What’s it to you?
I’ve really struggled with this whole blogging thing. I used to write stories once upon a time (there’s even some cringey romance thing on this blog) but I don’t think I can settle down enough for it anymore. The only things I can seem to write down now are my experiences. And I don’t like the idea of giving random strangers on the internet any deep insights to my life, it feels intrusive, and attention seeking (Yet here we are loool). I just sometimes feel the need to post things on here and I feel VERY weird about them because again, it feels like I’m looking for everyone’s attention, and it’s not like I rate myself enough to think I’m an amazing writer that everyone needs to see. So it’s very hard for me to post on here, but one thing I realised recently is I feel seen and understood when I can relate to something someone has written, and it feels kind of nice and soothing. So if I can help anyone who feels the same way get through the day then that’s alright with me. I’ve also realised that a lot of people don’t read anymore so it’s not that many people looking at this blog and that makes me feel safe.
I started writing this ages ago, and in different ways. There’s a shit ton of notes on my phone that I started but didn’t know what to do with.
I’ve dealt with a whirlpool of emotions in the last couple of months. I’ve felt terrible, hopeless, hopeful, happy, sad, damaged, proud, stupid and small. I saw this tweet ages ago where someone asked what depression is to people, and how their own depression looks like. I read through the thread but the only thing that I remember people saying for sure is it’s numbness, they don’t feel any emotions, whether happy or sad.
To me, depression is majorly an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. It’s also a massive sense of low self-esteem, low self-worth and a lot of self-loathing (sometimes there’s literally a voice in my head telling me how worthless and stupid I am, weird I know). It’s a lot of emotions, sad ones and angry ones, swirling around my chest; it is actually physically uncomfortable sometimes and in general it is overwhelming as fuck.
I recently started reading a book on depression in a bid to understand more about whatever it is going on with me. It’s called ‘The Noonday Demon — An Atlas on Depression’ by Andrew Solomon, I think it’s amazing but it’s pretty hard for me to get through it because I am 100% a fiction kinda girl. I’ve read books much longer than this one in days but I know it will probably take me a couple of months to get through this. There’s a lot of medical jargon as well because they try to explain depression from a medical point of view, which makes complete sense but also makes it pretty hard for me to read.
Anyway, I managed to really connect with it because I could relate. The author struggled with depression and what really struck me was something he said at the beginning of the second chapter. I’ll write down two excerpts that hit me in the face
“I have not, in certain crucial material ways, had a difficult life. Most people would have been pretty happy with my cards at the start. I’ve been through some better times and some worse times, by my own standards, but the dips are not sufficient to explain what happened to me. If my life had been more difficult, I would have understood my depression very differently”
“To be depressed when you have experienced trauma or when your life is clearly a mess is one thing, but to sit around and be depressed when you are finally at a remove from trauma and your life is not a mess is awfully confusing and destabilizing”
Honestly, when I think about my life I cannot for the life of me understand why this thing is holding onto me so tightly. I’ve had a pretty good life so far, I have an amazing family, I’m provided for, I am so very loved, I have great friends, I have managed to somehow prove to myself that I am actually intelligent, I’m really not suffering. And cause of that, whenever I feel down in the dumps, or whenever I have a breakdown, I feel guilty. I feel like I’m a weakling and I have absolutely no reason to feel the way I do when there are people out there going through so much worse and still pushing. I feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with me and I am baffled by how I aim to go through life being this weak ass bitch. Obviously the guilt presses down and exacerbates the already bad breakdown I’m having. A cycle of nonsense really
Then there’s another part of the book that hit me
“Similarly, depression hits different people in different ways: some are predisposed to resist or battle through it, while others are helpless in its grip”
“Let us make no bones about it; We do not really know what causes depression………..We do not know why one person gets a depression from circumstances that do not trouble another”
I don’t know about the being predisposed to battle through it thing, still not sure how I feel about that exact statement. Also, this book was published in 2001 so I don’t know if anyone absolutely knows what causes depression now. But reading that made me feel slightly better about myself. I really don’t want to think of myself as a weakling; and clearly there’s no explanation as to why I’m depressed or why I can’t handle something that other people would easily get through. And I am really tired of blaming myself and feeling guilty about it; it is what it is. I think the important thing is to keep actively trying to do better and that’s what I’m trying to focus on instead because I am pretty tired of feeling sorry for myself. I’m over it.
The book also gives some people’s stories, and the authors stories. And a lot are much worse than whatever it is that is going on with me and for once that didn’t make me feel like a piece of shit. More like part of a community of people actively working through it. Some days are bad, some are good, some are in between. But we move regardless.
I’ve learnt to embrace the emotions that come, because having emotions is part of being human. While sadness is shitty and seems to be a lot more overwhelming than being happy, it wouldn’t be the human experience if it wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to write this down meanwhile I would rather have no emotions. But a girl’s gotta roll with the punches regardless.
I’ve also maybe realised that it’s okay not to talk to anyone? Maybe? Potentially? I think you need to decide what works best for you, and what feels good, and stick with it. We’re all different and can’t share the same coping mechanisms.
I do think it’s important to have a way to express all those feelings, thoughts and emotions because speaking from experience, bottling it up is probably the worst thing you could do to yourself.
Personally, writing is my own form of therapy and self care from time to time. There are so many emotions and thoughts trapped in my head and heart and it gets so overwhelming and for the life of me I can’t open up my mouth and share it with someone else. Sometimes I do, but 90% of the time I regret every inch I give, and it definitely does not feel good. It feels a bit hypocritical cause I always want everyone to know I’m here to listen if they ever feel some type of way but I can’t reciprocate it. But again, it is what it is, I find my release in writing everything down somewhere and God knows I am okay with that. It feels good and I can’t shout.
There’s this app called Moodpath I discovered earlier this year. They ask you questions three times a day to figure out how you’re feeling, and when they do ask those questions, there’s room to write down how you’re feeling at that point. After two weeks they collate your results and you can use it to generate a letter for a doctor or therapist or something. I haven’t done that, I don’t care to; but the space to talk about what I’m feeling three times a day has been very helpful for me. It’s basically a journal but they disturb you three times a day so you don’t conveniently ‘forget’ to examine yourself everyday. So yeah, I’d recommend that.
Sometimes I cope by disconnecting from everything, I don’t want to be around people; even social media makes me feel very panicky, all those thoughts and all those people everywhere, it’s just confusing and overwhelming, and times like that I just want to be alone. And that also, is okay by me.
I do think I’m actually doing much better than before. I have my moments, but I don’t think I wallow anymore (or at least not as badly as I used to); I accept that these feelings and emotions can’t be ignored but I’ve somehow managed to deal with them so they’re not fucking with my day to day. And again, I think that’s okay.