Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Worst Thing About Depression

The worst thing about depression is knowing that it will never really go away. Even if it subsides periodically.  Even as much progress as you think you're making.  Even as much progress as you really ARE making. It's always been with you. It always will be with you.  It's like looking down the tube of your life and knowing that you are always going to feel this way. This too shall pass?  I’m sorry, that’s incorrect. This too shan't pass.  It never has and it never will.   Nice try, though.  Good guess. Thanks for playing.  We have some lovely parting gifts.

When it gets really bad, there’s the familiar response.  Wanting to curl up as small as possible. Under my bed.  Under my desk at work.  Tucked away in the furthest recess I can find. Backed up against a wall in the corner.  Please.  You don't see me.   I take up no space because I’M NOT HERE.  I don’t want to die, exactly.  I don’t want to kill myself.  I just want to NOT BE HERE. Marking time till the next thing I dread is over.   So I can just please stop. Stop thinking about everything I fucked up simply because I was there to fuck it up.  My kids, my marriage, my husband’s life.  Ruining everything for everyone.  

All my kids' memories will be bad ones.  They will go to therapy and talk about all the things I did that made them feel horrible about themselves.  All the things they learned from me that are fucked up, measuring other people with the same impossible yardstick I use on myself, hating other people because I hate myself, making fun of them because ultimately I am the most ridiculous thing of all.  

The Gamer:  Mom, why aren’t you coming with us to the party?
Troubled:  Mom won’t go to the party because she hates people.
Me:  Hey, I don’t hate people!  I just prefer them when they’re not around.
PreMed:   Good thing we got Caller ID because this way, at least we know who was calling when Mom didn’t answer it.
Me:  Let them leave a voicemail!  Who talks on the phone, anyway?  

Remind me to tell you about the time a pushy acquaintance that I never liked wanted to see the progress on the remodel we were doing on the house.  How I let the call go to the machine (this was back in the day).  How she left three messages in the space of an hour, are you home, can I come by?   Finally, and I don’t know how people have the balls to do stuff like this, she just showed up, turning her minivan into the cul-de-sac and pulling up to the house.The kids and I were in the great room. They were watching TV and I don’t know what I was doing.   But I saw right away that it wouldn’t be enough for me to go to my room and hide, my first instinct, always. She would see the kids in the window and ask them to get me and then what?

I’m not proud of what happened next.  “Get down, get down, come over here, hide behind the couch with Mommy,  Jennifer’s here but I don’t want her to come in, let’s pretend we’re not here.”    I hid from my friend like Anne Fucking Frank and I made my kids hide with me until she got back in her car and drove away.   We laugh about it now.  But WTAF.  Grist for the therapy mill if ever I saw it. My mother, the narcissistic misanthrope.

Though self-taught from a young age, and even with a natural aptitude,  I can't seem to get this depression gig right.  Depressed people talk about not being able to get out of bed.   As much as I would prefer to crawl back under the covers in the tight little ball that I covet, I simply cannot.  I can't stay in bed because I'm petrified that my complete and utter failure will be revealed.    I can’t stay in bed because there would be yet another example of what’s wrong with me.  I can’t stay in bed because I have to get up and do more, try harder, be better.   I can’t stay in bed because my superego is a harsh mistress and the switch she wields is swift and sharp.  I can’t stay in bed because panic, masquerading as hope, pretending to be courage, compels me, propels me, and I hurtle out of bed, already exhausted before the day has begun.

Even though I understand that the universe finds me flawed at the cellular level, I like to think that I that I hide it really well.   How arrogant is that!  People tell me all the time how clever I am, how witty.  How I express what they are feeling in just the right way. How much I've helped them.  I always joke "that's a tragic and near-fatal case of the blind leading the blind."  I'm thrilled that anyone gets something out of this nonsense.  But I'm also dismayed.  I'm a sham.  How have you people not seen this yet? Your failure to recognize my failure diminishes us both.

It's so much a piece of me that I have never thought to question it. Only in the last few years has it dawned on me that other people don’t live this way.  Other people aren’t just waiting for time to pass until it’s over or wishing they weren’t here or fantasizing about putting a revolver in their mouths or driving off a cliff.   I have started at least a dozen times to tell someone, anyone, that I feel this way and realize just in time, “Hey, Self!  That’s suicide ideation which means 72 hours that you just can’t spare right now! And who knows how many more days, weeks maybe, after that?”   

So, no.  That’s crazy.  Who would do that?  Not this Nutjob right here, my friends.  Uh-uh.  Not me.  No way.  I’ll just keep plugging away, writing this blog, listening to music, cracking wise on my Facebook page, and looking down the tube of my life knowing that even when I’m feeling good, better than good, magnificent even, I’m always going to have this thing, this depression, this horrible self-loathing that has grown, in the cruelest of ironies, into the most profound friendship I could ever hope to have.


42 comments:

  1. Wow. Thank you for describing my life. I mean who does that? <3

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    1. Right on the nose... I was hiding under the dining room table when I was younger than 6 years old when anyone came over. I was overwhelmed with panic and shame if I was discovered. I didn't want anyone looking at me or talking to me outside of my family and little friends.

