It is not often that I take the time to write about myself in my blog posts. There are so many things that are much much more fun to write about. Yet, every now and then I have an experience or witness something that moves me to the core of my being.
Many who know me may this may find it difficult to read and even more challenging to process and understand. All I can say is that I must write and get this out. I make no apologies.
The past month has been one of the most difficult of my life, all fifty years of it. I have been out of touch with everyone, even my best friends and family. For reasons I truly do not understand at all, I have been depressed. No one close to me died, no discernible changes in my relationship status. No lost job or pets. As a matter of fact nothing truly bad or negative at all.
Today I had an appointment with my therapist and psychiatrist. I cannot remember I Time other than when my father passed away that I have cried so hard. Sobbed. Bawled the ugly ugly cry. Shaking. Snot all over my face and sweatshirt sleeves.
Why was I whaling like my father or husband had died? That was my reaction to being asked how I had been doing since our last appointment. What the hell, right?
I’ve never reacted like this to anything. I cannot fathom reacting to a mere “how have you been?” like this. Even laying here writing this tonight, I can’t believe how this feels.
I’ve had a diagnosis of depression for the better part of two decades. Even knowing that I suffer from depression never prepared me for how I’ve felt the past four or five weeks. I’ve been on and off meds; In and out of therapy for depression and ADHD most of that two decades. I am currently on anti-depressants as well as meds for the ADHD.
After getting myself together in my mental health professional’s office, I was asked what “it” felt like. The tears started all over again. I tried explaining it through tears, snot, and ugly sobs from my gut.
A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you’re in a room full of a million people.
The “it” I referred to is depression. “It” is the ugliest, loneliest, most painful feeling I’ve ever experienced in my life. It is not just being down in the dumps or feeling blue. It is not something I’ve ever encountered in my entire half century of life – The anger, frustration, feeling totally alone surrounded by many people, and utter rage about everything and nothing at all! Not when a partner committed suicide. Not when my father died. Not over a break up of a relationship or the loss of a fur baby.
I’ve spent weeks of the past four or five weeks praying to simply go to sleep and not wake up- ever. I’ve pushed the limits of my sleeping meds even foolishly mixing them with alcohol and other drugs hoping to hit That magical mix that would result is a never-ending sleep and crossing the proverbial bridge to the other side where there is no pain of any kind. No pain. No more tears. I wrote a letter to be found when I succeeded at finding the mix I sought. I told a single other human being I wanted to be dead and I was trying.
Ironically the one person who knew my awful secret and the extent of my pain was a total and complete stranger I encountered on a walk at 4:18 AM a few mornings ago. A complete stranger suddenly knew more about my painful reality than any person who knows me and loves me. This person, like my psych med prescriber, just said, “Good morning. How ya doing?” I snapped at the person, “ya really want to fucking know how I am? Or just asking because it is the right thing to do at fucking 4:30 in the damn morning? Pretty sure it’s the latter. But you asked – I’m shitty. I want to be dead. I just wish I had the balls to do it!” Then I bawled and walked home.
Depression, for me, has been a couple of different things – but the first time I felt it, I felt helpless, hopeless, and things I had never felt before. I lost myself and my will to live.
Back to today’s appointment with my shrink (no offense to any mental health professional), after all the tears and a few revelations I made to her, her response was to ask me to voluntarily ask for inpatient evaluation and treatment. This triggered another unleashing of the floodgates that have held back what seems like gallons of tears over the past weeks.
I am currently on a waiting list for a psych unit bed. I have very very mixed feelings about all of this. Does it make me weak? Is it the right thing to do? What implications will it have for me and my future? What will it do to some of my personal and professional relationships going forward? I am TERRIFIED of all of this. This fear seems to be making my depression more intense. Absolutely senseless to me. I just want to give up, throw in the towel, and be done with it all. Period.
Depression is REAL. It is excruciatingly painful in a way I simply cannot explain nor understand at all. I just know how very very much it hurts me right now. Every molecule of my being is impacted by this pain and feeling of sadness and emptiness.
Depression is rage spread thin.
This is not a cry for attention. Nor is it a plea for putty. Rather it is a wake-up call to everyone. Our mental health is an integral facet of our being. It impacts us at so many levels. Please pay attention to your own mental health and well-being. Trust yourself to know when what you are feeling is too much to deal with yourself.
If you need help and you are in crisis or seriously considering suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 or 911. You are worth the call for help. It is hard to believe. But you matter to people.