Archive for October, 2011

Adventures in Depression

27 Oct

This is a dead on description of depression. It’s so strange sometimes. Adventures in Depression

Some people have a legitimate reason to feel depressed, but not me. I just woke up one day feeling sad and helpless for absolutely no reason.

It’s disappointing to feel sad for no reason. Sadness can be almost pleasantly indulgent when you have a way to justify it – you can listen to sad music and imagine yourself as the protagonist in a dramatic movie. You can gaze out the window while you’re crying and think “This is so sad. I can’t even believe how sad this whole situation is. I bet even a reenactment of my sadness could bring an entire theater audience to tears.”

But my sadness didn’t have a purpose.  Listening to sad music and imagining that my life was a movie just made me feel kind of weird because I couldn’t really get behind the idea of a movie where the character is sad for no reason.

Essentially, I was being robbed of my right to feel self pity, which is the only redeeming part of sadness.

And for a little bit, that was a good enough reason to pity myself.

Standing around feeling sorry for myself was momentarily exhilarating, but I grew tired of it quickly. “That will do,” I thought. “I’ve had my fun, let’s move on to something else now.” But the sadness didn’t go away.

I tried to force myself to not be sad.

But trying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sort of sadness that accompanies depression is like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back.  A fundamental component of the plan is missing and it isn’t going to work. 

When I couldn’t will myself to not be sad, I became frustrated and angry. In a final, desperate attempt to regain power over myself, I turned to shame as a sort of motivational tool.


But, since I was depressed, this tactic was less inspirational and more just a way to oppress myself with hatred.

Which made me more sad. 

Which then made me more frustrated and abusive.

And that made me even more sad, and so on and so forth until the only way to adequately express my sadness was to crawl very slowly across the floor.

The self-loathing and shame had ceased to be even slightly productive, but it was too late to go back at that point, so I just kept going. I followed myself around like a bully, narrating my thoughts and actions with a constant stream of abuse.

I spent months shut in my house, surfing the internet on top of a pile of my own dirty laundry which I set on the couch for “just a second” because I experienced a sudden moment of apathy on my way to the washer and couldn’t continue. And then, two weeks later, I still hadn’t completed that journey. But who cares – it wasn’t like I had been showering regularly and sitting on a pile of clothes isn’t necessarily uncomfortable. But even if it was, I couldn’t feel anything through the self hatred anyway, so it didn’t matter. JUST LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE.

Slowly, my feelings started to shrivel up. The few that managed to survive the constant beatings staggered around like wounded baby deer, just biding their time until they could die and join all the other carcasses strewn across the wasteland of my soul.

I couldn’t even muster up the enthusiasm to hate myself anymore.

I just drifted around, completely unsure of what I was feeling or whether I could actually feel anything at all.

If my life was a movie, the turning point of my depression would have been inspirational and meaningful. It would have involved wisdom-filled epiphanies about discovering my true self and I would conquer my demons and go on to live out the rest of my life in happiness.

Instead, my turning point mostly hinged upon the fact that I had rented some movies and then I didn’t return them for too long.

The late fees had reached the point where the injustice of paying any more than I already owed outweighed my apathy. I considered just keeping the movies and never going to the video store again, but then I remembered that I still wanted to re-watch Jumanji.

I put on some clothes, put the movies in my backpack and biked to the video store. It was the slowest, most resentful bike ride ever.

And when I arrived, I found out that they didn’t even have Jumanji in.

Just as I was debating whether I should settle on a movie that wasn’t Jumanji or go home and stare in abject silence, I noticed a woman looking at me weirdly from a couple rows over.

She was probably looking at me that way because I looked really, really depressed and I was dressed like an eskimo vagrant.

Normally, I would have felt an instant, crushing sense of self-consciousness, but instead, I felt nothing.

I’ve always wanted to not give a fuck. While crying helplessly into my pillow for no good reason, I would often fantasize that maybe someday I could be one of those stoic badasses whose emotions are mostly comprised of rock music and not being afraid of things. And finally – finally – after a lifetime of feelings and anxiety and more feelings, I didn’t have any feelings left. I had spent my last feeling being disappointed that I couldn’t rent Jumanji.

I felt invincible.

And thus began a tiny rebellion.

Then I swooped out of there like the Batman and biked home in a blaze of defiant glory.

And that’s how my depression got so horrible that it actually broke through to the other side and became a sort of fear-proof exoskeleton.

from Hyperbole and a Half



15 Oct

My cat is curled up on the couch next to me making little grunting noises with each breath. Not quite snores, more like little sighs. It’s been rainy and windy the past couple days and I think it’s actually autumn now.

There’s a kid who’s been riding his bike up and down the street all morning and he gets to ride with the wind to go toward the cul-de-sac and then has to fight against it to go back toward home. Just a few minutes ago there was a big crash like something fell on the house and when I looked out the front window, the kid was slowly riding away from my garage door. I’ll have to go check to make sure he didn’t dent it. I haven’t seen him out on the street since the crash. suspicious.

There is something really odd about people pulling into my driveway to turn around. Maybe it looks like no one lives her? We can’t figure out why they don’t continue on to drive around the circle. Mine is the last house on the left before the circle, so they’re feet away from it, but THREE cars pulled into my driveway to turn around just the other night. And now this kid on his bike decides to ride up my driveway and crash into my garage door. What the hell? I guess I don’t understand suburbia yet.

Last night Mr. Marsh and I went to some friends’ house and played with their baby and had burgers. Then we spent four hours finishing a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle! We had a great sense of accomplishment when we left, but that much focus really can exhaust someone! Luckily, at that time of night there isn’t traffic on the cross town street that connects our houses so we got home easily. I like having a nice, easy cross town street so close, but I don’t like that all of the rest of the city also wants to use it. Plus, it goes right past a couple malls so it’s about to get super extra crowded with holiday shoppers. I’ll have to be sure to get my shopping finished early, and online.

It’s been great having Mr. Marsh in town and getting to explore things with him. We picked out where his P.O. Box will be, but don’t really need to rent it till closer to when he’s going to be here. We went to my niece’s birthday party and had a great time with family and friends. We stopped by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s gift shop — we didn’t have the time we wanted to go through the museum this visit. We drove through the country and looked at the trees turning, and drove half way to a small town near here to have a birthday drink but gave up when the rain started falling really really hard and we could hardly see. So we gave up and went to the chain cheesecake restaurant along the better lit route and had a drink and a bit of cheesecake instead. It was yummy.

The rain here is more serious than in norcal and I’m already really aware of the difference in weather. It’s nice to have a bit of a change. It should be in the low 50s later this week, and soon there will be actual cold instead of the constant chilly and damp I’m used to. I’m sort of looking forward to it, though I know I’ll likely get tired of it long before the temps warm up again.

Anyone who wants to see snow is welcome to visit soon; I think you’ll be too late to see red/gold leaves soon.

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