(***Potential trigger, mention of suicides caused by depression.)
It happened again today. For the last year I’ve been battling ups and downs, sometimes helped with medication, sometimes not. But for whatever ‘up’ I may gain that fools the doctor into thinking I am somehow ‘doing okay’…The bottom line remains: When I wake up in the morning, pried from the comfort (yes, comfort) of even my most whacked out dream…I am disappointed and saddened. It sounds messed up but it’s true.
Depression is a vulture that picks your carcass clean before you’re even dead. It feeds not on death, but on whatever signs of life and hope you have remaining. It taints your emotions so that even good things seem like a death blow. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or successful, intelligent, or surrounded by loved ones. Depression kills, in the form of sucide, a topic I am all too well acquainted with not just because of the recent loss of Anthony Bourdain, but also because my sister’s brother in law hung himself in their basement on New Year’s Day. I’ve lost three friends on line due to depression pushing them to their breaking point. This is no longer some footnote or a matter of ‘weak character’ or ‘taking the easy way out’.
Depression, and sucide, have become an epidemic.
When Bourdain passed, my sister and her mother in law were both thrown back to the grief of their loss on New Year’s Day, feeling responsible, like they didn’t do enough to help K. The only topic I am ‘expert’ on, sadly, is depression, and I made it clear to them that they did everything they could, as did K. He asked for help, he signed himself into a hospital, he was taking the meds, not isolating but staying around his family and interacting…You can pack your day 23 hours and 57 minutes with love and activity to distract from the mental darkness. It only takes that 3 minutes when you’re alone or your mood crashes or it all just overwhelms you…and that’s when you break. It’s no one’s fault. It’s not an easy way out or a weakness of character. The fact is, and religious people can tar and feather me if they want- God CAN give you more than you can handle.
I’ve been fortunate inasmuch as my baseline through all depression has never been suicidality. I’ve had suicidal thoughts,almost exclusive to certain medications that caused them, and I have certainly hit points of self destructive behavior that could have done me in…But I’ve always hung around, waiting for the mood to change, the nerves to calm, believing there’s something better out there, something worth my while. It’s a hard thing to do, keep faith when all hope is gone. When you feel like an empty husk full of sadness, loathing, and hatred. Just trying to convince yourself life isn’t a waste of time is exhausting and it takes enormous strength for most of us. That is where our strength of character shines through. Telling yourself to hang on because it can get better despite droves of evidence to the contrary, not to mention your own mind telling you to give it up…That’s being strong.
For those not familiar with this blog, I was recently put on 40 mg Cymbalta back at the start of May. After multiple med failures and bad interactions and side effects…the concrete cloud started to finally clear and I WAS feeling better. My doctor wouldn’t increase the dose even though she is leaving and at the moment, I am in limbo, no assigned doctor or even a psych nurse for refills. I was doing better but then my monthly PMDD kicked in and sent me back down the rabbit hole. Yesterday was a constant fight just for cause to not stick my head in the oven. Not because things are so awful but because MY MIND IS AWFUL. It whispers awful things, causes me to feel awful things, and the only person who can help with that is a doctor. Because all the talk therapy on the planet isn’t going to combat the imbalance of hormones and brain chemicals.
So I think my feelings of “Dammit, I woke up” are both illogical but understandable. Dreams are easy, even the bad ones. They happen whether I want to participate or not. I don’t have any control, or have to put any effort forth. I don’t have to feel in a good mood, I don’t have to feel guilty for being disabled or like a failure as a mom because I can’t afford to take my kid to go do fun summer stuff…Dreaming is easy and it makes absolute sense I’d seek solace there and want to stay there.
The moment I wake up I have to face all the things I can’t change but am in charge of anyway. It’s a crushing weight. What makes it different from anyone else’s crushing stress is the fact that my brain doesn’t process things properly. Bipolar depression brains are very different, very complex. We can laugh at a funeral and cry because someone complimented us. Our wires are so crossed, nothing that should be is. Maybe this cross of the wires helps me lean away from suicidality. Because I know the tides can change, no need to go drastic. It’s just always a back burner thought if that deity does give me more than I can handle. And yeah, I said deity, because hey, what if today I believe in the flying spaghetti monster but tomorrow I believe in The Church of The Poison Mind headed by Boy George?
Right now, I am down for the count and doing the depressive zombie shamble. My humor is darker than usual, but it’s still there. I guess it’s something to hold onto.
That and the countdown until I can go to bed and back to dreaming. Turning off my emotions and brain for the day is something to truly look forward to.
Fuck you, depression.