*Trigger warning: Detailed discussion of depression and suicide*
Last month, I wrote about how I was having a hard time getting excited for pride month even though it had been my one coming solace all year. I put too much pressure on that one month, and it caused all my built up stress, anxiety, and depression to come toppling over once June finally arrived. Instead of prancing around enjoying all the gay shit New York City has to offer in June, I spent most of the month curled up in bed crying, eating ice cream, taking depression naps, and isolating myself from the outside world. Unsurprisingly, my room (and my house) became a sad space. I had tainted it with my depression, and I felt that staying in that environment was causing me more harm than it was good. So, I put on some sweats and ventured out into the city in search of things I could do to pull myself out of my funk.
I ended up going to my college campus, because I’m a giant nerd and school is my safe space. I studied a little, read a little, met up with some buddies, hung out for a while, walked around Manhattan, and tried to soak in all the clean, untainted air as I could. I hoped this was enough to magically heal me. I think everyone who has depression has experienced this moment where you do something that makes you feel less depressed than you were and you cling onto it like, “This! THIS!! This is what ends my depression!” (Lol) This venture into the outside world was what I clung onto. I started going out for late night walks a lot more often during this period, despite my better judgement.
Don’t get me wrong, not being inside my tainted house worked, but I found that it was like putting a band aid on a gaping wound. As soon as I got home again, I would wind up in the same pattern of depressive behaviors.
The lowest point of my month came when I had a full movie-style mental breakdown in my shower. It was, to say the least, gross. I don’t like to cry. It makes me feel icky, like my flesh is raw, but not the good I-just-exfoliated raw. The bloody, uncooked, kind of raw. I think if I had my own personalized just cried look, it would be a bright red, messy haired, humanoid figure of a monster. It would be see-through, but instead of organs, it would have whatever the physical manifestation of pain looks like free flowing throughout its body. Like a murky, slimy, blackness.
I really don’t like feeling like that cry monster, but as soon as I allowed myself to cry, I couldn’t really stop. My shower breakdown opened the flood gates, you can say. I started to have these fits in the middle of the night where I would just get up, all uneasy and unable to sleep, and start sniffling uncontrollably. I knew I needed to cry in order to feel well enough to get some sleep but, instead, I would just pace around my room, go for walks, clean, or do anything I needed to until I didn’t feel like that anymore. This was until finally I was like “okay, I gotta do this,” and just let myself be gross and cry out all my feelings.
One night, I picked up my computer during one of these fits and wrote out everything I was feeling. I wrote out all the things I didn’t want to tell anyone, including my intrusive thoughts and tendencies. I wasn’t writing it in the hopes that anyone would find it, quite the opposite, I actually hope no one ever reads it. Before this, I had tried to talk about my depression in several different spaces. All those times, I was met with a severe negative reaction or disbelief because I usually present as a really happy person. I wasn’t sure why I chose to write about it. In the moment though, I felt it was something that I had to do. I felt like I was going to go for a walk and just vanish off the face of the earth, or worse, like I was going to intentionally vanish. I had to remind myself that vanishing isn’t something I want, nor is it a solution. I went to bed that night repeating that to myself.
Surprisingly, when I woke up, I felt so much better. It was insane. I was in this really low, depressive state, scared that I would do something horrible… then I woke up and it was like all that heaviness weighing on my chest was gone like it was never even there.
I didn’t spend much time worrying that this might not be normal. Instead I went out with my friend to an open mic night. I didn’t know I was going to have to talk, so I ended up telling a group of strangers that I just somehow survived the worse depression I have ever experienced. By this point I was back to being my happy go lucky self, shitting out rainbows and all. I felt a little strange talking about my depression as though it happened years ago, and not a few days ago. Through this, I ended up meeting a really nice lady with Dissociative Identity Disorder. She used her time slot to speak to me, personally, about her own struggles with depression and suicide. She told me a cautionary tale about reaching out when we need it, even if reaching out is hard, because if we don’t it might be the end of us.
Soooo….I went to therapy.
It was not bad, albeit a little awkward. I don’t know what I expected therapy to be like. I knew it would be very centered on me and my problems, but I guess I wasn’t prepared for just how much so. She let me talk about whatever I wanted, and never once made me feel weird or ashamed for wanting to talk about geeky shit. I don’t think I ever felt so listened to in my life. She paid so much attention to everything I said, reached conclusions about me I would never have come to on my own, and made sure I didn’t get away with being self-deprecating. It’s all about being nicer to yourself and not feeling guilty for taking advantage of things you deserve.
She did give me some homework, which I admit, I am struggling with because it’s about me and what I think I deserve. Not to be a depressed loser, but I have no idea what to write and there isn’t a cheat sheet available because its so personal.
I’m happy to report that I’m working on it though. My June sucked so hard that I wasn’t sure if I was even going to go to the one thing I was looking forward to all year, the Pride Parade. However, I got up that morning and reminded myself that I deserve to go, I deserve to have a good time. I did go. I had a great time with my friends and I’m feeling so, so much better. I don’t think I’ve ever faced a transitional period so intense before, but I’m here, I made it through and ready to keep going forward.
Here’s a picture of me all smiley: