I’ve been having a particularly rough time of it this last week or so. And tonight, lying on the couch staring into space because I can’t seem to find an activity that’ll hold my attention, I thought about how we only get to ride this rollercoaster once (as far as I can tell), and the hand I’ve been dealt is one that tries its hardest to make sure I spend as much time as possible feeling irrationally miserable and worthless and waking up most mornings feeling sick at the thought of having to get through another day.
And I’m really fucking mad about that right now.
I’m not having a pity party for myself. I do indulge in that every now and then, but tonight I’m pissed. Because I remember when I wasn’t depressed (or was at least considerably less so), and I was good at finding happiness and fulfillment in small things. I certainly rode the struggle bus sometimes but up until these last couple of years, my head was in a really good place and I was figuring out how to like myself and be me in a less apologetic way. Then the depression anvil dropped on me and everything went dark and I can’t see all the things around me that used to make me smile and think the world is awesome. I still take pleasure in some small things, like this fleecey blanket I just got that’s the softest, plushest thing ever and I wish I could walk around wrapped in it at all times. But there’s a difference now in how I feel about those little things – instead of just getting a happy little kick out of them, I feel like I’m drowning and they are life preservers. I cling to these stupid small things because sometimes they’re just barely enough to give me a five-minute respite from the nauseating dread. That’s not the same as something making me happy. That is a desperate grasping for anything that will make me feel better, or simply less awful, for just a few minutes. And that’s not a life. There’s an episode of Star Trek: Voyager where Seven says, “Survival is insufficient,” and I think about that a lot. Being who I am and living where I do, to be living in survival mode is an unforgivable waste. But I do feel like that a lot. I wake up most weekday mornings and immediately start telling myself that I just have to plow through this day as quickly as possible and then I can come home and hide and sleep again. What kind of a life is that? I don’t think I fully realized until today exactly how much this disease is taking from me. It’s like I open my eyes every morning and get robbed before my feet touch the floor. That’s not okay. The idea of living another day, and another day, and then another day like this is not okay. And I know that. I know I have to fight and keep going to therapy and taking my drugs and finding new drugs if these aren’t working and going to the hospital again if I get really bad. But I’m just so tired. I’m tired in my bones all the time. And the depression monster lives in my head and my chest and he hurts in a way that makes me feel certain that when I die and they open me up, they’ll find me riddled with him like people can be riddled with cancer. And the thing is…there is no depression monster. It’s just me in here, with a few rogue genes that cause faulty wiring in my brain that fucks up the way I feel and think and perceive everything around me. I had to make up the DM because I can’t stand to think of this as a fight against some abstract or amorphous thing that I can’t really see. Because then it just feels like shadow-boxing, and that’s only pretend fighting.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. I have to fight, and I’m so tired from all I’ve done already, but if I don’t do it I’ll never get out of this current state of mere survival. And I’m not cool with that. There’s enough of the old Minerva in here to be pissed off at the very thought. So off goes our heroine to her rest, because tomorrow’s another day. To be continued…