no where to run

I know it doesn’t matter anymore to anyone.  But it does to me.  Living is getting increasingly harder. 
I’ve been told I fight too hard and to relax.  That’s not going to work. 
I’ve been told I fake the depression to get friends.  Yeah, like all those friends are lining up at my door to help me and console me as I cry by myself.  As I cut by myself. 
I’ve been told that new medicines are discovered all the time and one may help me.  What makes me think something new will help when nothing has helped before?  Nine tries at medicines and none of them worked in the least bit.  Why should I get my hopes up like that just to have them crushed?  I’ve been to two psychiatrists, and it was apparent neither cared.  Now I’m left struggling, knowing no one will care if I died.  I take that back, my husband would.  If I died, there goes my income that allows him to buy cool stuff and have a big house, there would go the wife that puts up with his yelling and cleans house, the wife that gives him sex almost anytime he wants. 
I guess the most frustrating thing is knowing that I won’t kill myself.  Knowing that I am nothing but a coward.  Even though the feelings are so real and intense, I will continue on living.  It’s like being in a candy store or something, wanting to buy everything you see but knowing you can’t.  Knowing something forbids you from doing it, but you don’t know what.  I’m scared but complacent at the same time.  Praying that God will “curse” me with some deadly disease that would take my hand out of the decision.  And feeling guilty that I would want to take such a “gift” that God gave me (life) away. 
I sometimes wonder what I did to deserve to be punished so much by God.  Was I bad in a previous life?  Did I do something to make God mad at me?  I was reading a book that was referring to the Footprints poem, the one about God carrying you through the sand.  I can’t feel anyone helping me.  It’s more like someone is holding me down in water, then letting me up for a minute, and holding me down again. 

something to take the edge off

What do you do when you feel alone?  When you *know* that there is no one you can call that would “get” what you are going through.  Yeah, they would tell you how much they understand, but they don’t.  I’m just a lazy bitch to them, someone who isn’t grateful for what she’s got.  No meds have worked for me yet, and I have no faith that any would if I tried them.  I’ve just got to get through this life alone, by myself.  Sometimes I wonder if drinking would help.  I’ve never been drunk.  Can you believe that, I’m 27 years old and have never been drunk.  There’s a couple of reasons, some that I thought I would write about tonight.

First I guess I’m afraid that if it works, if it numbs the feelings, that I would become an alcoholic.  I long for something that works for the depression.  Would it be so bad if the drinking helped to drink to take away the pain?  I know it’s only temporary relief, but I need something to take the edge off the feelings so bad. 

The second reason I’m afraid to drink is a little more personal.  I had just turned 21, and it was the end of my junior year in college, as in the week before finals.  A group of classmates (who I considered friends) came and asked me and one of my friends if we wanted to go out and study (read “drink”).  I had tons to do, so I declined.  My friend was always up for a drink with some friends went to study.  This was about 4 pm.  She had a group she went to at 8, and then we were to get together at 9 to work on some homework.  Around 9 I called since I hadn’t heard from her.  They were still at Applebee’s (where they had decided to study) and she was fixing to come over and study with me.  I should have offered to drive her, I knew she was drunk, and I could have been there and back in less than 10 minutes.  I was mad though because it was getting late, she was out partying, and I was having problems with homework.  I fell asleep waiting on her.  The phone woke me up at about 3 or so in the morning.  Her mom was calling to try to find her since she wasn’t answering her phone.  We finally got hold of her a little later, she was at the house of one of the people she went drinking with.  She didn’t remember anything about the night or anything, she was just sore.  I think she wondered, but didn’t realize what happened until she overheard some people talking about it.  Apparently, one of the people she was with drugged her drink and they took her back and raped her.  I felt so bad after that… if I had just picked her up, then none of this would have happened.  I knew they were going after me too.  I deserved to be treated like that though, like shit.  She didn’t.  I wish I could get rid of the guilt, but I can’t.  I’ve never been able to talk to her about my feelings of guilt over what happened.   

to live or not to live…

Life is getting harder for me.  It’s hard staying alive.  Girl, Interrupted is one of my favorite movies.  I remember at the beginning when Susannah was in bed with Toby and she was talking about killing herself.  That is how I feel so much of the time.  If something good happens, I live.  If something bad happens, I want to kill myself.  Since I can’t ever perceive something good happening, I constantly want to die.  It’s a scary place to be.  Few people understand.  I should be happy because I have this, that, and whatever… but I’m not.  My first “plan” was when I was 11.  My mom had just had brain surgery, but that is a whole other blog to write about.  I’ve had several plans over the years.  The one that has always stuck with me has been starving myself to death.  I was never officially diagnosed, but am pretty sure I was anorexic in high school.  That is how I want to die, though I know it will be a death by suffering, which is what I wanted anyways.  This “plan” has always made it hard on me to eat.  I am desperately overweight (~180 at 5’2″) and want to lose weight.  But I know if I diet I will once again become anorexic.  I guess it is the all or nothing thing.  I’m afraid I will end up dying, but in a way that is what I want.  I feel like I force myself to eat, knowing it will only take one or two missed meals to send me back on my way to not eating.  Pitiful, eh?Another pitiful thing…  One of the reasons I haven’t killed myself is because I don’t want to die alone.  I’ve felt like I have lived so much of my life alone, I just want someone there with me when I die.  Which will be hard to do since no one wants to be in trouble, as they would be if they were with me when I died.  It’s so hard being in this spot, believing that the only way for things to get better is to die.  I feel like I am letting God down for feeling this way.  Yet, at the same time, it’s like I can’t help the feeling.  I need to talk to my counselor about this… but how do you tell someone that you want to die?

