Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Depression 101

Hey guys, remember when Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half wrote about depression and it made her like ten times more famous and everyone was like "Aw, we love you! Heart heart heart! You are such an inspiration!" and she became a social media goddess for explaining mental illness?

Well,

I'm not getting my hopes up here.

But it's on you, really. I'm just going to write.

I may have mentioned or possibly implied through very obvious references in the past that sometimes I can be a little…depressed. Or a lot depressed. Whatever. It's not a phrase I like to use a lot because I don't have a certificate of depression to hang on my wall to prove that I am accredited in depression. I'd like to avoid being sued for misusing the term because I'm broke about 90% of the time and can't afford a lawyer, although I'm pretty certain I've been depressed since I was about 6 years old and have the jars of tears somewhere to prove it. I also avoid the term because it is not a very fun or funny thing to talk about and I'd prefer to box it up inside and pretend that it isn't one of the major factors of my current identity.

Unfortunately last night my face started leaking and I thought some rest might help, but I woke up this morning and my face was still leaking and has been leaking ever since because my body decided to remind me of that fun little fact. As if I had forgotten somehow that the world is empty of everything but pain and loneliness.

My boss/coworker/friend/blog-buddy chastised me yesterday for not blogging in over a week (9 days, which is hardly over a week, but who is counting?) Part of it is because I've spent five of the past nine nights with my boyfriend-but-not, which is what I am officially calling him, because I've never heard him refer to me as his girlfriend and I'm afraid to use the B-word but it's getting to the point where I can't avoid it but I also don't want to bring up a conversation about it because I'm afraid it will end in a way I don't like which is never a good sign that things are going well and that just sucks. AND THE OTHER PART OF IT IS because, well, I don't know. I'm just sad, I guess.

She is right, though. I need to write. I'm overdue. I thought that I could write about that first relationship thing I just mentioned, which I almost did, but today's events have made me decide to write about that second sadness thing I just mentioned in the hopes that maybe it will help me feel a little bit better. Maybe I can get myself in to work tomorrow if I do.

So here it is. Nothing special, just a little taste of what depression can sometimes be like.

Depression 101
Walking the Fine Line 

I know most people in this world have probably experienced depression at some point or another, so I try not to think of myself as special. I prefer to think of myself as a good for nothing whiny, ungrateful little bitch instead. The point being that it definitely goes through phases. Sometimes, things can actually be slightly ok. It's not that life gets better, you just tend to get distracted enough to forget how much it sucks, or maybe have "real" problems to complain about for a little while. But when it comes to chronic depression, you get to the point where you really think you are finally out…and then you just get pulled right back in again. 

One minute you are fine, and then next thing you know you are suddenly sobbing over the word "bagel." In part it is because you want a bagel and don't have one, but mostly it's just the word. Bagel. Bam. Face crumpling like a man's legs who just got hit in the crotch on Americas Funniest Home Videos. Tears everywhere. And it's not just because you hate Bob Saget. 




Bagel. 

I haven't felt this shitty since September. And it's all thanks to the word "bagel."

It doesn't make any sense. That is the most important part. 

Unleash the Beast!

Once the big, black block of unwavering misery hits you, somehow it is just impossible to get it to go away. Take right now, for example. I have been waterworks for almost 24 hours straight. I could fix the Northeast's drinking water problem at the drop of a hat with how much liquid I'm producing. I can't get it to turn off. I keep thinking I am all out, but somehow it just keeps coming. For no reason at all. It's just there. I could be their hero. I hope North-easterners like salt water.

A pool of tears in a sea of tears isn't too melodramatic of a metaphor is it? 

Vicious Circles 

Once it's out and running around like a hyperactive school-child, as I said, it won't go away. And that just makes it get worse and that fact makes it get even more worse and so on. People like to call it a vicious circle, I think. However there is more than one circle going on. There is the big, overall circle of being depressed, but there is also the circle of eating shitty food, the circle of crying, and of course my favorite, the circle of being self conscious about being depressed.


