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.
I need to focus on the business side of things, but I’ve been telling myself this for at least a decade and haven’t been doing it. Then I castigate myself for being lazy, an idiot, and other not-nice things. It doesn’t help me actually do any of the things I need to do, but it does make it easier to make excuses for not doing them. It’s a nice cycle that I know exists, but I haven’t been able to break yet.
Side Note II: I want to point out that I have anxiety as well as depression. I didn’t realize this twenty years ago, but the constant worry and ‘what if’ scripts I have running in my head are not normal. They’re common because many people suffer from anxiety, but they’re not normal. It’s hard to explain the difference between normal and abnormal worry, but I’ll try. Normal worry in going to an event in which you don’t know anyone is to be slightly anxious, but to realize you it’ll probably be fine. Abnormal worry is working yourself up into a lather before going, telling yourself that everyone will hate you, and you will die of embarrassment if no one talks to you. In my case, it’s often enough to convince me not to go to the event. That’s excessive worry. I also have PTSD and BPD traits along with OCD traits, but let’s not get into that right now.
Despite the unkind things I’ve written about myself in this post, I want to point out that I’m much gentler on myself than I used to be. I grew up thinking I was toxic and that I had to earn my right to be alive every day. Yes, that’s right. I thought I was taking away from the world simply by existing. Which, in a twisted way, was pretty damn narcissistic of me, but it’s a terrible way to live. Now, I don’t think I have an overall negative impact on the world. I don’t think I have a positive impact, either, but I’ll take neutral at this point.
I know I have friends who care about me even if I have a hard time truly embracing the depth of their love. It’s strange when they tell me how much they care about me because I still think of me moving my way through the world without nary an impact.
I’ve been having sleep issues lately. Well, to be fair, I always have sleep issues, but this last week has been terrible. I’ve been working hard on pushing my bedtime inch by inch because I want to be more normal in this area. Why? Not sure. Just do. I used to go to bed around six or seven in the morning. Because of being sick on the one hand an making conscious choices on the other, I’d been able to move that up to 2 a.m. Then, this last week, it went back to six or seven in the morning for several reasons, and I’m not happy about it. Fortunately, I have taiji class on Friday and Saturday, so I had to get up by 1:30 p.m. and 12 p.m. respectively, even though I went to bed at 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. respectively. Last night (Saturday), I went to bed at 3:30 a.m. and got up today at 10:00 a.m. I’m hopefully on my way back to 2 – 8/9.
I did manage to make an appointment for the eye doc (in a local Target) and actually go to the appointment. Here’s the weird thing about my depression–I can fake not having it really well for a short period of time. I was chatting with the women at the eye shop, asking for one’s opinion on glasses and questions and whatnot. The doc was a hearty, friendly man who was a fount of information. He explained every step to me and shared that he was a month into his first progressive pair of glasses as well. I knew I would need them, and I did. We joked and laughed, and he dilated my pupils. I asked if he was actually seeing into my eye, and he said yes. He said he could see the blood vessels and if they’re constricted. It’s a way to see other problems such as diabetes, and it was fascinating.
If you were to see me during that appointment, you’d think I was a normal person. Friendly, joking, engaged. I was in the moment, but it took me a ton of energy. I can’t do it for a sustained amount of time, and it leaves me slightly hollow afterwards just because I have to put so much energy into it.
I’m tired. So tired in general. I know I need to find a therapist, but it’s another daunting task I’m not sure I’m up to it.