Tag: depression

Never Surrender

Bella snoozing at the keyboard

It’s been a while… a long while.

The old me would take this opportunity to ‘cleanse’ the blog and move forward with a new chapter and a clean, fresh start. Maybe that would be good in some ways. I like to think I learn from my past, though, and how can I do that if every time I move to the next chapter, I rip out the last? No, I look back over the blog and with my older, wiser, more experienced eyes, I see growth. It all will stay, this time. The person I am today is built on the lessons of all my yesterdays.

As I write this, I am curled up on a big bed with several blankets, snuggled half under them and wrapped in an added layer of thick hoodie. One dog is snuggled up against my belly as close to my hands as she can get without being under my typing hands. She, Bella, will slowly inch her little nose up to the corner of my keyboard until she finally braves shoving my hand up to demand petting. I’ll pet her a moment, then she’ll be content enough to let me type a bit more before she repeats the process. Another of the dogs, Angel, is curled up at the foot of the bed, using my feet as a pillow. The cat, Willow, is curled up on my hip. Pandora is playing “Rather Be” quietly. Patchouli incense fills the air. The atmosphere is as upbeat and peaceful as I could hope. The only thing that could make it better would be if my beloved partner, ChessyCat, were home…

Her new schedule means I spend the evenings alone with my thoughts and whims. This isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but it is challenging. See, I struggle with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Even now, after finally giving myself permission to live genuinely and making leaps and bounds toward accepting myself just as I am, I still struggle with these old companions. Depression is the unwelcome pessimist at the party and Anxiety is my long time frienemy who whips me into a frothing panic over the most mundane and minor things under the guise of ‘protecting me’ whenever the mood strikes it. We have made great progress in the last year on improving our relationship, but there isn’t a relationship counselor alive that could convince Anxiety to leave me alone for good, and Depression won’t even go to the appointments.

That’s what brings me to the blog tonight. Look at that picture: snuggled up all warm and cozy with furbabies and music and incense and quietly singing wind chimes in the background… Picture perfect. It’s glorious. Last I spoke to ChessyCat she called and said she loves me and made me feel special just by taking the time on her break to speak to me. I still get hugs before bed from MaRoo and I’m not totally alone in the house by any measure. I have a good life right now. Money is tight sometimes, of course, but when isn’t it? I still have a car and home and job. What the hell do I have to be depressed or anxious about? I’ve tackled this before on this blog, but it comes back around enough that I feel it bears repeating…

Depression doesn’t care. Depression and Anxiety both lie. Neither gives a damn how good your life is or how great you’ve got it, they will attack whenever they please. Anxiety will latch onto the tiniest doubt and make it into something so much worse than it really is. Depression will cast a shadow over the brightest circumstance.

For example: ChessyCat calls me on her lunch break every day. She was late, today. LogicBrain knows perfectly well that her break times shift depending on the work load. LogicBrain knows that when we spoke at her first break, she said bright things including “I love you” and “I miss you.” LogicBrain knows the score… Anxiety, though? She’s not been late once since she started this job. Anxiety points out that I forgot to scoop the litter box in the morning and I didn’t wash that pan last night, so she must be mad at me. Anxiety capitalizes on this completely mundane delay in a phone call to try and work me into a froth of panic over something that has nothing to do with any flaw or mistake on my part at all. Anxiety is narcissistic. Everything is about Anxiety and me. Anything can become my fault, even if it’s not. Depression then feeds off the awful feelings the panic creates and it all spirals out of control if I don’t manage to get a handle on it early.

The thing that I have been working on the hardest in this respect is giving myself permission to feel these things. I don’t mean that I am allowing myself to fall victim willingly to the sick mind games of Anxiety and Depression and wallow in the resulting pain and distress. More accurately, I am learning to give myself permission to be broken. I am learning to accept that I am damaged goods and that being such doesn’t mean that I am not still valuable and worthy. Turning around on myself and telling myself I have no right to feel anxious or depressed because my life is good and there’s no reason just feeds these persistent moochers in my mind. Denying the negative feelings’ existence prevents proper processing of those feelings. Shaming myself for feeling the negative feelings adds guilt to the pile of unpleasantness my brain is gleefully assembling against me.

Anxiety and Depression have been feeding off of my distress in my weakest moments for most of my life and no matter how much I try to starve them, they will never go away for good. Accepting this fact does not mean I am accepting defeat; rather, it means that I am acknowledging the flaws in my design and learning to compensate for them. We are all flawed. We are, by nature, imperfect beings. Were we perfect, we wouldn’t be human. We are beautifully broken… perfectly imperfect.

