It’s after three in the morning and I can’t sleep. After organizing my stuff to pack up for school, I decided to lay down and close my eyes. That was around 2am, and here I am an hour later after listening to my brain come up with my schedule for the rest of the week, the route I’m going to take to get to my dorm Saturday morning, possible ideas of what to do with my grandparents when I visit them tomorrow (besides just sitting there flipping through magazines after an hour of twenty questions), something me and my mom can do together before I leave, and a fleeting idea of taking swimming lessons at school to conquer my long-time fear of water. It’s a mess. I also can’t help thinking that I should really be trying to go to bed sooner so when the first week of classes hits I can actually wake up sometime before noon.
For some reason it makes me want to talk to Charles. He always knew what to say to shut me up about my anxieties, mostly so we could focus on his problems, but there’d also be rare moments when he’d make me see something about them that I couldn’t before. I could imagine our conversation going something like this:
“Hey. I’m sorry to wake you up at three-thirty in the morning but I can’t sleep no matter how hard I try because I just can’t stop thinking about school starting next Monday and moving in on Saturday.”
“(heavy sigh) You realize you owe me for this, don’t you? I was having a dream about [some outrageous nonsense that he will go into great detail over] and you just woke me up from it.”
“What?! I’ve listened to you plenty, and even though I feel bad about waking you up, I don’t owe you squat.”
[then we’d argue for a few minutes, pointing out specific instances of us putting up with the other person’s crap]
“Alright, I’m too tired for this. Just tell me about school so I can go back to bed.”
“Well…I’m just nervous, okay? I don’t want to screw it up and be like last year.”
“And why was last year bad?”
“I didn’t make a lot of friends and I missed my boyfriend all the time and… It was like everyone else was having the time of their lives, and I was just getting through day-by-day. I just holed up in my room and watched Netflix a lot and I didn’t really do anything that made a difference. I didn’t explore the town that much and I quit running and spent most of my time wishing I was with my boyfriend.”
“Then don’t do that.”
“You say that like it’s simple. I knew I was isolating myself and felt really bad about it, but I didn’t know how to make friends after everyone seemed to stop looking for new ones. I was insecure, and my self-esteem was crappy, and I was scared to try to fill up my schedule at the risk of becoming super stressed out.”
“Look, if you want to make this year different then you will. You will find reasons to try rather than reasons not to, and if you don’t then that’s your own fault and you’ll have another crappy year. Do something about it, and stop worrying. If you want to be with your boyfriend then you’re going to just have to accept the fact that you’re going to miss him all the time, and not have the closeness other people have. If you want more friends then go find them, and quit expecting them to show up at your doorstep. You’ll be fine, you always are.”
“…..You’re right. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Now I’m going to bed, because I’ve got stuff to do tomorrow and can’t sleep in, unlike some people.”
“[eye roll, which he wouldn’t have seen anyway, but still completely relevant] Okay, sorry…So, I can do this?”
“You can do this.”
“Okay…Thanks again, Charles. Goodnight.”
Even though it’s pretty silly of me to type out this imaginary conversation, it makes me feel a lot better now. Almost as if it really happened. I guess what this all boils down to is believing in myself, something Charles has always done (even if he’s been snarky about it) and I’ve had trouble with. Even though we aren’t friends anymore, and might not ever be again, something about him always makes me want to prove to myself that I am strong. Maybe it is the tough-love friends, not the sympathizers, that I need to be searching for this year. People to push me out of my comfort zone, to do my best. Anyway, my subconscious’ advice is right: if I want to make a difference this year, then I will. I know what not to do this time, and the worst is over. Now is the time to be brave and embrace the change.
The Countdown has begun! I have eight full days left until I go back to school and have some stuff I want to do before I go–which is a tad concerning, because I’m terrible at getting things done when I’m not being forced to do them. But, I know if I don’t do any of this stuff I’ll feel guilty and angry at myself. So, this next week I want to do these things:
- Finish re-reading The Catcher in the Rye
- Finish making the bracelets I was going to donate to the fundraising cause for my university’s production costs of putting on The Vagina Monologues
- get a haircut
- and a flu shot so Mom stops freaking out about the remote possibility of me contracting pneumonia
- spend time with my grandparents
- Buy another book about feminism
- spend as much time as I can with my man (but that’s more of a given than anything else)
- finally get around to returning my ex’s Christmas present
- return the denim shirt
- do laundry
- refill my shampoo bottle for school
- pack up all my crap for school
- order my books for classes
- re-print the receipt for my cousin’s christmas present
This whole list makes me nervous. There’s so much to do that I forgot about… And most of it is stuff that I hate doing, like returning things and doing things that are time-sensitive. I’d make a terrible business person…following through isn’t such a strong point for me. Unless it’s a really cool idea, but let’s face it most ideas are hard work and that doesn’t work with my laziness. Aww geez….now I’m really anxious. It’s like my idea to ride my bike around campus. I never brought it school, learned the different gears, or learned how to ride it without running into things and then falling off. So it has remained untouched in our shed.
