Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: therapy

The way forward is obscure

I’m depressed. I have to come out and say it because I’ve been downplaying it for over a year. Maybe two? I remember when it hit me, and I thought, “I’ll just wait it out. It won’t be that long.” My days of crippling chronic depression were behind me, or so I thought. I haven’t felt anything as mind-crushing as the depression I felt in my twenties, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. I was passively suicidal in that I wasn’t trying to kill myself, but I wasn’t trying to prevent it, either. I would drive without my seat belt on short trips just to tempt fate, for example. It was a bad period of my life, and I tend to compare any current depression to that one to gauge how bad it is. That’s good on one hand because it reminds me of how bad it has been in the past and hasn’t been since. It’s bad on the other because then it’s easy for me to dismiss whatever I’m feeling now because it’s not like it used to be.

Side note: I have so many things I need to do that I have been putting off. Have a dead tooth taken care of. Find a new doctor because my old one left the network. Find a therapist because I know that I’m struggling. The downside of depression is that it makes reasonable tasks seem insurmountable.

Side note to the side note: I’m not doing well physically, either. I got a raging cold Christmas Eve, and I’ve been more sick than not since then. I had a week and a half of being relatively healthy, and then three or four days ago, I got slammed with a host of issues. The first being me sleeping eight or nine hours a night. I normally sleep six to seven hours a night, and one way I know I’m getting sick is when I hit eight or more hours. I’ve also had random chills, and I do not get cold. The only time I get chills is when I’m sick. The last three days (including today), I’ve woken up with a burgeoning migraine, and I’ve slammed two generic migraine Excedrin tablets the last two days, but I recently read that you can build up a tolerance to the meds and should not use more than ten doses (2 caplets in a 24-hour period) in a month, so I’m trying to ration them out. Today was not quite as bad as yesterday, so I did not take the Excedrin. I’m regretting it right now, though.

Side note III: Comorbidity is a thing, and I’m pretty sure my physical and mental health issues are interacting. Or rather, they’re making each other worse. One part of my depression is castigating myself for not doing whatever it is I need to do. My family is very industrious, and it’s hard for me to not see how I’m failing, even if I physically can’t do more than I am. I remember the last time I was in Taiwan, everyone wanted to walk to the top of a mountain. I knew I wasn’t going to make it, but I kept pushing on. I got hot and sweaty, and my heart started pounding. I didn’t want to say anything, and I suffered for longer than I should have. I was nearly in tears by the time I said I had to stop, and I felt so ashamed. And, I knew my parents put it down to me being fat (which they wrote to me about later in excruciating detail), but it wasn’t. Yes, I was fat. I still am. But even when I was at my fittest and walking four and a half miles a day, I still felt like shit while doing it, and I always ran out of breath going uphill.

Side note IV: I have the lungs of an eighty-year old. My last doctor told me that, and it was a relief to hear. I’ve always had a problem with breathing–I mean, I breathe, therefore, I am–and it was good to know that it wasn’t just my imagination. I’ve gotten better with the aid of taiji, but I’m still short of breath more often than not.

I have to push myself to do anything other than my normal day routine. Even then, I have to push a bit. I don’t want to do anything but just sit and stare blankly at the ceiling. There is little joy to be had in Whoville, and I pretty much just want to let everything go. Again, I’m not suicidal, though I have flashes of it, but I’m tired of trying to live.


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I’m my own worst enemy

I’m tired. My sleep is fucked, which means at least I’m not sick. My sinuses are still all over the map, and I’m squarely blaming that on the weather. It’s been 50 to 89 and everywhere in between. I’m loving the former, but not the latter, and my body really doesn’t like the rapid changes. I’ve also become even more intolerant of heat, and my love of the cold is gradually diminishing as well. I used to be able to keep the car windows open until it was well in the sub-zero temps. Now, I close it when it’s zero.

