some thoughts on 10 years of depression
I’ve been depressed — on and off — for the best part of a decade now.
I’ve only been to hospital once — self-admitted — though suicidal tendency has been prevalent throughout this entire period.
I look back at my life and wonder how — and why — I continue to arrive at places such as these.
Despite my best efforts; despite my relentless pursuit for self-improvement; despite the countless books I read on the topic; still I arrive at this place of despair.
It is a lonely place; a place in which I feel numb to the world.
It is futile to be reminded of the many reasons others might believe I have to continue: Reasons to be grateful, reasons to be optimistic, reasons to be hopeful…
I cannot feel nor see any of this. Instead, just this overwhelming feeling of disconnection.
I find it incredibly difficult to sustain friendships — or any close relationships — because of this persistent feeling.
There are very few who have stuck with me through these ups and downs. And those that do remain I fear will soon be lost, too.
I fear I will never be able to sustain romantic relationships, whatever that means. I struggle to imagine that there could be a person among the many who could live with a person like me; that is, someone so unstable.
I contemplate that if there were in fact someone for me that they too would need to be present with me in this darkness to fully comprehend that which is my every day.
Though surely a relationship in which both parties occupy such a place is surely not one that should be entertained nor pursued.
I also wonder how I will ever sustain a job when the same frustrations arise time after time; no matter the business — big or small — it seems I am unable to assimilate with the expectations of their ‘leaders’ nor adopt the apparent minion-mentality needed for sustained tenure.
Whilst logical it would thus seem to pursue my own endeavour, the confidence needed is confidence I have not yet discovered. At least not for as long as would be needed to establish the momentum required to break through.
I cannot say that I feel the same overwhelming anxiety as I have once felt in similar instances as these; perhaps I am now numb to that, too. A silver lining…
There is a large part of me that feels embarrassed, ashamed and hypocritical when I arrive at lows such as these again, and again, and again.
For much of the past decade, as I have bounced between the dawn and darkness of which my life has characterised, I have sought to transform this pain I feel into purposeful zeal.
For much of this past decade I have hoped to help those like me. I could not resolve its purpose being for any other reason. In this I found at least some hope and motive to continue.
But although I have been successful in some of these attempts, still I am left to occupy a place in which I remain largely paralysed by fear and inadequacy; as yet unable to follow much of my own advice.
I look back at my remarks on the power of friendship and its role on being a reason why I have been able to endure. And whilst I would be wrong to categorise these remarks as lies, no doubt they fall near.
For I do not see the role of friends as having helped in any way. How could they? I never let the few friends I have [had] come close enough in those moments. Always, I would choose instead to shut down; to isolate.
I would always — and continue to — fight these battles on my own. From those 9 months I spent isolated in my bedroom at age 17 to the present day.
It seems I have still not learned what friendship is — perhaps — neither how to be a friend nor accept the help of one. When someone calls me their friend a voice within yells out questioning what that means, exactly. And how I am in any way worthy.
It seems I have always been alone. And that I am destined to remain this way having never developed the skills that appear needed in this ‘social’ world.
Despite moments in which others have observed in me traits of ‘extroversion’, I’ve never been able to sustain that feeling of over-confidence for longer than just a few days.
It makes me wonder why I would even bother embracing those moments when it seems — and as has been demonstrated repeatedly— to only open me up for more opportunities to ultimately disappoint.
I’m not quite sure why I chose to write this. There is nothing here that would appear to inspire neither optimism nor hope.
Perhaps it is the small feeling of hope that someone may read this and know they are not the only one who feels this same way.
Because although the logical part within me knows that I cannot be alone in such feelings as those described above, the emotional [read as: depressed and suicidal] part certainly argues a strong case to the contrary.
How will I know?
Finally, for context, I left work early yesterday, overcome by emotion, sadness and disconnection. I have taken the rest of this week off. I got out of bed at midday today. I left the house only to sit in a café and stare at passing traffic for four hours. My phone has been on airplane mode. I have deleted WhatsApp. I have no intention of seeing anyone whilst I cannot stand to see myself.
But, if I can just hold on for long enough, I know this feeling will pass.
And so I’ll be over here, holding on.
And writing, too, probably.