So I have made this list, and hope to cross things off everyday. I’m thinking if I blog about it and hold myself accountable for my non-actions than I will be more motivated. So far it just makes me stressed, but I’m off to a good start because tomorrow morning I have a hair appointment and plan to get my flu shot afterwords. Maybe I’ll surprise myself and get all this stuff done…
(Also, I haven’t listened to any song that really stands out while writing this time–do you ever have those moods where everything you listen to just washes over you blankly?)
Hello all, and welcome to the world of failure. I am the prime resident here, so I recommend that you jump on the next plane, train, or flying monkey and make your way the fuck out of here–because I’m failing, miserable, and possibly contagious.
This morning I texted a few of the members from my old group therapy. Last night was rough, and so was the night before that. I’ve been doing a lot of lying around, staring at the walls, sleeping, and pathetic cuddling with the stuffed pink pig I keep next to my bed. It hasn’t been too great. I’ve been getting advice from Caitlin, but I’m worried that she is beginning to think I’m annoying and whiny. Which may or may not be a figment of my imagination. But either way, I’m trying to reach out to other people so she doesn’t become annoyed if she’s not already.
Let me explain. See, I’ve been on a down-ward spiral ever since I decided to make more friends–particularly guy friends. That lead to me screwing with my fantastic relationship with my boyfriend, and deciding to make it an open relationship. After that I met a few guys who had a hit-an-run mentality (even if they didn’t hit) which lowered my self-esteem even more. Then my new hobby of running vanished because someone found a body on the trail I run on, making finding a new route to run pretty impossible, because I hate running on the track. And lastly, I’ve been trying to buckle down after I saw the grades of a few exams, but so far I’m still an epic failure.
So, ta-da! My depression is about to take me down like a sniper, and all I’ve got is zip to defend myself. I can’t believe I may have to drop a class. I can’t believe I might change my major. I can’t believe after feeling on top of the world for almost a year, I’m back in the bottom of the barrel. It’s rough, I tell you. This whole life thing is getting rough. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to Christmas break, where I’ll go back to having lots of friends, seeing my boyfriend all the time, and feeling like I am actually worth a damn.
I miss that girl I used to be. The one who was confident, care-free, knew herself and knew who was worth keeping in her life. I feel like she is nothing but an old photograph now…like a dream that almost came true.
Sorry to be so depressing; believe me, I wish I wasn’t. But this is a depression/shit-happens/life-of-a-young-fuck-up blog, so I guess we both should have seen this coming.
I haven’t written or checked the ol’ blog in a while, so here I am. And what do I have to say this time? A lot. About what? A lot. A lot of bullshit, probably, but ultimately things that matter such as:
-College. Have I mentioned that I leave next Tuesday?
-My last post. Someone actually read it.
-Long-distance relationships. Will we make it?
-Sex and pregnancy. It seems as if everyone is getting pregnant and it’s freaking me out.
-My last group therapy. *Sniffle sniff*
So, let’s begin. I move into my dorm next Wednesday, at about 8 or so in the morning. Not only will I probably be sleep deprived from insomnia and anxiety, but I will also be engaging in physically demanding work while a) trying not to have a complete freak out, and b) loving my parents while also hating my parents for being so old and clueless. And then, after my half of the matchbox-sized dorm room is filled with crap, my parents will leave me. Suddenly, that first day of preschool will become totally understandable again, as I try not to cry when my parents abandon me in a strange, foreign place. And then what? I unpack? I go out and try to make a friend? I hide under the covers?
At least I know I’m not alone. My high school friends are freaking out, too. Lately we’ve all been spending time together, soaking up our low-maintence fun before having to begin the high-maintence task of making new friends. One of them actually approached me about how I was handling everything going on…see, she read my last post and was a tad concerned. Immediately I felt bad because I thought none of my friends ever bothered reading this anymore, and wrote about it in the post she read. I also felt bad because I realized she cares about me a lot, and I’ve always neglected to come to her when I’m feeling upset. And then there was also just maybe fifteen minutes ago when I logged onto my blog and saw that a few WordPress readers liked it. That made me feel a bit bad too. But, alas, everyone gets in a bitchy mood sometime, and at least when it is written down it is optional to listen to.
