Depression is not Fake News

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People can’t accept a world where people suffer so deeply (without relief) so they create this fake world where the suffering isn’t real. They equate the typical bad day as the same as having chronic depression. If they spend a day in bed and are able to rebound so should everyone else. It’s like comparing having a cold to asthma. People would laugh at the suggestion that people with asthma should walk it off like what you do with the common cold. Yet people are quick to pass out the typical get over it philosophy. People with chronic depression aren’t able to escape their bad days.

Being alone is a very miserable life. When you tell people that you are alone they never truly believe you. They always can justify it based on their own personal experience. If they have people in their lives they can count on then everyone must. That’s just not the case with me, at least not anymore. That person used to be my Mom but that ended in 2012 when she died.

Now I’m just floating into outer space holding onto hope that a rocket will come my way. Sadly there isn’t a light for a million miles away. When you have depression you wear people out. They take it personal or they deny that the disease even exists. If you are like me, you’ve moved (ran) from city to city trying to find yourself. You do this until you can’t run anymore. Then you are left with a lot of emptiness, misery and pain.

It’d be bad enough to be alone but to be surrounded day after day of misery gets old. I go weeks without seeing anyone, other than my therapist. I don’t talk to anyone regularly. A few messages here and there from facebook friends. That’s it.

I have said it before but I have become an afterthought. Someone that people think of occasionally. I went from seeing my family regularly to not at all. Everything changed after my Mom died. When I say I have no one, I mean it. I could die and the only person would notice would be my therapist. There isn’t anything more sad and tragic than that.

If you had to live in constant pain and agony for the rest of your life could you handle it? With very little to no relief? I bet most couldn’t last a week with the darkness that depressed people endure. It affects every aspect of your life. It sucks the joy and life out of everything. Not to mention it warps your mind and constantly lies to you. So not only do you have to battle the disease, you have to fight with the demons (the past) that it brings up. Mind, body and soul are all affected.

People will finally care when I’m dead. That’s the only time when people can show they care for people with mental illness. They wait until it’s too late. I’m not there yet but I’m closer than I have ever been and that scares me senseless. I don’t really want to die, I just want the pain to end. If all that remains in my life is misery why would I choose any other option than suicide. Those who kill themselves don’t make rash decisions. It’s not just something that appears out of thin air. If you could experience what they endured, up until the end, you would treat people with mental illness differently. This might be tough to read but it’s the truth.

So what do others like me need? Support, continued and interrupted. If someone gets hospitalized over a suicide attempt they aren’t cured of the symptoms even though they are released. It’s been six months since my last hospitalization and I’m still on shaky grounds. I’m on the verge of going back and am doing everything I can to hold it together in the hopes of seeing my nieces and nephew next week for my birthday. The last six months I have had a handful of good days, where I got out of the house.

A support system isn’t built overnight and that’s unfortunate for someone with none outside the mental health system. I don’t have time to wait. I’m constantly racing against the clock. One more crack in my self esteem could be the one to send me over the edge. When you make new connections they tend to be overwhelmed with how much care you need or they take it personal when you have to cancel hanging out. I long for the days to be the person not seen as my mental illness. I don’t want solutions. I just want someone to make the effort and show up consistently.

The one person I had like that basically gave up on me because of my mental illness. I had a lesbian aunt that was always there for me. No matter what I knew she was there. It’s not like I went to her for support but it was nice to know she was on my side. This was until my mental health couldn’t be controlled like my family wanted. So rather than be there for me she decided that I was too much to handle by deleting and blocking me on Facebook. She didn’t say a word. Not even when I sent her an email questioning it. I was just ignored.

One side of the family doesn’t accept me because I’m queer and the other doesn’t because I have mental illness. The latter think I can live differently. That I should just get a job like everyone else and forget about my troubles. To give you an idea the kind of family I have I will tell you about the time I had a broke leg. I was around ten years old and was the monkey in the middle. I got tangled up and hurt my leg. I could barely walk and no one would believe me that something was wrong with my leg. They made me walk on it. It wasn’t until the next day that a doctor confirmed that my leg had been broken. I have had my loved ones do this all my life. No one believes me when I’m in pain. They have forced me to walk on a broken leg all my life. Whenever I fall I just go into a deeper downward spiral. For most of my live I have based my choices around what everyone else does. Trying to be a normal functioning member of society has led me to be alone in my forties. I can’t do it anymore. No one is left to support me. Now that I’m in my forties I’m seen as a lost cause. No one is listening to me.

