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Depression

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I don’t know if anyone has noticed that I haven’t been around as much lately. I have been extremely depressed. I know everyone’s depression is different. We all experience it differently.

Mine has been so bad. And when I am in the middle of a depressive spell, I can’t tell anyone. I don’t even recognize it as depression. I think that I am just awful and miserable because my life is terrible and I have no friends. I think I just suddenly hate my job and myself. I think that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around.

I have had a really bad two weeks. I keep thinking that this blog is pointless and that my life is pointless. And that I really shouldn’t even be alive anymore. I don’t want to kill myself, but if I could just stop breathing or stop living, I would.

I have been doing so well for so long, I almost forgot what it looked like to be in the middle of a depressive spell. And the forgetting, made it so bad. I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy.

My life is actually going really well. Which made it even more confusing. Why was I thinking about killing myself when I had finally met someone I liked? Why was I wanting to call out sick and sit at home alone all day? Why wasn’t I writing?

And I haven’t been sleeping. Which makes me feel terrible physically too. I’ve been having horrible anxiety at night. I’ve been sitting awake in my bed with a baseball bat for hours instead of sleeping.

Last night, I kept jumping at every noise. I thought there was someone in my apartment (even though I logically knew there wasn’t). And this next part I feel ashamed to admit. But it’s the truth and this is all anonymous anyway.

I thought someone was whispering in my ear. A man’s voice was saying something. It was rhyming words over and over. They were nonsense sounds. Like ooh, boo, woo, too. That has never happened to me before. It really upset me and freaked me out. I also felt like something was crawling up my back. Like a hand sliding over me. But I was alone. That has also never happened before.

Maybe I was dreaming and just thought it was happening. Sometimes my dreams really like to mess with my mind. But if I wasn’t…

I don’t know what it means. It might sound funny or silly. But it really upset me. Am I having auditory hallucinations? I never have before. What does it means? I don’t know.

There is no need for anyone to worry at this point. The very fact that I can write about it is proof that I am feeling better. And I’ll be back to my cheerful self in no time.

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Coin Vortex

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Sometimes lately I think my depression is getting worse.But then I look back on my life and my past. And I know it isn’t.

The episodes are starting to happen more frequently. That may be because I am actually allowing myself to feel things now. But now, the depression feels different.

It feels like it is going on behind a pane of glass. I observe it happening, and in the observing I am affected. But in a way, I am not. I see what is going on. I name it. I recognize it.

I never did that before. I couldn’t see what I was feeling while I was feeling it. And naming it does take away it’s power for me. After so many years of feeling broken and defective. I’m glad I can recognize it and react to my thoughts.

I feel like my depression has become self aware. It knows it’s time is growing short. And that’s why it’s trying so hard. It’s in it’s death throes, grasping desperately to claim a hold over me again.

I’m starting to liken it to a penny in one of those coin vortex wishing wells. I love those things. And I love the noise they make. I’d have one in my house. But that is besides the point.

The coin starts out going relatively slowly. As it makes smaller and smaller circles it speeds up and gets louder and louder. Each revolution gets smaller and smaller until it drops down into the pit below.

Only in this scenario, the pit is being free from depression. Which is where I hope I am heading.

Lying to Myself

My brain doesn’t know when to stop lying to me. I’ve never been a good liar. And I guess my brain isn’t either.

When I get depressed, it starts out mild:

You are alone. And I think, well, that’s true.

You keep fucking everything up. And I think, maybe not everything. But it is hard to argue with that. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

You’ll never find someone. And I think, well, I’m not sure if that’s true. But I’ve proven to be terrible at predicting my own future.

You’re ugly and awful and stupid. And I think, I may be unattractive (and awful). But despite having done my share of stupid things, I am not stupid.

You should kill yourself. And sometimes I think I should, and sometimes I think I shouldn’t.

You’re unhappy. And I think, I am unhappy right now in this moment. Maybe it’s because you are telling me awful things, brain.

You are always going to feel this way. And I think, now you’ve gone too far, brain. I have an excellent memory. And I KNOW I won’t always feel this way. Because I don’t always feel this way. You are a liar. And you can’t trust anything a liar says. You’ve probably been lying about everything. I don’t know why you do that, brain. But you’ve been caught. It’s time to stop now.

And it does for a little while. Until the next time. But luckily, my brain doesn’t know when to quit. It always takes things too far.

Postcards

I know I thought I was done with it, but I have been thinking about suicide a lot lately. I have been feeling pretty depressed. I don’t know if it is the time of year, or the book I have been reading about suicide.

I just keep thinking about how awful my year was last year. And how alone I am. Not just alone for the holidays that have passed, but alone in general.

I’m single. And I’d be okay with being single if I had a family that was close, or reliable, or just not bad people. But I don’t have that.

And I’d be okay with being single and having an awful family, if I had really good, reliable friends. But I don’t have that either.

Most of my friends are good people. But they also have their own problems. And they don’t really have much time for me.