get me out of here

So, I’m reading a new book. Rachel Reiland’s Get Me Out of Here. It is about a young woman’s battle with borderline personality disorder. I’m on about page 300 of 400+ pages. I would encourage anyone going through severe depression (and their family, friends, etc), whether borderline or not, to read this book. While yes part of the purpose of the book is to chronicle Rachel’s life with BPD, it also describes the fight from a dark place to one of light. It also describes her counseling sessions and the relationship she forms with her counselor. I brought it with me to my last counseling appointment, to read while I was waiting for my appointment time. My counselor picked it up and asked if I thought if I had borderline personality disorder. My response was that I didn’t care. It was a lie. I’ve never been officially diagnosed, but sometimes I wonder.

The DSM IV criteria for diagnosing borderline personality disorder are (I’ve included notes about myself):

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impusivity beginniny by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5. (oh my gosh, as long as things are going ok in mine and my husband’s relationship, I am ok. But geez, it can get rough. I’m so scared of being alone. I’m scared that if I tell people the truth that they will leave me. So when it looks like friends will leave, I’m happy. I force myself to be happy so friends won’t leave me. Unfortunately, most of them catch on to this, and I’m left friendless anyway)

2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. (i do this to friends and myself, counselor, peers. it’s like i find someone i want to confide in, and do so (usually through email). all of a sudden they are my hero. however, if they disagree or tell me something bad, they are my enemy. i want to break up with them. nothing in between.)

3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. (is this where I say I am pure evil? i forget, i know it fits into one of these criteria. i feel so mixed up on different levels. i don’t know what I want to do with my life. one minute i know i can do something, the next i know i can’t. sometimes i feel like my thoughts and values wane as much as kerry’s does)

4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior (I self injure, probably a lot more than I let on with my counselor. I don’t know why I do it, I just do. It’s like I am in a trance or something.)

6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days). (i had always counted this one out as one of the criteria i met, until i looked up dysphoria. if i’m right in calling depressed mood as dysphoria, then i fit this one too. anytime anything goes wrong, i automatically want to kill myself. i fall so fast, it’s so intense.)

7. chronic feelings of emptiness (I have felt this emptiness some time now. it’s hard to describe but definitely there. it’s like this overwhelming boredom, loneliness, that won’t go away. even when people are there with me, i still feel so lonely.)

8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms (everytime I cut I am in dissociating. It’s like I am in a trance (ha, see the comment above on number 5. I’m outside looking in. I don’t really have control of my actions. Something usually triggers it. A sad song, a sad movie, fight with friend, etc)

career change

I’ve been trying to do some soul searching. Right now, I’m in engineering. I have my MS in Environmental Engineering. Unfortunately I think this profession sucks. Right now, I am working with all guys. This isn’t a bad thing, but can get pretty lonely being the only female. I don’t really talk to the guy’s wives either. I’m also the youngest at the firm. That is weird too. I’m a young female working in a guy’s world. Since Erik and I want to eventually end up in a rural town, I also have to think of a profession where I could get a job anywhere. At first I wanted to be a counselor, to help people when they needed it. So depressed people wouldn’t feel as alone. I applied to Vanderbilt soon after grad school to enter into their program, but no such luck. I got denied. Then I talked to the MTSU clinical psychology professor and she told me it will be hard for me to get in to any psychology program because I have an engineering background. Everyone knows that engineers don’t write don’t speak well, don’t write well, and of course don’t have a heart.So now I am considering nursing as a career change. It will take me several years to go to school and work at the same time. But I think it might just be worth it. I want to be a mental health nurse practitioner. That way I could still work with those with mental illnesses. Just in a different way.

I was talking to my counselor about this last session. Can’t heal others when you can’t heal yourself. Nothing I haven’t heard before. Just started doubting myself big time. By the time I made it home, I figured I wouldn’t do the nursing thing. I don’t know what to do as I feel so lost and alone with this decision. I was figuring maybe just take a class and see how it goes. I don’t have to take anymore if I figure out it isn’t for me. But then what will everyone else think?

the rage inside

Simple things set me off. I don’t go into an anger rage. More like a rage of depression. A you mean I didn’t do this right… oh my gosh I don’t want to live rage. It’s like a Stargate that takes you from one world to the other with no in between. A free fall that all you remember is being on the plane or top of cliff and then waking up hurt and confused on the ground. It’s not a rage against someone else, only me. In those times of the rage though, it almost seems like I am someone else, like the rage is targeted at me, who isn’t me.

