09 March 2014

Be Warned, I Swear in This One. A Lot.

This post is in response to an essay I read earlier today by an internet acquaintance and very popular author and blogger Ferrett Steinmetz, entitled, "How to Be a Good Depressive Citizen." In his essay, Ferrett makes a very good point about the unwritten yet strangely compulsory stoicism required of writers who grapple with depression. We hold ourselves to this impossible standard we would never require of anyone else. At least I hope to G-d we would never require of anyone else--that would be monstrous. But, for me, what he says boils down to this:

You do not discuss your depression until you can be an inspiration, or you are just fucking crazy. 
Nobody likes crazy.
Hi. My name is Lyn, and I am fucking crazy. Really. Mentally ill, as they say. Liking me is optional, but, I'm told, entertaining as all hell. Case in point: I'm kind of done with being publicly stoic about how big a mess my life is at the moment, and feel like flinging my crazy around like paint. Feel free to fling along.
I'm unemployed. Not my fault, thank Dog, but still, a distinct lack of job holding and paycheck receiving. I want to start freelance writing and editing, but the thought scares me to death.  Since depression lies like a cheap rug, it's telling me that if I can't hold a job, how the hell am I supposed to hang on to clients? (Remember Rule 1: DEPRESSION LIES.) And did I remember to register for unemployment this week? Shit.
This conviction is not helped by a desk that looks like this.
Speaking of the big liar, I am currently fighting a rearguard action against a full-scale tumble into what I call The Pit. For those of you joining us in media res, I suffer from chronic clinical depression and anxiety. It intensifies and lessens in cycles. We are not in the happy part of the cycle. I have showered in the past 24 hours. This is a huge achievement. Please do not ask me about the 72 hours previous to that.
My teeth hurt. I hate the dentist. But I'm subsisting on oatmeal and peanut butter sandwiches. But I hate the dentist.
I want to curl up and for the world to go away, but the world now includes an adorable little girl whom I love like my next breath. But lately I often feel completely unequipped to parent her. Sometimes, I want to hide from her. "Mommy isn't feeling well" isn't going to cut it for much longer, and I don't know what comes after that.
Do not get me started on the insomnia. It's new. I loathe it. Next.
PMS! Need I say more?
And yes, I'm in therapy, but there're only so many problems that can get tackled in one 50-minute hour a week. Meds? Oh, yeah, I'm on them. I wouldn't be functioning this well if I weren't.
So, there's my crazy. 
But.
I am lucky. I am luckier than most depressives. I have a husband, a best friend, and family who prod me to eat, to leave the house at least weekly. They come knocking when I'm too quiet for too long. Where many people go into a cycle honestly not knowing if they'll make it out the other side, I go in, holding my breath, unsure if my life will come out intact on the other side, but generally certain that I will make it out the other side.
This was not always the case. Like I said, I'm lucky. But my life is a wreck at the moment, and I don't know how I'm going to fix it. I'll let you know how things work out.
My bedside lamp. I can do this. I can get up one more time.

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