I would be lying if I said part of the purpose of this blog was not catharsis. I’ve always found that getting the emotions out of myself through inertia, words, and conversations was both helpful and necessary. For the sake of honesty, I began officially working on this blog a few weeks after I sunk into a depression. This is one of the worst depressions I’ve experienced since I was cognizant of what depression was. Definitely top five, if not top three. To write about it is to do everything in my power to try and make it better today.
Most days I wake up and hope it will be different from the next and this is when I’m not in a full-blown depression. I wake up, I look around me, and I get as close as I can to praying I won’t have a crisis. On bad days, I don’t walk around with hope it will feel different, but an inability to even leave the house. If I do venture out, I hope nobody says anything to set me off, because my triggers are both numerous and wide-reaching. Somebody once told me, “There is no safe topic with you except for the weather.” While that hurt immensely to hear somebody felt that about me, I can admit that on a bad day for me, there is some truth to his statement.
There are certainly specific subjects that trigger me more than others and the most common are related to women and treatment of women, especially in a sexual context. Most of my adult life has been cyclical. I dated one man who was emotionally abusive followed by a man who was wonderful. I dated another man who cheated on me much of our relationship followed by somebody I was considering moving with across the country. Each time, the initial relationship stuck in my psyche like an especially rich caramel in your teeth and partly lead to the demise of the healthy relationship. At this point, after dating somebody for seven months who lied by omission about the nature of his feelings for me and refused to commit to a relationship with me, I feel hopeless.
I feel like I walk through a fog and when I’m at home, which I barely leave right now, I feel as if I have a bug inside my brain poking at the neurons that code for motivation, preventing them from completing their synapses. I cannot bring myself to play guitar, to work on my to-do list, to put in effort with most of my friendships. When I do spend time with people, I feel it’s only a matter of time until they say something, a match to my emotional flame, which will send me into reactivity mode. I snap. I become angry and argumentative over comments that are simple expressions of somebody else’s feelings and opinions. Yet, somehow I cannot help but take it personally. Prime example: somebody describes to me how they went on a date with a woman, but just could not be attracted to her because her thighs were big. I immediately jump to, “Oh my gosh. They must think I’m hideous because my thighs are bigger.” From this initial reaction, I jump to outrage over how women are treated as objects and from there I travel back in time to all of the moments where I felt like my worth was achieved through sex and many men were happy to oblige. Then comes the pain of revisiting past traumas.
It’s at moments like these I feel trapped inside my head. Why does it jump to the conclusion it’s somehow about me? I remember a colleague of mine once told me, “Depression is incredibly selfish.” This is another moment during my disease process that I cannot forget because it was when I was actively trying to go off of my medication and succeeding at it, and I remember feeling like I had failed somehow even though I was trying so hard to make the right decision and be healthy. I felt like I failed because I was attempting to go off of my medication knowing that my state of mind may be worse indefinitely, that I may wax and wane in my depression and anxiety the rest of my life. I made the choice to feel, even if it was to feel dejected, hopeless, lacking in self-esteem, and angry and it hurt to think that trying to be strong in light of my illness still made me selfish in somebody’s eyes.
I alternate between the desire to accept who I am because to deny is to eliminate the possibility of change, but striving to change and refusing to accept that this is how it will always be. This is a tough dichotomy for me to wrap my head around. Some days, I feel I will never change and many days of late, I cannot even imagine a different world for myself. I can only imagine myself lonely, afraid, distrustful, and paranoid. I ponder what I thought I always wanted, which was to be surrounded by friends, in a long-lasting, healthy relationship, living in a house I worked on myself, gardening on the weekends, able to lose the weight I would like to lose, and traveling as much as possible, yet I feel I move further from that ideal with every month I live in Charlotte. To be fair, an easy solution would be to go back on medication, but for me, that’s not an option. Today, I just wanted to wake up and feel that my happiness is not fleeting, to have some intuition I can achieve emotional stability. I certainly have moments where I feel the world makes sense, but I’m always in waking fear of falling off that cliff into the darkness once again and now that I’m in the darkness, I’m afraid I won’t be able to climb my way out.