The Grass is Greener

One of my lifetime dreams has come true. I will be spending two weeks in Japan in September! I’m really excited. When the tickets were bought, I was almost in tears. I was so damn happy in that moment. I can still feel the anticipation whenever I think about it.

Later that night, I had suicidal thoughts.

Suicidal thoughts are part of my life. It doesn’t happen everyday, but sometimes during the evening. I just get melancholy. This melancholia leads to sadness to downright sorrow. I just feel like I’m drowning.

This is the face of depression. It just goes to show you that it’s not about ‘cheering up’. It’s about how you have this dark silhouette in the back of your mind saying ‘you don’t deserve this’. If I could get over my depression, I would in a fucking heart beat. I hate it so much, I cry because I live with what leaves like a ‘curse’.

I know I sound like ‘Oh, woe is me’. The past two years have been amazing: I moved to Minneapolis, I bought a house with my wonderful husband, I have two beautiful German Shepherds, I have a job that I like (for the most part).

Hell! I am getting published!

So why aren’t I happy?

When someone commits suicide, it always comes as a shock to everyone. Like they would have done something about it. There is a reason for this: No one who is dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts wants to be a burden. It’s not like they don’t want to pour out their problems, they just don’t want to scare people away. I have scared friends away, boyfriends, family, etc. because of my depression. I was made to feel like I was a crazy person, and I was treated differently. Everyone expected to me to just ‘get over it’.

You could be king of the world, and it wouldn’t ‘cure’ you.

So how do you deal?

Even though I am on medication, I still have these thoughts. But I have a plan to deal with this.

Having someone really helps; Dill is a great supporter and we have worked to be transparent with one another. I used to be afraid to tell him what was going on with me, but we have spent so much time developing our relationship that it comes easy. I immediately tell him when I have these thoughts. We talk about it.

Staying busy is key. I keep my mind busy in the evening because that’s when it happens most of the time. I sit on the couch, and it just slowly creeps up on me. I can’t get up off the couch for hours, and it takes all my will power to get up. So when I sit down during this time, I made sure I have a book, play a video game, write, watch a movie, anything.

If you are struggling, I know it’s hard, but reach out. Even though you can’t help that you have depression, you need a game plan. We only have one life, and may not have another one after death. So, try and enjoy it. Even if it’s a horrible day, do your best to pick yourself up.

If we give up, we are letting depression win.

 

-E.

 

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Cause Of Death: Embarrassment

I have been dying of embarrassment since day one. It was never the funny kind of embarrassment; like I kicked my foot, and my shoe flew off. No, this kind of embarrassment was me acting weird around other people. Every single social interaction I try to analyze what would be the best answer constantly. Then I rake myself over the coals after the interaction. It’s this horrible cycle of torture I put myself through. However, I have tried a few things that have helped me get through it.

Its really hard to curb this behavior when you deal with mental illness. You always feel like you aren’t good enough in the first place. This especially happens when I’m at work. You are expected to hit a certain expectation when you are at work, and I always strive to do so.

So when I make a mistake, and get corrected for it, I freak out. I analyze what I could have done better, I apologize a million times, and I don’t think I’m doing my job well. Even though I know deep down I’m doing everything I can besides working 24/7. It makes me want to quit because I think I’m hindering people. I feel like I’m keeping them from doing a good job, or I’m wasting their time.

It’s so hard to get over this, and honestly, I don’t know if I ever will. The only thing that keeps me sane is not thinking about it. Like the time I fell several stairs at a bar because of the sandals I was wearing. Or like every day of the week I put my shirt on inside out. If I let all of this get to me, I would be in a corner crying all day. I have to pull myself up, and realize that it doesn’t matter. Even if people remember me saying something stupid or whatever, it doesn’t matter. The world didn’t end. I’m still going to do the best I can at my job, or writing or whatever I need to do. Because who the hell doesn’t put their shirt on inside out sometimes?

 

-E.

Spirituality And Depression

 

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that I need to depend on ‘my spirituality’ in order to cope with my depression. It’s always some vague comment that doesn’t hold any weight. How does one have spirituality in a general sense?

