Help Me.

by Blank
(Albany, NY)

There are so many things I would like to touch down on I do not know where to begin. I feel like a half person, a failure, of little more worth than nothing. I can not sleep or I sleep too much, it affects me deeply. I am in college, yet I can not make my classes because I am always fatigued. I blame my academic failure on my laziness but I know deep down in my heart it is my emotional instability.

I try to remedy my feelings with eating or cleaning. Both of which occupy the entirety of my life. Lately I have not been eating well; I can no longer bring myself to eat the foods which once brought me great joy. As for my need to clean, it is at an all time high. I do my laundry 3 times a day, and feel a great need to organize my clothing and cleaning supplies according to size, color, and texture. I also have to constantly check this order. These things occupy what is left of my day.

On another note, I cannot deal with my anger. I often suppress it. I try to mimic the faces of the people around me because I'm not in touch with myself. Lately I developed a habit of stealing when I get angry, since anger is my mood everyday, I steal every day. My emotions vary so intensely. I can be exceedingly happy and confident, so confident, and then at like the drop of a dime I am sad. I get so sad, it is almost disabling, it is disabling. Sometimes I am even silently hostile. So much so, my judgment is impaired. I become bedridden and unable to do anything. Except clean that is. Everything in my life is disabling. When I am not bedridden my body has to be in action, I cannot stop moving even for a second. When I do stop, I become intensely feverish. I am not even social; being around people makes me so anxious as if I am a specimen on display at a museum.

Lastly, my relationships with men are destructive. I implore so much into a perspective suitor I convince myself I am in love with them before knowing anything about them. I am afraid of being left behind or being rejected. Sometimes I wonder if I should end my life, I have tried before, I find myself thinking of ways to do so. And it is very vague but sometimes I think someone is talking to me, someone beyond my conscious mind, some unseen being. Help me.

Ben's Answer:

Wow -- I can really hear how much emotional pain you are in. Your constant cleaning and ordering of things is a very classic Obsessive-Compulsive behavior. Many people have these sorts of issues - and many do a great job of hiding it from others. It is always done as an attempt to decrease anxiety. Cleaning in particular is something I often see in people who grew up in abusive or alcoholic homes with very controlling or absent parents - and they were expected to help by cleaning, or as children they simply took on adult responsibilities - either to gain love and approval from the parents, to avoid parent's anger or punishment, or simply because the parents were absent physically, or emotionally.

I don't know if that's the case for you, but I see that a lot. Difficulty expressing anger is very often a part of this issue too -- and I see it particularly for women in this case.

It's interesting that when you stop moving around and doing doing doing -- you feel feverish. Like all that unexpressed anger is a volcano inside and you start to feel the heat when you're not distracting yourself with compulsive activity.

Fatigue is another common result of suppressing emotions. Anger has a lot of energy. It takes a lot of psychic energy to block or suppress your anger, and this may be a reason for feeling so tired all the time. You might appear unemotional or shut-down to others, yet deep down you may be a pressure cooker - and what you feel as a result, is anxiety.

I strongly recommend that you see a therapist at least weekly, if you're not already. And it should be a strong, skilled therapist who can really help you to access and express your anger. It seems to me that this is the area that may lead to the greatest relief of your anxiety, your social fears, your fatigue, your need to clean and control your environment....

A therapist that uses EFT would be especially good. Especially if you have past traumas or family issues that led to your current difficulties.

Don't give up. These issues can be healed. But doing it all on your own would be far more difficult at this stage. You could probably get some relief using EFT on your own, but you may need someone to coach you and help you to use it in the most useful way. There is help out there - you just have to ask for it.

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