Purging

I guess I give up on putting a filter or going in a specific direction with my writing. Initially I wanted it to be poetic and to flow smoothly, to try pruning away the self-pity and whining as much as possible, but right now I just need to get it out.

I feel like my heart is going to burst out of my chest. I am having genuine concerns that I am having a heart attack right now. Now I know what all the love songs mean about heartache. I am feeling all the symptoms.

I’m sitting on the couch rocking back and forth as he rummages through our things in the bedroom. He is humming and singing to himself as he snoops through all the drawers and packs what is his. It makes me feel sick.

I don’t know how to behave or interact with him anymore. It was so much easier at first because I was still in shock and I guess I felt like there was still a relationship.

How can we still be friends? This isn’t a conscious uncoupling. You broke my heart again. Yet you are so relaxed and easygoing around me and our friends like nothing happened.

Three hours later…

So weird to come out of such a thick mental fog. As he packed today I had periods coming in and out of active consciousness. Hugest dissociative episode I’ve had in years. It lasted a few hours.

I had a friend and another partner come over and sit with me, they fed me vegan snacks and got me to watch crappy reality shows. I snapped out of it. I could laugh again. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so much love, even when it feels like my world is ending and the earth is falling away beneath my feet.

Edit: I have taken a second look at my florid writing and it makes me roll my eyes. What a fucking drama queen.

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Integrity

I wrote this at 4am because I woke up with my mind racing.

I might forget things that I should remember and get caught up with my own stuff so that I disregard others, sure. So I might miss a birthday or blow off plans from time to time. It isn’t an excuse that I have a personality disorder, so I am a constant work in progress, but at least I am not actively malicious. You are a compulsive liar. I do not adjust my narrative for my own benefit. You tell anecdotes on your Zoom calls with your colleagues about the awesome weekends you spent with your “wife” when these things never occurred with me. They were altered fabrications from shit you did with your girlfriend. You and I never went on a trip since we visited Hamburg in 2020– and the time we went to Bavaria with your parents does not count as a romantic getaway.

A relationship doesn’t involve just trying to improve ourselves as individuals. It also involves trying to fix the relationship itself. You didn’t bother to communicate. Instead, you avoided me and shut down whenever you were with me in person. Instead of talking it out, over time it seems you collected all the reasons you felt uncomfortable to build a list of grievances you could use to break up with me. I trusted you to be open and honest with me about how you were doing, how you felt. You blindsided me. You had all these preliminary discussions in your head that you didn’t invite me to join before reaching your final decision.

If you want to nitpick individual situations, do we talk about you going behind my back to hire sex workers and then lying about it even after I insisted you should go pursue partners outside of our marriage because I was unable to provide for you sexually due to my giant fucking depression? So while I was getting cavities for being unable to take care of myself, matted hair from not washing my hair six weeks at a time because i didn’t feel worthy of a shower, “Oh no, I don’t need to do that,” you reassured me as you continued seeing sex workers on your business trips. Then you would guilt trip me about us being tight on cash, despite the fact I quit my career path for us to move here. You were frustrated about footing the bill for both of us because I couldn’t immediately find a job.

Or do we talk about how you never bothered to write wedding vows? I could hardly manage doing anything for our wedding, but that was one thing I could do, and it didn’t fucking matter to you. My borderline is screaming at me how I was the one who fucked up and how I could’ve fixed it, but another part of me knows better. You don’t care. When things got hard, you caved in and gave up. You made your bed.

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Permanence

Five days. Five days after my husband tells me he wants to break up, he is moving out. We have lived in this home for almost 5 years, but we have lived together and made our home together for almost 10.

I’ve been staying busy and I have had a ton of support. Homemade Mac and cheese from a friend when I came to visit her after work yesterday. Afterwards, as I walked home in the rain, another friend offered me company and a sympathetic ear over the phone. Then I was given space to do my coloring books and sleep over at yet another friend’s place last night, and he made me porridge and coffee this morning before I went to the office. My messaging apps are flooded with offers of support.

Someone has brought up a good point, though. I don’t know the legality of remaining on my husband’s visa as his spouse if we live separately and if he does not want to be in a relationship with me anymore. So I’ve been scraping through websites auf Deutsch figuring out what next steps to take. I have to secure my living situation so I can remain here. Still waiting for lawyers to call me back. I feel like throwing up.

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Upside down

….aaaaaaand my husband just broke up with me.

We’ve been dating for almost a decade, married for half that time. We are best friends. He is home to me. I spent most of my formative adult years with him in my life. No divorce or unnecessary bureaucracy yet, and he isn’t going to fuck me over financially when he moves out. My visa to stay in this country depends on him so he isn’t going to divorce me until I get citizenship in about three years.

Things I wrote as he spoke when I was dissociating, because i knew i would forget what he said and most likely misremember:

“We are two different people.”
“i dont feel an emotional closeness anymore
“there are weird interactions between us”
“I like you, but not the relationship I am in with you right now anymore”
“It feels like our relationship brings out things in me that I don’t like about me”
“Im jealous of how you light up around other people”
“I feel like I’m not a person you enjoy spending time with or that I have a meaningful role bringing  joy to your life and these 2 things are hard in conjunction”
“we haven’t had much of a physical relationship in a long time in our relationship. One of the counselors said we were ‘outsourcing the physical'”
“I’m not angry. There is nothing for you to apologize for.”

