Those who know me longer know I drink quite a lot, I know they joke about it, often in front of me. I try to laugh it off, but yeah, they’re right. It’s just that sometimes it’s the only thing that numbs the pain or anxiety. And then there are entire weeks when I pretty much don’t drink at all and I don’t even feel the need to. And then there are days between, when I do pretty ok, yet I still feel like I need some safety blanket, because I can never know when things get bad again and I can’t sleep and I feel like I’ll jump out of my skin and it’s overwhelming. And there is a choice how to cope, I hurt myself or I drink. Or I take a pill to calm down, pill that can very easily be addictive. Not much of a good choices, I know, especially when alcohol can give me one hell of a migraine.
Today I’m going to share two videos made by a youtuber Marinashutup, where she talks about her experience with depression. I agree almost completely with her and I will comment more down after the videos.
The first video is true in the sense that after starting taking antidepressants, you can experience a lot of energy and positive feelings, because your brain is on fire, metaphorically speaking. I know this, because I experienced it too, after taking the pills several weeks, I felt like I was bathing in sunshine and positive feelings every single second. It was great, but it didn’t last forever. Back then my psychiatrist told me that this is normal experience, way to kill my buzz… It is kind of naive, but I like the numbers she mentions, about the number of people affected and treated. It’s scary and sad.
I agree a lot with Marina with what she says in the second video. It is hard to admit to yourself, that you’re not ok. Getting diagnosed and treated is not easy, there is a lot of stigma. I mentioned in my previous post that I waited too long because I was afraid of the label “mentally ill”. And also, because I read about this, of course, but I had never thought it could happen to me. What she calls a relapse in the video, it’s what I call a roller-coaster in my blog. I go up and I go down and it can be really exhausting. In my case, the relapse can take from several hours to several days or weeks. Usually I can spot it, I get too tired, too emotional, too restless and anxious, sad and feel really bad… Really, after years with this disorder, I usually get the message. I can even spot it in my blog, the very bad and sad posts I put here, those are the moments when I relapse. It’s not permanent, I get back eventually, but it is exhausting.
I also like that she stresses the problem of disbelieve. Mental problems tend to be dismissed, especially in teenagers. I wrote a post, which you can find here, when I was really sad and emotional after reading a discussion on a page dealing with mental disorders. I admit, when I read about people dealing with similar issues, I get teary a lot. It hurts me that so many people go through this, nobody deserves this! And saying to them they just made it up? That’s the worst, don’t do that. Somehow, some people think I need to flaunt my disorder to feel special, yeah… It feels really special to know my brain is not working as it should, I feel like a totally special person.
I think Marina makes good points and I admire her courage to share her experience.
I wanted to write about my Christmas and holiday and New Year’s Eve and all, but today, I have a more pressing problem taking me away from my work. I’m getting really worried about my future, it’s driving me crazy, literally. Next year this time I will be studying for my final exams and hopefully getting my master’s degree, but what after that?
I know the plan should be getting already some experience in my field, finding future available jobs etc, but the question in my head is, “Am I even able to function as a normal person in adult life?” I honestly cannot imagine going to a work every day, because what happens when I won’t feel “well”? In another words, what if just the thought of going out and deal with everything will switch my brain into panic and non-working state? When my head gets overloaded, it just stops working, I can’t concentrate, I can’t think, I can’t even talk or move, my brain is incapable of sending those signals. I hear my boyfriend talking to me, I know I should respond, I even say the sentence in my head, but it doesn’t reach my mouth. Imagine this happening somewhere in an office. Me, staring blankly somewhere, people talking to me, while I’m unable to get my brain to send some signals to my body to move and speak and just behave like a normal human being.
I got really worried about this during this exam period. It’s very hard to study, when your brain is on strike, but you know you have to, so you force your head to cooperate, for some time and then it’s even worse. No wonder I sleep so much these days! But anyway, it got me really worried about future, how do you even talk to an employer about depressions? Do you tak about it? How can you convince someone you are able to work for them, when you can’t even convince yourself?
