Vacation

You would think that vacation is supposed to be a good thing. What happens when it is a struggle to hold back the tears when you are in one of the places that you look forward to going to all year? Why do I feel so tired AND so very depressed?

I live for this week. The one week when I feel like I’m surrounded by people who care about me. This is where the depression gets really hard. When I know I’m supposed to be happy, but I’m still struggling. It makes me feel guilty, stupid. I can’t even be happy right.

Is depressing. It’s tiring. It’s damn near impossible to fight the tears and the feelings of complete hopelessness. And how do you explain that to someone who’s never been through it. How do you explain to them that the feelings you are experiencing are almost completely separate from what you are doing.? How do you make someone see that no matter how much you laugh on the outside you are still breaking completely on the inside?

It occurred to me the other day that no matter how many people I have around me that I know care about me, I will still feel alone. And the fact that I know the people care about me and that I still feel so alone and scared only makes me feel guilty. Guilty for the feelings that I have no right to.

What gives me the right to feel like this and to seek help for it when there are people going through more that need help more than me. That deserve help more than me.

Life’s so hard. So very hard. I won’t say unfair because I deserve to feel this way.

An afternoon walk

image860353890.jpgWent out for a walk with the hubby and dog today. Got down to the Harpeth River and let him have some fun fishing. That would be my husband doing the fishing, not my dog. It’s always so interesting to go down there. There’s so much wildlife, even if you don’t include the ticks. The dog was exhausted by the time we got back.

We ran into a neighbor who lives down the street. It’s always nice to talk to someone, even if just for a while. I still feel so disconnected from all the folks here. I don’t have kids nor do I have much time. I don’t like group things though I like just hanging out with a couple of folks who care, or at least pretend to care. It’s always hard just to connect with people. To open up to some degree. I’ve always had this problem. Heck ask any of my counselors. They’ll even tell you I don’t talk 🙂

today

Today I have a horrible headache, which means my mood is also down.  I think “down” would be a major understatement at this point.  It’s hard to tell exactly how I feel in words.  Even harder to quantify the pain 0-10 (with 10 feeling great) since I’ve never really experience a 10.  I love how those self-help books want you to quantify that crap.  Well, now, if I knew what 10 was, maybe, just maybe, I’d have a bit more hope, something more to look forward to.  But I don’t know, and therefore don’t really know what I’m missing at this point.  While people might have pity for me or feel sorry for me, I wish they wouldn’t.  Feeling sorry for me won’t make me feel any better.  It will only prove to make the person feeling sorry for me feel worse.  And since I’d prefer not to have that happen, pity’s not what I want. 

What do I want?  Hmmmm… that’s a good question.  I wish I had the answer to it too.  I’m not even sure I necessarily want to be happy anymore.  At this point, seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth.  I’m not sure I’m convinced that anything is worth going through this much struggle to achieve.  I do my best, but my best is never good enough.  It feels like I’m a hamster on a wheel, running running from an enemy that is running faster than me.  I can’t step off.  And I don’t know how to slow it down.  And I’m exhausted.

I guess I want someone to hold me while I cry.  Who will hold me while I cry and not ask questions.  That will care about whether I live through the day, week, year, decade.  Someone who’s care goes beyond my ability to pay the bills.  Not necessarily someone who understand the pain.  I have little doubts whether most folks would be able to understand it.  Hell, I can’t understand the pain and I’m the one going through it. 

And it’s not just the emotional pain.  It’s the physical pain too.  While I don’t get the achy joints some folks have, I get the headaches the hurting eyes from constantly crying.  The fatigue.  Oh gosh, the fatigue.  I’ve been told by several psychiatrists I am bipolar.  I wish to God I was bipolar.  I long for a manic day.  I’d think I’d rather be on a roller coaster between high and lows then be lower than low all the time.  I have so much stuff I want to get done.  And no energy to do anything.  I fight the sleep at work, at home.  What am I supposed to do, call in to work sleepy?  While that may seem to fly with some folks here, I’m sure it wouldn’t fly with me. 

nothing new

It was nearly six years ago but I still remember it quite vividly.  The last day of counseling in grad school.  As a going away thing, she wrote me a note, mainly detailing what I could do in the future to help combat the depression.  Self help, medications, further testing, counseling, hospitalization if nothing worked.  I used to promise her every week that I would be ok until the next counseling session a week later.  She decided not to make me promise that I wouldn’t kill myself ever at the last session.  I did promise her I’d try everything I could before I would make that decision.  That I’d try to get better. 