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  2. Lots of people live that way, myself included. Thank you for having the courage to share your feelings, and making the rest of us nutjobs feel less alone/crazy/helpless

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  3. That is some pretty powerful articulation there lady. You really are a world class writer!

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  4. We think alike. I like that. I've finally taken the attitude that depression is only a feeling it will change. Gnite

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  5. I have felt this time and time again. Am I a complete waste? Do I screw it all up? Are my kids going to need therapy for the rest of their life? So thanks for making me feel less alone in it all :)

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  6. Thank you for sharing. I have depression and don't know anyone who experiences it like me, until I read this. People doubt my depression because I'm a doer. It's only when I know I can hide that I hold myself up in my house. Otherwise, I put on a good front, get out of bed and smile big for everyone. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone.

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  7. hey hun you may think what you do is a sham, ours not and sometimes the blind leaf the blind better than the"allseeing" professionals we trust our minds and bodies to. I hope knowing that your sharing and your wise cracking makes our days a million times better. feel accomplished love even is for a second before driving off that cliff.


    love you klonnie

    star rox

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  8. Yeah. You weren't lying when you said it was deep. I might empathize too well with that, especially the part,

    "I can’t stay in bed because panic, masquerading as hope, pretending to be courage, compels me, propels me, and I hurtle out of bed, already exhausted before the day has begun."

    I used to be able to eventually snap out of depressive states, but lately it's been almost impossible. I've been telling myself I'm going to mop my floor for three days now, and for three days, I disappear into the internet instead. And I just today, a few minutes ago, said this to my kids. Yes I said this. "Stop fighting and let me watch my cat videos." Who am I?

    Anyway, I guess at some point today, I hope I can get myself together enough to play that 24 hours of Pharrell's Happy song, embrace the delusions of happy the song makes me feel, and mop my stinking floor.

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  9. You are one of the bravest women I know...for posting the truth that so many of us know/feel/don't want to admit for ourselves either. Thank you.

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  10. sounded like I was listening to myself...which only made me realize I'm not the only one yet hate for anyone to go through these irrational thoughts...I TRULY appreciate your sharing a piece of your soul. The word that comes to my mind is COURAGE. Funny how I can feel that way about you and yet feel if I shared the same information others would say CRAZY. Here's to more of the better days and keeping the worse days in check.

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  11. Leading isn't always about being in front and showing the path. Sometimes leading means teaching someone how to navigate the path. In that case, who better to lead the blind than the blind?

    You put words to my feelings. I love you for that, and for your ability to live in this world day after day. Thank you. <3

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  12. Mina,
    Found your facebook page link on a friends page. Just read your blog and found it spot on!
    I've given up on trying to explain this "thing" with me. I could go on and on about depression and it's grip on me but then I would have to join that 12 step program "On and On and On".
    Thank you for your well represented insight.

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  13. Wow. I mean, really...WOW. I have never been diagnosed as bipolar, because, well...I CAN'T AFFORD TO GO TO A DOCTOR. But I know what I am, and I have pretended I'm not...This hit so close to home, it had me in tears. To see in print what I have done all my adult life...to know that there is NO DENYING it. Just...WOW. Thank you, I think...

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  14. I envy the way you express your feelings through words...writing is therapeutic

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  15. i'm sitting here crying because so much of what you said could have come straight out of my mouth. I fucking HATE this depression.

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  16. wow......just wow...it's all i've got.

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  17. I used to think i was the only one. My old therapist was the one who pointed out that its more common than we think. People often dont talk about it, so we feel alone in our "not wanting to kill ourselves, but wishing to just cease to exist"

    The same goes for homicidal thoughts. She said the difference between normal people and murderers is that "normal" people generally know muder is wrong and never actually kill people (I was certain i had gone crazy because i was fantasizing about killing my boss who had assulted me at work and put me in therapy)

    Okay that all got way creepy. Not my intention! Intersting to think about anyway. I really just wanted to point out that your blogging is quite helpful to a lot of us dealing with the same feelings, and feeling entirely alone about it. Im sure you read that blog post about depression that went viral a while back (i think it was hyperboleandahalf(dot)com. If you didnt its a MUST read)

    Now im rambling. Thank you for sharing. I know all the feelings. Or lack of. You get it.

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  18. Klonnie, you put into words what is so hard for me to express!

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  19. Get outta my goddamn head. There's only room enough for the five of us.

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  21. If I can love you this much, maybe some day I can not hate me. Maybe. Probably not. Love you.

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  22. you and i must be related. twins separated at birth or something except you say things way better than i ever could. <3

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  23. Although you may not want the recognition, and want to hide, all these people feel similar to you. I know I do. I really just don't want my kids to grow up thinking that mommy is crazy. I find that I have to make myself do one thing a day, that way I can feel "accomplished" for not giving into sitting curled up for the whole day.

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  24. You nailed it so hard. I need my husband to read this. He needs to read this. Maybe my in-laws, too, because I skip more events than I should.

    My children had a book when they were small. It was a cardboard book for goodnight. The first part was "Sometimes I like to curl up in a ball, so no one can see me because I'm so small."

