I don’t know what it’s like to feel well.
For the past few days I’ve been feeling grey; colourless. I went for a walk. I read a good book. I spent time with people I love. And yet, the feeling remains.
Depression is this insidious, oily, thick black smoke curling around me, clutching at the back of my neck. It whispers all kinds of mean things – you’re worthless, pointless, everyone would be better off if you were gone – and I try to close my eyes against it. But sleep brings too vivid, sometimes frightening dreams, so sleeping the fog and the ache away does me no good.
I would love to channel these feelings (lack of feelings?) into writing. I have a story to tell; I feel its claws. It is digging itself out of me. I really should stop fighting it so much.
That’s what I do, you know. Fight. Every day is a battle against something: the feelings I have about myself, about others.
I am tired. Again. I am scared.
It’s funny, though, how I’m afraid to break. I’m already broken. Lots of jumbled up, jagged pieces in my head. In my heart.
What happens if I embrace the broken?
For weeks, I haven’t been able to write.
Just thinking about writing made me feel anxious. Writing is supposed to be my outlet, not a source of stress. Instead of writing, I have been reading voraciously. I’m at the library every two weeks checking out new books. I’ve been focused on thrillers, mysteries, police procedurals, and histories of concentration camps and first-person accounts of time spent in the camps. The books range from 300-900 pages and lately, when my daughter is back at her dad’s house, I will devote hours and hours to reading.
It’s escapism. I know this. I acknowledge it.
I should be getting out of the house, going for walks and such – but I’d rather be a hermit and read the day away.
I recently saw a psychiatrist for the first time. He clocked me right away, and we discussed my low self esteem and fear of failure. He and my main doctor highly recommend more counseling, but man, it is so exhausting peering into my wounds and talking about how I feel and why.
I dislike talking about my issues in person. Writing about them, however, can be cathartic. I’d also much rather hear about other people’s problems and issues… so I don’t have to focus on my own.
I’m at a turning point in my life. I can feel it. I’m on the verge of something.
It hurts a lot, you know. Becoming. Becoming the person I want to be.
I have lost friends on this journey. I have lost relationships. I crave independence so badly and yet, for years I have settled for unfulfilling relationships because I do not want to be alone.
I have a very difficult time being alone. Left with my thoughts and obsessions. Writing helps, but even with a pen in hand, I get this powerful urge to reach out and grab on to someone, anyone. I would rather drown in someone else than face myself, especially lately.
So, when I do let go, it hurts. It hurts it hurts it hurts.
And my instinct is to make the hurt go away by any means necessary. Which, nine times out of ten, leads to heartache for me. I use alcohol or sex (or both) to make the aching loneliness stop. But I know it is a temporary fix. In the end, I hurt more than before.
Now? I picture my soul as a big ball of hurt, staggering along under the weight of co-dependence and depression and anxiety and too much booze and too many one night stands.
But hey, my soul is still there. I just need to peel away each strangling rubberband of self-loathing, slowly, gently, to get back to the person I am.