I don’t want to be dependent on my parents for the rest of their lives and I don’t want to be a burden to my partner. But I don’t know how I will be able to financially support myself with my weird brain and it’s really scary. So it doesn’t help that I think about this when I should be studying, because it only makes things worse…
I have to confess something. I don’t think I have accepted myself and depressions so far. There are moments when I feel proud in a way, proud of being different, perhaps have deeper understanding for people, but then there are moment or entire days like this, when I just feel like a piece of s**t. I guess I’m depressed or may be I just struggle to accept and embrace something, that is unacceptable for lot of people in my country.
About two weeks ago, a mentally ill woman attacked high school kids. I think she was schizophrenic and it was high school…but the point is, she killed a boy there. When I saw discussion sections under articles about it, it made me really sick. People just hating everyone labeled “mentally ill”, wanting to kill the woman, to select and imprison everyone mentally ill… And just a handful of people trying to criticize the system here, that takes care of mentally ill. Not one person asked “what about the woman, how she feels”. I know she killed a boy and I do pity his family, but after all this, I just have to wonder, how does the woman feel. I suppose she didn’t know what she was doing and suddenly she was accused of murder. And people were just standing in line to spit on her. To spit on everyone “not normall”. I felt sad and afraid. Afraid of the way people might see me, if they knew there are moments when I’m also not in control of myself. Those moments are quite few nowadays, but there are still…and they were. Moments when I hate myself so deeply I just want to do the world a favor and end my life. Moments when my hatred is so big I want my boyfriend to hurt me, to hit me, so I shout at him all sort of bad things in hope he’ll do it. Moments when I feel so cold inside and everything seems dark, while I stare in the air, eyes wide open in a warm light room. Where are the moments I wanted to run away, just run and run, so I ran in the middle of the road and I hoped a car would hit me. Thankfully, it was night and there was no car anywhere. Just my boyfriend hoping I would come back. And me feeling I just can’t take it anymore, I just can’t live this life anymore, just can’t be myself anymore. I did came back, my “normal” side managed to take control. And I felt even worse, knowing I hurt him so badly. Or the times when I felt there’s a voice inside my head ordering me to hurt myself, telling me I have no chance to win, to escape and one day, I would just fall and die. Deep down, I’m scared all the time that he would leave me. I see the life he has with me, the pain, the problems, the scenes and I’m scared that one day this will all be too much. It was too much for my ex and he didn’t even saw the worst of me.
How can I learn to accept this?! I can’t even tell anymore, when depressions are affecting the way I feel and when not. Is it all the time? Is it every time I’m sad? Is it now? Or am I just tired and under pressure? Every time I feel sad and “just not myself” I ask “is it me, or just the illness”? Can I even differentiate one from the other anymore? Or should I just say “this is all me, the good and the bad”? How can I embrace something I can’t even name out loud in front of people, most of the time? How can I feel complete, when I see the struggle my parents are having to accept this reality? When they can’t say the word “depression” aloud? When my mum is struggling to accept that her daughter is taking antidepressants, talking about her visits to psychologist and psychiatrist? How can I accept all this when I know how I hurt them? How confused they are, because of all this? How can I live my life knowing that anytime it can get much worse and I can start losing control again? And are those people right, am I a danger for others? Should I be locked somewhere? Would it be better?
I’m scared. Scared of the future, but mostly just scared of myself. I know where all this can take me. I’ve been there, really deep down there and I know how nasty it can get. I know the hurt and the pain. I remember all those things I wish I could take back, all those moments I destroyed with this part of me. All those evenings with my boyfriend that I took away forever. I can’t accept my illness, because I can’t forgive myself. I can’t say “it wasn’t me, it was this something inside me that did it”. Because I feel like I did even though I also didn’t. I have all these answers and I’m totally confused. I can’t tell what is “normal” anymore, because I’ve never really experienced “the normal”.
