, sooner or later. I just wish I knew how to stop it.

14 Responses to When I can’t trust my feelings

  1. Thanks for sharing this ! 😊

  2. Many of us do that when going through the ill periods of our diseases. I usually just hide somewhere in my house, and everyone knows to stay away from me because I can be a real bitch.

  3. Lorna says:

    You are not alone! It must be something to do with how our brain reacts when it is overwrought.
    I can believe that what I am saying is true, that I have seen it and almost argue with hubby to the point I am right. Only to realise later that I was confused and not right. But at that moment my brain believes it is the truth and it seems really clear.Its the oddest thing and I seem powerless to stop it.
    I don’t believe that you would do anything to alienate your family. They might get angry or frustrated at the time but they understand you. That’s what love is. Stop worrying about something that might not or will not happen,
    Hugs Lx

  4. Julie Ryan says:

    For most of my life I’ve been guilty of reacting too fast (without thinking). It’s something I’ve been working on for years, and will probably work on forever. I have learned that I NEED to stop and take a breath before I respond. If it’s via email, don’t hit send. Write it out but DO NOT hit send. If it’s verbally, breath, count to 10, and then breath again. I’m better about it when it’s online, but verbally I’m still not good and often respond too quickly. But,I do find that the more effort I make the better the results.

    • chronicrants says:

      That’s great, Julie! It’s impressive that you’ve recognized something you want to change, and you’re changing it. Good luck!

      • Julie Ryan says:

        I’m working on it. I don’t know if it’s a product of my interest in Psychology, or if my interest in Psychology is a product of being very introspective. Either way, I will say that it’s not always a good thing to be constantly aware that you need to change. I think that type of introspection may be some of what leads to high rates of depression. Just speculating.

      • chronicrants says:

        Hmm, good point. I try to change certain things, too, but it’s not a daily chore. I guess intensity and frequency are parts of it – occasionally trying to change one thing at a time is very different from constantly criticizing every aspect of yourself. I hope you are finding some balance in all of that.

      • Julie Ryan says:

        I worked with my Psychologist on it for a while. He suggested tracking every time I had a negative thought (about myself, life, anything). Basically, when the thought occurs. Stop. Write it down. Not necessarily what the thought was, but just that I had another one. Over time, just forcing myself to notice the negative thoughts and realize I was doing it did help decrease them.

      • chronicrants says:

        That’s an interesting approach. I’ll have to try that.

  5. My new girlfriend has noticed that I get emotional at night, especially the night after I take my weekly meds. I get worried about the future and generally upset enough to cry. Otherwise I can usually let things not worry me so much. Do you notice a pattern to when you get upset? The idea that there’s a pattern makes me think I should be alone at those times when I’m feeling very needy.

    • chronicrants says:

      That’s really rough. As for me, I’ve found a few patterns, and I think at least some of it could be predictable to someone close to me, but I’m just too close to see it. I hope you can figure out a medication adjustment to help with that! Or at the very least, it sounds like your girlfriend is really insightful and hopefully understands.

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