Today, I don’t want to write anything. I want to lie in bed and hide. My eye hurts. My vision is blurry. I need to see the optometrist, but I don’t want to leave the house. It is still a deep freeze out there (literally about -20 Celcius or -4 Fahrenheit). I forced myself to write this because I want people who are this depressed to know they are not alone. And I want people who are not depressed to know what it is like.
I feel frightened, but I don’t know what I am frightened about. The things that come to mind are: my lack of income and the will to do anything productive, my lack of will period including the will to live sometimes, that weight loss surgery — it could change my life for the better or it could just make things even worse. On days like today, I can only see the positives in theory. I am grateful for the roof over my head in theory. I am grateful to those who purchase food for me in theory. However, in reality, I just want out. I want it all to be over. I have had enough of fighting this depression off.
Fighting the day…
And yet, I will always fight through days like today. There are only two reasons that makes sense to me on a day like today:
- If I don’t fight through my depression, it will destroy the lives of everyone who loves me. Suicide really is not an option because it would hurt my loved ones so much. I cannot leave them with that.
- I know, from my education in Psychology, that depression always gets better. I have been struggling with it for 25 years, but it is like a wave. It comes on, it gets bad, it gets worse, it is at its worst, and then it flows away for awhile. And for a time, I am free of it and I can enjoy small pockets of life between depressions.
My weight vs. my depression
Will weight loss surgery have a major impact on my depression level? My doctors are convinced of it. They see my depression and my weight as inexorably linked. But did I gain weight because I was depressed or did I get depressed because of the weight gain?
I am clumsy today. I bumped into a table and knocked my diet Pepsi onto the carpet and broke a glass. Normally, I just accept when these things happen and clean them up. I guess that is what I did today also, but I felt such enormous frustration and self-hatred as I did it. And I feel that I didn’t do a complete job of cleaning up. I feel like everything, absolutely everything in the universe is a mess and it is my fault somehow.
My eye hurts. It worries me. It is a pain behind my eye. It might be stress or tension or staring at the tiny screen of my phone to play stupid games too often. I don’t know. I feel stressed out even though I am really not doing anything at all. I feel an overwhelming burden of self-loathing. I want to go away — on a vacation somewhere. However, I also want to go away as in to disappear altogether.
Running away is not the answer…
I don’t say these things to frighten you, my reader. I also do not endorse running away as a solution. Running away is not a solution because you are always with you. Suicide is not a solution because it leaves a swath of destruction in its wake — did you know that when one person kills themselves, it “normalizes” suicide so that then other people do it?
When I took my distress line training, we were told NOT to guilt people out of committing suicide, but I think guilt can sometimes be a powerful motivational tool. Sometimes, when we are depressed, we feel worthless and like our lives don’t matter, but just by staying alive and breathing, we make our lives matter because if we were to take our own lives, who knows how much damage we could cause, not just to our loved ones, but to other depressed people who hear about it and think that is a “good” way out.
How can I counsel me? “Physician, heal thyself.”
What would I tell someone who was feeling the way I am right now? I would try to reconnect them with their resources. I would ask them about the following:
- What are your reasons for living?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- Who can you talk to?
- Where can you go to get additional assistance?
So, let’s go through this:
What are my reasons for living?
- My adult daughter
- I like to write.
- Cats. I like cats.
- My boyfriend.
- My family.
What do I enjoy doing?
- I like to write.
- I like to eat — but that pleasure will soon be taken away (weight loss surgery).
- I like to draw and color even though I am bad at it.
- TV, movies
- video games
- If I lose weight (weight loss surgery), I would like to learn to kayak and scuba dive.
- I like to swim
- I like to sing.
- I like to read.
Who can I talk to?
- The whole world via this site. Ha ha.
- But, seriously. I don’t really have anyone I can talk to. Maybe one or two friends. They don’t really understand depression.
Where can I go to get additional assistance?
- If “shit” gets real, I can always go to the nearest emergency room and tell them I feel suicidal. I have never tried that before, but I am told it is a good idea.
- I could call the distress line, but I have tried that before and it doesn’t really work well for me (our local distress line puts people on hold — this is why I stopped volunteering with them).
- I could start seeing a counsellor again.
- I could do some “bibliotherapy” — read some self help books. There is a book called “The Mindful Way Through Depression,” which I own and started to read and it is actually very helpful.
- Another thing that helps me is binaural beats — you’re going to have to google it because I don’t have the energy to explain it today. Maybe tomorrow?
- I could see a hypnotist — I believe in hypnosis and it might help. I could listen to a hypnosis mp3 (cheaper and more accessible). Or I could do some self-hypnosis.
- I could dial 2-1-1. This is a resource in many communities including mine across North America. They can connect you to resources in your local community that can help you.
- I could go to my doctor and tell him he needs to help me.
- I could go to the hospital at 8am — they have a psychiatric walk-in clinic at 8am. It is a 4 hour deal, but it is something I could do.
There. I have calmed myself down and reconnected me to my resources. You have now witnessed the entire cycle: me being panic-stricken and depressed and me counselling me and calming me down and helping me figure out an action plan that will help me get through the way/week.