Underneath my yellow skin

Depression infusion

a mirror to my soul.
Unrelenting gloom.

I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month because why not? I’m already up to 32,000 words, so I don’t think I’m going to have much trouble meeting the 50,000 words goal. I never do as writing a plethora of words is not an issue for me. I mused about looking more into the business side of things, which I have yet to do. Or rather, the marketing side as it’s much different in this digital age. Authors have to push their brand (themselves and their books) on social media in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I know it’s the way of the world now, but I have a very Taiwanese horror of promoting myself. I’ve talked with my mother about it, and she feels the same way.

Speaking of my mother, watching her twist herself into knots over my father has been disheartening, depressing, and enlightening. She’s using his illness as a reason to let her weaknesses run rampant. Let me be blunt. She is a control freak (I come by it honestly), and she is a constant worrier (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). The problem is, anyone would be worried in her position. My father just went through a ten-hour surgery to deal with three fused vertebra. Plus, we believe he’s in early onset dementia. That would be a lot to deal with for any spouse. However, my mother goes past worry into straight up obsession. Whenever we talk, it’s all about him. She may ask me how I’m doing, but once I say, she veers immediately back to her own health for a minute or him.

It’s not conducive worry, either. Conducive worry leads you to make a reasonable plan in order to deal with the situation. Then, once you make the plan, you put it out of your head and the worries are mostly allayed. I know it’s unrealistic to expect her to be completely blasé about it, but it’s all she can talk about. She’ll say something like, “I can’t leave him alone” followed by, “What if he falls when I’m not there?” and she’s off on a tangent about the fear of him falling for ten minutes. She sounds like the voices in my head when they go off the rails.

Normally, I try to listen and make soothing noises in her general direction. However, the last time I talked to her, I tried to inject some reason into her brain. I know, I know, but I had to give it a shot. After she was panicky for ten minutes about something or the other concerning the minutia of my father’s condition, I told her as gently as I could that constantly worrying about it didn’t help. I said she as a therapist knew that. She admitted that she it was her control issues at play, but she quickly glided over it.

I’ve said it before, but watching her interact with my father, or rather, watching her obsess over my father is the main reason I don’t want to be in a romantic relationship. Why? Because I see too much of myself in her. I know how easily I would slip into that mindset, and I see how hard it is to get out. She’s convinced herself that she *has* to worry about my father to this extent, and while, as I said, it’s reasonable for her to have a lot of worry, she’s pushing it to excess. She’s allowing her own mental health issues to drive the bus, and she has an excuse/explanation any time I bring it up.

In addition to talking to me all the time about my father’s health problems (including his mental health problems, which she can’t talk about with anyone else. Or rather, she feels as if she can’t. There are reasons including saving face for my father, but she absolutely could talk about it with a friend–she just chooses to), she talks about them to anyone who listens. It was embarrassing on the trip to Malta when she would talk about it at a drop of a hat to anyone who would listen. Not only did I actually feel bad for my father–who the hell wants their personal shit talked about to everyone and sundry–but I was embarrassed for my mother. She should have known better as a psychologist that just because something is of utmost important to you, it doesn’t mean it’s of monumental importance to everyone else.

I’m still depressed, if it’s not obvious. It’s been pretty bad the past few weeks. It probably doesn’t help that I’m still not completely healthy (though, when am I, really?), but that’s not the full reason. I can’t muster any enthusiasm for anything, and I have to make myself leave the house for class, shopping, whatever.

In addition, I have a flat affect. I mean, I have one in general, but it’s even worse now. I have to fake it until I make it when I react to other people, but I’m used to that–and I’m good at it. It’s exhausting, though. Taking twenty minutes to psych myself up just to leave the house. I know it’s part of the process for me right now, but it just makes me less apt to leave.

The one good thing is that I know it’s from the outside of me this time. In the past, whenever I was depressed, I just took that to be how I was and how things were going to be forever and ever, amen. It was a state of being that seemed never-ending (and was for two decades), and I would have not believed you if you’d told me it would end one day. Now, I’ve had long chunks of time when I haven’t been depressed, so I know it’s possible. That’s a double-edged sword, however, because on the one hand, yes, I know it’s not forever. On the other hand, though, I remember that I’ve felt good before, and not feeling good is like swallowing glass.

In addition, there’s a part of my brain that says, “Hey, dumbass. Why are you depressed when you have nothing to really depressed about? You shouldn’t be depressed, and what’s more, you should be able to pull yourself out of it.” Which, of course, just pushes me further into depression. It’s cool that I know it’s not in me or that I’m not the personification of depression. However, that increases my impatience with myself because if it’s not a part of me and if I have no reason to be depressed, why the hell am I depressed?

I mentioned that I see too much of my mother in me. It makes sense given that she’s the one who raised me. Besides the control freak issues and the anxiety issues, another way in which we’re similar is the ‘I can’t tell my friends anything negative’ mentality. She is the therapist to her friends, and I feel similar. I can vent about things and I can rant about things, but when it comes to my depression or other squishy feelings, I don’t say a single word. I don’t know why. It’s not as if most of my friends haven’t experience depression (they have), but I just don’t feel as if I have the right to burden my friends with my feelings.

Anyway. I’m tired. Physically and mentally. I’m hoping to as I get physically healthier, my emotional well-being will improve as well. We shall see.

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