I’ve taken more and more to logging my mental state at times where I feel something significant (good or bad) has happened and yesterday was one of those days. It’s was a very weird and quite disturbing day. I woke up in the morning not in a great mood, having been woken up the night before about 02:30 by a friend of my landlord lets call him Fred, being a drunken idiot banging on the door to the house. I know that nothing I say to either Fred or my landlord will make him any better, not only does Fred choose to forget that other people live in the house but I also believe he really could not give a shit. It’s not the first time he has been an idiot, it won’t be the last. So my sleep was broken and as a result of that getting up at 06:30 to go to work was not easy.
I went through the motions though, packing my rucksack quickly, throwing clothes on and getting out of the door on time, my brain not entirely sure how it’s going to cope with a full day of work after only four or so hours sleep. I got to work on time in a bit of a zombie state, just before I get to the office thinking that I probably left my bike keys at home and that’s where today went from bad to worse. I think it’s probably due to my lack of sleep but I fell directly into a state of panic as my brain calculated all the possibilities it could think of. Can I go a whole week on public transport? Could I go home after work and get my keys? Could I get my landlord to mail me them? Do I want my landlord going into my room and rooting round? Is there another alternative? All this happened in seconds, a tornado of thoughts with me caught fully in the maelstrom. I ran over the same scenarios coming up with the same answer and it was frustrating me. I had already lost focus, it had gone so I did what I thought was right and booked the return train ticket back to Bristol determined to go there and back after work.
I was angry at myself for being affected. I was angry that I was in such turmoil about not having my keys. I was frustrated because it was going to cost me a minimum of £25 to go home and get them, not to mention the 3+ hours of travel. I was angry at myself for being angry. I was frustrated because I had been doing so well and now here we have what I thought was a major fuck up. I hated my brain for being so affected by that idiot banging on the door, frustrated that I didn’t prepare better and all I could see was frustration and anger. I have talked before about my frustration and how it blinds me and today for the first time in a long time it really showed it.
Work ended and I got down to the train station and jumped on the train closing my eyes for as long as possible to calm my mind a little. Attempting to put distance between what had happening and how I felt about it but I couldn’t. The hour trip passed, I got off the train and began walking up the hill home listening to music from my headphones. Halfway up the hill home and a small scene plays out in my mind as it wanders. I remember taking my keys off my trousers and putting them on my bedside table, then I remember a few moments later reminding myself what I am like at 06:30 on a Monday and I vaguely remember putting my keys into my bag so that I don’t forget them. A small slightly knowing smile crosses my face as I realise I have probably had them with me all along. I am 95% sure this is what happened but there was no point turning round just now I may as well walk back to the house to confirm my suspicion, I needed to eliminate the possibility I was wrong.
At the house as I found no keys but I grab my spare set just in case and now slightly more angry with myself for allowing frustration and anger to blur my judgement. I walked back to the train missing one by four minutes and having to wait an hour for the next, getting me back to Didcot for 21:30. I grab a bus back to the office, unlock and walk in switching on the light. Low and behold my bike keys were in my bag all along and now I am really disappointed at myself to add to the mix of emotions. I should of checked the bag, why didn’t I check the bag? I’ll tell you why.
I fell into a state that I have been in before where frustration, tiredness, and anger clouded my mind fully. I had no idea that I had been extra clever at putting them in the bag at the weekend so I did not forget them. I really thought I was over this, I really thought that because I have not been in this state for what feels like some time that I had finally managed to be rid of it but sadly not. It’s easy to see with hindsight that if I had slowed things down and actually either checked the bag or thought a bit more about where the keys might be and not how stupid I was for forgetting to bring them I could of saved myself a whole heap of trouble. Seeing through this cloud of emotion is really difficult, I can recall other times where I have been in a similar situation and it took writing all this down to realise just what has changed. Normally in this state, with this many triggers and with this many emotions floating around I would of previously turned to self harm. Something to turn the emotions into pain that will eventually fade, something to focus my anger into. I should feel very proud of that.
It took a long while for me to focus onto the fact that I should be proud for not turning to pain. The cloud is so hard to see or move through that I feel exhausted after and it takes a bit of mindfulness to get this far. I am still quite stupid and disappointed at myself but I know that will pass in time. I am human, I am fallible, things happen, life moves on.