This post will probably be a bit of a downer. If you don’t like or want to read about depression then this post is one you should skip.
Also, before I get started with this post, if you’re dealing with feelings or thoughts of suicide and you feel like you may be reaching the end of your rope reach out to someone. Let me repeat that REACH. OUT. TO. SOMEONE. Here’s a Wikipedia post that contains a list of several suicide/crisis hotlines from around the world. Here is a link to a Tumblr post with a list of more suicide/crisis hotlines, including lines specifically for veterans, mothers with Postpartum, family members of those that have lost a loved one to suicide, and more. Here’s another Tumblr post with additional hotlines. There are also several online chats for those that do not like talking on the phone. Here is one, and here is another. I cannot attest to how up-to-date these posts may be, because 1. I live in the U.S. so I don’t know if all of the numbers are correct, and 2. I have never used any of these myself. If you have used any of these or any others and would like to give your two cents please feel free to comment. If you’re uncomfortable with posting and having your name show feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll post your addition without your information.
This isn’t exactly something I enjoy talking about, but seeing as it’s something I deal with on a daily basis I should, at least, from time to time, share my experiences. If not for other people, then for myself. I know no two people experience depression, or any mental illness, the same way, but if something I may say can let someone know that they’re alone in feeling a certain way then I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.
I guess I should list the symptoms first. These are taken from the National Institute of Mental Health website.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
If you find yourself feeling a not so glorious mix of these you need to talk to someone. It would probably be best if it was a professional, but just talking to someone you trust is a good place to start. I started by talking to Herrball, and he helped push me towards talking to a counselor on campus. It’s awkward and sucks, but rationally I know that it’s necessary for my mental health.
Lately I’ve been feeling a bit worse than usual. I’m not sure why, but it sucks. It sucks, because even after all these years I still have little to no idea how to make myself feel better. It sucks, because Herrball feels like it’s his duty to “fix” me. I’m not sure if that’s the right way to phrase it. He knows that he can’t magically fix me, but he still feels like he needs to do something to make me better, even though it doesn’t work like that. I really, really wish it did, though.
Most days it’s not too bad, but occasionally I have periods where it’s just overwhelming. I’m not even sad necessarily, it’s more of crushing sense of hopelessness and a heaping helping of apathy on the side. Sometimes it creeps up on me and other times it smacks me in the face out of nowhere. I don’t want to leave my house, hell most of the time I don’t even want to shower or brush my teeth because I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the energy to do the things I loved to do or the energy to do the things I HAVE to do, like schoolwork. I just want to stay in bed forever, or just curl into myself until nothing remains. That’s not to say I want to die, I just don’t want to have to deal with life so I just want to kind of sink into the mattress and not exist anymore. It sounds really awful, I know, and logically it’s not healthy to think like that, but that’s the thing about mental disorders, they tend to ignore logic. I think that may be one of the most infuriating parts of all of this, honestly. Part of me knows that I’m not being logical, but I can’t do anything about it is so frustrating. I can’t stop it. I want to, and eventually, hopefully, I’ll be able to, but at the moment I can’t stop feeling helpless and hopeless.
What makes all of this worse, is that even on days that I should be the happiest I can still feel so horrible. Even on my wedding day (thankfully after all the festivities) I started to feel worse than usual, and it’s been hanging around since then. It affects the way I act around Herrball, his family (my new family-YAY!) and friends, and my family and friends. It’s awful, annoying, and an all around pain in the ass, but I’m not going to let it win. I’m building a great support system. I have friends that know and understand what I’m going through, my husband supports me, listens to me, and does everything in his power to help me, my professors are there to support me when they need to, and I’ve got a counselor that wants to help me. I’m going to continue to move forward and improve my mental health. Not everyone has the same opportunities that I do, but you should still do your best to try to get some sort of help. Talk to a friend, a trusted teacher, your spiritual leader, school counselor, therapist, just talk to someone. Mental illnesses are difficult, why deal with it on your own?
To end on a positive note my next post will be about my wedding day. And, and, and it will have pictures of Herrball in it (okay it’s the back of his head, but that counts).