    There were nights of panic where I couldn't sleep no matter how tired I was that I had my husband recite that line over and over. And I would curl up, and get small.

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  25. All of this resonates with me. But the part that hits the hardest is the part about getting out of bed. I always wondered about that. How is it that I, in the middle of the worst depressions, when I can't shower, I can't eat, I don't want to exist, HOW AM I GETTING OUT OF BED?!?! And you nailed it. Mustn't let them see JUST how much of a mess I truly am. That fear and panic were the only things getting me out of bed as well. Thank you.

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  26. Ever since I tried to kill myself at the age of 16, have I never been able to put into words as to how I was feeling. You have taken what I would have said and put it in print and allowed me to see myself through what I can only describe as survival. I still get some of those feelings. I still feel like dying. But I know I won't do anything. But the feelings are still there. Especially when I start second guessing and remembering and thinking that I'm not worthy to be in this world. The self talk goes on for days because my friends have all abandoned me because they didn't like listening to me. They could never understand because they were so perfect. There are nights when I try to find help but it's not where I want it to come from. Me. Thanks for catching me by writing about how I've felt and feel.

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  27. Thanks for sharing. I get this. My wife is bi-polar. We've been married 18 years. I see mostly the depressive cycles. She hides the mania phases (when they occur) for about a week until I catch on. She wants to enjoy the ride until I march her to the doc. lol I hope you have loving people in your life. That matters. I enjoy your posts. Take care and be well.

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  28. Hey Klonnie~ Have I mentioned that I am really sorry that your illness makes you feel this way. Thank you for your bravery in saying it out loud. This nutjob hopes that you will find all of this therapeutic and that your "stuff" will get better if even a little.

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  29. I agree, just say it differently. Life does get better, but it gets crappy again, it is a never ending cycle. Ah, the joys of The Roller Coaster :/

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  30. I'm really starting to believe that any person that does not go through this is the not normal person. How is it possible there are humans out there that do not experience this? This cycle and its immense ability to grip one's life is too much to be abnormal. Ugh. I don't want to die. I don't want to kill myself. I just don't want to be anymore.
    I'm going to my corner now to stare at the wall and maybe cry. The maybe means I'm on the up swing. Yay.

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  31. very well written. I have suffered with depression for 24 years, actively seeing shrinks, getting different meds or combinations of such, multiple hospitalization, YEARS of therapy, 10 shock treatments. I have "treatment resistant" depression. I constantly have a tape going on in my mind, repeating "I wish I was dead I wish I was dead I wish I was dead". And no one understands. you can't just pull yourself out of it. My mother's response, every time I tell her I am down, is "why? what happened" and I say "nothing HAPPENED. I just have depression". It is maddening. LOst all my friends because I'm "too negative."

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  32. Same here. It will be over soon.

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  33. Very good description of what life is like with bipolar and also the unending, self hate I have for myself. It's always there, no matter how many "new" drugs they try on me. No matter how many " therapists" I see, it's there, waiting to eat me alive. Maybe some day I will step over the line and let it, just for a little relief. I am so tired of my eyes welling up and my voice falling into the pit of my stomach and taking away my ability to speak. Very good.

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  34. My good lady you are not a sham! As you read all your comments I hope somewhere in your mind you will understand just how much you help all of us. Thank you for your honesty, so many of us don't know how to put it in words. I have always felt this way and have had many of the same experiences. I fell hard down the rabbit tunnel 2 days ago and for the first time in 41 years felt like I could not climb out this time...this gave me some hope so today I will try and understand I am not alone and try not to hide. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do and how you help everyone of us on the daily! A laugh and a smile can bring so much to someone who is so lost.

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  35. Thank you for writing this. Every word resonates with me. I feel you have looked into my soul and put into words what I can not. I now know I am not alone.

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  36. I enjoy every word you drop, and coming from a another bipolar person who has the mania as well as the drop and we do see it. But only us. My Dr thinks it's a good idea to wean me off klon and start depakote, which has had a dose increase twice now and I still am pulling all nighters 2 or 3 nights a week! You, as we all are, are a little different, a little whacked, and most importantly, honestly human. Keep being witty and blogging about life, cuz we can't let em see us sweat, right? ❤☔

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  37. "I can’t stay in bed because panic, masquerading as hope, pretending to be courage, compels me, propels me, and I hurtle out of bed, already exhausted before the day has begun." THIS. Celexa and Wellbutrin are wonderful drugs. I know THIS every single day, but it numbs the sharpness of the wound that keeps opening. I know it will never heal. With drugs I can ignore it mostly enough to get through the day. Still, my most favorite part of the day is my commute. Me, alone in my car, no kids to see me fuck up, no husband to tell me all the things I'm doing wrong, no Aleppo or Trump videos showing me how horrible this world is, letting the thoughts just come and go as they please. When I get to thoughts that cause tears, enough so I can't see enough to drive safely (because, fuck me, I just could not live with myself if I hurt anyone else on the road), I pull over and bawl quickly, then find a song on the radio I know the words to (no matter how bad of a song it might be) and SING wicked loud all the way to work. Talk about exhausted before the work day has even started.

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