I am what depression looks like

 

“Who are you?” Said the caterpillar.

“I-I hardly know just at present – at least, I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” Alice replied.

A slow descent into depression, something I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager. I’ve had several severe bouts with it, the most recent being the entire year of 2014. Over the years I’ve learned how to recognize it and cope.

I thought this time it was situational. I thought it was caused by the volatility of my life, both the personal and professional aspects. I thought if I could just get that shit under control that I would be ok.

The problem was when everything started to stabilize around me, I still felt low. I’ve cocooned myself, saving any energy I have for only for the closest of people around me. I needed to shut down my Facebook, Discord, etc, and only reactivated when I wanted to RSVP to an event. I’ve shared a few painful moments already but it never takes long for it all to drain me and I disappear again.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” said Alice to herself

A few things:

I’m safe

I’m in no danger of hurting myself. If you yourself ever feel that way, though, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Sometimes just hearing a voice on the other line helps.

I won’t blame the depression.

I’m frequently out of social spoons and people have noticed I’m not my boisterous self. That’s my depression. But I made some terrible decisions of which I’m ashamed. I used poor coping mechanisms. I pushed people away and I wasn’t kind about it. That wasn’t my depression.

That being said…

You can’t blame the depression either

You can’t act like an asshole and then blame someone else’s mental illness for your behavior. Someone’s depression or anxiety does not give anyone permission to treat that person carelessly.

“This is why I don’t share anything with you. You flip out!”

I’m angry because what someone said and did was hurtful. My feelings and opinions are still valid.

Also this post does not absolve anyone from their behavior or comments to me.

Don’t take my silence or withdrawal personally

I need to save what little energy I have so I don’t have time to hold your hand or constantly reassure you. Recently after I deactivated all of my social media accounts, a former friend texted me angrily accusing me of blocking him. I hadn’t but in a moment of crankiness and childishness, I did go back and block him so even when I am online, he won’t be able to see me.

If you’ve reached out to check on me and make sure I’m ok, thank you. Just today I had someone text me asking me to just quickly check in so he would know I was ok.

If you haven’t, I’m ok with that too. Some people don’t know what to say or feel like I just need room.

If you’ve made it all about you, move along. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

If you block me, you do you, boo. Whatever your reasons, they are valid and I accept them.

“Which way I ought to walk from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat

“I don’t much care where…” said Alice

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk,” said the Cat

“so long as I get somewhere” Alice added as an explanation

“Oh you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

You can’t rescue/heal me

I need my friends to be friends, not parents or therapists. I’m collecting myself together. I’m decluttering my apartment, my mind, and my life. I’m focusing on work, family, and my intimate partners.

Here is what you can do for me

The best thing you can do is be patient and understanding. If you see me out and about, please don’t avoid me. Come say hi or wave to me across the room. If you text me, I might not respond for a long time. To my close friends… I still consider you my close friends. Remember, don’t take it personally.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people.”

“Oh, you can’t help that. We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?”

“You must be or you wouldn’t have come here.”

I’m still me

The sarcastic me. The witty me. The welcoming me. The poignant me.

Everyone is different

Depression presents itself in different ways in different people. What I have said here may not apply to you or someone you know. It is immensely difficult to love/care for someone who has a mental illness. Read up and reach out. You don’t have to be their therapist. Just be their friend.

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
– The Red Queen

For me, there is a lot of work to be done

I know there are groups in the area. I need to go to one.

I became an old version of myself. I’m working hard to get back to where I was.

I am also working to climb out of this pit that is my depression.

”You don’t know much and that’s a fact.”
-The Duchess

I am scared

I am genuinely afraid of what will happen when I post this. It has taken me over two weeks to write. On my way to meeting someone for dinner, I decided I wanted to speak out so others who struggle in silence know they are not alone.

  • I’m afraid people will avoid me
  • I’m afraid of losing people I care about so much
  • I’m afraid people won’t understand why I almost always do the Irish goodbye at get together
  • I’m afraid of the gossip and possible over exposure.
  • And yet, at the same time I’m afraid I will have written all of this and then very few people find it. I want others to know they are not alone.

My energy is there. There are exciting things of which I still want to be a part, I do have commitments I will keep.

“When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!”
-Alice


If you got this far, kudos to you and thank you. I kept thinking I needed to trim it down but I felt all of this was necessary.

Quotes are all from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis. Carroll.