I don't like to talk to people about my feelings because not only does it make me believe I will be perceived as weak, but because people just don't like to hear other people whine and bitch about seemingly nothing so much. You bite yourself in the butt. It is like how I keep talking about how I don't feel as if I have any friends in my life right now. Talking about it won't help me get friends. It's as if a salesperson can't stop talking about how they never sell their product. That sort of behavior certainly doesn't make people want to buy it.

That's why I stopped writing deep and emotional poetry and started trying to write more humorous work. Supposedly, anyway. I don't know if this blog is ever humorous anymore. The point being though, I wanted people to listen to me. Because I do the same thing. When people complain to me too much, I tune out. It's not really the listeners fault. It's difficult to connect to intangible pain.

The problem is isolating yourself when help from others is what you need. The truth is, I absolutely crave to talk about how I feel. I want to admit all my sadness to someone and I want them to stroke my hair and tell me it's going to be ok. Because of my insecurity though, I fail to ask even a shred of this from people, and it only gets worse, which only makes me feel more self conscious, and so it goes.

When You Aren't Really Suicidal

Eventually depression puts you in this place where you aren't really suicidal. If you are lucky, anyway. It's not like you want to kill yourself, per say, even if the thought has crossed your mind. That shit is way too messy and complicated. You'd have to write a note and bleh. A lot of work. Mostly you come to a place where you just wish you didn't exist. I have memories as a child of not wanting to be anywhere at all, not even my favorite places, but just wanting to not…be.

When it doesn't go away after 15 years, you start to feel like some sort of accident that the universe happened to have. Maybe the universe's dog didn't get let out and went into the corner to poop you out and then came back with its tail between its legs because the dog knows what it did was wrong but couldn't help it. That is you. Everyone loves the dog anyway, because it is impossible not to. But turds are more difficult to love. If you could, you'd just curl up into a ball so small that you'd blink out of existence entirely. Completely painless. So just remember that when you are picking up your dog's feces next time, and try to be gentle with them. It is not like they feel good about being accidental turds themselves.

No one likes an accidental turd. Not even the turd. 

The main problem here is that it invalidates feelings. If you don't really want to kill yourself, you couldn't possibly that depressed, could you?

Fear

If I had one of these I'd frame it in gilded gold and hang it in my pretend business lady office

The belief that maybe you aren't really that depressed builds this fear that nothing is wrong with you besides the fact that you are just lazy and/or selfish. Which sucks because those things would totally be your fault. Depression is so much easier to blame, but without that fancy certificate of accredited depression, you don't have much of an excuse. People just think you aren't showing up to work because you don't have a work ethic.

That may be true, actually. But still.*

There is no "real" solution


It'd help if so much of the playlist wasn't shitty pop rock I listened to in high school

I swear, I've tried everything short of actual medication. Exercise, diet, changing my living situation over and over again. I try to sit myself down and ask what any normal person would ask. "What is wrong?" What is wrong? If only I could figure it out, I could solve the problem forever. Depression isn't that simple, unfortunately.

Take this morning for example. I felt as if someone had turned on every single song on my iTunes at the same time and it was all just blaring in my face and right through my body. You couldn't have asked me to pick out one song and explain it to you. It was just every song, ever, at the same time. Just there, on as loud as it could go. So when people ask "what's wrong?" you can't do more than just shrug like a dumb mute and maybe get out the words "I'll be fine," which are just audible enough over all the music inside you.

Sometimes you catch yourself daydreaming about when you'll "finally be happy." It's a lie we tell ourselves, because life isn't that way. I just wish I knew how to make it feel less shitty in a more permanent way. I'm still searching for the answers. So far my closest leads are pole dancing, green food, hand holding, and writing sarcastic blogs about yourself. Other than that, I'm still pretty stumped.

On to bigger and better things now (netflix). I may regret writing this tomorrow, but the truth is what it is sometimes, and you can't do much about that.



