Today I am here

I figured I would create a space named after the description my therapist Jay gave me before I moved abroad. He used the words “studied indifference” to describe how little excitement or emotion I outwardly demonstrated despite many big changes occurring recently in my life.

In the past three months, I got engaged, courthouse married, sold the condo, quit my job, started learning two new languages, moved to a city where I knew no one on a continent I’d only visited once. Fast approaching is also the eight-year anniversary of the day I stopped consuming alcohol or drugs of any form, excluding cigarettes and coffee.

WordPress implored me to explain my presence here, which makes sense since this is the first blog post I’ve written in over a decade.

I’ve been in a tumultuous long-term “on- and- off” relationship with depression for the past fifteen years. Now it is back with a vengeance and my attempts to ignore it have resulted in me grossly incapable of managing life.

My mind is the clogged drain, and this blog will hopefully act as the plumber snake to scoop out all the emotional debris I’ve been carelessly stuffing inside.

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To obfuscate

My last therapist challenged me to answer his questions “in 10 words or less” to encourage me to be more succinct in my responses to his queries. It’s actually been a very helpful exercise in discouraging me from needlessly rambling for the sake of filling a void of silence that makes me uncomfortable.

He suggested the details and fluff I often use in my answers are actually mechanisms I use to avoid addressing questions directly, and that the blunt nature (“shock appeal”) of my rhetoric during the infrequent times I do share directly also acts as a deterrent to obscure depth or meaning. I believe it. Either I’m disgustingly florid or overtly blunt with no situational awareness, and hardly any middle ground.

Unrelated: It’s funny, I tried thinking of a writing prompt but all I could think of were the following depressing dichotomies:

“I grossly overshare during one interaction, then I go off the grid for an indefinite amount of time.

“In one moment, I am completely somber and morose, then I become completely giddy and optimistic in the next.

“I am vague and guarded, then I share in unnecessarily detail answers to questions that were never asked in the first place.”

I woke up on time though– early, even!– and despite the lingering effects of last week’s cold, I was able to make coffee and breakfast and get to my language class today. But now? Now I just want to sleep.

Seeing other humans helps improve my mood, as much as I hate to admit when my nuevo husband is correct.

There is a weekly women’s group that meets this evening which I love attending, but I’m apprehensive about visiting tonight because it’s been a month since I last went and I’ve completely flaked on a standing weekly commitment to the group.

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Defining the symptoms

Depression comes in and recedes back like the tide, obstructing every thought, feeling, and opinion like a heavy fog.

Depression is ridiculing myself for not being grateful for what I do have and not taking advantage of all the opportunities at my feet, for how ridiculous it looks for someone who has so much in life to be so self-centered, ungrateful, lazy, and disenchanted.

Depression is pouring a packet of instant oatmeal into my mouth uncooked because I don’t feel good enough or worthy enough to prepare myself a proper meal.

Depression is obsessively coming through Internet articles, self help, and how-to guides written by motivational gurus just to learn how to get myself out of bed in the mornings.

Depression is hair matted beyond repair, hidden in a ponytail, and left unwashed for six weeks because I feel unworthy of taking a shower.

Depression is slowly letting chaos creep into my domicile until it’s unbearable and clutter has filled my home completely– trash not taken out, empty bottles, cans, jars, boxes lying everywhere, rotten food, fruit fly infestations, all to the point where it seems nothing will help, because subconsciously I want my outside environment to match how I feel inside.

Depression is a barrage of unwavering insults thrown at me by my own brain, relentlessly chipping away at my self worth and using every insecurity against me.

Depression is painstakingly preparing for an action plan to have ready when it hits next, but when those feelings return, instead feeling paralyzed and unable to fight back.

Depression is letting the litter boxes go untouched for weeks and then buying new ones instead of cleaning out the old ones because the s*** has piled and is overflowing, and feel it’s gotten out of control to the point it’s beyond fixing, and any corrective attempts to clean up will be useless.

Depression is sleeping for 20 hours straight yet still waking up completely exhausted.

Depression is knowing exactly what healthy to behaviors to engage in, but having an overwhelming sense of fear, anger, and self doubt keep you sick instead of reaching out to others.

Depression is an erosive force that whittles away my most prized qualities of accountability and integrity bit by bit until I’ve shut myself off from everyone I love and everything I used to love to do.

Depression is recognizing simple steps to take care of yourself, then feeling like a hypocrite because hours are dedicated instead to engaging in avoidant behaviours and obsessive habits.

Depression is fuelled by self talk words such as lazy, worthless, scum, hypocrite, piece of s***, fat, useless, slob, fraud, trashy, and disgusting.

Depression is checking the clock then wondering where the past 8 hours went after just sitting alone in bed the entire time.

Depression is making and breaking endless promises to myself to do better and to treat myself better, then hating myself for not being able to keep them.

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