I’m screaming at the top of my lungs to the few connections I have but because none of them are in real life it goes on deaf ears. I just don’t want the life I currently have and don’t see any relief anytime soon. I’m looking at another good year of waiting for a SSI court decision. I don’t have a car and very little money. With my heart issues lately I can’t even walk that far lately. So I’m stuck in my isolation. That’s the last thing I need right now but I don’t have any other choices right now.

Another year in this misery is daunting. I’m trying to hold on the best I can but it feels like I’m failing. I just wish the people in my life would believe me, take me serious. Instead of putting me in the faking it category or being too much to handle. A person doesn’t suffer this long out of choice.

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I Feel So Lost

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This isn’t a new feeling for me. Many times in my life I have felt various levels of being lost. Lately I feel lost inside my mind. My mental health has locked me inside this massive dark forest. It’s pitch black and there is nothing but silence. Imagine the upside down in Stranger Things but with no light at all. I’ve spent enough time in this scary place to have it warp my mind. You become this scared creature who is twitchy and doesn’t know where to turn. My mind has turned against me and it lies to me. It’s like being put into a gigantic dryer and then forced to walk for miles.

On top of all of this, I also feel lost in life. What is my purpose and all those other deep questions. I ask myself all the time, what in the world am I doing? Most days I don’t have a clue. I’m desperate for purpose and it gives me tunnel vision. When I start to think of the suffering without any purpose my mind starts to wonder to dangerous places. The deeper I find myself lost in that dark void the more I start to consider other options.

This brings me to the other type of lost, being alone in this world. It’s like floating into outer space with nothing to tether to. You’re a million miles from earth and it’s become this small glowing dot in your horizon. I’ve become one of the old people I live with. Whose family has forgotten them. Well not forgotten just got wrapped up in the chaotic world. They just don’t have time for them. People take loved ones for granted. I’m in a similar boat. I don’t have any close friends like most do. When things go wrong I have no one to reach out to. If something was to happen to me (in my apartment) no one would know for weeks and there isn’t anything more sad than that. That’s when you know that you are alone.

That’s what mental illness does, it pushes people away. I have no one that I see regularly, other than my therapist. This just adds to the feeling lost. I’m working on new friendships but that takes time. I don’t get to do fun things with people. I spend my days alone, in a stuffy apartment. Until I get approved for SSI disability I have very little to do with myself, at least in terms of person to person connection. Plus being poor and without a car I’m limited to what I can do in terms of socially. My social gatherings are sporadic at beast. Usually my monthly transgender meeting. You can’t thrive off one day a month.

I have yet been able to find a balance with my mental health. The medicine I’m on doesn’t seem to be helping with the depression at all. My doctor is trying new combinations but so far the only thing that has started to work made me gain a bunch of weight, like thirty pounds. On top of all this I have recently been diagnosed with atrial flutter. I doesn’t take a lot of exertion for me to feel like I’m going to pass out. So right now walking a few blocks to the bus stop (to do things) is out of the question.

Lately my depression has gotten so out of hand that it’s become unbearable, even for me. I don’t do anything but hide in my apartment. Doing simple tasks like making dinner becomes unmanageable, especially if it means washing dishes when I have none cleaned. I will live off very little food at times because I don’t feel like going to the grocery store. It also affects me physically. I become lethargic and my energy bottoms out. Everything is a chore. So not only am I alone (most of the time) I am surrounded by these demons.

So I’m lost spiritually, physically and mentally. I’m trapped in this prison of suffering and I’m not sure how to get out. I’m trapped without a key or map. It’s one thing to feel lost in one aspect of your live but to have every aspect be affected is unmanageable. I wish I had just one person I could attach myself to. The only person I had was my Mom and she died in 2012. Someone I could count on. I have no one and that’s not exaggerating. I have people who love me but I’m just not in their radar. They have their own lives and struggles to deal with. I don’t blame them. This world is a topsy turvy place. I’m just collateral damage. That’s not a fun place to be.

I see people on Facebook with full lives, sharing moments with their friends and family. Going out to the movies or on vacation. Laughing and enjoying life. I’m desperate for that kind of life. I know I deserve it but it feels like this life is just out of reach. I have a good year of this level of suffering, of not having many options in terms of meaningfully, long term connection. I have my comic book but that still means spending all my time alone in my apartment and these days the depression zaps every last ounce of creative juices I have left. So everything in my life is a struggle, which again just ads another complex level to being lost.

