Warning— this is not a funny post, or uplifting, or positive. When I first started this blog, I wanted to open a dialogue for anyone dealing with mental illness and provide some insight into regular person (me) who has dealt with this and will continue dealing with it for the rest of my life.
Sometimes depression goes into remission, but then it comes barreling back.
Over the last several weeks I’ve been denying, ignoring, rationalizing and negotiating these feelings and why they’ve returned, but as usual, that doesn’t work, so now I’m admitting that my brain has become reckless and ruthless and I need help to stave off its lies.
It’s really uncomfortable and upsetting when you have no idea what your brain is going to tell you every day. And it can switch at a moment’s notice.
There are days when it lies to me from the moment I wake up. It says that I’m useless. That nothing I do matters. That no one would miss me if I was gone. Yeah, they’d be sad, but they’d get over it and move on because life is for the living.
It asks questions like what is the point of existing? We live, we die, and more people come to take our place. It reminds me of the ee cummings’ poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town” that expresses the monotony of everyday life and the lack of impact people have in the world. I’m not curing cancer or discovering new worlds or saving lives or really doing anything worthwhile.
Except raising my kids.
They are the ones who I know need me. The ones who I HAVE to be here for. The ones that make me need to fight my brain.
I KNOW with absolute certainty that no matter how broken I am, I’m better broken than non-existent.
But when I’m driving or up at night and it’s just me and my brain, we don’t always get along and it gets tough to tell it to shut the fuck up.
And it gets so confusing because I’ve always relied on my brain and trusted it. It’s my sense of humor, my intelligence, my drive, my skepticism, my ability to see things from multiple perspectives and I LOVE my brain.
Until it starts being an asshole.
A lot of people have asked me what depression feels like, and I can’t speak for everyone, but this is the best analogy I can make for how it feels right now.
Imagine that you have a gallon of milk without the cap, and from the time you get out of bed until the time you go back to bed, you have to carry that gallon without spilling a drop. At first, it’s not bad. You figure out how to drive to work and maybe congratulate yourself for your strength. Maybe you even mock people who say that this is a difficult task.
Then you get to work and start your day and your fingers start to get numb. So you switch hands. Then you notice a ridge of plastic that’s cutting into your fingers, so you reposition the milk to avoid it.
As the day goes on, all you can think about is the milk.
You can’t concentrate, or do your job, or experience joy because all you can think about is how painful the fucking milk has become and you know it’s just milk and you shouldn’t be such a baby, but no one else has to do this and you hate them just a little bit because don’t they see how much you’re struggling?
So now you’re obsessed with the milk and you hate the milk and you wish you could just dump the whole damn thing and just end it but you know you can’t for real, but you think about how light you would be without the milk, and how the pain would stop.
But you manage to make it through the day. But you’re exhausted and have a headache and your stomach hurts and you have no energy to do anything and you’re irritable and impatient and miserable to be around.
You finally get into bed.
And the milk goes on the side table.
And you think of all the mistakes you made, and all of the strategies you’ll try tomorrow and all of the guilt you feel because you could only focus on the milk and you finally fall into a restless sleep at 2am.
The alarm goes off at 5.
Time to carry the fucking milk.
So, I’ve started the process. Again.
I’ve come clean to Bill and emailed my doctor and requested an appointment.
I’ve researched if the meds I’m on lose their efficacy over time and what can cause a recurrence, and I’m doing what I can do be nice to myself and trying to ignore my brain that says I don’t deserve to be nice to myself.
And right now, in this moment, I’m ok.
But I’ll apologize now for saying no to plans, or making a quick getaway, or changing my mind at the last minute, or staying in my house and cuddling with kids and animals rather than talk to humans.
And I’ll say thanks for reading, and hopefully understanding.