Underneath my yellow skin

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.

Side note V: It is really difficult for me to tell other people about how I feel or to show it. It’s been drilled in my brain since I was a wee child that my feelings didn’t matter and that I should bury them as deep as I can manage. Over the years with much therapy and taiji, I’ve reached the point where I can feel things, even if I’m not always able to name them, but I still can’t bring myself to talk about them. I might say I’m sick or that I’m feeling depressed, but I downplay them to the point of making them negligible. In addition, even when I’m feeling one or the other, if I’m around other people, something inside me clicks and pushes me into Polly Peppy mode. It doesn’t matter how sick or depressed I am, I force myself to act chipper or at least pleasant. When I was in my deepest depression, I simply ignored other people when I was at my worst. I wouldn’t talk to anyone, and I just stayed burrowed under my blankets.

I wish I were different. I really do. I’ve wasted so much of my life, and I feel as if I still am. I can’t imagine a life in which I actually felt I mattered or that my life was worthwhile. This is not a self-pitying statement, by the way. Much of the world supports it in that I’m invisible, being Asian and bisexual. No one gives a shit about either of those demographics, and I am very aware of that. Not to mention being single and childfree, agnostic and not a lover of movies or TV. There is nothing about me that makes me visible in this world, and I’ve accepted it.

I’m so tired. I think I’m sick, but I can’t say for sure. I have some of the earmarks, but not the more obvious ones. I have a scratchy throat, but it comes and goes. I do have a stuffy/runny nose, but that could be allergies. I have bad allergies, and they are running amok since I started cleaning the house–getting it ready for reno.

Side note VI: This is another instance of me not wanting to let down my family. My brother and I are supposed to be doing the reno, but I’m not sure my body is up to it. Doing the cleaning has been bad enough, but moving furniture and ripping out the floor? I’m tired just thinking about it. My brother is confident we can do it in two months, but he tends to overestimate his ability while I underestimate mine. Or rather, he doesn’t overestimate his ability because he can do it all, but the time it takes to get it done.

I have so much shit I need to do, but I can’t make myself do it. It’s the story of my life.

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