The Life of a Depressed Optimist

And suddenly, I am gone again. Where did I go? I have no idea.

I woke up a few days ago after a suicide nightmare and I didn’t feel anything. I woke up, but part of me didn’t. Part of me is somewhere else. Part of me has had enough of trying and is hiding in a cave in the corners of my mind, refusing to come to me. I cannot force myself to come back.

My desire to show up for myself and for others is not here. Thoughts of nothingness and thoughts of suicide impede my attempt at holding a conversation, or listening to others, or focusing on anything other than my desire to hide in the darkness and never come out again.

This is the hardest thing to write about. Partially because I would rather be sitting in an empty room staring at a wall than writing all of this. And partially because I want anyone who reads this blog to read about a girl who used to be suicidal and depressed, but isn’t anymore. However, I think it is important for me to write about this now. Why? Because I know that this disturbing numbness will end, and I want to share that knowledge.

The only feelings I have felt in the last week are anger and hope. I am angry that I am gone. I need myself right now- my whole self, my present self. I have things to do and people to talk to and deadlines to meet. I am angry that my only response to these obligations is a quick and simple, “fuck it, I’m not doing that. Take everything from me, I do not care about any of it“. I am angry, because that’s not true. I do care. I do not want my success and my opportunities to leave me. But honestly, right now, I cannot will myself to chase those things. The more I get angry at myself, the further away I will go.

I have hope that these feelings of hopelessness will end. Contradictory, of course, but I think it makes sense. The positive thing about this leave of absence from my mind, is that I have people in my life daily. I have a job, I have a community at school, I have my family, I have therapy two times a week, and I have the narcotics anonymous community. My mind told me “people suck, don’t show up” and I listened. My meeting attendance has not been great this week, I skipped more classes than the previous two semesters combined, and I skipped a therapy session. However, because of my previous consistent attendance to those things, people noticed. This resulted in a meeting with my sponsor, a meeting with my advisor, and making up my missed therapy session. In each of these scenarios, I was given compassion, understanding, and solutions.  Most of all, I heard a resounding, “I will help you through this“.

I don’t know what the catalyst was for this fogginess. I know that it didn’t just happen with the wave of a magic wand. I think there was a collection of little things that built up. Maybe I didn’t notice the warning signs because I didn’t want to. Maybe they were so subtle that I couldn’t notice them. I think fear is playing a role in all of this. I also think that when this ends, I will have a better idea of what caused it.

I am what some people call a “smiling depressive”, which is someone who likes to smile and wave and say everything is under control while the thoughts are the opposite. I do not want to do that anymore, I do not like that habit and it certainly never helps me, it’s also exhausting. I want to admit that I am struggling so that I can ride out this wave of emptiness on the support of others. I have hope that this will not last too long. I can handle this. I can wait out this storm. I am strong, even when I tell myself I am weak.

In every step of my recovery, I have been aware that I will encounter depression throughout my life. That makes me sad, but I also know that I can make it through every time. In my letter to myself I wrote, “Living with the demon that sometimes takes over is a tough fight, but you can overcome this. Again, and again, and again,” and that’s true.

I know that I am here somewhere, because I was able to write this post during bursts of self-awareness . I will end with a quote:

“To know that you are not present is a great success: that knowing is presence”.

Gratitude List

Here are things I’m grateful for

you, right here, then gone again.

Life is busy always changing

I’m here, right here, then gone again.

The noise a heart makes when heard

through shirts and muffled hugs

It’s true, I’m here, then gone again.

Revolving doors. Two ticking clocks

the second hands not quite synced up.

Grateful for forgetfulness

more so for remembrance.

Things I’ve done, I’m sorry for

still grateful that this fight exists

this life exists in spite of it

grateful I’m a part of it.

 

 

 

Today

I used to know a girl who hated herself and the world. She was hurt and she was scared. Most of all, she was angry. She could not accept the beauty of life because she was consumed in the meaninglessness of it. I love that girl. I wish I could hug her, but I do not think she would like me very much. She did not like people like me- people who were secure in the insecurity of life. She did not want to be happy because she wanted everyone around her to read her dark mind and feel her sadness.

I have been thinking lately that who I am today is a wonderful betrayal to that girl. It is possible that instead, who I am today is the person she secretly wanted to be.

A Thought.

Somebody told me once that the best relationships are the ones where you feel known, understood, and accepted. I have found that to be true not only in my relationships, but even in my interactions with people I don’t know well. I know it’s hard to achieve all of those things in one interaction, but I am here to tell you I have done it, and it is cool. Sometimes when I am totally myself around a stranger and I let them know that I have no idea what I’m doing, they return the honesty and we have a smile about it and then go about our days. And then I write that moment in my jar of happy things and that person has forever positively impacted my life. Isn’t that neat?

ps- This is my jar of happy things…

photo (1)

short-short part 2

 

I stay up at night and I worry about you. Are you alone? Are you scared? If you need me to, I can pretend I’m strong. I can pretend I’m not afraid of what the future holds, or if the future holds anything. I would do that for you. Sometimes you let me see the sad side of you. A side of you I may not be strong enough to see. A side of you that leaves me crumbling. Maybe you know that. Maybe I’m not the only one. Maybe you’re scared. Maybe you don’t know that you’re not alone.