Tonight, I won. LogicBrain gave the reasonable and sensible arguments against my anxiety and I was able to engage my coping mechanisms swiftly and to great effect before things spiraled out of control inside my head. Nights like tonight, I can stack the deck in my favor by seeking companionship where I can or isolating myself until the nerves settle, snuggling the furbabies, playing uplifting or calming music, and generally engaging every coping mechanism I have until the psychic attack is over.

Sometimes I lose. Sometimes Anxiety is a ninja, so subtle and clever that I never have a chance to sound the red alert before it’s too late. Depression slips in right behind it and disables engineering so I can’t engage the warp core and escape. These are the nights that find me hiding behind a collar, crying quietly in the dark, longing for the comfort of a sharp blade or a cigarette, and questioning if the world wouldn’t be better without me in it.

That’s okay. No one wins every time. Each time I lose, I make it to the other side knowing that next time I might win. Mine is a life of constant vigilance against a foe that exists in my own head with me. I accept this. I accept that I may struggle. I accept that I am not perfect.

I will not ever accept defeat.

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Invisible

It’s just a fact that I am fat.

I know it’s true; it’s where I’m at.

I’m trying hard to shed the pounds,

But cruelty in my head resounds.

“Skip a meal or two, fat bitch!”

These words flip a painful switch.

Hate comes from inside and out

All because I’m rather stout.

But I will fight, no matter what,

To rid myself of this big gut,

And when I do, they all will see

That there is so much more to me

Than rolls and blubber; fat and skin.

The world will see me, when I’m thin

Until then, I’m invisible?

Perhaps, but not invincible.

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In the case of Maddie v. Brain…

My brain is working against me, tonight. Everything is wrong… well, not everything. Mostly just me. Everything about me. Alongside this delectable main course of self-loathing is a hearty helping of depression. We can look forward to an overwhelmingly rich dessert of anxiety once the apathy passes and I realize I’ve actually written and posted this…. whatever it becomes.

Bear in mind, if you bother to read this, that I am well aware that everything I see and feel right now is being viewed through the dark and flawed tinted lenses of depression. That doesn’t make me feel it less. In fact, it makes me feel even more like the world’s most malodorous and slimy turd, because I know my own brain is full of shit and yet it still drags me down and makes me insufferable.

That said, I offer my sincerest apologies to my dear sister for the amount of whining, bitching, moaning, and exhausting emotional bullshit I spew at you when I am like this. Instead, I shall turn to this blog, at your ever wise suggestion, and spew my late night loathsomeness here at risk of completely alienating my 2 other remaining readers at last.

It all started as a fairly mild but still creeping sadness toward the end of my shift, tonight. Well, technically, last night. That’s always a warning sign, but there’s not much to be done to halt it. The sadness comes whether I want it to or not. The best I can hope for is to direct my thoughts to something that doesn’t trigger more sadness. I focused on work and the comical book I was listening to. It got pretty serious toward the end, but overall, still dotted with tension breaking comedy.

On that note, I strongly recommend “You’re Never Weird On The Internet (Almost)” to any and all fans of Felicia Day, and people who just need a reminder that anything is at least worth trying if your heart is in it, and that depression and anxiety can be overcome. Believe me, the irony is not lost on me that I slipped into the early stages of a depressive spiral while listening to my dream girl telling me how she overcame depression and anxiety to achieve her greatness… Thanks, Brain! Love you too! *mutters* Asshole…

Then came the familiar feeling of not belonging. The inner monologue went something like this:

Brain: “What are we doing here?”

Me: “Working.”

Brain: “You know what I mean.”

Me: “I don’t care. Working now. Ignoring your hateful voice.”

Brain: “You can’t ignore me. I’m your brain, dumbass.”

Me: “Watch me.”

Brain: “You know that no one actually wants you around, right?”

Me: “That’s not true… my sister loves me. My husband loves me. Hell, even my in-laws seem to like me for some reason.”

Brain: “They’re all just being nice to spare your feelings, because they’re not total tools.”

Me: “Congratulations. You can alliterate.”

Brain: “Fuck you, too. Look, I’m just saying, what’s the point of all this? No one wants to play games with you because either you suck at them or you can hardly pay attention to begin with. No one wants to talk to you except that crazy mexican chicadee”

Me: “Watch it! THAT’S MY SISTER! And chicadee is mine. It’s a happy word. I use it on people I like. When I’m happy. You? You are not being happy today. You’re being an ass.”

Brain: “Dude. I’m your fucking brain. If I’m an ass, you’re an ass. No wonder no one likes you. “

Me: “That…. that’s not….” *resolve wavering* “That still doesn’t give you a right to talk about my sister that way.”

Brain: “You’re deflecting. I’m right and you know it. No one wants you around, really. Even your sister would be better off without you. Kaz wouldn’t turn her out on her own, she’d be safe. No one would miss you for long.”

