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The Reality Of Living With My Depression

06/12/2015

I am sad.

Every moment of every day, I am sad.

I am suicidal.

Every moment of every day, I am suicidal.

I think about it constantly. It is always in the back of my head; the final option. Every choice I make, it is there.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by

For me, there isn’t two choices, I have a third road. I don’t enjoy living this way, but like a warm blanket on a cold morning, I just can’t seem to bring myself to face that eventually I’ll have to shed it. I do not like that I feel this way. I do not revel in the fact that it brings me comfort to plan out in exacting detail the way I will exit existence, but it has become clear to me that it is a part of my being that will always be there.

I’ve attempted therapy, I am on medication. It has helped, but only momentarily. I am acutely self-aware and I hate the idea of putting a band-aid on an issue which I know is inherently built into my being. Some people would look at these things and think that it would help a creative such as myself to create.  For me, it is the opposite. Living in a constant state of self-hatred, I find myself writing for no one, writing songs I will never play, and using my sadness to try to garner sympathy from others.

I know there are people who care about me; who wish to see me strive and be the best version of myself I can possibly be. I ignore that. The screaming voice in my head that tells me to doubt everything I do overpowers them. I am aware that beast will never be satiated, yet I can’t help but continue to try to feed it.

This is the unfortunate feeling that many people suffering from depression have to deal with daily. Many are less functional than I am. Especially of late, the only place for me to feel safe is in bed, curled up for entire days, playing menial cell phone games because I can’t even bring myself to turn on my Playstation and play a game with any substance. Often times I have only left bed for another bottle of whiskey, or a pack of cigarettes. I cannot remember the last time I took a shower, and when I feel as if I have hit a point where someone will notice this, I will instead clean myself in the sink to keep the fact hidden.

For 10 years I was able to pull myself out of bed in the morning to go to work, and for the most part hide from my coworkers the state I was actually in, only to come immediately home and get back into bed. I’ve gone days without eating, because even though I was hungry, my brain would convince me there was no point to it. So I would make a pot of coffee, or crack a bottle of spirits, knowing it would make the hunger pangs go away. At my worst, I was drinking a 26 ounce bottle of whiskey a night, passing out wherever I would collapse from exhaustion and inebriation, only to wake up and go into work the next day. I would take a flask of vodka to work with a bottle of orange juice to drink on the job to keep the inevitable hangover at bay.

This is the unfortunate reality of “high functioning” for me. Being able to work and pay my bills, so that on paper I would seem as if I was doing well, though actually feeling like a zombie who was going through the motions to not have to admit that it is a condition I had lost control over.

I have attempted to take my life more than once, and the shame from that helped perpetuate a cycle of trying to numb all emotion and flood my brain with alcohol to the point I was unable to think thoughts at all, because the panic and anxiety from the thoughts I couldn’t control would snowball me into a state where the only thing that made sense was to take that third road.

Yet, through this all, I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. I understand the hypocrisy in that, given everything in the previous paragraph. However, I don’t view alcohol as an absolute need in my life. I haven’t ever felt “normal,” and I found a crutch that would allow me to get myself one more day ahead, even if the crutch has proven to destroy so many countless lives.

All of this has coalesced into the loss of many friendships, the only romantic relationship that ever mattered to me, and constantly trying to push away and burn bridges with the people willing to accept my faults and be there for me. It’s the cycle of turning to people for advice or care, only to take their empathy and turn it into something I can prove to myself of not being enough and lashing out.

The most sadly amusing part of all of this is that my logical brain understands that this is not the way to go about it. It’s just a lot easier to give in to the temptation than to work against it, because there is comfort in sticking with the cycle. It’s a mechanism to make sure that the only person that can hurt me is me. It’s a wall so high that only the most brave and patient are willing to traverse, which ends up being a let down when they see that the other side isn’t much improved. Unfortunately, anyone who gets over that wall earns an absurd devotion from me that I find I can never let go of. So I test these people, push them away, then beg and ruminate over losing them once they decide enough is enough and leave. Then if they do come back, I just do it again, and again.

There are plenty of aspects in my life that I can excuse as having contributed to this state of my mind. Losing my sister when I was 10, a father with severe mental illness who was abusive to my mother for the entirety of my childhood. The harsh reality is that it doesn’t matter. I am a grown adult who is responsible for my own actions, and using the past as a crutch to prove my actions is abhorrent.

 Through all of this: I still contemplate death daily, I am still suicidal, I still drink more than I should, and I still look for attention and care in places and people who I know will only make me hate myself more in the end. However, I am actively trying to finally improve, recognize these faults, and reduce the crutches I use.

This is the only option I have, because as appealing as that third road is, there is part of myself that is still gripping and hoping that someday I will be able to overcome these issues and lead something that can even remotely resemble a happy life.

I often make jokes that the only reason I haven’t finally killed myself is because I need to see a certain movie, show, or game recently announced. The reality is that my relationship with existence sometime feels so pointless, these are often genuine concessions I have to make with myself to make it to the next day.

Hope is the single thing that has kept me around thus far, and all I can say is that I wish, for the people who do care about me, that it is something that will continue work.

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