Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Claws are Ever Tighter and I Cannot Get Rid of Them

-Image by Mahesh Haridevan

It's back. Depression has its desperate claws edged on the tip of my soul. I can feel its dripping maw near my neck and it makes it difficult to breathe. It encircles me and gags me and I try to accept that it's there and acceptance is futile. During my good times I think I have accepted the fact that I have depression. When it comes to remind me that I have it, the overwhelming feeling of "Again?" rushes my senses and I am quieted.

I have felt it all week. I tried to pretend that it wasn't there. I tried to do things. Instead I have slept. A lot. I am always embarrassed to admit this. Horribly embarrassed.

I missed work. Quite a bit of it.

Today I was finally able to get myself out of the house and met a friend from high school. We recently reunited. It was wonderful to see her. Though it was very nice to spend time with her, I grew tired. I literally yawned. Several times. She even noticed and commented. I yawned even though I've slept most of the week. When I wasn't asleep I tried to pretend that I was fine. I was merely having some type of strange, extended vacation that I never requested beforehand. Though I slept all day, every day this past week, when my daughter got home from school I would wake up and act like I had been working from home all day. I was in my pajamas. I hadn't brushed my teeth yet. My hair was disheveled. I don't know if she believed me. Monday and Tuesday she asked why I was home. I lied and told her that I worked from home. For the rest of the week she didn't ask anymore. She's a smart girl. I'm sure that she realizes.

My work thinks that I had strep and stomach problems. I hate lying like that.

In this economy and also considering that I am a contractor, I am worried about losing my job. They already have a hiring freeze on software developers. They are flying contractors from India by the plane load and paying them nothing while giving them apartments where they shack up four and five to a two-bedroom apartment. They have no car and walk back and forth to work and the grocery store. They have no life. They are happy to be here. They are hard workers. They get paid next to nothing. I can easily be replaced. The company would save money. I don't know why they haven't done it already. It does disgust me though because these highly intelligent people from India are trying to find their American Dream and are being paid next to nothing. They need to be paid like everyone else, if not more because they work so very hard.

I have not worked hard this past week. I slept hard. When I was awake and acting like I was working from home I was reading other people's blogs until my eyes closed. I tried to blog and act like everything was OK. It hasn't been. Why do I act like everything is OK on my blog when this is the place where I can say exactly how I feel and not worry about it? I have thought about that and think it's because if I talk about my bad moments in those bad moments I have to accept that I have major and chronic depression. I can't run away from that fact and I certainly can't hide because depression always finds me.

I seriously cannot imagine being like this for the rest of my life. Typing that sentence makes me cry. How do people live like this? Will it ever get better? I have had depression my entire life, yet I have to say it gets worse with age. Not better. Worse. Worse and more worse. It is overwhelming to think about.

It is times like this that I truly want to die. Would I call that being suicidal? Not really because I'm not acting on it. Is it life that I want to end? Yes, if life is like this. I also realize on a rational level that I will get better again, it doesn't rain all day every day and I will not want to end my life when the sun peeks out to shine on my day. Like all people who think about suicide, I just want to end the pain and despair. It becomes all too much at times.

If I wasn't for my daughter I know that I wouldn't be here. I would be dead. She keeps me going when I cannot. She doesn't realize this and she should never realize this, but it's just the truth.


John Finn said...

You ask, “Why do I act like everything is OK on my blog when this is the place where I can say exactly how I feel and not worry about it?” I think the answer may be that you’re reluctant because you’re aware of your readers.

I started my own blog for a similar reason – to figure out what was “wrong” with my life – but very soon felt overly exposed. The times I’ve approached certain issues, I felt that I was being maudlin, self-absorbed, and pathetic. I pressed “cancel” instead of “post,” and started over. Even though few people read it, even one other person would be too many.

Now, I keep two blogs: the one on the Internet for other people to peruse, and another in a Word file on my laptop, full of morose introspection that will never see the light of day.

I wish I could say that it’s been helpful, that poring over my “private” blog has given me some valuable insights, but it hasn’t. Reading over that stuff just makes me disgusted with myself. Probably the only good thing that’s come of it is that the act of writing it down helps me to sort things out, and that’s enough for me to keep doing it.

I’m still hopeful that someday, I’ll have a moment of discovery where I recognize the patterns – something I’m not seeing today, probably something so obvious I’ll kick myself for not having seen it earlier – and realize what to do, or what to avoid doing, or whatever.

Laura said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Depression is just a bastard. I've dealt with it my whole life. My basline is dysthymic ... with times that dip below to make life unbearable. I guess you just have to keep in mind that you WILL experience better days, in the meantime try to not be hard on yourself. When it comes to your blog ... this is the one place where you should never have to consider hiding how you truly feel. *Hugs to you

Angela said...

This post touched me so much. Probably because I have written similar posts this past year while blogging. I hope that it helps you to know that when you share your true feelings, it connects the reader more closely to you. It helps others to know that they are not alone. I sleep and call in sick to work just like you. I try to hide it from my family, just like you. Thank you for sharing this, because it has helped me:)

Wandering Coyote said...

I agree that it seems to get worse with age. My recovery periods seem to come after lengthier bouts of depression and are shorter. BUT, that being said, the periods of recovery are SO WORTH IT! So, it does get better. It's shitty to deal with, I know, but I do have to believe it's worth it.

Da Old Man said...

I wish I could offer something of benefit, but just know you are not alone.
You are a person of value, even if you don't feel that way all the time, that doesn't affect the truth that you are.
May you be blessed with something special today.

Anonymous said...

You soooo gotta get yourself a bike my friend!!

I'm sorry you're feeling so down right now... its temporary, it will pass.

I wonder if things only seem like they get worse over time? You know, like we think they do, but really, its just that we get sick of the recurring experience?


