Living with Depression
Life is tough to begin with. Add in some depression, and you've got the recipe for disaster.
Life can throw curves at unexpected times, and sometimes getting a roommate can help to ease some of the burdens from the financial sort. But dealing with a roommate who doesn't take you into consideration when they decide to do certain things, is a burden of its own.
I was living with my Mom and her new husband last summer, and things were... Okay. That's a generous term, anyway. I was working steadily, going out every weekend, seeing friends, and generally surviving. But my depression was only getting worse. It got so bad that I was considering suicide. The thoughts of "Why does it matter?", "Why should I continue living?" were a constant, droning noise, and nothing could pierce the veil.
I ended up in the hospital for complications with my diabetes and a bout of pancreatitis. It was at this time, that I decided to talk to somebody about the degradation of my mental state.
After talking to the local crisis team, and a number of nurses, doctors, and psychologists, I was admitted to a mental health facility, to try and get back on the right track.
I was there for a little over a week, which was less time than I needed, but all my insurance would cover. So, I got my new prescriptions, some new coping skills, and went home.
I was back in the hospital one week later. I had lost my job and was sleeping for 20 hours a day.
In comes my long-time friend, my non-blood brother, for all intents and purposes, and his wife at the time. They recognize the problems and offer me asylum. I gratefully accepted, packed up some clothes, and moved in with them into their loft.
So, now instead of the complete privacy I had while living with my mom, her husband, and little sister, I was sleeping on the floor in the living room of a place with no doors. At least there are walls, right? ... Right.
So, I tried to be me. Be in a new environment. Be depressed still, but hiding it to make everyone feel better. Now add in the divorce of your friend and his wife. Add in the guilt that she blames you. Add in the fact that you WANT to be there for your friend.
But you can't. You can't even be there for yourself. You can barely get out of bed by 4 pm, let alone in the morning.
What did I do? I looked for more work. And I was hired in February with a company that rotated stock for different stores. Easy work. Manual labor. Satisfying.
Apparently, I couldn't hack it. I wasn't contacted about an upcoming contract after a month of work. Add another one to depression's scoreboard.
So, I look again and get hired in April at a bar nearby my house, as a chef for the weekend breakfast shift. Part-time and less money. But hey, at least I'm working. I loved it. The work was fun. I could pick up hours as a busboy if I needed to, and my depression was ebbing away. Slowly, but surely. Then, I get called to boss's office.
"Well, we like you here, but with summer coming on, and things getting busy, we don't know if you're ready to take on the shift by yourself", I had been being training for a month, but weekends only. "I don't want you to quit, but I have to do some figuring things out for the schedule and moving people around. Okay? I'm not sure where we're going to put you, but I'll give you a call and let you know."
Fast forward a month, to this June, and still no call. Depression takes another hit. A pretty big one.
I attempted to attempt suicide with pills. My roommate sees me, sitting on the bed that now is in the living room, pills in my hand, and sees me crying. He asks what's wrong. What's going on?
And I unload. Verbal diarrhea, with sides of blubbering and sobbing. I tell him about how I can't fight anymore. About how I can't take his revolving door of women since his divorce. About how I can't see a point to living anymore. The pain I feel, and guilt for something I had no part of, or so he says.
He talks me down and takes and hides the pills for me. Then, tries to take my mind off of things by watching movies with me, but I can't concentrate, can't focus. All I can think about is how the caress of the endless black void of death sounds so comforting. So peaceful.
Before he goes to bed, he tells me that if I promise not to do anything, he'll take me to the urgent care in the morning, before he goes to work. I agree, and stay up all night, wishing that I had taken the pills.
I go to the hospital in the morning, six months since my last visit, and tell them what's going on. I'm rushed into a room. Empty except for a bed, and a bin for my clothes and belongings, which is taken when I grown-up.
I am observed for 4 hours, and talk to the crisis team, again. I get an emergency appointment with my psychologist the next day, and my therapist the next week.