I am an athiest. Spirituality is something I have always found perplexing. I always saw it as I’m supposed to have this aura that resonances within me. I never felt such a feeling. However, I have came to develop my own sense of spirituality: having self-confidence in myself.

1. Spirituality isn’t going to heal you.

There isn’t a religion or a thought process out there that is going to heal your depression. It’s a band-aid. You will feel better for a moment, but there is actually something biological going on with your body. You have a chemical imbalance, and you need more than faith.

I can’t tell you how many nights I spent feeling worthless because I wasn’t being cured by my faith. It’s not worth it. There isn’t a cure-all pill, there isn’t a therapy out there that will instantly fix you. However, if you are dealing with Depression, you need professional help.

2. You are capable of doing so much

Having self-confidence is one of the hardest things when dealing with depression. It makes it even worse when relying solely on faith. Put your faith in yourself. You will never get better waiting for something to happen in your life. Even if you have a severe case of mental illness, you have take some responsibility. There are things in life that we cannot control. Relying on one’s self than some spirituality force is going to help you in the long run.

3. Accepting some peace

You have to give yourself some peace. Some people deal with mental illness their entire lives. Accepting one’s situation instead of trying to meet this ultimate goal of perfect mental balance is empowering. Accepting your situation AND taking charge should be your goal.

You can be religious, spiritual, or whatever when dealing with mental illness. You can’t rely on just one though. Anyone can do a quick history lesson on mental illness, and it clearly shows faith-based treatment does nothing for the patient. Our increased understanding of mental illness has paved a healthier road for the future. We need to move forward, not go back.

 

-E.

Winter Is Here

When you have depression, winter just sucks. I may have moved to the wrong state in that aspect. There is hardly any sunlight, and you have to spend 10 minutes bundling up before greeting the single digit weather. My depression has gotten better in the past two years when it comes to winter, but there are times when it really hits hard.

Keeping busy is hard to do during the winter, because, well, you don’t want to go outside. Mind you, it does beat 90+ degree weather with 100% humidity. I have acclimated to the cold, because 32 degrees outside it feels great now. There are some days where you have to just stay under the covers. You don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas, and you just want to flip through the Netflix catalog for 30 minutes. You have to get yourself out of that hole sometimes because life does go on. Here are a few things that help me when I’m in this situation.

Get a hobby.

Reading a book or walking the dog is fine, but it really helps if you do something you love. Especially something that has a tangible outcome. For example, I write for different websites on subjects I love. This really helps me feel accomplished after I finished the article. It helps me cope with my negative mindset. I have always felt like I was ‘a failure’ or ‘not good enough’. I was conditioned to feel that way, and part of it is my depression talking. I still struggle with this, and it’s hard to rewire your thinking process. However, it gives me some relief when I create something that I put so much effort into.

Socialize somehow, some way.

I know that depression isn’t something you get over like a light switch. Even if you know you are going to have a good time, you still have a sinking feeling. You will have your ‘what ifs’, your doubts, you over thinking things. That’s okay. Try to push through it, and go outside. You don’t have to necessarily go out with friends, just go to a public place. When I feel down, I like to go to a local coffee shop, and just write or read. You aren’t engaging with people directly, but you are sharing a space with other people willingly. That gives you a sense of community.

Take care of yourself.

We live in a society where we are conditioned to feel like we have to give every piece of ourselves, and self-care is a sign of weakness. So many people have health problems due to stress, and we don’t take the time to care for our emotional and mental well-being. There are two things you should do when it comes to self-care: make sure you are seeing a doctor or a therapist. You need to have some regulation in your life to help cope with depression. I can’t stress this enough. This keeps you sane. Even if you think medicine isn’t the right path for you, you need a professional guiding your decisions.

The second thing is fulfilling your wants. I’m not saying go spend hundreds on things. If you don’t have expendable income, then take a hot bath or exercise. What helps me is a hot bath with candles and a bath bomb. I just relax for a while or read a book. I focus on doing yoga, something that will keep me relaxed.

I hope that if you are struggling with seasonal depression, this helps. I have dealt with it for so long untreated. It sucks. It sucks when you don’t know what’s going on with you, and you don’t know what to do. I know it feels hopeless, but you can live with depression in a healthy way. It is going to take time and patience, but you can do it.

 

-E.