Speaking of listening, everyone who has given me advice about my upcoming long-distance relationship is saying the same thing: make it or break it. It’s all about the work you put into it, and how much you both want it to work. Well great. Great. I’m left with the realization that if my relationship fails, it will be because one of us will either cheat or be too lazy to keep trying. That information is like a sack of potatoes, awkward and pressure-filled, balancing on the top of my head while I hula hoop with a ring of fire.
One thing about working at McDonald’s in this day and age is that the majority of my coworkers a) have kids b) are pregnant and c) are around my age. Everyone is squeezing them out. And all of those after-school specials I watched as a goofy middle-schooler are catching up with me; if you are having sex, does that pretty much make you doomed to have an unplanned pregnancy? That’s the LAST THING I need before leaving for college. Maybe I’m just worried because I don’t want to end up like Candace off of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, aborting some unwanted baby. The only thing I want to abort is Taco Bell from my stomach after one too many tacos. And even then, I’m aware of the down-sides.
There is just so many endings going on right now. Tonight I said my goodbyes to my grandparents, Tuesday night I said my goodbyes to group… Ugh, it was so sad. I’m happy that everyone in the group is in a good place now, but I know whenever I’m all screwed up again I’ll need them and want to hear about their lives. A few of them have become part of my family in a way, and I want them to be in my life still. For over a year we’ve been spilling out our souls to each other…that bonds people, you know?
But I know I’m doing the right thing by going away to college. It’s a new beginning, with new possibilities to change my life, blah blah blah, inspirational garbage. All I know is that the things that scare you are the ones worth while, so I’m right where I should be.
So I’m back from my summer registration for college–how was it? OVERWHELMING. Sure, I went with my boyfriend instead of my parents, so I didn’t have to hear, “Where are you at? What do you think? Remember this! Oh, you don’t want that… Why don’t you want this? [insert more annoying crap here]”, but even so it was stressful. Suddenly I was sucked into a world where if I didn’t manage my time, I would be forever doomed. Lecture after lecture talked about Professor’s expectations, not getting fat and eating right so you don’t become depressed, roommate horror stories, getting involved in a thousand clubs, studying for three or five hours each night, finding a part-time job that will work with your class schedule, and how to report if you see someone about to get date-raped or whatever. As if I already don’t have to struggle not to worry so much.
It just hit me…this will be my home. These buildings, this road… And at the end of each day, it’s not like high school where I get to see my parents and my dogs and the same rooms in the same house I’ve lived in for the past 18 years…I’ll still be in this new place, out of my element. And holy crap, I don’t know anyone—ANYONE. I’ll be here, and everyone else in my life will be back home. For the first time, I was scared to go to college.
It also didn’t help that on the way back home yesterday my boyfriend and I parted on an uncertain note. The whole trip we had fun with each other like always, and then I asked about how it would be when I left for school (something we’ve discussed numerous times) and BAM! suddenly we both had no idea how much longer there would be an “us”. All because of the distance. Those stupid miles, I hate every one of them because they are the only reason my boyfriend and I would separate. We still laugh all the time, we still hang out all the time, we still love each other; we’re happy. If it wasn’t for the two and a half hour drive the thought of breaking up would be ludicrous.
So I was relieved that I had group therapy that night to go to. A couple of my friends in there gave me a bit of advice that was reassuring, and even though I’ll be leaving them too, which will be really really sad, we’ve exchanged phone numbers and promised to call and stay in touch. So those first few weeks of school I know I can go to them if I’m in a tight spot. My college also offers counseling services, so that might be useful, too.
I just feel sort of numb and anxious at the same time about it all. My world is slowly slipping away from me, and while it might be waiting for me when I come back on breaks or next summer, it feels scary not to know what will take its place.
I’m at a weird point in my life, and in the words of Rihanna’s new song (which I’m listening to right now) I’m not really sure how to feel about it.
What have I been doing this summer so far? I couldn’t even tell you. Somehow I manage to keep myself busy, with these graduation parties stacking up, and my job search, and my boyfriend to educate me in Doctor Who. But I’m waiting for that point where there is not a day with something planned, where boredom will pull the rug out from under me and leave me stranded and alone to my own will. Days like that are sometimes the hardest, because if I just lie there my mind will start to race and drowned me in helplessness. What I mean by that is, anxiety-ridden thoughts will keep coming uncontrollably.
Thoughts like, “God, what are you doing? How can you stand to just lie here, when deep down you know that this is an unforgettable time of your life–where childhood falls away and exposes you to the outside world, ready to sculpt you into this adult you’ve been waiting to become–and you are wasting it. You are wasting your life. When school comes around you’ll start complaining about how you never have time and miss the summer, and you’re not even doing anything. What the hell is wrong with you?!”
