Tuesday, February 4, 2014

On Particularly Rough Days...

I haven't written in a while, and it's not because I've been too busy or put the blog on the back burner. Quite simply, 2014 has hit me hard and I have been battling a confusing month or so with more depression than usually (hypomania is normally my trouble, depressive cycles are rarer for me). And I honestly thought, "who wants to read about this shit?". As in, why does anyone want to actually read about how depressed I am. But today I realized, that's kind of what this blog is about. Not my depression per se, but my journey with this disorder. The reason I started this, in addition to just getting my thoughts out of my head, is to help others. Sometimes, that means trying to provide some inspiration and motivation. Other times, it's just letting others who go through this type of thing know that they're not alone. To do the latter, I have to share some of my story, pretty or not.

I want to be clear about what my depressive cycles are like, as I think they're often misunderstood. I don't wake up every day hating the world. I don't feel like my life sucks or it's so hard. In fact, if I did feel my life was so hard, I'd understand why I feel the way I do. But that's not the case. I know I "shouldn't" be feeling this way. It's not my life that sucks. It's my brain. Period.

Right now, I feel very lost. I lose a sense of myself. Some days, I couldn't even tell you what I like and what I don't, what my hobbies are and what leisure activities I enjoy. I wouldn't be able to state for sure what I I feel my best and least favorite personality traits and characteristics are. I don't know where I want to be, or what I want to do with my life. All I know is that I don't like how I feel, and I want to get out of it, but I'm not sure how. Think of how it feels when you lose a close friend, not to loss of life but because they have stepped out of your life. Now imagine, if you can, how you would feel if that friend was your own self. That's the best way I can describe it.

Because what I'm feeling is a sense of loss, it means that I can't just look on the bright side or think positive or smile and feel better. I can pretend I'm not dealing with it and tell people I'm doing well or at least ok, to not feel like such a downer. Indeed, where I feel appropriate (ie business contacts, clients, people I'm not particularly close to) I usually do just that. This doesn't mean it goes away. It just means I'm professional enough to cover it up accordingly. But I can't do that forever, and eventually, I have to admit (if only to myself) that it's still affecting me.

I'm not sure what caused me to lose myself. I know it wasn't something that happened all of a sudden. I didn't wake up with emotional amnesia one day. There wasn't a big incident that changed everything (which I am grateful for - I don't do super well with "surprises"). In fact, it's quite the opposite. I've been blaming a bunch of different things, and certainly each of these things on their own would still bother me. But it occurred to me recently that the underlying cause, the thing that's behind probably 90 percent of these incidents, is the loss of myself. If I could get that under control, I could figure out the rest.

I'm not too sure where to start, but I know that I have to start. Sometimes, the only thing you can know. As my grandma used to say, put one foot in front of the other. Today, I saw a quote that I need to remember as I muddle my way through all of this (it was a quote superimposed on an image on FB, so sadly I can't give proper credit).

"On particularly rough days when I feel that I can't possibly endure, I have to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days is 100% so far." 

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