I don’t know what to think at the moment. We cried a bit and talked civilly. Then had a video call with my best friend who lives overseas until a few girlfriends of mine made it over to my place. I smoked half a joint as they sat and listened to me talk. The husband came in and we all chatted for a bit as a group. Now just the ladies and I are sitting talking in the living room. I turned on the mood lighting and my star projector and now we stare at the ceiling while we chat. I will email my therapist in a bit.

Either way, big change is afoot.

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Emotional amnesia

I would say it’s funny how I can be overwhelmed and full of self-hatred, then an hour later I can be perfectly calm and content with myself in the universe… but it’s no strange coincidence. I’m as borderline as they come.

The truth is I’ve been given the same diagnoses years apart by different doctors in different countries who I know did not exchange notes. But I have learned to live with my various disorders by trying to avoid maladaptive behaviors when I’m feeling out of sorts.

It’s been a long, hard road to stop stuffing my feelings and shutting everything off to maintain the chill, productive, effervescent, cool chick persona I crafted over the years to mask my insides. But for me that shit is simply not sustainable in the long term without resulting a breakdown or a burnout.

A few hours after yesterday’s post, the husband ordered Friday night takeaway for us and we watched a spy documentary on Netflix. When another partner of mine was finished with his work for the week, he also came over and I cracked open a bottle of wine and we talked for hours, all of us just hanging out on the couch in the living room. I felt perfectly mellow and happy.

If you showed me the post I wrote earlier, I would feel as if an entirely different person wrote it, because all I felt was mellow and happy– like, how could I have ever hated myself or felt insecure? I like to call that fun feature of my brain “emotional amnesia.” Happens more often than I’d like to admit.

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Back again! (a two-month stint in the psych ward and three medications later…)

Will writing fix anything? I used to put pen to paper during the WordPress hiatus, but lately I haven’t been diligent about writing about things in my daily life, or philosophical rants, or anything, really. The haphazard notes I’ve misplaced in various places of my phone from time to time haven’t amounted to much, and they certainly haven’t contributed to my general sense of well-being. Just a snapshot of fragments in time. I was never good at consistency anyway.

So where am I at today? How much do I divulge? Everything? In what order?

My eating disorder wants to come back full-force because I’ve been stuck in a binge cycle lately. I’m obsessed with one of my partner’s exes, so I torture myself by going back to her social media, even creating a throwaway account after blocking her for my own good. I get caught in this comparison trap. This echo chamber of negativity. It’s absurd. I think he is still in love with her over a year later. But she broke up with him. She isn’t likely to ask to have him back. Yet I worry because she is monogamous that if she does reach back out, I won’t be able to see or be with this person again.

I inhaled my food so quickly for lunch I got the hiccups. Every bite I take I think about how my body is nothing like hers. What happened to my figure? My proportions remained relatively hourglass even when I wasn’t taking much care for my health. It’s all been replaced by this pregnant-looking pudge. Will writing fix anything? I’m supposed to be working, but I stare at my face in the mirror hoping to find some positive external aspect of myself to focus on. But everything is shoddy. Acne creates a constellation of cysts across my chin, and scars and pock marks litter my cheeks like freckles. What good will any mascara do to fix this? I don’t execute well enough for a full face of makeup to count for anything. And without anything painted on my face, I feel like I am the most unremarkable person on the planet. How is this attractive to anyone?

Double chin, round, pimples, wrinkles, dark circles under my eyes. Shove cheese and bread down my throat and think about the constricted, lumpy, misshapen way my body looks on camera. Why bother having my photograph taken or going to events wearing kinky outfits when it looks like I’m wearing sausage casing? Will writing fix anything?

There is clearly much work for me to do in the self-esteem arena. Was it because I was in beauty pageants as a child that contributed to how highly I regard conventional attractiveness as social capital? Is it my “daddy issues” from growing up without a father figure and then seeing my value in how other men/partners perceive me? Therefore if someone does not see me as a viable sexual candidate I have no worth?

If I ever do choose to share this with my therapist I’m sure there is LOADS he can take away from this dump.

I just received some photos of my younger self in the mail, from baby to adult. I look at them, a lump forms in my throat, but I feel empty. I wish I could feel courageous, proud, strong, self-assured, trying to think back to how the “me” in the pictures felt about myself at the time, but I feel none of those things right now. That’s another part of being borderline I guess, whenever I am in the middle of an emotion I feel like it will last forever and I can’t imagine feeling any other way. I’m no stranger to mental distress anyway, I’ve been committed and medicated and treated with therapy from age 11. You’d think after 2 decades of the stuff I’d have figured something out by now.

I guess the only thing I can do when I’m in a headspace like this is do what has always worked– make sure I’ve taken my vitamins, drink some water, find some outlet to focus all this energy on. Try to come up with something compassionate to do for myself, like shaving the calluses off my feet, massaging some salicylic acid onto my blemished skin, taking time to stretch my body. Back to work, I guess.

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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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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 span of three months in 2017, 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. I was also 8 years sober from alcohol or drugs of any form, excluding cigarettes and coffee, which I would maintain for another 4 years.

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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