I’m home from work today because the DM is here and he’s latched firmly to my back. I can barely sit up. I had a really stressful and anxiety-wracked day at work yesterday and then had a hard, awkward experience in the evening that made me really sad, and I’m down for the count. I got home kind of late (for someone who needs to be in bed at 9pm at the latest, because bipolar) and cried and screamed into a pillow and basically scared the shit out of myself and felt entirely alone. I know that I wasn’t; I know that I could’ve picked up the phone and talked to any number of people who care about me, but the depression monster makes me believe that that’s a stupid idea because nobody can say the right thing that’s going to make me feel better, and talking’s only going to make me feel worse. (And that’s not fair, because it doesn’t let me even give someone the chance to help me.) The depression monster knocks me off my feet and tells me that there is no “feel better.” There’s just this, so cry until your head hurts and the muscles between your shoulder blades cramp up from sobbing so hard and then take your Ativan and go to sleep, but not until you’ve spent at least a few minutes wishing you were dead. So I did all that stuff and then woke up this morning and there wasn’t even a question of going to work. I emailed my boss and told him I think I caught the cold that’s been circulating around the department and then I took more Ativan and went back to sleep. I woke up again a little while ago and perused social media, and I got a Facebook memory from a few years ago when I’d written an aggressively positive post at my other blog about how I can’t do it all and that’s okay, and someone I know commented on it with something that started with “life is awesome” and I dropped the phone and rolled over and cried myself breathless, because I don’t recognize the person who wrote that post and when you’re ridiculously depressed, phrases like “life is awesome!” kick you when you’re already way, way, way down.
I need to get myself feeling at least moderately okay before tonight, because tonight I have a giant fancy fundraiser party that I’ve been looking forward to and is going to be lots of fun, and Rufus is not going to take this away from me. Did I ever tell you his name is Rufus? I came up with it last year while in a therapy session. My therapist asked me if I’ve ever thought about what my depression monster would look like if it was a physical persona, and I said that I’d read many times about people referring to their depression as a black dog. And I said that when I’m trying not to let the DM get the best of me, I imagine him as the stupidest, homeliest, least intimidating black dog I could possibly imagine, and his name is Rufus, because nobody can be afraid of anything or anyone named Rufus. To be clear, he doesn’t always look like that (he looks kind of like the Babadook most of the time) but when I’m trying to ignore him and keep him from getting the best of me, he is Rufus, and I mentally say things like, “Jesus Christ, Rufus, would you just shut up?” It’s easier to disrespect and disregard a dumb dog named Rufus than a Babadook-like thing that towers over me and says terrible things and I’m too afraid not to believe him.
So today I’m resolved that he’s going to be Rufus and he’s going to shut the fuck up so I can put on some makeup and a dress and go have fun tonight.