Me: “I see where you’re going with this and you can just stop right there. Even if I wanted to check out, I’m too chicken.”

Anyway…. It just got darker from there. Once the feeling of not-belonging was well established, my brain was able to move on to its favorite recitations of why I am undeserving of the oxygen I breathe. Oh how I loathe me, let me count the ways.

  1. I’ve never achieved anything of significance in my life. Top Performing for a single month in a tiny call center counts for jack and shit pretty much anywhere. 
  2. I have no follow through. 
  3. I screw up just about everything I touch. Just look at my $30, 000 of school debt and conspicuous lack of any kind of degree to show for it, and yet I’m still pouring money into this futile endeavor…
  4. I can’t seem to allow myself to be happy for any more than a few weeks at a time before having some sort of soul-crushing emotional crisis. 
  5. I’m damn good at my job, but it’s only a matter of time before I fall into old habits and become unreliable or get too sick to work or screw it all up in some new and exciting way I’ve not discovered yet. 
  6. I’m a shitty pet parent. My boy is fat and struggles to move around while my girl doesn’t get even a tenth of the exercise she needs because I’m a lazy shit that whines about my aching back instead of getting off my flat fat ass and taking her for walks…. or even throwing the ball for her in the living room for an hour. I can’t even train the boy to stay off the table and the girl to lay down on command without throwing herself on her back. 
  7. I’m lazy as liquid shit. 
  8. I have the vocabulary of a somewhat slow, drunken sailor with head trauma.
  9. I have the intellect of one, too…
  10. I used to be smart, but these days? Not so much. 
  11. Did I mention I have zero follow through? What happened to that book I was going to write? Or that mission to master knitting? Or learning to play the guitar? Or re-learning to play the violin? Or any of those tabletop RPGs I try to run and peter out after a session or two? Or my breadmaking hobby that pretty much died out in the night with a faint squeaking ‘what a world, what a world’? Or…. the list goes on. 
  12. I never appreciated my Mom until the end, and was so eager to run away with Kaz that I wasn’t even there to help her when she got sick and, ultimately, died. 
  13. I have a tendency to alienate people I want to be close to with my mood swings and other crazy shit. 
  14. I have run more good people out of my life than I can count because I’m a gullible and suspicious imbecile. 
  15. I’m so fucking confused, I can’t even pick a gender and stick with it. I’m an amorphous blob that can’t make up its mind what it wants to be when it evolves. 

Yeah…. the recitation goes on for hours in that way. Every. Single. Time. Occasionally, my brain even throws in jabs about my spirituality. I may be a proud pagan now, but I was raised a southern baptist. Sometimes my brain likes to tell me I’m going to hell. See, Mom? I don’t need any heavily accented, bible-thumping, hellfire and damnation pastors in big white revival tents to tell me that. I got it handled all on my own, in my handy dandy swiss army brain. All the tools I need for a truly unhealthy self-assessment.

Put all of that together and you get a great big heap of soul-crushing despair and a distinct urge to crawl in a hole and die.

Here’s the thing… I’m not dead yet!

Sister of mine, my dear one… You were right. Blogging was a great idea. The hateful things my brain says to me are already starting to look pretty ridiculous as I read over this post again… You know… Someday, I’ll learn to listen to you the first time you give me a piece of advice.

Screw you, Brain. Consider yourself ignored. /ignore Brain

Good night, folks. It’ll be better in the morning.

Just for you, Sis.

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New Artwork!

So, Zeliv aka Zoe Mondoux had a Halloween sale that I took full advantage of. I’m thrilled with how they turned out overall. Maddie’s trademark bent right ear isn’t on the chibi, but that’s okay. She’s still flippin’ adorable and I might die of cuteness overload. Anyway, enough of my telling you about it. On to the art!

maddiewitch

Artwork by Zoe Mondoux @ http://www.furaffinity.net/user/zeliv | Character © Maddie of Madcap Revolution


maddiechibi

Artwork by Zoe Mondoux @ http://www.furaffinity.net/user/zeliv | Character © Maddie of Madcap Revolution

Aren’t they just adorable?

For the concerned, a mood update:

I’m still feeling very down. I didn’t feel like eating all day today. I’m past the sad or angry waves of depression and into the blank, numb feelings. I know there’s no logic to my feelings (or lack thereof, today). I had a few bright moments, today, which is nice. Kaz made me smile a couple times and I got something resembling mild excitement when I saw my artwork was done. I’m not functionally suicidal or actively self-harming, so please, don’t worry about that. I’m not going anywhere and I’m not damaging myself, despite the occasional urges my brain pushes through. I’m still in control so far. Having people who care helps with that a lot. I know I wouldn’t just be hurting myself if I started cutting again, or worse, tried to leave this plane of existence. I’m a nurturer at heart… It works in my favor in this. Thank you, Khas and Torchic for your encouraging words. I will be seeing a new therapist in just under two weeks. Hopefully they can help.