At what point can I say that I’ve done everything I could?  At what point can I give up?  I guess I need lists or something saying this is the check list.  When you have done everything on that list, then it’s ok.  I’ve fought this for so long, and feel so defeated.  I’m scared and alone.  I have no reason to live until tomorrow, but no guts to do anything about it.  I have no words to express the complete emptiness, loneliness, somethingness I feel. 

To tell my counselor what I feel, I have to figure out what it is I feel myself.  That I don’t know.  Nor do I know why I feel this way.  I’m supposed to be happy.  But I’m not.  I have a great husband, beautiful house, best dog any girl could ask for.  I’m selfish for feeling this way.  I’m afraid.

i know this shouldn’t be a big deal

I wish you were never born

I remember those words clear as day.  I had done something, apparently wrong, or at least wrong in my father’s eyes.  My sister and I were in the hall way.  He was yelling at me/us.  Long before this, I had learned to block his yelling.  But I heard those words. 

By that time, I was already wanting to die.  I take that back, I was already wanting to kill myself.  Hearing my dad re-affirm my thoughts was upsetting in one way, comforting in another.  I’ve often been told that I am ambivalent.  This was no exception…

I was infuriated that my father would tell my something like that.  Parents are supposed to love their children, or so I thought.  But, maybe he was right.  Maybe I was such a horrible child that I deserved this.  After all, since parents aren’t supposed to say something like that, and my father did, I figured that meant that I really deserved it.  I really deserved to feel abandoned.  I did something so bad, and was such a horrible child over all, that I deserved to have a parent that didn’t want me. 

It was hard to make it through the following days.  By that time, I already wanted to kill myself, and I spent so much of my time just trying to tread water.  I figured he didn’t want me, that if I died, he wouldn’t care.  Who else would?  My mom?  She was strong, she could get through it.  So was the rest of my family.   

That wasn’t the first time it was uttered from his mouth, and it wasn’t the last time either.  As the years wore on, it got easier to accept this re-affirmation of how lonely, and completely depressed I was feeling. 

The words still haunt me today.  I can hear them repeated over and over again in my head.  It’s hard to cope, to keep pushing on, when I can hear my dad’s voice say he wished I were never born.  I know he likely said them out of anger, but that made no difference then, nor makes any difference now.

My grandfather’s church

My father is Church of Christ, so is my grandfather.  Growing up we had to go to both Mom’s church (Catholic) and Dad’s church.  Well actually, we wanted to go to Mom’s church, but were pretty well forced to go to my father’s one too.  If we wanted to do some Youth Activity that was going on at my mom’s church, nope we couldn’t do it; but at dad’s church he was just fine with it.  If we wanted to accept Communion in the Catholic church, we weren’t old enough until we reached 18; if we wanted to be baptized in his church, we were ready at 10.  He set the rules, and basically they were if we wanted to participate in his church, then more power to us; if we wanted to participate in my mother’s church, we were damned to hell and therefore he wasn’t going to let us have anything to do with it. 

We visited Memphis this past weekend.  Since next week is Father’s Day, we thought we’d go to church with my grandfather to help him celebrate.  My husband and I went with my mom, dad, and grandfather.  Now, I’ve pretty well been discontent with my father’s church for a pretty long time, so I take everything that they say with a grain of salt.  No point getting worked up over something that I know I can’t change, and since I want to show my support for my grandfather, I go.  However, my DH isn’t so forgiving.  Him and my dad nearly got in to an argument over the last sermon.  I agree with my husband on this. 

What was the sermon?  Well, about indifference in Christians.  According to the perfect preacher, there are three kinds of people:   Those who believe in God fervently and follow all the preacher’s steps in showing their support to Him, those who oppose his (preacher’s) views on God, and those who believe his (preacher’s) views but don’t totally embrace it.  To follow all the steps, you had to be involved in EVERYTHING.  I, on the other hand, believe that God gave us all a set of tools that we were good at.  I might be good at one thing while another might be good at another thing.  I believe in using our skills to the best of our ability, and focusing on what we are good at, or have a passion for.  Dear preacher did not.  And it wasn’t so much what he said that ticked us off, it was how arrogantly he said it.  How arrogantly he said that if we didn’t do everything he said, then we were going to Hell.  I think that’s the buzz phrase in that church.  Seems to me every time we go there, they seem to be telling another set of things that would damn us to Hell, like he was the gatekeeper at Heaven. 

