Monday, June 17, 2013

Square one, all over again

One of the awful things about recovery is that the essential goal is to get back to where you were before the depression hit, which is an idiotic goal. Because most of the time, wherever you were, is gone, and you have to sort of chase it for a while before you catch up to it, and the rest of the time, you get there, and everybody else is somewhere else.

This blog is a good example of that. I started this blog, and I honestly didn't expect it to be read. But then, quite quickly, I accidentally stumbled onto something people were reading about, and then people were reading me. And that was really exciting, and sort of weird, and I wasn't sure that I was ready for that yet, certainly I was unprepared for it. And I kept at the writing as often as I could while trying to write the other things I wanted to write, which was really difficult, and then school started up again, and that got out of hand busy and life got in the way again, and then... depression.

My depression tends to start up in waves, which crest at a certain point, and get very bad, and then dissipate, unless something happens. In this case, something did, and the storm broke directly over my head for months. But going back over my notes, things I was writing (also things I was not writing) and various conversations I was having, I had been getting steadily sicker for months. Not sure why. It`s just, as a dear friend says, "the nature of the beast." This particular episode was exacerbated by many personal issues, but it had been coming, if I had slowed down a bit, and watched the signs. I know that. I would have known it sooner, had I been paying attention.

But other people, unfortunately, don't know that. I'm starting to realize that whatever happened a few months ago has never actually happened for them. I don't mean that some people don't experience depression, that's not exactly news. I mean some of them, even though they're aware that I have depression, or even when they've seen some of the symptoms of depression in me, what happened to me is something some people in my life, even those who have known me my whole life, had no way of suspecting was even there.

I see it in the way my mother treats me differently now, how when I talk about the future, sometimes it feels like she's trying to talk me out of it, as if my future is too much for me to handle right now.

How everybody tells me not to worry so much now, but they say it differently than they used to.

How when I tell someone I had one nap today, and they say "good" they actually mean it with relief.

How my mother works into every conversation, "have you eaten today?"

How I don't know who to call when things go wrong anymore, because I don't know how to say "this sucks right now." and have it not be taken as "I am standing on the ledge, again."

I don't mean to sound poor me about this. It's the fallout for a major depressive episode. It's just the fallout has never been this bad for me, or for anyone I love. I don't know what to do to show them that I'm getting better, except apologize over and over for what I have been, and what I've made them sit through and watch. Having been the comparatively healthy person while someone else walked along that ledge, I know how much I've hurt people and let them down in the last few months. I'm not exactly pleased with myself.

But I'm still recovering, and it's an annoyingly long process, and for someone like me, born with zero patience, and a hundred and one things to do in the world, it doesn't suck for anyone more than it sucks for me. I'm frustrated, impatient, and not sure how to transition to normal feeling bad anymore.

Which is a weird thing to say, apparently. It reminds me a bit of how I felt when I was first diagnosed, except in reverse. Then, I was anxious to show that I was getting better, and it was difficult to prove to people that the person they knew was just the result of symptoms of the illness, but working through those symptoms, and the several years people had to get comfortable with that person, had been near impossible. I had made strides, but  the changes didn't really occur until college. And well. We all know how that went. Now, I'm doing the same thing again, but I'm also struggling through having to explain to people that I can be both "a happy person" as my mother has always described me, and "a person with depression." That both of those things are a part of me, have always been a part of me, and are part of what makes the depression so difficult and also sometimes easier, is not an easy thing to explain, especially in the wake of the hell my loved ones have been forced to witness, thanks to me.

But here I am, in a new city, with a whole slew of new experiences coming up (more on that later) and hoping against all hope that it will make the difference again, only to go a little better this time. I'm writing regularly, and taking it much slower, and feeling much happier about it. And maybe I'm glad to have another shot at this.

If ever, that is, I can manage to get it!

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