It’s inevitable, and it kills me. Luckily, one of my close friends just parted with some of her collection of books, so I have a nice stack that I plan on finishing this summer. I also am going to try to go back to the gym like I used to, and become healthier. I just have to keep the motivation to do those things. Sometimes, even though my restless anxiety makes me feel awful, I’m too lazy to stop it. I’ll just lie there, soaking up each blow against my self-worth until I fall asleep.
I’m not taking my medicine, either. Which is absolutely terrible, because what if another mental-breakdown just pops up out of nowhere (see post “Crazy.”)? That was unbelievably scary, and I don’t want a repeat of it. Why am I not taking the meds though? Well, I ran out of my prescription, see, and wasn’t able to get another doctor’s appointment until a month later, because I forgot about a previous appointment I scheduled months in advance. So I had been taking some of my dad’s medication (which is the exact same thing I take, only in a smaller dosage). But that took a toll on his supply, and I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get his own prescription fast enough, so I just stopped taking his. If my mother knew this, she’d go ape-shit. She doesn’t understand, though. If anything, she enforces my hyper-active guilty conscience by shoving my mistakes in my face all the time. I know she’s my mom, and that’s her job, but she talks to me like I don’t realize I make these mistakes. I do, to an unhealthy extreme. But she doesn’t understand that.
I want to stop taking meds. I want to be normal, in control. I’m tired of having these chemicals correct my brain. I wish I never found out my brain is messed up. People don’t forgive you for that. If I had a missing limb, or an internal condition like diabetes or something, no one would blame me. They’d try to be sympathetic and maybe even help me. But in the case of mental illnesses, it makes you a freak. No one tries to understand it, they just shun it or want to drug you numb. And I hate it. I hate it so much.
Someday, if I have a house or a husband or a kid or all three, my depression will affect it all. I will probably never want to be home to avoid anxiety, or be home all the time, and never want to leave my bed. I will have to explain to my husband why I’d drive home crying and screaming, when earlier I was laughing and smiling. I will have to hide my tears from my child, and look at them, hoping they missed my genetic flaw. And I don’t want to do any of that.
I don’t really know where I stand religion-wise now, but back in my days of God-believing, I would have said that he made me strong enough to do this. And that he gave me all this love I have in my heart so I will be able to hold together my family and my life in times of struggle. And I believe I can do this, whether it is a God-given strength or my own. I just don’t want to, though.
Well, everyone has something they whine about…guess depression is mine. Maybe by the time I go to college I’ll have learned to just get over the weaknesses I will always have from my depression. I feel like such an idiot every time I complain about them (because who the hell really cares, you know?), so here’s to hoping I’ll do it!
Last night I had a complete mental breakdown.
Saying it like that, so matter-of-fact, makes it sound normal. And I suppose some types of mental breakdowns are normal, I mean everyone loses it from time to time, but this was not one of my semi-regular bouts of “What am I doing with my life?!”. This was straight-up bat-shit crazy.
I was driving in my car for 25 minutes, sobbing, cursing, talking to myself in nonsense….
“This is all a dream just a dream and tomorrow I’ll wake up and try to think of how the car ride home really was and I won’t remember so I’ll picture me just listening to the radio and smiling like I usually do when I’m thinking about [insert boyfriend’s name here] and that will become the reality yes that will be reality and this will be the dream and tomorrow I’ll think of how stupid this is and god how could I be like that, after all that was just some dream and I’ll try to think of how the car ride home really was and I won’t remember so I’ll picture me just listening to the radio and smiling like I usually do when I’m thinking about [insert boyfriend’s name here] and that will become the reality yes that will be reality…”
“I want mommy….I want my mom!….Mommy…I want to go home….I want [insert boyfriend’s name here]! I want [brother’s name]! I want [dog]!….Momma…”
“This isn’t real…this is just a dream…..”
And silence where I would consider doing crazy things like driving my car off the road, and death.
Needless to say again, I was beyond “losing it” and headed straight into “bat-shit crazy”. It is very embarrassing to write about…but a scary enough experience where holding it in would not help at all. Why was I flying off the handle? I had no idea. Lately my emotions have been very extreme. I had only a number of guesses to why this was….1.I was seriously crazy 2.I was pregnant 3.adverse effects from stopping my meds, even though I had been off them weeks. None of these things were especially comforting, as you can imagine.