I have said that the problem with getting old isn’t that I can’t do what I used to (though that is starting to be a problem), but that it takes much longer for me to recover. I used to be able to get by on four hours of sleep a night (barely); I could go out until the wee hours of the night and sleep it off the next day. Now, I could go out all night, but it would take a few days to recover.

I also have to admit that my depression is back and not going away any time soon. It’s low key, and it’s not paralyzing the way it has been in the past, but it definitely permeates my mood. There’s an ever-present feeling of ‘why bother’, which seeps into everything. It’s frustrating as hell, and I know the only thing I can do about it is to go to therapy.

*deep sigh*

I do Not want to go to therapy. Not because I think it’s worthless; I don’t. I am a big proponent of therapy, and I have been in it many times in my life. I have learned a lot from therapy, and I know I could learn more. However, the thought of finding a new therapist makes me want to curl up in a ball and never get up.

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Depression is a tricky bastard it is

I’ve been experiencing a medium-grade depression for roughly six months, and it’s time to admit it isn’t going away on its own. I gutted it out the first few months because I thought it was temporary, but now, I fear it’s not true. I want to mention that I always have a low-grade depression. Always. Some days, it’s very minimal. Some days, it pushes the line between low and medium, but it never goes completely away. There is an argument to be had whether it’s depression or anxiety or a combination of both, but whatever it is, I’ve come to accept it in my life.

I do not want to accept the medium-grade depression, though, because it’s actively hindering me. When I have a low-grade depression, I can still go about my life and do what needs to be done with little problem. With medium-grade depression, the intrusive thoughts are more intrusive, and it’s harder to ignore them or brush them away. In addition, the depression knows me and my weaknesses very well, and it uses the knowledge against me. Once I catch on to its manipulations and become immune to them, it changes its tactics.

For example. When I used to be severely depressed, an entity I called The Dictator would tell me that I was toxic, worthless, and no one would care if I died. It told me that the people I thought were my friends weren’t really, that they were just being nice. Why would anyone want to be my friend? I didn’t have any redeeming qualities. I was fat, loutish, uninteresting, and unattractive. I firmly believed this, and no one could tell me anything to the contrary.

Now, I don’t believe any of that. Well, I am fat, but that’s just a descriptor and not a pejorative. I also think I’m boring, but I’m willing to believe that’s just me being hard on myself. I no longer think The Dictator is a part of me, but I haven’t gotten rid of the depression. It’s changed its attack, however, because it’s a sly and sneaky bastard. Now, instead of telling me the above, it tells me that I’m worthless because I’m not doing anything with my life. I don’t have an office job. I’m not moving up in the world. I don’t have many friends. I’m not putting out content in a way that is meaningful, and no one gives a shit about my writing. I’m never going to be published unless it’s self-published. Maybe ten people will actually give a shit if i die, and I’m not counting online people in that number. Not because they’re not real and not because I don’t care about some of them (and they probably care about me in return), but because it’s simply not the same.

All of this is true. Well, most of it is true. Some of it is more a feeling thing than an actual thing, but it leans on the side of being true. It’s hard to argue with any of it, except for the content part. That’s on me. I haven’t done what needs to be done to even have a chance of being a known content producer.

Side Note: I hate that phrase, ‘content producer’, because it’s simultaneously pretentious and antiseptic. But, it’s become an accepted phrase, especially for YouTube/Twitch.

I don’t like the term ‘creative’, either, for someone who produces artistic content, but it’s better than content producer. I like artist, but I understand that it’s not very inclusive. In general, I just like to say I’m a writer.


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Ignorance is Bliss–and Sometimes Necessary Escapism

relaxation is my game
Chillest cat ever.

Today, I woke up for the first time in two weeks not feeling an all-encompassing sense of dread. That’s not to say I don’t still think we’re fucked (I do), but I didn’t want to repeatedly bash my head against the wall for hours on end. It helped that we were supposed to get snow today, which we are now getting. Fat, fluffy flakes falling aimlessly to the ground. I hope it sticks. I love snow more than almost anything, and seeing it everywhere makes me happy.

