“And, oh, it was so baffling. You know when you have the flu and you can’t remember when you felt well? And then when you feel better, you can barely remember feeling sick? The authority of depression is horrifying.” – Dick Cavett on his battle with depression
I am ready to barely remember feeling sick.
I am ready to not feel like such shit all the time. I am ready to not feel worthless, worn out, and like I am just done. But I don’t get to decide the timeline. I just get to fight and hope something sticks. And it is rough right now.
I have patience and love for others but I think we all have a harder time giving that to ourselves.
And this disease, it just fucks with that part more. Remembering it is just a disease, and that I am not the disease and that it is a disease that will hopefully get better, that’s the hard part.
Being done seems like the only choice but it is not a choice and that’s that.
And soon I will take Ambien and conk out. Yay.
The past few weeks life has sucked balls. Actually life itself hasn’t. I’ve done awesome things with awesome people. Life hasn’t sucked balls, but having this disease has. I don’t remember crying a lot in my adult life but it is how I have ended nearly every night in the past few weeks. Crying and in a pain I have run out of words to explain. Depression is like no other illness and yet it is like every other illness; fighting hard doesn’t mean you’re cured but if you are lucky, extremely lucky, you have people who support you through it.
I have spent most of the last week surprised and many times saddened to wake up in the morning. I hate that this has been my mindset. That mindset is not a side effect of this disease. It is this disease and I am in the middle of it and will continue to do my best to remember this is a disease and somewhere in all of this, there is a me who has to stay.
I wish that wasn’t so fucking hard, but if all my wishes came true, life would be less plagued by disease for all those who struggle, and hugs and sheet cake would be available 24/7.
Unfortunately right now is fucking hard and that is just the way it is but fortunately I have a beautiful support system.
And a shit ton of drugs.
Sometimes it’s not about hanging on like a motherfucker but about letting go like one. Not to let death/killing myself win, but to allow myself to be in the place of struggle and darkness, to not put judgment on where I am at. To not think I am fucked up, or needy, or less than for being in a dark place.
I have wanted so bad to be able to scream “I am healthy!,” to reassure people, to let them know I have won this disease. Final victory. In doing that I have given myself two options, get healthy or kill yourself, forgetting about the third option of being kind and patient with myself and being okay struggling in this disease. I wanted my life to read like an 80s teen movie where the victory happens exactly when you want it to, instead of it being like an improv scene where you don’t know what will happen and understanding that’s part of the deal
So now I am trying to remind myself that I am working hard, really hard to live: Therapy, writing, drawing, reaching out, and now adding to that, giving myself a fuckin’ break. Health will happens when it happens. And maybe one day I will have my Corey Haim Lucas-esque moment but it sure as fuck is not going to happen in 90 minutes and Charlie Sheen probably won’t be the one who helps me through.
But I was reminded this week that I have a life full of Charlie Sheens, between Facebook people reaching out and my therapist and a friend who really helped me sort through all this. Both of them were there to do what I needed most, to be willing to go to the uncomfortable dark places with me, with kindness and no judgment. Some people have no Charlie Sheens in there life, but me, I have many and I am grateful.
A beautiful tree stands in front of me and I see a noose.
Two corporate lawyers talk to each other and I see an improv scene.
This is my brain.
So often going to the suicidal.
So often going to the comedy.
A friend says something to me and I almost always have a quick, funny, reply.
I am alone and I almost always go to ending it all.
Both such innate responses. Both seemingly such a part of me,
I am working. Hard. To change one of them.
Not hard to figure out which one.
Trying to eliminate the suicidal stuff, has affected the comedy stuff.
But in the end, I will be healthier and have a killer routine (pun!)
I am thirty-six, living back home with my parents, and I am about to sit with my mom and watch myself get electro-convulsive therapy on the news. So basically, I am living the dream.
My parents have been wonderfully supportive as I have fought this disease, trying to offer whatever they can; picking up my son, running errands, all of it. One of the hardest side effects of depression is watching your family watch you struggle. I wish so badly my parents didn’t have to worry, but as a parent myself, I get that there is no way to change that.
So before the news story on ECT, I talked to my mom
“Mom, I just want to prepare you, you’re going to see this story Mom, and I just want you to know: I thought I would be in a hospital gown for the whole interview so that’s why I am not in nicer clothes. I just want you to know I am in a jeans and a Beverly Hills 90210 t-shirt and to reassure you had I known I would not be in a gown for the interview, I would have dressed nicer. I just thought you should know”
Sometimes it’s all about having the right words at the right time.