About the pregnant thing…I wasn’t being totally crazy here, I mean, the possibility was very remote, but there….however, I tend to use pregnancy as the lead source of my anxiety. I convince myself that I could definitely be pregnant, I freak out even more, I add it to my stress, and it becomes one more thing I use to push other people away in my life, because after all, if I was pregnant it would only “become real” once I told people, and who wants that… Basically, it is the crazy part of me trying to gain even more control over my actions, if that makes sense.
About stopping my meds…About two weeks ago I ran out of pills and simply decided to not schedule a doctor’s appointment. See, somehow I’ve convinced myself that my parents hate me because I am on antidepressants and go to therapy. So I quit therapy, quit the pills. Now my parents would like me again, and not be so mad at me all the time, right? And for a week or more it was working…I was happy, and I was happy without being drugged up. And then this week began, where somehow my emotions have completely consumed me, and all of my thoughts. Even my dreams were becoming terrifying…dreams where I would become schizophrenic, dreams where I became a monstrous serial-killer-cannibal….
Maybe it sounds stupid, maybe it sounds fake….but it felt like a looming disaster coming.
Anyway, after that interesting car ride I mentioned above, I arrived home and cried to my mother for over an hour. And I stayed home from school today. And I snuck off when my mother went to run errands and took a pregnancy test, which was negative. And I also took some leftover pills I had of Prozac.
And I slept the entire day. I didn’t remember having any dreams.
Let’s get something cleared up.
I get a little sensitive when people use the word “depression”…and that shouldn’t really be a shock since depressants are pretty sensitive people. Apparently, it is, though. I have only ranted to a few people when they have misspoken about depression, but the general feeling I get from people is that throwing that word around like “yo momma” shouldn’t bother anyone. It’s also like the word “gay”, and how people think you’re just there to piss on the fun when you tell them not to use that word in a negative connotation. So basically, “What? I can’t say I’m depressed? Fuck off; stop being so sensitive.”
And that is why I have a love/hate relationship with people.
People say they’re depressed all the time. After a breakup, a sappy movie, a conversation about death or the prospect of getting old and having saggy boobs….”Okay, this is depressing me. Let’s change the subject.” I know I’ve been guilty of saying it so casually as well, which I look back on as trying to convince myself that I had been cured for good. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving myself a free pass or anything. I try to avoid using it unless I’m talking about the real deal.
Look, I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass to people, I’m not trying to tell them what to do. I just want them to know the facts before they say stuff like that. And in the process I suppose it will get you readers (aww I hope I didn’t just jinx that) to know what the straight up business that I associate with the phrase “my depression”.
Depression is different from sadness. It is the prolonged feeling of anxiety, sadness, anger, low self-esteem, stress, grief, or loss of interest in life that can last for weeks, months, and years. Imagine the toughest problem you have ever faced, then imagine it sitting on your shoulders for two years, and you should have a pretty good snapshot of how depression affects people.
The worst part is dealing with it. Dealing with just the mere knowledge that you have such a problem. The questions of “When won’t I feel like this?” “Why isn’t this going away?” “How can I fix this?” “Am I being punished?” “Will I ever find someone who understands?”. Trying to move past a problem that seems to have taken over your life.
And it’s not just one problem. It’s a million problems tied together in a massive web of reasons why you no longer want to get up in the morning. Reasons why you have trouble laughing, feeling carefree, why you can’t stop eating or have stopped eating. Why you’d rather sleep all the time, why you stop putting effort into how you look. It is literally almost a drain on the life you have in you.
During depression I have vowed to starve myself, harbored grim intentions to burn myself, have cut myself, have seriously considered driving into incoming traffic, have even cried in the street at 9:30 at night in my ex-boyfriend’s neighborhood to my school counselor. I have been to rehabilitation, to therapy. I’m not saying this makes me such a superior in the league of depression, I’m just trying to convey how serious it really is. I’ve read stories of people drenching themselves in boiling water and ending up with third-degree burns, of trying to overdose on pills, of getting ulcers from the stress they have. Doing these things is only a representation of the pain people go through, and what can be worse are the people who release none of it at all.
It is serious. It is a disease to some of us, a flaw in our unbalanced brains. To some it can be fixed and to others it will be a continuous part of their lives.
I have gone to therapy, quit, gone back to therapy, started taking antidepressants, started going to an outpatient rehabilitation program, was released from the program, started going to a psychiatrist, continued going to therapy and now also attend a group therapy every week.
And I actually feel pretty good about where I am in life now. I feel stable and calm and trust myself. I have been feeling this way for two months now, and am hoping to continue that stretch throughout this year as well as move past my recent nine month relapse.
I just want people to know, it’s not just feeling “sad” “blue” “down in the dumps”. It’s more.
Boy, what a depressing thought.