The Life of a Depressed Optimist
And suddenly, I am gone again. Where did I go? I have no idea. I woke up a few days ago after a suicide nightmare and I didn't feel anything. I woke up, but part of me didn't. Part of me is somewhere else. Part of me has had enough of trying and is hiding in a cave in the corners of my mind, refusing to come to me. I cannot force myself to come back.
My desire to show up for myself and for others is not here. Thoughts of nothingness and thoughts of suicide impede my attempt at holding a conversation, or listening to others, or focusing on anything other than my desire to hide in the darkness and never come out again.
This is the hardest thing to write about. Partially because I would rather be sitting in an empty room staring at a wall than writing all of this. And partially because I want anyone who reads this blog to read about a girl who used to be suicidal and depressed, but isn't anymore. However, I think it is important for me to write about this now. Why? Because I know that this disturbing numbness will end, and I want to share that knowledge.
The only feelings I have felt in the last week are anger and hope. I am angry that I am gone. I need myself right now- my whole self, my present self. I have things to do and people to talk to and deadlines to meet. I am angry that my only response to these obligations is a quick and simple, "fuck it, I'm not doing that. Take everything from me, I do not care about any of it". I am angry, because that's not true. I do care. I do not want my success and my opportunities to leave me. But honestly, right now, I cannot will myself to chase those things. The more I get angry at myself, the further away I will go.
I have hope that these feelings of hopelessness will end. Contradictory, of course, but I think it makes sense. The positive thing about this leave of absence from my mind, is that I have people in my life daily. I have a job, I have a community at school, I have my family, I have therapy two times a week, and I have the narcotics anonymous community. My mind told me "people suck, don't show up" and I listened. My meeting attendance has not been great this week, I skipped more classes than the previous two semesters combined, and I skipped a therapy session. However, because of my previous consistent attendance to those things, people noticed. This resulted in a meeting with my sponsor, a meeting with my advisor, and making up my missed therapy session. In each of these scenarios, I was given compassion, understanding, and solutions. Most of all, I heard a resounding, "I will help you through this".
I don't know what the catalyst was for this fogginess. I know that it didn't just happen with the wave of a magic wand. I think there was a collection of little things that built up. Maybe I didn't notice the warning signs because I didn't want to. Maybe they were so subtle that I couldn't notice them. I think fear is playing a role in all of this. I also think that when this ends, I will have a better idea of what caused it.
I am what some people call a "smiling depressive", which is someone who likes to smile and wave and say everything is under control while the thoughts are the opposite. I do not want to do that anymore, I do not like that habit and it certainly never helps me, it's also exhausting. I want to admit that I am struggling so that I can ride out this wave of emptiness on the support of others. I have hope that this will not last too long. I can handle this. I can wait out this storm. I am strong, even when I tell myself I am weak.
In every step of my recovery, I have been aware that I will encounter depression throughout my life. That makes me sad, but I also know that I can make it through every time. In my letter to myself I wrote, "Living with the demon that sometimes takes over is a tough fight, but you can overcome this. Again, and again, and again," and that's true.
I know that I am here somewhere, because I was able to write this post during bursts of self-awareness . I will end with a quote:
"To know that you are not present is a great success: that knowing is presence".