I want to be f*cking normal, is that so much to ask?

I’m not “secretive” about my depression, but when I tell people I suffer from that and anxiety, I pray I don’t get “that look”. You know the one. It’s the tilt of the head and the eyebrows pinched together accompanied by the look that you are a broken person. Yes, I’m a fucking broken person. So fucking what? I have cracks and chips and sometimes like right now, those cracks are coming undone. But you know what? I’m no different than you or the person next to you. Sometimes my cracks and my chips make me interesting and a lot more understanding of other people who are afraid of their cracks and chips. Sometimes I wish my cracks and chips were more permanently settled and glued together better.

My depression isn’t defined in black and white. There are many shades of gray in there, so many different shades that I can rival Home Depot’s paint section. My grays are the harder colors to deal with. When things are black and White, I can point and say that this or this is triggering my depression right now. But the grays, they are harder to explain to my family and loved ones. That’s when I fear the looks or thoughts they are having about my depression. I don’t ever want to see them look at me and seeing me as broken. That is why sometimes I wish I could just be normal. Depression can make me feel lonely and that I don’t matter.

Sometimes when I am in the place I am right now, feeling lonely and that I don’t matter to the people who matter to me, I have to struggle to remember who I am. Who I used to be. I have to remember or struggle to remember that I am not shades of gray all wrapped up in sadness. There is a person inside me that has a sense of humor (though sometimes a bit twisted – in a good way). A person who knows things that are so random, it’s amazing. A person who loves music and movies and books and really loves to laugh and smile. But today, I pray that people don’t look at me because I fear that what they see is this sad person who should be avoided and left alone, no ignored is a better word than alone. I fear that if people see me right now, where my head space is, that instead of wanting to talk to me or smile at me, they would choose to ignore me which sets off this spiral of believing I don’t matter.

Depression is such a twisted illness to deal with. You don’t get a fever or a rash to say that you are dealing with it. What you get is this special room in Hell that has your name on it and you have to deal with it on your own. It’s this private war in which you battle against yourself. Thoughts become bullets and words become wounds. It is a thief, it has stolen everything from me. Everything I had and leaves me with doubts. It makes me forget that in my black and white moments, that the world is colorful and I have to see that.

You know, you know you will be okay, but the problem that depression leaves you with is that I feel awful. I know people love me, but at times like now, it doesn’t feel like they do. I want to do something to make me feel better, but I just don’t know how to do it. I want to be well, I want to say that I have put so much behind me, but times like now, I feel like I am stuck in quicksand.

 

The Sorry Syndrome

I am the type of person who has this need to constantly apologize. I say “sorry” a lot because I feel like everything is my fault. I say “sorry” a lot because I’m genuinely afraid I’ve insulted you somehow. I say “sorry” because I honestly believe I have annoyed you in some way. I say “sorry” so much because I believe I annoy you with my presence. I say “sorry” so much because  I never realized how much I do it until it was pointed out to me. All too often I am hearing/reading “Why are you sorry?” I automatically think I did something wrong no matter what and I apologize. I always feel like I need to say I’m sorry for who I am. It comes from second guessing and over thinking everything I do. I have put such a weight on my shoulders to make everyone happy that I accept the blame for whatever I have convinced myself I have done. I feel if I am in disagreement with someone, in order to not have them be mad at me, I apologize before any confrontation begins, even if it is one in my own head.

I never realized how much I do it until it was pointed out to me. All too often I am hearing/reading “Why are you sorry?” I automatically think I did something wrong no matter what and I apologize. I always feel like I need to say I’m sorry for who I am. It comes from second guessing and over thinking everything I do. I have put such a weight on my shoulders to make everyone happy that I accept the blame for whatever I have convinced myself I have done. I feel if I am in disagreement with someone, in order to not have them be mad at me, I apologize before any confrontation begins, even if it is one in my own head.

It comes from second guessing and over thinking everything I do. I have put such a weight on my shoulders to make everyone happy that I accept the blame for whatever I have convinced myself I have done. I feel if I am in disagreement with someone, in order to not have them be mad at me, I apologize before any confrontation begins, even if it is one in my own head. In my head, if I apologize then I am making myself small and insignificant to the person and they won’t judge me.

But where does this stem from? Where did it begin…my constant need to say I’m sorry? Do I say I’m sorry to stay out of the way and not get noticed? Yes. If I feel I need to apologize for just “being” I do.  Are there certain situations that make me say sorry more than others? Absolutely. 90 out of 100 texts I send will have some kind of an apology in them for what I

Are there certain situations that make me say sorry more than others? Absolutely. 90 out of 100 texts I send will have some kind of an apology in them for what I perceive are needed reasons. I bothered you with my text. You have more important things to do than looking down and see my text. I have your number and shouldn’t have bothered to text you at all. I apologized so far this week (and it’s only Tuesday) for not bringing out the recycling when it wasn’t really for me to do – I was taking out the trash to be nice. I apologized for asking someone if I could vent to them. I apologized for sending a text and before I sent it I felt I shouldn’t have sent it. I apologized for not putting the garden hose away in the fall and I don’t honestly know if I did put it away or if it was my husband. I apologize if I took to long to do something because it was hard for me to do alone when I didn’t ask for help, to begin with. I apologized for a class being too loud when I had to teach in the caf because my classroom was being used and I had no idea I was bothering someone else. I mean the caf is like a fucking cavern and even a whisper echoes. I just sent an email apologizing to someone because I basically asked him to do his job. I felt guilty for bothering him.

