This is just going to be one of those stream of consciousness rants because I need to get this poison out of my body so I can be some sort of functioning human.
Depression is such a fucking asshole and I’m so tired of living with it. I’m so tired. And yeah, I know this very low point will pass but it always comes back, and it’s never really gone in the first place for me. My depression coupled with anxiety have been an absolutely debilitating force in my life. I have said no to everything. I have not tried because I know I will fail. I have been unable to maintain relationships. A friend of mine left me a voicemail a little while ago and I know they probably started by saying, “I knew you wouldn’t answer…” and they love me anyway and I’m so grateful for that, but also I’m a shitty fucking friend.
Every day, having to drop my kids off at school or pick them up and have awkward shallow interactions with other people, it’s hell for me. I don’t know how to make you understand this because I know it sounds ridiculous. It’s physically painful and exhausting. And the dread of it is exhausting. And the beating myself up for how awkward I was is exhausting.
It’s not interacting with people in general that I dread. It’s these sorts of interactions. The daily “how are you?” “Good how are you”s, the small talk we are forced to make in these situations. Interacting with people is always exhausting for me even when it’s wonderful (this is a MAJOR difference between introverts and extroverts), but small talk is soul-crushing. I would love to greet people by saying, “Tell me about your childhood,” but that would be fucking weird for some reason so I don’t. I say, “good, how are you.” And by the way, this is not at all about any of the people I happen to interact with in those moments. I just wish I could have a real conversation with them and the fact that I can’t paralyzes my ability to act like a functioning human.
Back in August, Louis C.K. decided to show up unannounced at The Comedy Cellar to do a set. For those unfamiliar, The Comedy Cellar is his spot. It’s the stand-up comedy club featured in his television show, and it’s where he has spent a lot of his career. Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this. So here is this room full of people at this club, and Louis C.K. walks out on stage. People cheered and I’m sure a lot of people were genuinely excited. But I also bet some of the women in that crowd who had been having a perfectly lovely time felt ambushed and discounted, much like the women Louis forced to watch him masturbate. Things felt just fine, and then boom. Here’s this asshole, back because he decided he deserves to be back, and he chose not to even acknowledge the pain he’s caused, instead jumping in like nothing was wrong.
This is what I’ve been comparing my depression to. Yesterday I was having a pretty good day. Feeling generally OK about myself and my life, and then, as if just to remind me it was still there, depression walked back out on that stage to put me back in my place. To let me know I don’t matter, that I am worthless. Even the name of the club, “The Comedy Cellar,” is apt. I am in a cellar. I once had a therapist who said she envisioned my depression as a man on my shoulder, always there waiting. Today that man is going to be named Louis C.K.
It’s kind of funny, right?
Much like I’ve done so often in the last couple years, I spent the day at home, surrounded by a truly disgusting house, and I couldn’t force myself to do anything, even the most basic tasks. I don’t know how to make you understand this either because again, I know it sounds ridiculous. This particular part of depression has gotten debilitating for me. I cannot make myself move. I mean, I can when I have to. I have to get my kids to and from school and it takes all the energy I can muster to get myself out the door. I have to go to classes or I will fail. Until yesterday I had to get myself to a job (I quit that job).
The part of all this that weighs most heavily on me is my children. My children are not going to be OK, because they are growing up with a depressed mother. Today my 6-year-old daughter asked me to take the dog for a walk with her and I told her I couldn’t right then, and threw in the fact that I had to do schoolwork so it seemed legit. She started crying and said I always say that when she asks me to play with her or do things with her. And my heart broke in half because I know it’s often true. I know you’re thinking: So just play with her. Just take the dog for a walk. And I have no idea what to say to you in response to that because it doesn’t make sense to me either. I just, can’t sometimes. I had my daughter come sit on my lap and said to her, “Remember how I have a sickness in my brain that affects me sometimes? Well today I’m not feeling well.” I said these words to my child and tried to remain hopeful and keep a smile on my face so she wouldn’t worry or think it was a big deal, but tears welled up and rolled down my face anyway.
I’m not there for my kids. I’m not there in the way they need me to be and it’s killing me. I wish I were a different person. I mean, I literally wish this. A generally happy person who is able to get up in the morning without crushing dread and exhaustion. A person who does things and is a good parent. A person who eats well and spends a lot of time outside and is a good example and doesn’t live on the fucking couch. In moments like these, I resent generally happy people. I resent them because I am so incredibly envious of them. I will never experience that. Every day is a fucking battle and every day will always be a battle. Some easier to fight than others, but Louis is always there, waiting to make his undeserved and unwelcome comeback.
*I beg you, do not respond to this by giving me advice. If you want to let me know you hear me, that’s great, but don’t come in here telling me how everybody has their shit (yup) and I have so much to be grateful for, and maybe I should eat some fucking turmeric. Please don’t.