Seasonal downswings are pretty wild.

After noticing how so many of my journal entries of depressive downswings happen in January, I went through just my LiveJournal with a fine-toothed comb. I’ve been keeping it since the summer of 2004. This is what I found:

2005

January 13th:

“I’m sorry, you seem to have brutally murdered my will to live. Have a nice day.”

If that isn’t indicative of how I’ve been feeling lately, nothing is. I’ve really had no desire to do anything but sleep, but I can’t sleep- I’ve had horrid nightmares, so I wake up a million times through the night, and then am dead tired all day, so I manage to squeeze in a nap in which I sleep like the dead and can’t bear to get back up to go to class. *sigh* And then I’ve been queasy all morning. This isn’t my week.

In better news, my classes don’t seem quite so hard as I feared. The one class I was really worried about, Physiological Psychology, was made all better when the professor called us his padawans. I mean, really, I know I’m in good geeky company when my professor cracks geek jokes and calls his students padawans. I should be peachy keen. While it’ll be difficult, it’s stuff I voluntarily research for fun, so it’s not nearly as bad as it could be. As for Anatomy and Psysiology, my roommate’s aced the class and has been a TA in it ever since, so I really have no fears there. All my other classes are gen eds, so yeah, ’nuff said about those. *eyeroll* I am looking forward to tonight’s class on youth counseling. I think I’m going to pick up a psychology minor while I’m here, since I’m here for a longer haul than I initially intended.

…Oh, shoot, I just realized I haven’t read for class this afternoon. Mlergle. Must scamperfoom.

2006

January 24th:

So, Tuesday. I’m tired. The semester’s only three weeks in and I’m dead tired already. It’s like all the sleeping I did over Christmas break only made up for what I’d missed the semester before, and I didn’t get a chance to get a jump-start on this semester’s sleep. Senioritis has set in something terrible, and I’m just holding on for dear life out of sheer terror for the next step.

I’m SCARED. Scared enough that it keeps me up at night crying because I don’t think I’ll make it, that I won’t be able to find a job with the health insurance I need to stay sane, that I’ll end up in the hospital again and be stuck there forever…

…I think I need to take a nap, I’m getting awfully depressed.

2007

January 14th:

I am so bitterly angry right now, and for no *good* reason. It’s aggravating in and of itself. Despite the Ever-so-exciting second degree burn I managed to give myself with chili at work, the fact that I cannot seem to find a job despite my flooding the job market with resumes, my being a total idiot and forgetting to change my fragging “official” email address which is on all of said resumes from the school one that suddenly became defunct a few days ago, the fact that my roommate is getting increasingly frustrated with me for freeloading, which is in turn, frustrating me even more with my inability to get a job, my new lack of health insurance which is rapidly leading to the choice to get medicare/medicaid/something, and my parents’ breathing down my neck about starting grad school, everything is lovely.

All of these lovely aggravations, however, are rapidly turning me into a raging lunatic. I’m angry and I know I’m alienating others, but I can’t stop. I miss having a counselor I saw once a week. After having nigh-constant support since I was 12, suddenly being without a therapist and unable to pay for one makes having emotional crises even more painful than ever before.

Also, my face itches and I can’t itch it less it starts to sting and ache and generally make me wish unpleasant things would happen to whomever invented chili in the first place.

2008

January 25th:

Dear brain,

SHUT. UP. Just because I’ve been reading dystopian cyberpunk and about the horrible lives of the Phelps children does NOT mean it’s time to get all morose and want to die.

I. WANT. TO. LIVE.

Get that through your gray matter.

No love,
-Your host, who is really hating that sleep aids make her hallucinate, ’cause you need to shut up like yesterday.

January 27th:

It’s back. That aching sense of loneliness, of isolation, that hurts so badly it’s a physical pain in my heart and my mind. It gnaws at me constantly, and yet forces me to isolate myself more, because I’m afraid to reach out to others.

They don’t need or want me. I shouldn’t bother them with my silly little issues. Nobody really wants me around. Why am I still here?