Is there someone who makes you feel so intimidated that the only way I feel like I can respond is by saying “I’m sorry”. Yes. I feel like my presence in people’s life is a bother. I feel like I have to apologize for just saying hello sometimes.

 

It’s hard. Fighting all of this

I always knew it was going to be a long long road to travel. An uphill battle if you will. I also know that I was going to feel lonely …. no, feel alone. Lonely and alone are two different things. I knew there would be potholes too. Some big some small. I feel like there have been some sink holes along the road this week. And because of the sinkholes, I feel things creeping back up. I am feeling some automatic thoughts of not mattering and feeling like a loser. I feel like nothing … and I mean nothing I do is right. I feel like I’ve lost some of my drive. I feel like my feet are stuck in molasses and I’m just having a hard time with everything.

It’s not anywhere near what it was before, but that doesn’t make it any harder to fight. I just now know how to deal with it better so it doesn’t hurt as much and I can take some of the sting out.

Ways to Explain Depression Using Analogies

I saw this article and wanted to share some of the ones that “spoke” to me.

  • It’s like you have weights built into your arms and legs. They’re heavy and make any basic activity feel like I’m dragging around dumbbells that are too heavy for me.
  • It’s like you’re screaming in pain but there’s no sound coming out of you.
  • It feels like I’m in black and white and the rest of the world is in color. I can’t be part of it, however much I might want to be. I don’t belong.
  • It’s like the waves of the ocean; sometimes the waves recede and you see the beautiful sand with the pretty seashells. Soon, the tide will come and swallow all of that beauty up and drag it away from you.
  • It feels like being in the middle of a large body of water without seeing shores. Something tugs at your leg and you struggle to keep your head above the surface. You gasp and struggle but it’s exhausting and tiring and frightening at the same time. Sometimes you truly doubt if you’ll ever make it out of there if the thing tugging on your leg will ever let go.
  • It’s like all the joy was sucked from my body, in my chest is nothing, only emptiness, and I’m bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders. Everything that I loved makes no sense anymore. The only thing I want to do is to crawl into the darkest corner of my room, curl up and cry even though I know crying won’t help. It’s just feeling nothing at all.

My Spirit Animal Is Eeyore

Eeyore-Quotes-12I’ve been feeling really good lately. And sometimes I worry. I’ve opened up to people that I’m depressed. The image that people possibly have of depressed people may fall around the image of Eeyore and always walking around with this perpetual dark cloud over his head. Am I being a liar that I have depression and I’m smiling and laughing and enjoying life? I have these moments where I wonder if I should stop smiling and have this look on my face that says “Hi I’m depressed” but I don’t. Please understand that even though I feel good and I’m in a good place, I still have depression.

I don’t share with many people when I’m in a depressed state. People who truly know me will figure it out quickly and if you are one of the few people I trust, I will just say “I’m just having a day” which is my way of saying depression has set up roost in my body at that moment. If you don’t know me well enough but can sense or read me, I’ll just seem off. Like my smile doesn’t reach my eyes or I’m extremely quiet or distant. If I’m in a bad place, I’ll just want to curl up on my side and sleep and just ask to be left alone.

I see depression as an article of clothing. Imagine one of those suits that cover you head to toe. img-product-lime2-f This is what depression felt like for me this past summer. It consumed me. It felt like it was strangling me and I couldn’t find a way out of it.The suit wouldn’t let me just be still. I had this sense of needing to keep moving. Unfortunately for me at that time, I did anything possible to not be in my house. No one was there, they were all away and I hated the sound of no one home. Sometimes, the head of the suit would fade away and I’d have moments of happiness and feeling good. Those moments didn’t always last long, but the depression suit didn’t come back to consume me like it did. At times the depression suit looked like an actual suit. More of my natural

At times the depression suit looked like an actual suit. More of my natural self-showing through and I could take off the parts of depression that felt heavy and confining. Then they’d go back on when the AT’s (automatic thoughts) came racing back in. I started therapy (with an amazing therapist) and decided to dive in. So the depression suit started to look like a tee shirt and jeans. Less control of me and less confining. Over time the depression suit began to become smaller and smaller. I could hang up the old suits and learn how to live with the new suit. Now I imagine depression to be like a tee shirt, more like an undershirt. The kind we wore when we were kids. We knew the undershirt was on, but no one could see it. They only saw the clothes we wore. My clothes are my feeling good and my happiness and my genuine smile. My depression suit is my undershirt that no one can see (unless I let them) and I always know it is there.

I’m very far from saying that I’ve conquered my depression. I honestly don’t think I can ever “conquer” it. I’ve got a handle on my triggers and how to handle them. Some I have to avoid or the depression suit will have me in turtlenecks and long pants sweating in the summer. Sometimes the undershirt of depression can be itchy. It wants to remind me that there are things that I have not completely gone away. That the issues will still float to the surface begging to be itched and become annoying. But that’s the thing. I’m learning how to deal with those triggers and learning that it’s okay to be happy and to be in a place of feeling good. I’ll always be scared of my depression. It terrifies me that it can come back when I’m not looking and consume me again.

I texted someone this morning and said this “I do have my moments where I have my doubts about things and I get worried I’m slipping back. But I hold on to what I know to be true and try to keep the doubts at bay.” I mean that with all my heart. I’ve had to learn what is true and what I can trust. I feel like my belief in myself was shaken to the core in what I’ve been through in the past year and I have to learn to believe in myself; that I am stronger than I think I am. I needed to learn that there are people there for me and who genuinely care for me. I needed to learn that I do not cause more bad than good.

I have learned that it’s okay to feel good, to be in a good place and to be happy and still have depression. Depression does not define me. It is just a part of me.