Alice and I have both fallen down the rabbit hole.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I want to keep this writing up so as many people who might need it, see it.

heart made of glass, my mind of stone

Love,
TH

Amazing featured photo by Robert Hold

The conversation itself is poetry

The conversation itself is poetry
Waxing eloquent our new car smell relationship
I’m happy and ranting
I want to punch you in the face
For making me feel things
For making me feel feelings
Fuck you.

We Both Lost

It’s over.

This isn’t three strikes and you’re out. Nine innings have been played and the game is now over.

I’m sure there were some beautiful plays and home runs. But I mostly remember the errors, fouls, and ugly strikeouts. We both greased the ball. We both got in each other’s faces.

I don’t remember what the score was. I just remember that at the end of the 9th inning, I didn’t want to play anymore and neither did you. So we turned away from each other and walked away.

The game is over, and whether or not you understand it, we both lost.

Can we just stop…

Can we just stop

  • being a reactive society and start being a proactive one?

Can we just stop

  • having to lower the bar so people can feel better about doing nothing and start raising it so people can work hard towards something?

Can we just stop

  • having to teach women how to protect themselves during an assault and start teaching our boys that having emotions is ok and that they don’t need to assault women to reclaim their ‘masculinity’?

Can we just stop

  • asking women if they said no and start asking men if she said yes?

Can we just stop

  • saying “No means no” and start saying “only yes means yes and everything else means no”?

Can we just stop

  • having to tell women what they can do after being raped and start telling our boys and men not to rape?

Can we just stop

  • asking women what they what they were wearing when they were raped and start telling our boys and men not to rape?

Can we just stop

Can we just stop

  • thinking the world owes us everything and start thinking about what we owe the world?

Can we just stop

  • having to demand basic human decency and respect from everyone and start freely giving basic human decency and respect to everyone?

*I know men as well as women can be victims and that women as well as men can be violators. I used the pronouns I did only for the sake of clarity.*

*Stupid disclaimer that I don’t think should be made but is needed because some people forget: This is my blog and these are my thoughts.*

I am a single malt scotch

I am a single malt scotch, exquisite in flavor and meant to be appreciated.

Aged 42 years, I’ve matured, becoming more flavorful.

Serve me neat or on the rocks, I will not disappoint your sophisticated palate.

Grab me, pour, and taste. Sip and savor. Feel me on your tongue as my flavours open up.

Earthy and smoky. Perfection.

I am a rare find and you are lucky to have me.

 

Diamond

“In its rough state, a diamond is fairly unremarkable in appearance. The act of polishing a diamond and creating flat facets in symmetrical arrangement brings out the diamond’s hidden beauty in dramatic fashion.”

I am a diamond in the rough and I’m working on carving myself into a brilliant piece of the hardest material on earth. Diamonds are tough and beautiful, but they can break and even shatter if chiseled in the wrong spot or carelessly smashed with a hammer. So one must have a steady hand and observant eye to realize the potential of such a gem.

I don’t have that. I just have me.

I have a shaky hand and I’m not an expert on diamonds. I am, however, an expert on me and try as you might to tell me who I am, you can’t. So it is I who is carving myself out of rock. I’m scared as I raise my shaky hands to work because I know I can fuck it up.

I HAVE fucked it up and I’ve cried as I looked at those pieces of myself laying on the floor. Those pieces I still wanted but no longer have. I’ll never be able to glue them back on so I can only look back to the rest of me still on the table. I know I should be ok with it all but it still hurts like a motherfucker so let me mourn those losses.

I’ll keep working through the tears.

Because when I carve through this rock and get it right and when I have cut off the ugly pieces, I discover new and brilliant facets of myself. I am proud and happy, and I shine.

Sometimes when I do fail, I feel like I disappoint you but my promise never was to be perfect. It was to always keep trying. I promise I’m still trying. So please stick around because although I’m doing this for me and will continue doing this without you, it is so much easier to take those risks when I have you here with me.

The Ins and Outs of My Life

I’ve been trying to cut the yo-yo string but I must be connected to you with a diamond filament tether.

Throw me away and then yank me back. Again. Again. Again.

It would drive anyone mad. It did to me.

You’ve been in and out of my life so often lately, I feel like your presence is fucking my soul. Filling that empty space you leave behind over and over.

Even when you’re not physically fucking me, you’re still fucking me.


Let me lace up my boots…

Im’ma slay some giants