Anyway, do what you can. Fight, fight, fight... don't give up.

There is a way out somewhere!!


Anonymous said...

Wow...reading your post really hit home. It sounds like something I would of written. The past couple of days I've been hit with a HUGE fatigue, and all I want to do is just stay in bed with the covers over my head. Depression just fuckin sucks. I think it's the worst disease in the world. I'm wondering when will this insanity ever end. I hope things get better for you. I understand how hard it can be...believe me...I've been there and back, and there and back. Please keep in touch.

Anonymous said...

I've been down so often I just hurt for what you're going through. Saying all the rational things about depression sure doesn't help, true as those things may be. Of course, I have to say something! Even if you can't believe it at the moment - You are irreplaceable - you are beautiful - and you put a glowing spot in the heart of everyone who reads this blog.

Plus, I gave you a little award.

Biggest love - John

Erik said...

I am glad you are here and glad you share the insights you do.

John's right about the glowing spot in our hearts.

I would type more, but my brain hurts this morning.

Much love,


Agnes Mildew said...

What a sad post. I am so sorry to hear that you are in the grips of depression. I hope you have been to see a doctor by now? That's the first thing. Even if you are already on some form of medication, perhaps your body has got used to it and a change is in order.

Can you get out into the fresh air, go walking, just take time out for yourself? I know very well that it can be one hell of a drag to even consider it, but once you are there, things can seem a bit brighter. How understanding are your employers? Do you think they would allow you extended sick leave while you get some rest and recouperation? Are you getting support from your husband?

I send you much love. xx

Chunks of Reality said...

John Finn - You're right, I am aware of my readers and worry what they will think. I wish so much not to be that way.

From the way you write, I wish you posted your Word document on your blog. After all of this time you have kept your anonymity and you don't have any threat of someone finding out who you are. I know for a fact that whatever is in the Word doc isn't "pathetic" or "self-absorbed" as you stated. In fact, if anything it would make you more real. You could have a private blog that no one could get to except the people that you invite.

I think that it's difficult for you to pore over your Word doc to gain insight while if others read it you would receive insight from them.

Just a thought, it's just you have me curious know how nosy I can be. :)

I completely understand you, though and I need to practice what I preach.

Chunks of Reality said...

AD - Depression IS a bastard, well said! Thank you for the hugs.

Angel - It helped so much to read that you call in sick to work as well and hide it from your family. You're right, it does help to know that you aren't alone. I will try to be more forthcoming in the future because I shouldn't have anything to fear here.

Chunks of Reality said...

Coyote - Thank you for your kind words. Yes, the periods of recovery are wonderful I think because we appreciate it more. I hope that as we age it gets better. *hugs*

Chunks of Reality said...

Old Man - You did offer something of took the time to comment today and I thank you.

I certainly haven't felt like a person of value at all lately and I thank you for reminding me.

Thank you for your blessings. You are very kind. *hugs*

Chunks of Reality said...

Svasti - My husband and I have thought about getting bikes. Maybe we will one day. If we do, you'll be the first to know. :)

Referencing your comments, I think we get sick of the recurring experience. That is a more hopeful way of thinking about it versus thinking we get worse over time. Thank you for the insight, my friend.

Chunks of Reality said...

Namaste - As I've been around the blogosphere this last week it seems like quite a few people have had more issues with their mental illness. I wonder if it's this time of year?

I hope that you feel better very soon. Depression DOES suck, ugh. At least we aren't alone.

Thank you for your post.

Chunks of Reality said...

John D - Thank you so very much. Your kind words brought tears to my eyes. They were good tears, though, and I thank you.

Thank you so much for your award. I checked it out and love it. I will post it on my blog this week. Thank you for thinking of me. It is an honor.


Chunks of Reality said...

Erik - I love the picture of you when you leave blog comments. It makes me smile every time I see it. :)

I hope that your head feels better by the time you read this.

Thank you for your warm thoughts. It means much more than you realize.

Chunks of Reality said...

Annie - Thank you for your concern. I don't have a psychiatrist or psychologist. My insurance is pretty crappy concerning mental health and it's horribly expensive.

I am on medication, Wellbutrin, actually and I am going to talk with my regular doctor about possibly changing it because I'm not sure it's doing the trick anymore.

I thought about going walking today but just couldn't do it. I am going to try and walk this week. I realize it is good for you and I don't do it enough.

I am a contractor and my employers have been very flexible. I am not able to take an extended time away because I am the breadwinner of my family and cannot afford it. Actually, the time that I've missed last week and today will take a financial toll already. Since I am a contractor, I do worry about my job, though. ugh.

Thank you so much for your concern. It means a lot. *hugs*

Karen ^..^ said...

I thought Wellbutrin was an anti anxiety drug, not a depression drug?

All the same, you should be diagnosed asap, as it is illegal for your job to let you go when you are being treated for a mental illness. So CYA, Baby.

Its the name of the game. Unfortunately.

Cover it, and get some help in the process.

~~Huge hugs~~

Chunks of Reality said...

Karen - Wellbutrin is for depression as well. I wasn't aware of the anxiety part.

I have been diagnosed with chronic, major depression, PTSD, dysthymia and PMDD. I was in a psychiatric hospital a little more than two years ago. What I really need is a psychiatrist and counselor but my medical insurance is crap and I can't afford such high mental health bills. I'm still reeling financially from being in the hospital two years ago!

I am a sub-contractor at my job and they can fire me at will for anything at any time. Nothing I can say or do about it. And since I'm a sub-contractor I have no rights such as FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) or anything, so that is why I worry about losing my job when I get sick because I miss time from work and the project we are working on is so time-sensitive they may get tired of my crap and say "See ya!" to me.


Thank you so much for all of your ideas and support. *hugs*

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