I have written several things at this point and erased them all. I wrote a poem about nightmares and decided it was shit. I wrote about my evening and thought it was boring. The reason I am hating everything right now is because none of it is honest.
If I am going to be honest, I want to lay down some ground rules:
- I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me Yeezy.
Okay that was it. That’s my only ground rule when it comes to telling the truth. And even though we are not in a court of law and could totally be lying to you, I hope you believe that I have my right hand on The Life of Pablo(2016) and my left hand raised.
Okay, I am just putting off the inevitable at this point. The cold hard facts that y’all are dying to hear. Well, here it is.
I don’t want to do this today.
I didn’t want to wake up. I didn’t want to write. I don’t want to get dressed. I sure as hell don’t want to go outside (it’s rain snowing..).
“Why?” you might ask. For starters, it is Sunday, Yeezy’s day of rest. Aside from that, it’s this little thing I like to call depression. As someone who works in the mental health field I don’t use that term lightly. I don’t mean today I am feeling sad; I mean today I feel like every breath I take, every move I make my depression is watching me. Is this what the Police intended for this song? It makes it feel much less creepy this way. I suppose though, depression is a creepy man watching your every move, ensuring that nothing gets in his way from keeping you down. Jokes on you depression, because after what feels like 200 years of this, I know how to handle you.
I pull out my restraining order and remember that you are supposed to stay at least 300 feet away from me at all times. Time to call in some back up. My back up in this scenario is ten fold. First I take every negative little thing he says to me and I twist back at him. “I don’t want to wake up today” he mumbles. In turn, I scream “I am waking up! Here we go!” He tells me that “I shouldn’t write today,” so I say “I AM GOING TO WRITE ABOUT YOU! HA!” Next form of back up is coffee, aka sweet beautiful nectar of life. Some may say this seems counterproductive, but without my coffee returning to my bed is an extreme possibility. After coffee comes the phone calls. I call my friends, I call my family, I call student loans, I call the phone company. I talk and talk and talk. I can’t afford therapy right now, so I utilize these free listeners. (And of course this blog is an outlet where I gather even more listeners!) I just like to be heard. Some days I exercise. This one is particularly difficult to fight him on because it never has been my comfort zone. I try to at least argue though.
Eventually, with all these forces combined he backs off to 300 feet. See my depression, I find, doesn’t fit the DSM definition. It comes and goes in waves, and it’s not cyclical in nature. I can’t predict it like my period. It’s not like “Oh, it’s that time of the month again! Here comes the depression. Break out of the ice cream ladies!” Sometimes it last for a day, sometimes it last for a week. I don’t experience mania when I don’t have it. I don’t all of the sudden have this overwhelming boost of energy. It is just subtly different. One day things feel really hard and one day they don’t. I’ve tried medicine, but it didn’t work for me. I assume this is because there doesn’t seem to be rhyme or reason to it and medication is all about rhyme and reason. I do feel obliged to say that I think that medicine can be a great tool for depression!
Of course my number one backup, the keeper of the keys if you will, is comedy. By this I don’t mean watching comedy, although Friends makes me laugh every yeezy-damn time. What I really love, love, love is making others laugh. Sometimes I think it makes people uncomfortable when I joke about my depression because in people’s head depression is some dark, shamed disease that should never be laughed at! But that’s just it, I am not laughing at it, I am laughing with it. There is a podcast called “The Hilarious World of Depression” (which I highly recommend) that talks about just this. It gets into the depths of not just depression, but a whole host of mental health diagnoses and guess what? People laugh.
The number one way depression likes to win is isolation. So, I blog about it. I listen to the podcasts. I spent a billion dollars on social work school to work with it. I surround myself in the hilarious world of depression. Every day that I avoid working with him, he wins.
For me its about working through it, not around it. I get through difficult times with community and laughter. Some people have different ways of getting through. Some people haven’t figured it out yet. This is why I decided to write about it today (& because I need to step up my poetry game before I go posting that shit online). Because maybe, somewhere out there, someone is having the same experience as me. And maybe this post helps someone. And maybe, just maybe, this post helped me.
Definitely, maybe it did help me.
Now depression, please back the eff up.
**I would also like to say that if you are feeling isolated and it feels like the depression is winning and you don’t know where to start, reach out: 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) **