I decided to put this up today since I’ve been suffering it a bit more than usual lately, and some people don’t understand or seem to take it personally.
I can’t say why I’m depressed. There is no tangible reason. Well, the holiday thing, and that’s every year, but this started early. Before Halloween, even, and I usually adore Halloween. There are tangible things that contribute to it, but overall, its irrational. That’s the joy of it. And that’s what makes it really hard to describe to people who don’t get it. I don’t blame anyone for not getting it; I don’t get it myself. It just is. This has been my best year in a long time. I finally published a book, which isn’t doing nearly as well as I’d hoped, but that’s on me, because I really don’t know how to promote myself and haven’t tried very hard. But it’s still out there, and I have a website and a blog and Twitter followers, and some small recognition for my artwork, too. I’m better financially, although nowhere near stable. Things are good at work.
So what’s the problem?
Some of the tangibles are loneliness, the holidays, the ongoing bullshit from upstairs, and shit weather, probably a good 4 months worth, in the stars. But the loneliness is the funny one. I was an only child. I like to be alone, a lot; I need it. And for the times I don’t want to be, some of it I admit is self-inflicted. And here are a couple reasons from the view of the irrational depressive, put into words the best I can describe them.
There is sometimes a feeling of “when I’m around other people, I have to be ON all the time.” ‘On’ is hard to describe. But I’ll try. People think I’m funny. This expectation arises that I am always funny. Well, usually I’m funny when I’m not even trying, because I’m annoyed or super-sarcastic. Years ago, people would even say to me, “Oh so and so told me about you. Say something funny.” Wha? I dont’ feel funny. And that was way back when I felt a lot more extroverted than I am now. I have even less inclination to be actively funny. I don’t want to be the center of attention. I don’t want all eyes and ears on me. I’ve become a background kind of person. Not that I’m purposely trying to NOT be funny, either, but don’t expect me to prattle on like Seinfeld all night. Those expectations make me uncomfortable, even to the point of dreading some social functions.
Sometimes, I just don’t feel well. I take a lot of meds now, and sometimes those affect me. Or my sugar is out of line, which I’ve noticed makes for some horrible mood swings. My sugar was bad for almost 2 months straight, making me angry, blue, annoyed, etc….well, lo and behold, a sinus infection was contributing to that. And I dont’ mean I feel sick, like a cold or nauseous. Sometimes I feel…just “off”. Yeah, its like not being ‘on’ all the time. See what I did there? That wasn’t even intentional.
Sometimes (and this sounds lazy, and I can’t describe the mental state that causes it), its just easier to sit on the couch and watch tv or read or doze, or do nothing. And I’m not talking about being lazy and relaxing. I’m talking a feeling that is just short of despair, or dread.
That’s enough for now. There’s so much more to it that I don’t want to get into. Some of you share these feelings, some have no idea and will chalk it up to self-pity or some other issue. I can only tell you, its not that. If I feel anything most of the time, it’s self-loathing, but the rational side of me knows a lot of that damage was inflicted by my mother.
I have been alone every single holiday so far. And as I said, once or twice was by choice. Mostly, it wasn’t. And listening to people make their Thanksgiving plans at work, and talk about their families, and post pictures of their meals and loved ones, rips my heart out. And Christmas will be worse. Much worse. So know this: its not personal. It’s not you. Its me, and its my struggle, and like a werewolf, maybe everyone is a little safer if I keep to myself while I deal with it.
One thought on “On Depression”
Carol, I can’t tell you how much this has touched me. I knew you were depressed, and in that one conversation we had I realized just how much. I will always think of you as one of the best people I ever met…and that’s not because you were so fucking funny, (yeah,ok, you were) but because you had a really deep soul. You never spoke about your mother, and the most you ever told me was what you wrote here. I always wondered where all the self- loathing thing came from…mine came from being an utter failure, not because anyone put it there. My depression is so bad I don’t even know how I’m still alive…but I am… we are…and what keeps me going is that I might have just one good day…one really good day that changes everything. I really hope we can reconnect at some point. Holidays are so hard for me too. I know that reaching out is scary, but life is short Carol. Think about it. You are a GREAT person. I never forgot you. Call me over the holidays…love Linda.