Being depressed is about more than just emotions and moods. Yes, that’s a big part of depression: feeling bad all the time for no apparent reason, having disproportionate emotional responses, having a hard time enjoying things, etc. One of the most impactful struggles, however, is that your brain creates logical loopholes and selectively discards relevant information. It cripples your ability to think on a perfectly rational level.
Depression ebbs and flows for me, so some days I think more clearly than others. I take an ADD medication which helps immensely. I’ve also noticed that Ambien has an interesting effect on me. Ambien is a sleep medication that I take pretty regularly. If I don’t actually attempt to sleep within about a half hour of taking it, I find myself incredibly motivated to create things, organize my life, clean my apartment, and begin planning and working toward various goals. As you can imagine, this sometimes leads me to stay up even later, but I digress…
I get these random bursts of responsibility other times as well, but usually not quite as strongly. The rest of the time, I just sort of exist and scroll through Facebook or play a video game because (as JT said) it’s better than staring at the wall. I find it difficult to muster any fucks to give about all the things that need to be done, or even that I want to do. I just… don’t want to do anything. But there’s the tiny little voice screaming, “There are so many things! Why aren’t you doing any of them?!”
What I’ve started doing this past week is more or less treating the goal-oriented version of me like they’re the authority figure over the depressed version of me. I have brief moments where I’m lucid and I know what’s best for me, so I need to start trusting and listening to myself when I no longer feel motivated to advance in life. For a long time, I’ve viewed my depression this way: having two versions of me, the sane one and the depressed one. It’s weird and metaphorical and it helps a lot.It’s kind of hard to see, sorry about that. We bought some markers for writing on glass, and a few days ago (under the influence of Ambien) I put this stuff on our bathroom mirror. (Minus the comment added by my husband. :p) It’s weird how many times I get out of bed and think about brushing my teeth but then disregard it. “I’ll do it later,” I think. And then I end up running late for work with “no time” to brush them. So, past-me has laid down the law and removed the option to not brush them. I’ve been wanting to establish rituals for certain things, and I think waking up is an important one. Hence, take pills, brush teeth, wash face, and I also decided the day after I wrote this to put on deodorant after washing my face.
I put this sticky note on my monitor yesterday, not while under the influence of Ambien. I have a bad habit of biting the insides of my cheeks and lips (dating from the days when I had braces) and grinding my teeth. I used to bite my nails, but I still chew the hard skin at their edges. I also pick and pull at my lips and at the pimples I get on my face, neck, and shoulders. There’s actually some scarring beginning to accumulate from picking at my skin. I’m aware of the existence of dermatillomania, so I’ve decided that I’m no longer allowed to do those things. It’s an extremely hard habit to break, but calling it to mind and stopping it when possible is an important first step.
I left this note for myself last night, while heavily influenced by Ambien. Today is my day off, so I wanted to begin it well and actually do something with my time. I’m tired of sitting around doing nothing while my life wastes away. I’m tired and not at my best today, but I’m investing trust in the version of me that knows what we need to do. (In case you’re wondering, I followed the note except that I had to turn on my computer while I was eating because HabitRPG was about to have day rollover and I hadn’t put in all my dailies for yesterday.)
It remains to be seen if my resolve will hold on any of this, but it seems like a promising path. Hopefully someone else finds this useful in attempting to master their illnesses. Good luck. <3
I feel bad for this, but if you’re inclined to help me get an IUD and/or possibly some testosterone, here’s a link for that.