Then there is the whole being lost in my identity. I could write a whole post about how I view my body and my gender, I’m MTF trans. Like I said there isn’t one area that I don’t feel some level of lost in and because I’m aware (and dealing with it) that means it’s even more painful. I no longer can bury it. That’s probably why this time in my life is so difficult because the shit has hit the fan.

I just hope I find the key fast. I don’t know how much time I have. With having my health scare this week it’s brought my mortality right to the front of the line. Not to mention when I’m at my lowest I start to think of ending it all. I fear there will be a day in the future when I completely turn off the switch that’s keeping me alive. I know that mental illness can eventually be terminal and because I’m aware enough it scares me senseless when I start to slip and slide down the depressive slope. I don’t really want to die. I just don’t want to suffer anymore. I want to enjoy the time I have left on this earth and create a legacy for when I’m gone. I don’t want to die as the miserable depressed person, who didn’t make something of their life. My life has to have more meaning then my illness.

So I just gotta keep on walking, crawling if I must. Even if it’s at a snail’s pace I’m still moving. Just keeping a commitment to go to therapy each week is a huge sign that I’m moving forward. I have had many times where I didn’t want to go but I forced myself. I knew what it would lead to. It’s the one bright spot in my life. Something to be proud of. I have been in therapy consistently since 2013, something I have never done. I have been with my therapist for over two years. I’m so blessed to have her in my life. I just wish I had others like her in my life, who weren’t tied to my healing.

Codependent to Codependency

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Prior to my Mom dying in 2012, I was extremely codependent. My foundation was built upon my family. I made them my world. I grew up in a dysfunctional family and my roots in codependency started at an early age. My environment was such that my Mom, sister and I had to hold onto each other for dear life to survive. We even called ourselves the three musketeers. My father was the spider and we were the flies. Eventually we were able to escape that spiderweb but we’d be forever tangled up together.

My childhood taught me that the only way to function was to be codependent. It was always the solution and the only way to live. Since I can remember my wellbeing has been dependent on other people. I couldn’t function without another person. That all changed when my Mom died. She was the glue that held our family together. After she died our family was never the same.

The death of my Mom sent me spiraling out of control, out into outer space. I went into danger mode for years after. I lived in constant fear that something bad was going to happen to my family, especially my two nieces and my family. That fear put me into a paralyzed state. I couldn’t leave my sister’s home in the fear that something bad would happen and I would be needed. That’s what happened in April of 2012, when we first learned that my Mom had cancer. I was awakened from a nap to the news that my Mom was coughing up blood and needed to go to the ER. To this day I still can remember the level of panic that I felt. I still flashback to that moment. Especially if something wakes me up suddenly.

The forced separation almost destroyed me. I couldn’t function without my Mom. A world without my Mom was a world that I didn’t want to be apart of. The first two years after my Mom died were hell. I almost didn’t make it. Thankfully I was able to get help and started on a long journey to healing. Even though I was able to function more I still was very codependent to my family. I held onto dear life to every moment that I had with my family the last seven years. I constantly envisioned something bad happening.

It wasn’t only the last year that again I was forced back into outer space. This time I had no one to catch me. I was alone. It was hard to break my codependency and it wasn’t my choice. These days I’m afraid of any type of connection due to the fear of abandonment. I’m not close to anyone. The only way I have been able to cope is to go inward, to shut everyone out. It’s only been recently that I have felt safe enough to venture out and it’s not been easy. I crave connection with others but it frightens me deeply. I put my feet in the water and the fear of a shark attack sends me running back to my safe zone.

I thought it was easier to isolate and push everyone away. The idea of falling apart like I did from the seperation of my family has kept me alone. I want a healthy relationship with dependency. I’m learning to build my foundation on solid ground but it’s going at a snail’s pace. I can quickly form attachments and that scares me when I meet someone I like. Especially because I have very little interaction with people. I meet someone I really bond with and feel less than when the person doesn’t keep in contact with me. I use to take it personal. Most the time I’m able to see the truth but it still hurts the same.

I don’t want to feel lost like that ever again. It’s extremely difficult to overcome years of unhealthy boundaries and attachments. I have to remind myself that I must focus on building my foundation, which I have been doing this last year. If you build it, they will come. It’s just tough waiting. I sometimes wonder if I will overcome this hurdle. Self care and love is something that I must practice daily and is the key to having healthy relationships.