Continuing today with similar issue. I just feel so…weird, frustrated… I’ve been to department of my university that deals with people with special study requirement. I’ve been to discuss, if they can help me in some way with depressions and migraines. I can get more time for written exams, write them in separate room, I could also get individual course of study, but so far, I don’t want to. I’m still trying to be “normal”, although I feel that I can’t pretend anymore. I feel forced to accept the “mentally ill” label. I’m not forced by someone specific, it’s just the feeling, the circumstances. It’s so hard, I was always taught to be strong and deal with things and I have strong need to control things. I don’t like to share responsibilities and I don’t like people telling me what I should do. And right here, in my own head, body, mind is something I can’t control, not completely. Something throwing me off my way, disrupting my life. Taking control away from me. Forcing me to accept special terms at school. And worst of all, making me feel embarrassed when my boyfriend excuses my behavior, because I have these problems. I know he means well and I appreciate it, but it also makes me feel something less, something that needs excuses so that he could live with me. He makes me feel safe and loved, but these past days I was pretty bitchy, because I just can’t stand him excusing me, the vulnerability and loss of control that comes with all that. I kind of hate myself for this, but I have no idea how to deal with it. I need to find a way to accept depressions and learn to live with it, with the good and bad, and I need to do this on my own. I know my boyfriend, my friends, my family…they all try to help and support me, but none of them really understands and none of them can really tell me how to cope with this. Because it’s terrifying, all this instability in my life, it’s like living on a roller-coaster, going up and down and up and down… it’s exhausting!. I can’t even be really happy without a voice in my head warning me to get ready for the way down that’s coming next. It scares me that this might never change, I’m not sure I’m strong enough for decades of living like this.
I know I really take lot of time to write. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Which is weird, because I have so many things to talk about. The problem is, I just don’t like autumn and I’m tired most of the time. I like summer, the weather is nice and warm, the sun is shining, I have lot of time to enjoy it… And them comes autumn… The weather gets gloomy, it often rains, I look from a window and I see temperature inversion or fog or whatever it is, so there is just seamless gray sky and I just feel like getting back to bed and sleep all the time. It has got better these past few weeks, but I actually spend lot of time sleeping in the beginning of October. My school started, well my two schools started, lot of things changed, I began to live with my boyfriend and I guess it was just all too much. I talked about it with my psychologist and she said that it’s normal for people with depressions to feel this way. Sun is very important for us and the way we feel and when it’s gone most of the time, people like me can be affected a lot by this. I like autumnal colors, I like it when the sun si shining and I go through a park and there are colorful leaves everywhere…, but most of the time, there is just this gloomy day, when it never becomes really light out, just some sort of half-day.
Autumn is also the time of year, when lot of bad things happened to me, so I get nervous, afraid there will be something bad again… I wanted to kill myself some years ago in autumn, everything was just all too much and I didn’t have the strenght to go on. It was also the time when I had my dance lessons and felt totally ugly and unwanted and ended up with the worst dancer in the group for the last lesson. I guess I was too complicated for people around me, because most of them just thought I’ m too touchy or closed. Not all of them, there were people really supporting me, but only just few of them.
My grandaunt died in autumn, two months before my 18th birthday. Those birthdays are very important in my country, because you become legally adult. And I hoped to get closer to her and I thought that being adult would help. I saw that her relationship with my sister got closer when she became adult and I hoped I would get the same. But I never got the chance. My grandaunt was heavy smoker and she fought intestinal cancer for some years. She lost it and died in sleep in hospital. I still remember all this so vividly, seeing her ICU with all those machines around, visiting her at the cottage when she was sick, then learning about her death. I still feel pain and want to cry when I think about this. I desperatelly wanted to be close to her and envied the adults around me for having better relationship with her. I never got the chance, I will never have that chance again. I just hope I will stop hurting for this one day. When I look back, I realize how much I needed someone to understand, to talk about this, but I couldn’t talk about it with my family. I talked about my aunt with my friends and I know they did their best to understand and help me, but it wasn’t enough. I don’t blame them, I didn’t know how to talk about all those things I felt and I guess they didn’t know what to say. I don’t thing I really cried for her a lot. I did, inside, but I was so used to hide my emotions I don’t think I cried real tears a lot.
There are more things that happened in autumn, like some of my “friends” bullying me and so on, but I guess my grandaunt and the terrible weather is why I don’t like autumn. I know I have to let go of these things, I just don’t know how. I hope one day, I will be able to do it.