Sunday, February 24, 2013

And Now I *Am* OK

I was almost right about one thing in the previous post: I find my mental state when I last wrote here to be rather worrying, though not actually "terrifying" as I thought I would.

I find it worrying because I'm still capable of falling that far, that fast.  Admittedly, I was unusually tired at the time; until yesterday, for the last several months, there had not been a single day in which I have not had to get up, get going, and keep going because so many things needed my attention.  I was having trouble sleeping.  (I don't think that it's entirely coincidental that, after having given myself permission to rest from about Friday afternoon until Saturday afternoon, then running a few errands that weren't all that horrible, and then having dinner and watching most of "The Fellowship of the Ring" with a close friend in the evening, I finally feel at peace and even somewhat refreshed.)  And the argument that I had on the day when I last wrote here was with someone I love; I always end up feeling the most hurt when I feel as if someone I love unconditionally only loves me conditionally, which strikes me as not being "love" as much as it is "fertile grounds for rejection," and that's precisely how I felt when we argued.

Come to think of it, that sounds an awful lot like one of the major reasons why I've never had a girlfriend or boyfriend.

And yet, I am not actually terrified by the way that I was feeling the last time I posted anything here.  No matter how bad I get, I doubt that I'll ever seriously harm myself.  The temptation to hit myself may exist, but I'm capable of fighting it.  And I don't ever get suicidal anymore, regardless of how overwhelmed I sometimes am by negative feelings.  Even when I did feel suicidal, which last happened a couple of years ago, I was never actively so; I never made plans, never acted on the feelings, only ever had a feeling of "I should remove myself from the human race because I am a hopeless, useless, superfluous drain on resources with nothing to offer the world, so I hope something happens that will erase my existence from this planet because I don't deserve to be here."  That feeling hasn't come along in years now, and for that, I am thankful.  I also believe that if it ever does come back, I will know how to fight it.  

The thing is, my life has significantly changed since the last time the suicidal feelings happened; among other things, I now have a small and trustworthy circle of close friends.  (My social life wasn't precisely nonexistent before 2011, but I mostly just had acquaintances and somewhat distant friends, and didn't feel inclined to bother the one really close friend I had at the time because she was working as a teacher in Korea and I felt that she had more important things to deal with than my petty insecurities and worries.  And yes, I now realize that was silly.)  And though I don't tell my friends everything, I trust them to be as supportive of me as I have tried to be supportive of them.  Thus far, my trust and my love (and yes, I love these people) have not been proven to be misplaced.  I believe they will not be.

So.  I'm fine, for the time being, at least.  And I'm looking forward to singing at church this morning and then taking a long walk somewhere this afternoon, because the sun is shining, the snow looks absolutely glorious, and on days like this, I am not just grateful to be alive—I absolutely love it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm Not OK

Right now, I'm in a state of mind that I know will terrify me later, when I've managed to re-establish some of my mental equilibrium.  I won't say what's put me in this state, though I will say that an argument was involved, and that I believe that I am 100% at fault.

I feel useless, lonely, alone, hopeless, and totally worthless.  I feel like I want my body to be in as much pain as my mind is at present; right now, it's taking a considerable amount of willpower to stop myself from inflicting pain with the nearest wire coat hanger or heavy book.  (And I have both of these things in abundance.)  I feel like if I disappeared, nobody would ever miss me; I feel like nobody would even notice for at least a couple of weeks.  The scary thing is that this is what I'm feeling even after I've actually calmed down a little.

Living with depression, especially depression that's gone untreated as long as mine has, is a pain in the ass, to say the least.  I know that treatment options exist; I also know that even here, in Canada, I cannot afford to seek them out, and even if I could, I wouldn't be getting treatment any time soon; in my city, we have within the past year had to withstand a reduction in mental health services, so there's quite a waiting list for help, and in any case, even the least expensive counsellor available here charges $150 per hour of counselling.  That's way out of the range of what I could ever possibly afford.  So, frankly, it's easier for me to stay home, save the money, and do the best I can with music, reading, writing, my volunteer work, occasional socialization (I have several particularly close friends, most of whom I don't see nearly often enough, and one with whom I typically spend several hours at the end of each week), and meditation.  Usually this helps.  In spite of incidents like this, I'm getting better.  I haven't actually felt suicidal in about two years, though there have been times when I've felt a little more able to understand the urge than usual.  (That's scary enough for me, believe me.)  But I am still prone to fits of moodiness, and there still are times, like this afternoon, when something in me breaks and I find myself rapidly spiralling back down into that state of mind that I once knew so well: that mix of feelings of worthlessness, self-hatred, irritability, lethargy, and hopelessness that are the earmarks of my particular kind of depression.

The irony?  Just before the argument began, the one that set off my current mental state, I was doing some research about depression so that I could write about it for another blog, one that I've set up and am maintaining for a cause that is very dear to my heart.

Mission accomplished, I think.  If nothing else, in my current mood, I certainly have my inspiration.