 A rage that I can’t remember, but know that it is there. A rage that brings about blood, my own blood. A climax of feelings that ends with the feeling of knowing that I deserved what I got. As punishment for all the times I’ve lost control. For all the times I lived when I should have killed myself. To be able to feel the pain I can’t put into words. As if watching a physical wound heal will help the emotional ones inside. The wounds inside I don’t know about, I can’t remember, I can’t talk about.Long before this I have started to cry. The blood is blurry in between tears. Dizziness took over long ago. I’m me but I’m not me. I’m there but I’m not there. I’m inside my body but also outside looking in.

I watch as the knife cuts into me, but I can’t stop it. This time in the arm, maybe next time in another place. I’m so exhausted and so tired I just want to sleep. Eventually I do, the knife stops cutting. I wake up and the past events are like a dream, until I see the cuts. Things are better now, at least until the next thing that triggers the rage.

not a friend

I’m not your friend. That’s what I wanted to shout. I held it in though. Too afraid to make a scene, too afraid to let the counselor know how much I was hurting. You shouldn’t care how I treat myself, that I want to cut myself, that I want to hurt myself, that I want to kill myself. You are a counselor, not a friend. You can’t be both.

I have problems with boundaries. I want to tell someone so bad the stuff inside of me. Trust is a big issue with me. But there comes a point in time where the trust issues are void—they don’t matter near as much as the feelings of wanting to be accepted.

Only I won’t be accepted, and I know that. So I push the “friend” away. It’s a constant tug of war within me. Pushing the person away only to try to win their friendship back again. I know it makes no sense. Nothing much in my life does.

If they get too close, I have to accept that maybe I am likeable. Maybe or not. Maybe they just have bad tastes in friends. Maybe they are just trying to hurt me. And I deserve to be hurt. Maybe they are trying to get some sense of satisfaction over “curing” me. Well, I can tell them this now, to save them from the hurt of finding it out later, that I can’t be cured. Whatever beast is inside of me won’t ever leave, and I will feel this way the rest of my life. It’s a scary thought, but one I must learn to live with.

I want to be the counselor’s friend. I want him to be my friend too. But it is impossible. When the relationship ends, I try to convince myself that the counselor is dead, but they are not. I know that deep inside and it tears me up. What did I do that they don’t love me anymore. How can I win that caring back? I wish I could do something to win back their love, but I can’t. I must have done something terribly wrong for them to not want to talk to me anymore. To be lucky to get a one line response to an email every now and then. The closest thing to a friend I have is a counselor, and I have to pay for that friendship.

But that’s ok. I don’t deserve the friend, the counselor, to feel happy.

Snap out of it

Gosh I’ve heard that line so many times. After all, I have a wonderful husband, a house, a job, a funny-eyed dog, great parents, etc. The list goes on. I shouldn’t be depressed. If I were a good Christian I wouldn’t be depressed. And you know some days I believe that. Some days I feel so guilty for feeling so depressed I just want to kill myself. Some days I realize that I can’t just snap out of it… or can I?

“Don’t you want to get better?” Another one of those famous lines. The answer is always yes, but at the same time I just want to shout no. No I don’t want to get better. Yes, I know this isn’t the norm. Most people see a counselor because they want to get better. Why else would you spend time and money seeing someone to work out your problems? To feel loved.

It’s still not that simple. I can’t just snap out of it, even if I wanted to. I can’t just wake up one morning and say this is all over, I’m happy now anymore than someone that is Type 1 Diabetic can wake up one morning and say I don’t need insulin anymore (or at least at this time).

The point is, the depression goes deeper than just the surface. It goes deeper than supposedly being happy because I have a dog. It goes deeper than something that happened yesterday. Or the one fight I had with my husband. It’s everything and nothing in particular at the same time.

Maybe if I stay where I am now, I will become more interesting. Maybe the depression is what makes me so interesting. Maybe people love the sadness in me, and not me as a person. Maybe that is what I do.

I know so many other people have such a harder time at life than me. So many others are hurting so much more than me. So many other people deserve to be loved more than me.

I’m invisible.

somebody tell me what’s missing

“What am I missing?” The question asked by my counselor yesterday in session. I can’t say that it is the first time someone has asked that. And this time, as all the other times, my reply was I don’t know. I don’t know what everyone is missing, only what I am.

I am missing hope, life, and laughter. And the sad thing is, I don’t think I am unhappy about that. For with hope, life, and laughter, they can disappear. Sadness can’t, it will always be there. I will always have a friend in it. There is no in between. Only sadness and happiness, smile or frown. I have to live the in between life, going through the motions of the appropriate feelings, only to fight the black and white fight inside.

I remember in grad school, someone walked in while I was taking Zoloft (an antidepressant). After some joking around about me being a druggie and what not I finally admitted what the medicine was. “Wow, you don’t seem depressed”. Nope I don’t seem like I need it. The outside goes on, a disconnect from what is going on inside of me. On the outside, I keep my job (though I hate it and want to quit), I graduated grad school (though I wanted to throw in the towel every day), I graduated valedictorian of my high school class (my grades were the only thing I felt like I could control in my life). On the inside, god it is such a dark place. Sometimes it is hard to go there, always it is hard to come back.