It is hard for me to understand why my grandfather would want to go to a church like this.  Yes, I realize that he sleeps through most of the sermon.  But still…  I understand why my dad goes there.  It just fits him.  That church shaped him into who he is now.  It shaped him in to the person that thinks that he is the only one right, and everyone else is wrong.  His way or the high way.  That’s how it was growing up.  A steady string of threats to us.  Do this or else… do that or else.  But I like my husband haven’t figured out why my grandfather.  I love my grandfather to death, but I can’t accept his religion.  I might go and sit in silence, being indifferent, out of respect for him, but I can’t embrace that church’s teachings. 

some thoughts

Most mornings I usually get to at least 9 before I start crying.  This morning it was 6:30.  I cried all the way to work, hoping to have some quiet time alone once I got here.  Nope other people were wanting to get here early too apparently.  So no alone time for me, and I’m using all the energy I can to hide the tears that want to flow so easily. 

What set it off this morning?  An email.  Yes, an email made me upset. And no, I don’t feel like talking about it.  And yes, it is definitely an over reaction.

I feel like I don’t want to trust anyone again.  It’s so hard at times like these to just not cancel Twitter, Facebook, everything else I have. it’s hard to keep in touch with the outside world, to keep going on. 

I was reading a book last night, someone’s account about their depression.  I’ve always thought about writing a book myself.  Unfortunately, my parents don’t know about the depression, so writing a book is pretty much out of the question.  Even if I could write it without anyone finding out my true identity (which I take, would be really hard), no one would want to read it.  Who wants to read a book about some one’s struggle with depression when they don’t get better?  People in general long for a happy ending, that the good always wins out (actually now it seems just as long as anyone wins, that’s ok, as long as the fight was fun to watch)

I used to want to open up to people, to tell them about what’s going on in my life.  I didn’t because I was scared, but I wanted to.  Now I don’t.  Every time I tell someone about what I’m suffering through, it’s the last time they email / talk to me.  It’s like I have some form of the plague and they don’t want to be associated with me.  I guess I’ve gotten through most of my life alone; as I’ll continue to live my life.  I don’t want to talk anymore.

What keeps me going in life?  I don’t know.  I guess it would suck for my husband if I died.  Bills would be harder for him to pay.  That’s what keeps me going.  All other things would repair with time.  People would get over my death, and pretty easily I’d imagine.  Dying is a part of the life cycle.  You live then you die.  But I keep going on… because as much as I want to die, I can’t kill myself (and now the refraining from suicide is more of a necessity, then a wanting to not kill myself.  There’s a difference, however small). 

I had the radio on this morning in the car.  I swear I don’t remember what was playing.  It’s like the little micro-processor in my brain that is responsible for putting the meanings of words together wasn’t working.  I brought breakfast this morning.  I’m staring at it, willing myself to eat it.  It’s just not working. It’s 7:40 and I just want to go home.

yesterday’s counseling appointment

I once was told by a counselor that my depression was faked and was depressed for the mere sake of getting friends.  I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s bloody wrong.  Just about every friend in person I tell ends up dumping me when they find out about the depression, or at least how bad it is.  I have to bite my tongue when a friend asks me how I’m doing.  Reply with a smile I’m fine … or I’m tired.  Everyone’s tired.  Not everyone feels like dying would be for the better.  I have a few friends on the Internet that I guess I could call friends, but they can’t hold me when I cry.  Or listen while I *try* to talk.  I’ve decided I’m in this alone.  

I had a counseling appointment yesterday.  I gave my counselor a letter.  I’ve found the letters are easier to write if I pretend everything happened to someone else, and that I’m telling that person’s story and not my own.  It’s just hard to keep all my pronouns straight sometimes.  It’s when I have to connect events with my own life that things get hard to deal with.  But, as with everything, disconnecting myself from what happened takes energy.  Energy that I don’t have.  But hell, facing it as if it were my own takes energy I don’t have too.
  