*To be fair, I've also had a weird bout of nausea for the past 24 hours on top of crippling sadness which had made even just the thought of work tough. 

6 comments:

  1. 1) Nine days is technically over a week. Almost half a week over a week. Like 50% over a week so suck it.
    2) I know a lot about depression, I've been there, it blows.
    3) Medication helped, you don't have to be on it forever, I wasn't, but I can't tell you how relieved I was when one day about a week after I started Prozac, I was doing the laundry and I wasn't crushed by it. It was just laundry, not the weight of 10,000 universes on top of me.
    4) I was never suicidal but believe me, I craved oblivion. It's different than wanting to kill yourself, it never crossed my mind, but I wanted it all to go away. Lights off. I get it.
    5) I know a lot about picking up dog shit, too. You, of all people, can appreciate this. Thanks to the Litter Kwitter, I have become intimate with cat shit as well.
    6) Don't be stupid and pretend stuff is okay around me when it is not. You said it yourself, I am your "boss/coworker/friend/blog-buddy" which has friend and buddy referenced in it so fucking talk to me already. I will pet your hair and tell you it will be okay. I am more than technically old enough to be your mom so let me mother you if that's what you need. Plus, I can't have you all hating life when you are supposed to be making Natasha Wang love you while I'm gone, for chrissakes.

    Now I must compose a blog about my humiliation at the thrift store when someone busted me grabbing a book off the shelf to take into the bathroom. I was bored.

    Hey Moneypenny, I care about you.

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  2. I am not going to say that I totally understand, because I really don't. Every time I read a post about depression, my mind goes "ugh, that's gotta SUCK", but that's about as far as my comprehension goes. Not that I haven't had my extended sad periods (I used to get 2 hours of daylight a day for a couple of months a year - that sure as heck doesn't help anything), but in general I'm as optimistic as they come.

    So instead of saying that I understand, I will say that this: "It is like how I keep talking about how I don't feel as if I have any friends in my life right now." is not even an option, because you are part of the VF family now, and we take care of each other. If you need to talk, or hangout without talking, or get distracted (it doesn't always have to be the strip club), we are here. Please, please, please take advantage of that. I'm also working from home three days a week and have a lot of free time, so if you ever have a craving for a drink or coffee or pole video marathon session at a weird time, hit me up.

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  3. You may not have a lot of friends but I know one friend you do have - and speaking from experience, it's better to have a tiny circle of caring folks that love you for you than a large gaggle of acquaintances. And, I've been there with the boyfriend-but-not and it only made me feel poorly about myself. This is my first visit here and I love your honestly. Hang in there and let your friend be your friend! XO

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  4. "I swear, I've tried everything short of actual medication" If you had diabetes you'd take insulin, and depression is a real medical condition. Medication isn't a failure or giving up or anything like that. It can really help you. I also noticed in all this that you never actually mentioned doing any counseling. I know it's hard to talk to people, but your counselor isn't "people". They're your team and they're there to help you in ways you may have never realized on your own. Or maybe you did but you need to hear it from an impartial party. No one is hte same, and a qualified counselor can really help you find a path toward making you better (not your personality, i mean healing your mental health problems) and also evaluate if maybe you need chemical help.
    You're right, the way you explain it all, and your brain isn't working and it's not your fault. I know i barely know you, you might not even recognize me by name unless you saw a picture... But you're pole family and I'm here for you too if you need it.
    I'm not saying any of this to upset you or hurt you in anyway. I'm saying it because i can smell my own. If depression were logical and something that you could just exercise or reorganize away, you would be able to, and thinking that you should burden this alone makes about as much sense as crying over the word bagel. Please don't feel alone because you're not. I say all of this with love and comradery
    I leave you with this. It's the single most important thing that i've ever been told "Depression lies"

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  5. THe blogess posted a really relevant post today. i fell like you should read it if you're not a regular reader of hers
    http://thebloggess.com/2014/01/strange-and-beautiful/
    xoxox take care of you

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  6. I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

    ReplyDelete