Tuesday, August 11, 2015

8-11-2015 Entry: Depression Is...


Hello my darlings! I have missed you. These changed circumstances that are preventing me from posting on here as often as before are driving me a bit crazy and I’ve started to unravel a bit. This blog has become such a wonderful avenue for me to exercise my more creative and analytical capabilities that my current profession leaves practically untouched on a daily basis and gives me a feeling of relief from the triviality of daily life. I find writing here to be so much more worthy of my time, effort, and cognitive abilities than the drudgery of my paper-pushing career in law. I read a quote the other day that was transcribed by Betty Friedan in her book The Feminine Mystique that went:

 

"The more your intelligence exceeds your job requirements, the greater your boredom"

 

Sadly, I’m not entirely sure who said those words since she didn’t list the person’s name, but I found these words to be truly encapsulating of my current work conditions. I know it probably sounds a bit pompous or self-congratulating to suggest that the reason I’m so bored with my job is because I’m too intelligent for the work I’m doing, but it’s really the way I feel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel that I’m more intelligent or better than any of my coworkers, but am simply suggesting that the work I do requires so little thought and puts so little strain on my analytical capabilities that I’m constantly finding myself positively bored to death; and I mean that somewhat literally. The depression that my job has caused me in recent weeks, especially as a result in changing circumstances that have limited my ability to find relief here, has definitely driven me to an almost constant state of suicidal depression.

Sure, I can put on a smile and even socialize somewhat normally but almost every night over the last week or two I have gone to bed asking myself why I should keep going, why I should keep living. As I mentioned in my entry last week I nearly walked out on my marriage and life, all simply because of the despair I feel towards my job and my inability to do this (writing) full time.

 In so many ways I feel like a resounding failure. After almost three years of writing books and blogging, I’m still unable to make this effort something more than just a time-consuming hobby. I have dreamt of being a writer as my primary job for over 15 years now and despite all of my efforts, I don’t feel any closer to achieving that goal than before I wrote my first novel. If anything, sometimes I feel further away from it than ever.

People are telling me all the time that I am not a failure and telling me how amazing I am and how good of a writer I am, yet this is the nature of my depression: no matter how much anyone else tries to tell me I’m worthy, I still feel unworthy. The worst part right now is how bad I feel for all of you being subjected to my little pity party. I expect that you came here to read something uplifting, something entertaining, something funny, or even something enlightening and yet all I can seem to write about is my own misery.

The only thing that seems to make me feel better lately is seeing myself in the mirror on a good makeup/outfit day or when a random stranger refers to me with female pronouns/descriptors. It’s like I’ve finally gotten the outside to look more like it is supposed to and that gives me such relief to get to be the person I know I am, but the inside is still so messy and chaotic. Every day is a battle, every day is another difficulty to be overcome, every day is another choice to keep going, to keep living. I pray to god constantly to just kill me, to just put me out of my misery because I’m too afraid to do it myself but those prayers keep going unanswered.

I haven’t answered an email from people writing into me for help in ages because I just can’t bring myself to do it. How can I give them advice when I feel so helplessly lost and alone? How can I even begin to ease their suffering when I have so much of my own clouding my vision? Why would anyone turn to me when I’m such a failure?

This is what depression looks like for me. These are the questions I battle with every day…

 

Depression is when you wake up in the morning and want to call in sick to work every single day because you don’t have the energy to deal with the world.

Depression is when you fake the smile and you pretend everything is okay because you’re convinced it’s better to hide your pain than reveal it to others.

Depression is when you spend the entire day at work wondering if today is the day you finally decide to kill yourself.

Depression is when you are silently crying in bed next to the person you love and all you want is for them to notice your tears, for them to recognize the pain you are in and to comfort you by telling you everything is going to be okay, but you are so crippled by your despair that you cannot bring yourself to reach out for help.

Depression is when you feel so hopelessly alone, even when you are in a room filled with people.

Depression is when you can’t stop yourself from believing that you have no worth, even as everyone around you tries to convince you otherwise.

Depression is when you stop talking to people and begin to isolate yourself because it takes too much energy to keep pretending like everything is okay.

Depression is when you cry yourself to sleep almost every night.

Depression is when you start to wonder if anyone would even notice if you weren’t around anymore.

Depression is when you become certain your life will never be worth living, that you will never achieve your goals or any sense of lasting happiness.

Depression is when you purposely hurt yourself so you can feel something other than emptiness.

Depression hurts.

Depression cripples.

Depression overwhelms.

Depression destroys.

Depression is…

 

If you have ever felt like any of the above I want you to know you aren’t alone. In my darkest hours I always feel so alone, so hopelessly isolated from anything good, warm, or loving, but I want you to know that it is okay to feel this way sometimes because you really aren’t alone. Just because everyone else seems to have everything so under control compared to you doesn’t mean you are broken and they are not. I have done so much in my life, achieved so many things that most people only ever aspire towards, and yet I too feel that crushing loneliness sometimes. I too suffer the overwhelming emotions that come when you can’t think of any reason to keep living.

This entry isn’t for the happy people, it’s for every person out there who has felt so absolutely alone and isolated that the only thing that feels like it could relieve your suffering is death. This is for the people who feel misunderstood and ignored. For the people who wonder if they even matter.

You matter. You really do, I promise. I know it’s hard to remember that sometimes. I know that when all the walls are closing in on you and the light seems to fade out into total encompassing darkness it can be easy to think that you don’t matter, that no one cares and no one will ever notice your pain. I care. Even though we’ve never met and there are a thousand blog posts and youtube videos just like this one, you matter to me. I know how hard it can be to keep going, to keep fighting even when you are certain you’ve already lost, but you have to keep going. You have to because the world would be lesser without you.

If you are feeling like this now, I want you to ask for help. I want you to overcome the crippling pain and reach out to someone for help. It doesn’t matter who it is, just say something, write something, hell even scream something if it makes you speak up. Just speak up! It never gets better when you keep it all inside. I know it’s hard to reveal that kind of pain. I know it’s difficult to even explain it to others, but you have to try. Depression is silence, and silence kills; it really does. Tell a friend, tell a family member, tell a coworker, tell a therapist, tell a priest/pastor; just tell someone, anyone, that you need help, that you can’t keep going like you have on your own.

You aren’t weak for needing help. You aren’t admitting that you are broken when you reveal your suffering. You are human, and suffering is part of the human condition, but suffering alone in silence will only make things worse. It’s okay to want comfort, to want someone to tell you it’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay.

No, really, it’s going to be okay.

You are okay.

You are stronger than your depression.

You are more powerful than these painful thoughts and emotions.

You are beautiful.

You are amazing.

You are extraordinary.

You are irreplaceable.

You matter.

You matter.

You matter.

You are not alone.

I’m here with you, and together we can beat these demons back.

They don’t own us.

They don’t control us.

They are just shadows, but we are light and love.

Light and Love have nothing to fear from the shadows.

You don’t have to be afraid.

You are not alone.

You are beautiful.

You matter. Don’t ever forget that.

 

With love,

-Emma

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