So, this is hard for me to write. This is personal. Vulnerable. I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life. I mean, not the feeling sad because my dog died or feeling let down because I failed at something kind, but the debilitating darkness kind that comes out of nowhere. It usually hits me when I’m on the top of the world, when I’m doing well, when I really am figuring out this thing called life. Then something breaks down. All good things must come to an end. Sometimes I feel sad when I’m depressed, but usually I just feel tired, heavy, and dark. My body tries to shut down on me, I can’t get enough sleep, my joints and muscles ache, my chronic back pain comes back with a vengeance, I cry more from the physical pain than I do from sadness, and it’s almost as if I can feel my metabolism drop, zero energy. My brain also goes on strike, I can’t remember things, can’t focus on getting things done, trying to figure out the various steps to make coffee just about takes all my mental fortitude for the day, I don’t bother to pay bills or complete projects because it takes all my mental energy just to remember what day it is (and I also don’t give a shit), and I sometimes can’t remember how I got places. My emotions initially go hyper wacky…constant crying spells, panic attacks, anxiety gone wild, get teared up watching Maxwell House TV commercial, but very quickly my emotions turn to anger and irritability and rage for a short spell on the quick trip to complete numbness, when I simply don’t feel anything or care about anything. I lose interest in things that used to fill me with joy. I no longer hike, take pics of the fall colors, I certainly don’t bother to read a book, and I don’t even care about food anymore (even cupcakes) because it no longer has any taste. My personality changes, I can’t be around people, so I isolate. The thought of trying to make conversation or engaging with someone else’s emotions makes me cringe, I have no extra energy to offer anyone else and I simply don’t like people when I am depressed. All of this is the outward stuff that is bad enough, but it’s my thoughts that completely strip me of all hope. My thoughts turn dark and sinister. My normal determination to life live to the full turns to begging the universe to please find a way to off me, maybe an aneurysm in the night or a quick car accident, and I wake up angry that it didn’t happen and I have to face the day. I think about ways to off myself since the universe won’t bother, but simply don’t have energy to do anything about it. My thoughts speak to me in my own inner voice, telling me I’m stupid, ugly, fat, and that I take up way too space in the world, I am simply not worthy of that space, and the world would be so much better without me in it. My outer voice often reflects these thoughts and I hear myself saying things like “whatever,” or “Don’t care, do what you want.” or the ever resounding “It doesn’t matter (because nothing really ever matters).”
Depression is The Great Distorter. It lies to me. It completely changes how I see the world. It whispers falsehoods into my soul. It’s trying to kill me. It’s tried to kill me before. It’ll try to kill me again.
I won’t let it this time. I’m just not sure how to fight it right now, but I’ve fought it before. Actually, I DO know how to fight it, but I don’t have the strength right now. So, I’m gonna play dead for a little while longer and let The Great Distorter taunt me a bit. But I’ll figure it out. I have to. I’ll be back.