Getting Bad Again
Content Warning: Suicidal Ideation, Swearing
As someone with depression, I hate admitting when it's getting bad around this time of year (or at all) because someone will inevitably bring up 'seasonal depression' and how it 'happens to everyone'. And they have no idea how fucking dumb they sound, but damn do I want to wrap a chain around their necks and throw them straight off a bridge.
Depression isn't something that hits you because you're stuck indoors for six months or because you're suddenly too bored to indulge in your favorite hobbies. It's more like you're stuck in your life until the day you die and you really cannot understand why you still exist.
I know why I still exist: I'm too stubborn to pull the damn trigger myself.
That's it. That's the only thing I have going for me. Pure stubbornness.
So when I say it's 'getting bad again' it has nothing to do with the time of year. It has everything to do with how stubborn I can be and seeing if I can outlast it one more fucking time.
It's BAD right now. I wish I wasn't stubborn. I wish I wasn't hanging on for the one person I know wouldn't survive it. I wish there wasn't a handful of people who would be greatly impacted. And I take comfort in knowing that most of them would be able to move on quickly.
Everyone experiences their own depression differently. If I was just suicidal, I think it might be easier. The internet helps. It gives you fun little memes and reddit posts like this one: "I’m not gonna kill myself because if my depression wants me dead THAT badly it’s gonna have to start shutting my fucking organs down like a REAL disease instead of being a fucking pussy and hiding in my brain and trying to get ME to do it’s dirty work for it !"
If I was just sad or miserable, it'd be easy. I'd find ways to distract myself with books and loved ones and movies. Indulge it for a little while and maybe it'll ease up in a few hours. Simple enough. We've been doing this for about twenty years now, so I've pretty much got the hang of it.
Except that my depression doesn't manifest as sad as often as it does as angry. I can go most of the year coaxing on sad and hopeless and seem perfectly normal to other people. But when the anger sets in, that's when things get bad.
Anger at other people. Anger at how fucked up the world is. Anger that I'm stuck on this fucking hamster wheel and there's no way off it. Anger that I have no discernible purpose in this life. And anger that I can't just make myself stop, lie down, and die.
I want to. So much. I want to not go to work every day. I want to have no sense of obligation or responsibility or loyalty to the people in my life. I want to have no fucking expectations for myself, and I certainly don't want to carry the expectations of others.
I want to rest, and this life does not offer that. Not one single fucking day since I was born. And the worst part is that the struggles I endure are minor and meaningless and worthless. Everyone goes through the same shit day after day after day, so why is it that they can handle the fucking tedium of a meaningless life, but it's fucking crushing me?
One of the days that it started getting particularly bad, my boyfriend asked me something along the lines of, "What's so bad about your life?" and then seemed satisfied that nothing was really wrong when I could only tell him, "I don't know."
The truth of it is that I do know. I've always known, but I can't always say it. And the truth of it is almost stark and strange when you examine it. And that is: I don't want it.
I don't want my life. I don't want anything to do with it. I'd erase every single second with me in it if I could.
I know. It seems like such a flimsy answer. It doesn't even make much sense if you look at it from the surface. But I think it's only dissatisfying to people that never understood that 'I don't want to' is a valid response to something. Those are the assholes that push alcohol on their friends or drag them along to events and then complain when they're fucking miserable the whole time. Those are the idiots that believe 'you don't know if you like it until you try.' Bitch, I don't have to try bleach to know drinking it is a bad fucking idea.
I know me. I know what I like and what I don't. I know what I want and what I can reasonably expect to have. What I have known for most of my life is that I don't want any part of this world, and yet here the fuck I am. Because we all do things we don't want to do, and for me that means existing.
And if you're grateful that I do exist, don't tell me. Because I, most definitely, am not and hearing that will only make it worse.
"People who commit suicide honestly believe that everyone's life would be better without them."
We've all seen something akin to this every time someone takes their own life. (Usually in response to that stupid "Suicide doesn't end pain, it just passes it on to someone else" bullshit.) For some people that's probably true. They probably think everyone's life would be better without them.
I don't care.
If I were to commit suicide, it'd be about me and no one else. It would be about if I stopped being stubborn for ten fucking seconds. It would be about if I could make myself get through another day. It would be about how much force it took to get me out of bed, or if the bullshit reasons I used to do it were strong enough.
My family. My friends. Everyone I talk to and laugh with and whose presence I actually enjoy. Not a single fucking one of them would matter to me in that moment.
If any one of those things failed to lock in, I have no doubt that I would simply check out.
Those are the everyday things. The things that force me to keep going despite not wanting to. Getting to the point where it's bad is like all of those things, plus everything else in my brain, snowballing all at once. It's another year's worth of shit hitting me all at once.
A year of having people tell me 'smile, it's not that bad' or 'well you're here, so that's a good thing' or 'you're alive, you should be happy'. (Every time I hear this shit, I debate blowing my brains out on principle.) A year of going to a job I hate and screwing up my body even more with every shift. Of taking the worry and stress home with me. All that time of saying, 'Not my circus, not my monkeys' only to realize that I'm stuck in that fucking circus because I'm one of the fucking monkeys and the only thing I can do is move to another fucking circus with other fucking monkeys.
Another year of the same shit every single day. A year of me trying to find something to make it better. A year of hoping and saving and wishing. And another year of failing.
Constant, excessive, point-blank failure. No happiness. No meaning. No purpose. No reason to keep going everyday, but I even fail at making myself shut down.
I write books. I've even published 5 that I'm happy with and which I skim often. I've written so many others that the world will never see. I've written even more that I intend to let loose once I'm satisfied they tell the story that's meant to be shared.
I write books.
And you have no idea how much I wish that meant I'd found a purpose.
In truth, they're a distraction. A broadcast picked up from lives more meaningful than mine. A movie I've watched so many times that I can catch the tiniest nuance. A show I can binge so I avoid thinking about how worthless I am for even a little while.
They're not my purpose for this life and I find no meaning in them, but they are the reason I'm still alive. They're part of the bullshit excuses I make for getting out of bed each day. They're the reason I force myself to tell my loved ones what's wrong when things go bad. Because, without my writing, I really would run out of reasons to keep existing.
For most of the year, I can immerse myself in other lives and carry them with me when I am merely surviving. Because of books, I can actually live.
When things get bad, though, not even stories can save me. They can keep me tethered, just like that handful of people I mentioned, but they can't make me want to keep going. I'm no longer eager to find out what happens next, because all of my stores of caring are used up and bone dry.
It's not the sadness. It's not even the anger. It's the numbness that will get me in the end.
But it is not this day.
I'm done. I wrote this here because it had to be said. I had to find some way to tell those I love that right now I am not okay.
They won't know what to do about it. There's nothing they can say that will make it better. I don't even want them to try.
But I feel better with them knowing. I feel better having someone aware. It's like having an accountability buddy. Or a safety net.
Because if I'm not stubborn enough for ten whole seconds, I know one of them will find some bullshit excuse to get me out of bed and make it seem like it was my idea. Even if it's just a funny video that I have to see.
I love you guys.