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Depression

She walks in the door and is greeted by two bright, furry faces. A handsome man stands over a freshly cleaned counter preparing the most delightful smelling dinner anyone could have hoped for. He hasn’t been home for long, she knows, but he’s already gone to the trouble of tidying the living room and cleaning up the kitchen, both of which had still been in a state of chaos echoing the excitement of the party a couple of days prior, when she’d left for work. He always picks up her slack… She is grateful that some of the work is done and she can relax a little bit, but still she has to dig deep for the smile she puts on to greet the eager family welcoming her home. Behind her eyes, the pressure releases just enough that she can pretend, for a moment, that she doesn’t need to cry so bad it hurts.

Small talk. She cringes inwardly, but responds kindly and with all the interest she can muster. He tries so hard. She knows he means well. Part of her truly believes he loves her. What she isn’t so sure of is why. He asks how her day was. She says it was fine. It really was… nothing went wrong and her bosses still like her. They share dinner. She’s pretty sure she didn’t let on.

Days pass like this. Pretending. Holding back the tears. Hiding in the bathroom until her breathing steadies again.

The tears start to push through. Everything makes her cry. Everything hurts, inside and out. The pain evolves from psychological and emotional into physical aches and pains. Moving hurts. Getting out of bed takes the effort of titans just to move.

Is it worth it? Why does she even try? Perhaps she just needs an outlet.

She wanders into her craft room and looks at all the goodies there to behold. For a moment, creativity consoles her. She’ll come back here tomorrow. It seemed to help.

Tomorrow comes and she leans in the dark doorway of the craft room. Not tonight… What’s the point?

She makes her way to her computer. She loves her games… An hour later, she’s still scrolling through her Facebook feed. Awww, another friend’s baby making new noises and faces. How sweet. She’ll never have that… she knows it in her gut. They’ve been off birth control for only two months, but her heart is just sure she’ll never be a mother, however badly she wants it.

That’s okay, though… she has her dogs. Of course, she’s not a very good dog parent either. She can’t get them trained properly and she doesn’t feed them right. She never walks them. They’ve got a huge yard to run, but still… she should walk them more.

It’s too late to walk them now, anyway. She gives up on the games for tonight. What’s the point?

She’ll watch some TV. Stupid TV like Family Guy or American Dad. That can’t possibly hurt her mood. Oh shit… they killed Brian? She cracks. She misses her Mom. Death sucks. It hurts so hard and the hurting just never seems to stop. If she’d still been at home, she could have prevented her mother’s death…

That’s why she could never just take her own life… even though it all hurts so bad. She couldn’t cause that kind of pain to the people that say they love her. Then again… wouldn’t they be better off without her dragging them down? Wouldn’t they be happier, once the crying stopped, to not have to worry about her messed up health? Her unpredictable moods? Her bad habits?

She supposes she could sleep… perhaps she’d feel better in the morning. The nightmares, though. Sleep is hardly restful when the worst things she can imagine come out to play in her head all night.

Perhaps she should meditate… Clear her head? Sure, because that’s so easy.

Eventually, sleep comes. The sun rises. The handsome man leaves her bed and goes to work, but not without stopping to kiss her goodbye and tell her how much he loves her, even though she’s still half-asleep for another hour after he’s gone. She misses him. When he’s close, it’s a little easier to not feel completely alone.

It’s time to go to work. Here we go again. One more day. Are we happy today? Can we please be happy today?


The depressed brain doesn’t care if you have the perfect husband, the perfect dogs, the perfect house, the perfect car, the perfect family, or the perfect life. Depression doesn’t make sense. The bipolar brain can change its mind without warning you. This is just a few days in my head. Tomorrow, I might wake up and feel like everything is sunshine and roses and I’m the richest and most capable woman on earth. That might sound like hugs and puppies to you, but try telling the manic brain that it can’t really afford an extra hundred bucks in craft supplies sometime. It’s not going to work. I’ll be able to do everything and ignore any pain, physical or otherwise for a while, when I finally go manic, but how much damage will I do while I’m there. Hell… how much damage do I do when I’m depressed? This is my struggle. Today, and for the past several days, I don’t feel like I deserve to exist. I have no idea how I’ll feel tomorrow. Every morning I have to ask myself ‘how do I feel today?’ just so I can try to prepare myself for damage control on my own moods. There’s no ‘reason’ for me to be so sad. So why am I crying my eyes out for no reason, even as he tells me he loves me and it’s all going to be okay?

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