My meds get upped, and my therapist is making random house calls, to make sure I'm not doing anything to endanger myself.
I haven't been able to find work recently, and I can't get out of this mental funk. The little apartment that I'm in regularly is trashed, and my roommate is getting understandably frustrated. He's working a job and a half to make ends meet, and I sit at home. On my ass. In a filthy apartment, and do nothing to make things a little easier on him.
I can't find the motivation to shower regularly, let alone do dishes or take out the garbage. Some days I literally sleep all day, aside from two or three hours, because I can't force myself to even open my eyes.
Then there are the nights where I can't do anything but cry into a pillow. And I don't sleep. When my roommate's alarm goes off, I crawl into bed and pretend to sleep, so as to avoid conversation. To hide my red, swollen eyes. To avoid questions.
I can't lie to him, we've known each other for so long that we can immediately see each other's tells. So I avoid the conversations that start with, "How have you been feeling" or "How's your depression doing".
I've been trying to spend more time with family, but they're always so busy, and my little sister spends every other weekend with her jackass of a father.
I try to be strong for her, and she's the main reason I go get help when I'm feeling down. She's my world, I love her more and more each and every day, and I miss her just as much. As soon as she's out of sight, out of reach, I immediately start to miss her and hope that I'll see her sooner rather than later.
She loves me so much that when I have to leave to go back home, or she does, she starts to cry. She has told me, and our mom that she wants to come to live with me.
But I can't have her here with how much I am hurting inside. No matter how much I'd love that, I can't. Mom and I both agree that it isn't a good idea, though for different reasons.
We're not financially capable or stable. That is one reason we agree on. I just can't have my sister around the kind of sickness I carry around with me.
I bring everyone down with me, and I burn bridges because I'm afraid that everyone is just going to pity me, so I act angry, say things that I know will hurt, and do things that ruin relationships because I don't want anyone to see how I really feel.
The thoughts that my sister's father forced into me keep coming back, and have started to make me believe him. So I keep losing jobs because I don't believe I'm good enough. I can't keep a healthy relationship because I'm not worth the time it takes. I won't ever be happy because I don't deserve happiness. I haven't earned it. I haven't worked for it, so why should I get something he worked for?
It's been eight years since he and my mom split up, yet I hear his voice in my head, every day, like he's sitting next to me, spitting his venom into my ears. Hearing the hatred dripping off of his vile tongue, and wondering what I did to make him hate me so much.
Recently, my mom and her husband got into a fight, and he went to jail. So last weekend I went to her house, to see my sister, and give her some moral support. On Saturday he got out of jail and came to get his van. Despite an Order of Protection and a No Contact Order, within an hour of him getting out, he messaged my mom, asking for a ride. So he has arrested again and likely will be in for two years this time.
Despite what has been going on with me, I was there for my mom, because she's my family, and I will always have her back. She and I don't always see eye to eye, but I definitely will back her when she needs it.
We went to see Wonder Woman on Sunday, and it was a feel good movie. There was a line, toward the end where WW says, "It's not about deserving. It's about what you believe. And I believe in love," and it resonated deeply with me.
I don't feel loved very often. When I see my grandma or my sister, it's impossible to not feel loved. But almost every day that I don't see them, which is most days, I feel like I'm alone in the world.
Though, I love. I love my friend, he's been here for me, through thick and thin. I love my mom because she's a strong, independent woman, who has raised one child, and is raising one now, on her own, and has done a top-notch job. I love my sister, who despite only being ten, is wise beyond her years, and has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met. My grandmother did as much raising me, as my mom did. She was the soft, comforting voice, that was always there to make me smile and laugh, and I love her too.
These are the reasons I CHOOSE to keep going. It's not always easy, but every day is another victory in the battle that is overcoming my depression.
I want to thank you for reading this, as it helped me to voice my thoughts and feelings. I think sometime soon, I'll be able to write another, but it'll be about overcoming.