TW: Depression and related things
Last night, after glob knows how long of being anti-social because my life went all Mortal Combat on me and ripped my heart out, we finally had friends over for some well earned fun. I had an incredible time and I adore the friends I have come to know in Missouri.This morning, I woke up with an aching heart, and within five minutes was in tears. The worst part of depression really is everything.
One of the many characteristics of depression that far too few understand is that when a person suffers from clinical depression, even the most beautiful days can be saddening and awful. It isn’t due to being ungrateful or apathetic. It’s due to being internally beaten to death by an illness that is not entirely in my control. On the outside, I seem cold, quiet and removed. On the inside, I am screaming, writhing, and being dragged under water by the hand of depression.
I am trying harder than ever to make something genuinely good out of my blog and YouTube channel. But between all of my illnesses (Use my Cheat Code if you’re curious) it is a mighty struggle. Making videos, especially sincere, articulate ones that I am hoping will reach people that will benefit from them, is difficult in itself. I honestly don’t know how some YouTubers make videos every single day (but then again it might simply be because they’ve attained expertise over their years of making them).
The editing, writing, filming and Photoshopping little aliens, however, is only part of the struggle. The rest comes from the fact that many days, while I have some of the mental drive, my physical being never seems to be very driven about anything. Between all my pain and all my depression it isn’t that my body doesn’t want to do anything, but it feels as if I literally am incapable because every bone in my body weighs about five billion pounds. Then there are also days like today when my brain too seems to weigh more than the rest of my head can bear. Whichever day it is, I am fighting tremendously hard to not let it keep me from doing what I love. I’m not sure if I am winning or not, but I assure you, I am fighting with all I’ve got.
Throughout my life I have rejected most anxiety and depression meds as they give me other awful symptoms. The last few weeks, though, I have become desperate to try some. Yet my desperation is futile because in three weeks I lose my health insurance and will not have any to replace it for the foreseeable future. Part of me blames myself for waiting so long, and most of me is angry about how fucked up and corrupt our medical system is; but that is a horse of a different color, a post for a different time. Presently, though, it is awfully discouraging.
Since starting my new job, as get ready for it each working day, I can’t help but think to myself, “time to pretend like I am a normal person.” The people I work with know I have many allergies and arthritis. They don’t know about the other ten disorders, diseases and illnesses going on inside me, but they’re all present, all the time.
Whenever I write a post about depression or about anything that’s difficult to hear about, I find myself wanting to instantly apologize. I want to write, “I’m sorry, I’m not usually like this,” or find a way to suddenly brighten everything up.
This afternoon as we drove down the freeway listening one of my favorite albums, “American Idiot” by Green Day, Billie Joe’s anthemic, electric voice sang out:
Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alienation.
Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.
That last line sunk deep into my mind. “Where everything isn’t meant to be okay.”
The more I learn about what it means to be a human, the more I am starting to realize that everything isn’t meant to be okay. When I tell someone I am depressed, they automatically want to fix me and make me better. I truly appreciate the effort those I love go through to cheer me up, but I’ve never had someone tell me that it’s alright to be more depressed today than usual because I just can’t seem to handle it as well as I normally do, even after all the joy I experienced just a day before. I’ve never been told that it’s not my fault that I’m depressed. I’ve never had someone be brave enough to jump down into this hole with me, if only for a moment, and instead of trying to fix me, felt and shared my immense pain.
And most of the time, that’s what I wish for more than anything.
Why do disabled and chronically sick people constantly feel the need to apologize? Why do we carry an enormous block of guilt on our shoulders? It’s simple: because we have so often been told what burdens we are, how we “kill” moods and are “downers.” We are constantly told that because we struggle in ways that are terribly difficult and not totally understandable, that we are a burden on our society.
Well, fuck that.
I do not believe it is okay to be sad forever. I do not believe it is okay to constantly unload on your friends everything that you struggle with, without allowing them the same graciousness in return. I do not submit to the idea that a disabled or sick person is allowed to become solipsistic because they have mountains of pain to endure daily.
Fuck that, too.
However, I do believe that everyone deserves to be heard, to have someone jump down into the dark well of sadness, depression, or anxiety and have empathy shone onto them, gently and compassionately. I absolutely need to be cheered up, both by myself and those who love me. But maybe the cheering up part, which I believe to be an immediate response to when people want to “fix” me, comes too soon. Instead of someone who wants to helping me asking themselves or I, “how can I fix this?” maybe they should be asking, “how can I help you feel this?” Sometimes, the answer will be to talk. Sometimes it will be to listen. And other times it may be to lay in bed watching Disney movies with a large bowl of ice cream.
Of course, depression, along with every other illness I carry most certainly needs to be ultimately cured. That goes for just about every health issue in existence, really. Every day I hold a sliver of hope in my heart that things such as depression, Celiac Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Anxiety, and other diseases and illnesses will one day be abolished from humanity. But none of the people that love me, let alone doctors at the moment, are able to give me the ultimate cure today. That one true fix, for now at least, is non-existent (though hopefully hurling towards existence as fast as possible)
If that’s the case, which it is, accepting it and aiming for understanding and compassion rather than a solution is healthier for everyone.
Ice-cream fixes are good for now, too.
P.S – If you have not yet watched my most recent video (or any of my videos) click here. I promise they’re all far more cheerful.
P.P.S – I just made a Twitter account where I will be posting things for reasons. If you would like to find out those reasons, click here.
P.P.P.S – From the bottom of my heart to the top of my brain; thanks.
Roaming ’round your house, wasting your time.
No obligation, just wasting your time.
So why are you alone wasting your time?
When you could be with me, wasting your time.Well, I’m a waste like you, with nothing else to do.
May I waste your time, too?