I keep wishing I could just throw my depression and feelings back into that locked room in my head. And I can. But that’s not what this past year has been about. All this stuff was so much easier to deal with when I wasn’t dealing with it.

I know this suicide stuff is just my brain malfunctioning again. I feel so detached from it sometimes now. The suicidal ideation comes and I know it isn’t me that wants that. And I think “Here are my thoughts of suicide, but I already know I want to be alive.”

And then I tell myself that my brain is lying to me again. And eventually I start feeling better. As intense as my suicidal ideation is sometimes, I also feel like it is happening somewhere far away.

Like my brain is sending me postcards from Europe. Usually they are happy and upbeat. Sometimes they are deep and philosophical. Other times they are amusing or interesting. And, a few, times a year, they are depressed and suicidal.

But those postcards don’t compel me to act in any way. I can just read them. Think about them. And then continue on with my life. Thinking of it that way is really helpful.

Past Lives

Today, someone asked me what I was like as a child. I had to think about it for a long time before answering. But it really depends on what age we’re discussing.

I did nothing but cry for the first 6 or 7 years. I was unhappy and morose. And suffering from PTSD from many physical, emotional and sexual abuses. Eventually my family punished me for crying enough that I stopped.

I spent the next few years like a wild animal backed into a corner. I had zero control over my emotions. I was angrier than I have ever felt in my entire life. My anger was like a separate being trying to violently claw it’s way out of me. This is when I began punching trees. A lot.

Finally, around 10, I completely shut down all my emotions. I began working out compulsively, reading obsessively. I had an eating disorder and began journaling. I was extremely secretive.

I had severe insomnia and depression. Some weeks I would sleep less than 5 hours the entire week. My life was kind of a fog of blankness. That is really the best way to describe it. It was like being on drugs that took away everything it was possible to feel. But I wasn’t on drugs.

All I ever felt was sadness, despair and anger. And the safest place to direct that anger was on myself. It led to getting into and staying in many abusive relationships; platonic, romantic, and familial. It also was the partial driver for some of the emotional/mental issues I have.

And that’s basically where I stayed until my health problems at 25. Like I was frozen in place. Frozen emotionally. And I was. I only allowed myself to feel the barest tip of what was wrong. Only the strongest, most persistent emotions came through.

It has taken a few years to even realize that things were wrong inside me. And it took a few years to get help. I have been in therapy for just over a year.

I am amazed when I look back on the changes I’ve been through this past year. It actually impresses me. People that have known me very well can hardly believe I am the same person. Neither can I.

I can’t believe the life I was accepting for myself all that time. I can’t believe those past people, those horrible past lives, were all me. I look back on how much I’ve changed this year. And I wonder how unrecognizable I’ll be to myself by this time next year.

Self Harm

I don’t know why, but lately I have been thinking a lot about self harm. Not in the way that I think about suicide. Thinking about suicide is soothing and abstract. It calms me down and feels like doing a brain teaser or a word puzzle.

But my thoughts of self harm are not like that. I’ll just be going about my day and a thought will seem to suddenly pop into my head. With an accompanying image.

For example: I was tweezing my eyebrows the other day. I had my face only a few inches from the mirror and found myself staring into my eye. I had the sudden, violent urge to plunge the tweezers into my own eye. Of course I didn’t. I put the tweezers down and walked away.

Then, yesterday, I was at work, walking with a pair of extremely sharp pointed scissors. As I was walking with them when I got this horrible, gory image of stabbing myself deep in the meaty tissue of my thigh.

These aren’t the only instances. Just the most recent ones. They are quite upsetting to me. I don’t know where they are coming from or why. I don’t know what is wrong with me.

I brought it up to my therapist and she compared it to my suicidal ideation, very dismissively. But I know this is totally different.

Making a point

Today was suddenly more than I can handle. I feel like I am barely in control. Like I want to go ahead and have a nervous breakdown, but I won’t let myself.

I feel like attempting to deal with my emotional problems is making it much harder to handle my normal daily issues. I was a totally energetic, responsible adult. I was getting shit done in my life.

I was cleaning, exercising, cooking, making art, writing, going to work, hanging out with my friends, dating. Now, I’m not even bathing every day let alone doing those other things.

Maybe this is what depression feels like. Apathy, insomnia, and inability to handle mundane shit going on in my life. I feel like I was doing better when I wasn’t dealing with things. It was easier in many ways. And I was more productive.

In some ways I was even more satisfied because I felt I had more to show for my life. But I didn’t have the things that really matters. Emotions, friendship, love, a sense of purpose or fulfillment. I still don’t have the love. But the rest are starting to come along.

Is it more important than creativity, motivation, fitness? I don’t know. I feel like I should be able to have all of that at the same time. I guess I’m just not there yet.

I suppose I expected it to be more of an uphill battle but that I would make progress every week. And that isn’t happening.

I have been working on my problems. I’m trying to get through this. Things just feel so bleak right now. It’s like I’m waiting for a breakthrough that isn’t coming. And I’m starting to wonder what the point is…