My depressed brain and why it sucks

When people write or talk about their depression, they’re usually reflecting on it.  They’re talking about how much it affected them, what they learned, and how they recovered or coped.  That is mostly bullshit when you are in the midst of depression.   I’ve had episodes of depression since about 13.  I’ve definitely learned some ways to deal with this and, for the most part, I accept that it happens because my brain likes to fuck with me randomly.

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I do not believe in the psychoanalytic mythology that I have suffered some deep trauma that leads me to self-sabatoge or avoid pleasure, or whatever the fuck those assholes insist is wrong with me.  At least not any more, any worse, or any deeper than what everyone on this planet experiences.  When I meet the person who has not experienced some major loss in their life, the person who has never experienced at least one shitty relationship, the person who is at complete peace with their family history, or the person whose coping skills are perfect and adaptable enough to get them through every adjustment and distressful aspect of life, I will bow my hat to them and wish them luck with the rest of their life.

But coming from this very moment of being depressed, I can tell you this: everything is hard.  Getting out of bed sucks.  Walking the dog is excruciating.  Strangers talking to you feels like the world is ending.  Getting work done seems impossible.  Eating anything more than a bag of chips or a box of cookies feels pointless.  You know you shouldn’t isolate yourself, but being social makes you want to cry or throw up.  Even being with the people you love sucks.  I don’t want to be talked to or touched.  Everything everyone does feels like an attack.  You don’t see the point of working or accomplishing anything because you never feel accomplished.  And, for me at least, the worst part is knowing that there is no reason for any of this.  Knowing that, if you could get your head back together everything would be okay.  But your head won’t let you see that.  One of the more insidious parts of depression is it sometimes comes when everything else is going well.  I’m three weeks from completing coursework for my doctorate.  I’m a few weeks from defending my dissertation (hopefully).  I matched at a fantastic internship.  Shit is good, but my brain is stuck in “feel like shit” mode.

My Brain is Full

Don’t worry.  I’m not going crazy.  I’m still able to function at work and getting stuff done.  It’s harder, I won’t lie.  Sometimes I need to lay down, cry, and watch MonsterQuest for a few hours before I can even gather the strength to work.  I use my coping skills, but even that is hard.  They do help and I need them, anyone with similar issues knows that learning the best ways to cope may be the only thing to get through.  Relaxation, distraction, self-care (and all of its glory).  I take mental health days.  Completely indulgent days where, if I feel like it, I eat pizza and ice cream, watch documentaries, and complain to my best friend over facebook about my life.

^My last ditch coping mechanism.

^My last ditch coping mechanism.

This blog is a coping skill for me.  I rarely talk about stuff like this, but it helps me vent and get shit off my chest in other ways.  That is why I don’t really care about gathering followers.  I actually get kind of anxious when people start to follow me and see views spike.  I think someone is going to figure me out, think I’m crazy, and be like “WTF is wrong with this chick?” or worse, “why is this chick in child development?  She’s way too fucked up to let her work with kids and families!”  But the I think of Marsha Linehan ( ❤ )  who, at the peak of her psychological fame, wrote  an open letter discussing her personal history of depression and suicide attempts.  Then I’m all like, fuck you guys.  I’m awesome.

See, I’m already starting to feel better.  I hate my self a little bit less now.  Still thinking about gorging on chips and queso and watching MonsterQuest instead of finishing the diss or putting together the two presentations I have this week, but I don’t want to cry and my dog is laying on my feet to show he loves me no matter what.  🙂

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