It was the two year anniversary of my blog this week. For it I decided not to post at all. But since I am feeling depressed again I thought I better air it out.
I am no longer ashamed of being depressed. I am not afraid to admit it. I don't like being it however. I look for reasons that is back, reasons why I am all crazy and entitled to being depressed.
I desperately want to live alone when I am depressed. Part of it is about indulging the depression which is so comfortable and well known to me. When my husband comes in I feel bad about being depressed for him. I wish I had color in my face and a smile. I do not. I am angry he is here reminding how abnormal I am simply because he functions so much better than I do. I wish my daughter didn't have a depressed mother.
My depression, as true for depression generally, manifests in two forms. One is a low energy depression, inertia, sleepy, no motivation. The other is an agitated depression with anxiety, nervousness, poor sleep and for me, anger, of course.
Part of my depression, and I am admitting this openly for the first time, is the addiction to suicidal thoughts. I am absolutely shocked when people say they have never felt like that. I have always thought of killing myself. Always. As I grew up, my sister would often call the house threatening suicide or she would take a bunch of pills and call a friend who would then call my parents. I was just a little kid. My parents would not want to leave me alone while they went to see what was up so I would get in the car in my pajamas while they went to an apartment and knocked on the door which was rarely answered or she would be there in a state of unconsciousness. She never committed suicide. My brother who never threatened it did it decisively when I was 15.
So I guess exposure mixed with depression made suicide my 'go to' for negative feelings. It really was an escape strategy. An effective albeit unhealthy one. I think I thought of it most days until sometime last fall when several days went by that I didn't think "oh well, I can always kill myself." I thought, mmmmmh, this is when I would feel suicidal, but I don't. Maybe this is how healthy people feel. Maybe they just solve problems and resolve feelings rather than bury, escape, repeat. I like it!
If you have ever had an addiction, like smoking for example, you know that the impulse to smoke is there. Through impulse control you do not heed the desire. I used to smoke and sometimes, decades later will think, "if I smoked, this is when I would have a cigarette." I am sure recovering drug addicts and alcoholics feel the same way. My suicidal ideation is like that. I think about dying like smoking a cigarette. I am addicted to it and it satisfies feelings I do not otherwise know what to do with.
From last fall I had several months free of suicidal thoughts I told myself they would return like those impulses to smoke always have. This last week I was wild with suicidal thoughts. That is really depressing. Following these thoughts are the guilty feelings for having such a great life and wanting to leave it. Having a daughter. Wonderful fodder for the wild flowers of shame.
Depression is a recurrent illness for me. That is why I am not ashamed of it. It is still very hard for me to live with other people while depressed. I know that my depressions will lift. I know they will teach. I need to give over to them. It is a hibernation and is not really unhealthy. If I had osteoarthritis no matter what I did my joints would flare up, hurt, I would have to slow down and take it easy and better function would return. If I had diabetes I would have to be vigilant to keep my blood sugar even and still there would be flares and concomitant symptoms and comorbidities.
So depressions come and go. I cannot prevent it. The suicidal thoughts are the painful joints of depression. I can be having a completely fine day and have a suicidal thought. It is a mental addiction. I try to be objective about it and treat it with a certain sterility to remove shame from it.
But deep in it, sometimes I can taste gun powder so vivid and hungry am I to die.
The rest of the time I eat well, exercise, sleep when I am tired, learn, create, post, grow. I do not mind aging. I do not think it sucks getting old or hate having another birthday or try to hold on to 30. I am just now getting happier, why would I want to hold on to my bullshit youth? I was a mess then. I am so much more authentic and aware now. After nearly 6 months, the longest suicide free stretch in my life, it comes as a sad blow to my beautiful life to feel like that.
It is a relapse. An impulse I will not move on. But so draining.
I found the feelings did not last too long. I didn't do much damage to my marriage with this depression. My husband is starting to understand this pattern of depression and how no matter how I act or what I say it has very little to do with him. Thank God.
But it is all about my desire to escape. About feeling trapped. An illusion. But perception becomes reality. The closer I get to more truth and authenticity of course the negative puppet master in my head will work her magic. Bring me down, make me want to die.
A very wise and loving counselor of mine, Jo, would say "honey, you can feel as crazy as you want, you just don't get to act on it." Such good advice.
I think I am just still working my suicide addiction out. I guess it will never go away. I guess February is a big trigger for it. Also moving. I just think shining light on it will help.
And because when I am depressed I tend to see what isn't said rather than what is said, I am turning comments off for this post.
I don't want to hear cheery sayings. I don't want to hear suggestions for antidepressants. Look, people with diabetes and osteoarthritis and recurrent depression know full well what to do with it.
My body aches, I have been ill, I am blue and yesterday I wanted to die so bad I could taste it.
It is just a reality that is ugly. It belongs to me. It is supposed to teach me something and I am in no hurry to pretend it isn't there. I don't think being happy that will break my addiction to suicide. I think it is being depressed that will. A hibernation. A winter. An experience and confrontation of those feelings that keep returning.