It gets so hard to think, to concentrate.  I try to focus, but it’s like I’m in a daze.  I don’t expect any of you to understand.  When things get really bad, it’s like my body goes on and functions without me there.  I’ve typed many a emails to folks or even blog entries, and come back and think, wow… I typed that… I must really be messed up.

Back to the counseling appointment, he wanted to know who else had hurt me.  I couldn’t even bring myself to talk about anything.  Not even simple answers that should have been like walking blindfolded through a flat pasture.  You know things like my dad said repeatedly that he wish I was never born.  How hard is that to say out loud?  I just sat there, frozen in thought, trying to keep myself planted on ground instead of completely getting lost in the fog that is supposed to be my brain.  I trust him alot, how come I can’t focus my thoughts enough to tell him?  To talk about stuff out loud, in person?

It’s so damn hard, dealing with this. Wondering if I’m ever going to find peace.  Wondering if I even want peace.  

Partial letter to counselor

Okay, I realize I’m cheating here.  Of the front and back of a handwritten page, I only feel comfortable posting a quarter of it here.  The rest I don’t dare write in public.

It’s getting increasingly difficult for me to not get triggered by stuff.  Little things, like just about any song, just about anything.  It’s so intense, so hard to control the emotions.  Even at work where I used to be able to be in control, it’s hard to be.  It’s hard to control the tears.  Concentration is bad and it’s nearly impossible to stay with it, to not completely space out. 

I’m so tired.  I’ve been dealing with this for so long.  I’ve given up on getting better, of being happy to be alive.  I’m so tired of feeling this way though.  I’m tired of wasting so much of my energy just to do the normal things everyone takes for granted.  I’m tired of counting down the time until 5 pm (quitting time) as soon as I get up.  I’m tired of being alive, of having to pray for death.  How come everyone else is normal while I have to spend all my energy pretending that I am?

Pet peeves about Church

I went to church on Sunday, by myself.  It was a local church, not far from my house.  Went to the 11 AM Mass, so I could sleep in and watch movies.  It was jammed pack.  What’s funny is I showed up to church 10 minutes early, like a good little Catholic so I could pray before Mass.  Church started probably several minutes late from what it was supposed to.  Maybe 1/4 of the Church was filled at Mass starting.  I was starting to like the small size of the church.  Figured I could do this every week.  Then I saw the ushers.  They’re just counting folks for Communion.  Nope… they were sitting people.  By the time we sat back down (maybe 5-10 minutes after the start of Mass) the Church was packed.  That means approximately 75% of people got there late.

I remember in 4-H (yes, I was a 4-H geek, also a band geek too), every one was early to everything. In fact if you were on time you were late.  A little saying the 4-H leaders used to have:

    If you’re early you’re on time,
    If you’re on time your late,
    If you’re late you’re left. 

I wish people would have a better understanding of time schedules.  Come in on time, show respect if you are late.

Another pet peeve I have about Church- those people who refuse to stay until the last of the song.  Right after the Priest walks out, they have to rush to follow.  The end of Mass isn’t signaled by the leaving of the Priest, rather the ending of the song you are singing.  That means you will have to be "inconvienced" by staying 30 seconds longer.  Heaven forbid, a minute or two longer.  Yes, I know your butt can’t wait to get out of Church so you can gossip with your girl friends or beat everyone to the parking lot.  Is it really too much to give an hour of your time to sitting in Church, arriving on time and leaving on time?  I can understand emergencies.  However, you can’t convince me that 75% of the congregation had "emergencies" that morning.

And if you know you have to leave early, please sit on the outer aisle, towards the back, so you will disrupt the least amount of people.  The people that really got me upset had picked up all their purses, and other crap and turned to face me, acting like I was holding them up.  No one was in the pew the other way (they had all left as soon as the Priest passed), so they could have taken the long way around and saved me from thinking they were pushy dorks.  It made me feel like someone was pressuring me to do something I didn’t want to do.  Yes, I know I’m some weird geek person because I get upset if I have to leave the song 2 lines early.  But I love to sing, and since I have a horrible singing voice, church is one of the few places I feel comfortable singing out loud.