It’s voice is so soft, so subtle, I don’t realize it’s there until two, three, four in the morning, when I’m still awake and feeling like puking because I’m so anxious and lonely and desperate to talk to someone that I’ve stayed online until the wee hours of morning as if my f-list on AIM would suddenly light up with all the friends I long to talk to. It’s always there, fluttering in the back of my mind. The later it is and the more tired I am, the harder it is to resist its siren song.

I know it sounds strange, and always has to those closest to me, but I work out most of my excess emotions through roleplay. It’s something I discovered when I first got the internet back when I was 15, back when my illness was really starting to get bad, and is probably why I managed to stave off my breakdown until I was 20. My mom thinks the internet made me sick, but in a way, the internet helped me keep from getting sicker. I have always isolated myself physically when I’m getting worse- I was always off on my own as a kid, or holed up in my room, reading, writing or drawing- but at least with the advent of the internet, I can get the physical isolation my psyche wants without being isolated from everybody.

There are drawbacks, though. Especially when people I RP with suddenly disappear, or don’t have time to RP anymore. Those are the times I end up succumbing to the voices and stop talking altogether, because I don’t want to be a hindrance or irritation. I have always been acutely aware of how much of a bother I am to other people. I’m worth nothing in my own mind. I’m not worth paying attention to. These are the things I have been convinced of for my entire life, partially through my illness and partially thanks to my father, who indoctrinated me into a world of hurt and emotional pain, who teased me mercilessly about my weight, who had me so brainwashed that the time I brought home a B on my report card, I was convinced he would kill me and bury me in the backyard, because that’s what he’d always told me he would do. I was never good enough, and some part of that voice is his voice, always harassing me, because I’m not good enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough…

When my RP partners disappear, I hate myself worse, because I’m convinced that it’s my fault. Obviously I was boring or a bad roleplayer or otherwise unworthy of their attention. And so I sit here, desperate to talk to someone but not wanting to bother them, staring at my AIM f-list, wishing someone would talk to me, but knowing nobody will and feeling that sick feeling that I deserve to be ignored and be miserable, and I want nothing more than to die.

2009

January 22nd:

Damn it.

Just damn it all.

January 23rd:

All week, I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping. I might be lying down for eight hours, but I’m only asleep for two to four hours of it, and that’s plagued with awful nightmares and half-conscious hallucinations about being late for work and whatnot. I was so tired last night after getting maybe twelve hours of sleep in a seventy-two hour period that I was starting to feel depressed and slightly paranoid.

Last night, I realized that nobody IMs me anymore, not really. In college folks would always IM me with thoughts or ideas or to RP, but that all dwindled to nothing but the odd IM every couple days. Nobody RPs with me, I don’t think anybody wants to. As tired as I was, my brain translated this into “everybody hates me, and I don’t know why I bother existing anymore.”

I’m feeling a lot better now- once I forced myself to stop thinking that and go to sleep, I got some decent sleep and I’m not so morose anymore. I still wonder why people stopped IMing me, and I just quietly hope that it’s not because I’m a horrible person or anything. I miss RP, it was my best coping strategy, and I still have yet to find a good substitute that gives me the same relief, but it is what it is. At least I don’t want to kill myself over it anymore. I’d rather stay on this side of depression.

January 29th:

I can’t stop thinking about taking another clonazepam. I’ve already taken one. I realized I couldn’t stop thinking about them when I had a panic attack at work and took one to calm down, and I wanted more.

Why can’t I just be normal? Why do I feel like this just when things were finally starting to make sense again?

February 5th:

Dear world,

I am so very sorry I inconvenienced you by existing. My sincerest apologies. How shall I amend this grave misdeed? How can I possibly redeem myself for daring to be born? Let me know and I’ll get right on it.