I avoided most of the news today. Not because I don’t care, but because I was making myself sick reading about the new presidential team. I have very political friends, and they’ve been diligent about posting the latest news. I can appreciate that, and I think it’s necessary, but it can be overwhelming to see post after post about the horrors that is Trump. I’m still having difficulty accepting that this is the new reality, but glutting on the news isn’t the way to acceptance.

Wanna know what I did instead? I did my morning routine, which calmed me a bit. Then, I started a new Dark Souls (original) playthrough, this time as a tank. Those who have read my posts about Dark Souls know that I love the games* and play them pretty much exclusively now. I’ve tried other games, including Shrouded in Sanity, which is definitely Souls-inspired, but they all pale in comparison to the Souls games. Shrouded in Sanity tries so hard to be Souls, but with a few strange control changes. The heal button is Y instead of X, which is puzzling and too foreign for my brain to grasp. Plus, the camera is manual in a way it’s not in Souls, and there’s no shield. You get a sword and pistol, much like Bloodborne, which means you have to rely on parrying and dodging, rather than blocking. I am horrible at parrying. I’m too old, and my reflexes are too shitty for that. In addition, Shrouded in Sanity is a pale imitation of a Souls game, and the whole time I was playing, all I could think was, “I’d rather be playing Souls.”

When I’m a caster, I can stay a safe distance away from the enemy and keep backpedaling from them. When I’m playing melee, I use my shield to block and count on my high poise/endurance to tank the hits. This works very well except for a certain optional boss in Dark Souls 3 who shall not be named, mainly because he doesn’t have a name. No, seriously. He’s the Nameless King, and he’s my personal nemesis. I’ve soloed every boss in that game except him, and I am struggling mightily with him. Part of the problem is that I’m maining the Greataxe, which is very short. He flies around on a dragon, so a longer weapon would be more useful. I’ve tried other weapons, but nothing is as comfortable as my Greataxe, so I’m trying to make due with it. I don’t know why I’m being so stubborn about it, but it’s a point of pride at this point.

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I Don’t Want to Talk About It

i can't stop crying
Raining tears

I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was fifteen years old. That’s two-thirds of my life for those keeping track at home. I’ve been severely depressed since I was seven, which is, coincidentally or not, the same time I became aware that I would die one day. Once I realized that, I became obsessed with death, alternately horrified by and attracted to it. I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I’ve been suicidal most of my life as well. Suicidal is too harsh a word for it, though. It’s not as if I wanted to kill myself, per se; I just didn’t want to be alive. I was terrified of what was on the other side, however, so I stopped myself from crashing my car into the divider on the highway, from sitting in the garage with the door shut and the engine running, from submerging myself in a bathtub and never come out again. It’s been a long time since I’ve actively had to stop myself from doing something rash, but the thought it never far from my mind. Whether it’s, “I could end it all right now,” or, “Holy shit, I’m going to not exist one day,” death is hovering over me. I know it’s coming for all of us, but it feels so intimate and personal. When I was getting my MA in Writing & Consciousness fifteen years ago, my thesis was death, and every story I wrote for it had some element of death to it. It wasn’t as if I made a conscious decision to write about death, but that’s what interested me at the time.

To be honest, it’s still what interests me. I like reading and writing murder mysteries, and most of the fiction I write these days still centers around death. There might be some romance in it, but it’s secondary. Don’t get me wrong. I like writing a good sex scene as much as the next person, except, most people don’t write good sex scenes. They’re not easy to write, and it’s further hampered by the fact that many publishers won’t let you use the actual words for genitalia. Any time I read sex scenes, it’s ‘throbbing member’, ‘loins’ (sometimes even moist, which is so fucking gross), ¬†and ‘nether regions’ all over the place. Nary a penis nor a vagina in sight, let alone a dick, cock, or pussy. I don’t even read ‘tits’ much in literature. When I write sex scenes, I use explicit language because I think the euphemisms are silly. They take me out of the moment because who the fuck says, “I put my hand on his hardening member”?

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