Cold is shocking

October has been so painful. Ayeeyo, detox/withdrawal, readjustment, feeling all my numbed trauma that my meds helped keep at bay… Whenever I go out I find myself having to make an effort not to burst out in tears in the middle of the street. And every step feels like the last step before I collapse.

It’s one thing to dissociate from pain, to create distractions. But to have it rain down on you while you sit there, with no where to hide or run..

I was the primary caretaker of ayeeyo for the past 3 years bc I shared room with her and that gave me structure and something to do. And now everything is a void. Absolutely everything. And yet it’s not? I feel a fullness that I’m trying to ground, for the first time ever in my life. As if I’m coming home with a newborn baby without having prepared anything for it. No crib or nothing.

I feel like my legs are lined with embers. I know it passes and I’m grateful for all the wisdom I’ve gained from my healing bc it’s the only thing keeping me calm and collected. I know it’s an ugly storm but I know its function and I know it’s benevolent and I know it’ll get better.

But gosh. Having to create new neural pathways when the old, trauma-laden ones threaten you with a repeat of the past 14 years…

You know what I hate the most? I’ve had to figure this shit out completely on my own all through my late teens and all of my 20s, battling it secretly, patiently. And when people get a whiff of it, they’re quick to throw words like smothering a fire with a blanket. I know those words are borne from restlessness and a knee-jerk reaction to seeing others in pain. But those words, had I taken them in, would have smothered ME, for I was the fire and I needed to burn down. I did.

Anyway, I count the weeks. This is 6.

Wet blanket & tea

My thoughts feel heavy in my head.It feels like my neurons are made of lead as they’re trudging along in my body. I’m 26 and I’m nowhere near having my life together. I’ve travelled far and wide and explored for the past ten years, but all I have is more questions spun from the answers I got. I thought I’d be done with depression by now. I thought that once I start going out, once I do this or that, I’ll be ok. I thought situations would rid me of my insidious shadow. No one ever told me it’d be this hard.
Most days I’m in denial, trying to bury my thoughts in books on the metaphysical and inspirational. I try to imagine a brighter future when  get my own place or finally learn how to drive so that I can cruise down the countryside. I’m avoiding the moment because I’ve been under the impression that pain only exists situationally.

I recently came back to Sweden after nearly 4 months in the UK. A month and half in, I ran out of my meds. So I went off the 200 mg Sertraline I’d been taking for 2.5 years, cold turkey. I thought, I’m going to prove to myself and the world that I’m strong enough now. I’ll do all the things I couldn’t do before. As if pain is weakness. I was hung up on a false image of perfection.
November and December were by far one of the worst months in my 10 years as depressed. I wouldn’t get out of bed. I’d sleep throughout the day just to avoid people. I’d drink tap water from the bathroom to avoid going downstairs. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. It felt like my jaw was wired shut. I had no energy or will to even do menial stuff like watch funny videos or tv shows! I became suicidal. I don’t like talking about these stuff with others because I’ve learnt that it’s too intense for others to understand. Telling someone usually makes me feel worse about myself, so. My best friend Sara got me through that month. Although she was all the way in the US, she was very close. Just knowing that I could text her whenever and that she’d understand quelled a lot of pain.

When the suicidal thoughts came on stronger, I realized that I had to get back on the meds. So for 5 days now I’ve been back on Sertraline, 50 mg, and I feel much better. Relatively. Depression feels like being dragged on the tracks by the tail of a freight train. For years and years with only the briefest of stops. Antidepressants is like paracetamol that dulls the pain of bloody wounds, broken bones, and blue bruises.

Some days I’m ok. I can write, dream, imagine, hope even. But days like today, I look forward to nightfall when I can slip under the blanket and sleep for 10+ hours to avoid my anxiety.

I have to remind myself to breathe. To make myself a cup of Earl Grey, and wrap myself in my cocoon of mental anguish. Perchance tomorrow will be an easier day.

 

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you are chronically down, it is a lifelong fight to keep from sinking 
— Elizabeth Wurtzel

 

21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed [must-read!]

Reposted from The DIY Couturier 


 

 

A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.

I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember. It’s manifested in different ways. I did therapy. I did prozac. I did more therapy. My baseline is melancholic. I’d just made peace with it when I moved, unintentionally, to a place that had markedly less sunshine in the winter. I got seasonal depression. I got that under control. Then I got really, really sick. Turns out it’s a permanent, painful genetic disorder. My last pain-free day was four years ago.

So, this Cult of Happy article just set me off. Just… anger. Rage. Depression is serious – debilitating, often dangerous, and it’s got an enormous stigma. It leaves people to fend for themselves.

It’s bad enough without people ramming Happy Tips at you through facebook. There is no miracle behaviour change that will flip that switch for you. I know, I’ve tried.

A friend of mine suggested that I write something from my point of view because, surprisingly, I manage to give an outwards impression of having my shit together. I was shocked to hear this. And I find this comical, but I see her point. I’m functioning. I’ve adapted. I’m surprisingly okay. I think the medical term is “resilient”.

So, here it is.

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