Sincerely yours,
-The Nadja who is swiftly losing her will to live

2010

February 3rd:

I had to leave the costuming community on Deviant Art. When I sat there and cried for a half hour, torturing myself by looking at costumes that had obviously cost a lot of time and money, on pretty girls with no waist and long legs and just the right body to wear the costume, I realized that I was being totally stupid. I costume because it’s fun for me, but at the same point, I am so uptight about myself and my self-image in the costume I wrought that I can’t stand it when I’m not the Belle of the ball, so to speak. It’s all pretendy fun-time games, but I suck at keeping it pretendy fun-time games in my head. It turns into a war and I lose, every time.

I already wasn’t planning to cosplay for my upcoming convention, as I’m going to be bringing stuff to sell that will already take up a ton of space and time, but as it stands right now, I don’t know if I can emotionally handle cosplay anymore. The self-degradation continues to get worse and I don’t need to have a mental breakdown at a convention over some cardboard and duct tape.

As it is, I struggle with just my jewelry. Seeing other people’s jewelry makes me feel like an idiot, too- not good enough, never good enough, why do I even try, I’m stupid and uncreative and so-and-so does it much better than I- all goes through my head. I often cry at that, too, even though I know I’m just being insecure and I need to grow up, because nobody’s going to hold my hand and tell me it’s okay over a damn piece of jewelry. I hate this chronically insecure part of me that rears its ugly head whenever I want to do some sort of endeavor. This is why I often *can’t* bead, because I think of what so-and-so made and I end up feeling miserable and convince myself I am stupid and talentless. And then I remember that it’s supposed to be a FUN hobby and I cry that much more, because it shouldn’t feel like someone is tearing out my heart.

In the interest of not ending up in the fetal position under my bed, I’m going to go to bed, and hope I feel better in the morning.

2011

January 17th:

The problem with a lifelong, chronic illness is that the damn thing isn’t going anywhere. Sure, I take medication, sure, I go to therapy, sure, I have good days, but the fact of the matter is, I’m stuck with this forever. I will have many symptomatic days. I might have more hospitalizations. I will probably have to change dosage of my medications over time and at this point, they’ve only gone up. I will have to live with my brain out to get me for the rest of my natural life.

How far can I possibly get? I could live with physical pain, honestly. As much as I am the world’s biggest sissy when it comes to pain, I could live with chronic pain with a physical cause a whole lot easier than the pain I struggle with, that won’t just go away and leave me alone.

What’s the point? Work is miserable right now. I don’t want kids and I don’t really want a boyfriend right now, maybe not ever. I’m drowning in debt. I want to go back to school but I don’t know if I can handle part-time school with full-time work, and I have too many bills to be able to do it on anything less than full-time. (Or a part-time job that pays twice what I make now, which I really don’t see happening.) I’m nigh-crippled with anxiety on a regular basis, and I’m leery of my anxiety medication because it would pop on a drug screen and I do not want to have that conversation with my boss. I know that’s a stupid reason not to take it but I try to avoid it unless I desperately need it, which lately has been all the damn time.

I can’t function like this. Something’s gotta give.

January 19th:

I don’t know what to do and I’m running out of ideas. I’m trapped, and I’m scared, and I can’t make the thoughts stop. I don’t have anywhere to turn at this point. I’m out of PTO and sick time, I’m in a situation so if I don’t get my UR this month I will get fired, I’m miserable at work. I don’t know what to do.

(later the same day)

Thank you, everybody, for your support and comments. I read all of them, even if I don’t have the energy to respond, and it really does help to know that I’m not just screaming into the void and there really is someone listening who cares.

Thanks for the phone calls and IMs checking on me. I’m OK. Depressed as all hell, but OK, and my therapist and psychiatrist both know what’s going on and agree that it’s situational depression versus being solely because of my illness, which I guess in a way is progress, not that I want to be depressed at all.

After reading all of this, I think I need to get myself a seasonal affective disorder light therapy box. Any suggestions for a good brand?

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1 Comment

Filed under Now, Then

One response to “Seasonal downswings are pretty wild.

  1. Pingback: So… I need a direct infusion of happy. Can I get that in an IV? | prozacinmycornflakes

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