Five for Friday
Self esteem and depression are a really weird mix. I like who I am, my values, and a lot of my personality traits; yet so often I find myself fighting off the thought that I don’t deserve to live.
I’m my own worst critic. I’m very judgmental. I judge. People do that. They judge. It’s a thing. It’s not always a bad thing. I judge other people, too. A lot. Maybe I’m judging you right now.
Unless I love you—then you can get away with a lot. Not murder. Probably. But a lot. So, I guess the key is to hide your faults long enough for me to start adoring you and then you’re golden. I’m sure the people I love have flaws—they’re human—I’m just hard pressed to come up with what they are.
My anxiety stops me from doing simple things—really simple things like making a phone call. I had someone else help me with that today. She conferenced me in. I talked to the person. You know how sometimes you’re afraid of something and you avoid it, but then you finally do the thing and it’s not hat bad. Yeah, not this time. I was barely holding back tears the whole time. The person on the other end of the phone was kind, courteous and understanding. I was still sitting there with my eyes clenched shut and every muscle in my body tense. I still haven’t fully come down from that.
I have a lot of tools for dealing with anxiety. They’re not working well enough. But that call today was to a counseling center. I’ve got a intake appointment for Wednesday. Baby step, but forward,
Someday I’m going to data mine this blog and analyze the recurring cycle of my depression. I think it’s starting again. I feel the urge to sleep to hide from reality. I want to escape into fantasy and dreams. I mean, more than usual, you know? I want to go back to sleep, to drift off replaying old daydreams in my head, hoping they continue on into REM sleep, so I can believe they are real.
We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.
They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.
Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.
My biggest anxiety is that I won’t be able to stop feeling so anxious—that it’ll just go on and on, until it is untenable.
It’s similar to depression, where things feel hopeless for so long that one loses hope that hope will ever return.
Facts do not always help much in breaking this cycle.
Often, I write these thing here because it helps more than just repeating it to myself. Honestly, this has already helped—somewhat, at least.
The meds must be catching up. I don’t feel so bad today.
No anxiety attack yet. But I’m worried about having one. So… meta-anxiety, I guess? The first derivative of anxiety? d(anxiety)/dx? I dunno, but I’ll take it, yes please and thank you very much.
I slept late and had a very weird dream. At the moment, I’m okay, but on edge, like a stressor could come along and trigger an anxiety attack at any moment.
In the dream, was talking to a former co-worker at a company outing—somewhere outdoors, like the zoo to the botanical gardens. We talked about being overworked. I went to get a snack, and when I came back, she was gone. So, I climbed up a wall, and did some parkour.
To me, the weirdest thing about that dream is that she was working there again. The second weirdest is that I was working again.
The weirdest thing about my anxiety lately is that my heart isn’t racing. I check my heart rate with a fingertip pulse-oximeter, and it’s low 80s at worst, at rest. Even if I’ve been up moving around, it’s low 90s. That’s good, but it also means a beta blocker isn’t going do much, and isn’t the best idea to be taking, probably. I should check my blood pressure, too, but the in the past couple weeks, it’s been under-120/under-70 both times I’ve had it checked.
It would be nice to have a stable brain today. I can feel the tension just under the surface, though. I may spend my Internettime today on cuteoverload.com instead of tumblr, just in case.
As the day rolls on, things get slowly better. I’ve been told that’s a typical pattern for depression.
I miss the Verde Valley. Today would be a nice day to head down to the river and sit by the water. Maybe bring a lunch and a book or some music. It’s nice, at least, to feel like there would be something nice worth doing, even if that specific thing is slightly out of reach right now.
The problem with depression is that even when the anxiety and shame and self-loathing and pain and static in your head pass, there can still be the feeling that there is nothing worth doing, nothing interesting, nothing enjoyable, nothing worth the effort. It’s a kind of numbness, divorced from all feeling, and as such, there is nothing that would possibly make you feel joy or accomplishment or worth.
You don’t realize how much you depend on your feelings and intuition to make simple, everyday decisions about what to do, what to eat, etc., until you’re cut off from them.
At least the anxiety is mostly gone.
It’s so bizarre to know that the turmoil inside your head can be alleviated by consistently taking a little blue pill once a day—that your thoughts aren’t an accurate reflection of reality, but are badly filtered through a defective lace of neurons.
Another day. Fight the good fight, everyone—wherever that may be for you. Mine’s still inside the boundaries of my skull.
As is common lately, today is a bad day to be in my brain.
Is it depression-fueled anxiety? Or anxiety-fueled depression?
(Round and round, in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot see the falconer…)
I just keep telling myself “Depression lies” every time the thought crosses my mind that I do not deserve to be alive. Who does, really? As much nobody as everybody. It’s not a thing you deserve, it’s a thing that just is. Existentialism to the rescue?
Where’s the switch that limits my dash to just pictures of puppies and acts of human kindness? Is there an XKit extension for that?
Any time I am unduly lax in the taking of my antidepressants for too long, it takes 4-5 days of consistency to get back to a more tolerable headspace. Today is day 3.
I try to just keep reminding myself that this temporary. It’s very easy to go to far and think about how everything is temporary and then start thinking too much about death.
I try to remind myself of times when I’ve felt better, and how I’ve always gotten through this before: I will feel okay again. I will get through this. But still, there is the experience of it right now, and it sucks.
"Mindfulness" is supposed to help. I really don’t want to be more aware of how I feel right now. If I just sit here and concentrate on my breathing, I’ll probably end up lying down and asleep. But, you know what? That sounds all right. Acceptable. I’ll get through another day.
I had a long night’s sleep. I just want to go back to bed and sleep all day and all the next night. This feeling is a reminder to take my antidepressant. I have. Next I wait it out, let it pass, try to distract myself. Ugh.
Today was a rather weird day. An off day. I felt kind of weak all day. Like a limp noodle. A hollowed out shell of a human being. Butter scraped over too much bread.
I’m sure my muscles are fine, and my nerves are probably fine, but the will behind it all is lacking.
I’m going to try turning myself off and back on again. Sometimes that fixes things.