Involuntarily her shoulder meets her ear in a reflex reaction to the echoing in her head. It starts slow, idling in the background until suddenly the bullet train rips her down a dark tunnel dull lights passing in and out of focus as the train speeds along faster faster faster the words hitting her getting heavier and heavier more insistent until all she can hear is a jarring rendition of all her insecurities pushing and tearing through her an involuntary passenger on a train of relentless falsities masquerading as truths until…nothing. Her body aches, her lids heavy with unshed tears, as reality comes flickering back into focus one frame at a time.
Shoulder meets ear.
“Go away.” She whispers.
Shoulder meets ear.
A cold tingling river starts in her head trickling down her neck, her arms, her torso, down her legs, reaching her feet, stretching to her toes.
Shoulder meets ear.
Worthless. Disappointment. Unattractive. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.
She knows depression lies. It feeds on insecurities and lays in wait, festering, gobbling up any nuance and waiting for its opportunity to regurgitate it with a vengeance.
“What’s wrong?” People ask, seeing the fear in her eyes they mistake as anger.
“Nothing.” She pleads with her eyes. “I’m fine.” She lies.
Sometimes I want to run away. In the middle of the night. Under the cloak of darkness. Because sometimes it hurts too much. It hurts too much and I want so desperately to reach out and tell someone but I think only of how much of a burden I have been in my life and how little I want to continue being a burden. Most often I don’t even see what’s going on until it’s too late and I…I hurt myself…in one form or fashion, in the end. My mind moves at the speed of light and my anxiety and depression shoulder devils, whisper sweet nothings into my ears that befuddle my already confusing thoughts.
The worst part is that I should know how to do this by now. I should know how to calm myself down at 3:45 a.m. when I wake up crying with a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me curl up into a ball for fear my insides will tear open from the pain that may or may not even exist inside me. I should be able to dispel these thoughts and feelings and the raw, nagging insistence that I will never amount to anything because I have nothing to show for my life thus far and probably never will. I should. Should, should, should. There are a lot of things I should do and people will tell me to “just do them.” People will tell me that my thoughts are silly and I should just get over them. And I will. I promise. I always do. But now, right now, I don’t feel that way. I KNOW I will get past this, but I don’t FEEL like I will. Even that is exhausting – battling with yourself over what you know versus what you feel. Especially when what you think you know isn’t always right.
My thoughts are filled with lies but I’m not always sure what is a lie and what is a truth. I tell myself lies all the time: you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not witty enough, you’re not funny enough, you’re not enough. A freight train rumbles through my brain, clattering around, billowing out steam, ripping through sanity and rationality, leaving behind chaos and destruction, getting louder and louder as the thoughts become worse and worse until……silence. Nothing. No more noise, no more anything. A void so vast and incomprehensible suddenly appears blanketed with dark, glistening, beautiful lies. So beautiful and enticing that the darkness almost becomes comforting. I enshroud myself in words that are not true. Hiding behind the lies that comfort me. But they don’t really feel like lies. They feel like truths. And maybe, deep down, on a good day, I KNOW they are lies; I just have trouble sifting through those to get through to what is true.
I’m old enough now, I should have this figured out. I shouldn’t have to talk about it anymore. I should be better. Until then, I’ll be just fine. F.I.N.E.
Also, I’m going to go stand outside. Where I will be outstanding. Because that joke is stupid and makes me laugh and feel a twinge better.
May your day start with stupid jokes, be filled with unexpected surprises, and end with tacos. All the tacos. Happy Tuesday, ya’ll.
Ladies, we’ve all done it. We have terrible cramps OUT OF NOWHERE so we go to google and discover…we are pregnant!! Apparently. Every. Single. Time. Or we have cancer. One or the other. It never fails. I bruise easily even though I take my vitamins like a good little girl and will wake up covered in random bruises. Now, I know I’m accident prone but you would think I would at least remember slamming my knee into something. Or my hand. Or my shin. Or my thigh. But there they are in the morning, dark and lovely, reminding me of a fun time I just don’t remember having. Maybe my dreams are more than dreams. Maybe I actually live it out in some alternate universe and I wake up with that Sara’s pain and she gets to remain perfectly perfect and intact wherever the hell she is. Alterna-Sara is a bitch. At one point I was convinced I had some form of cancer because of the bruising mixed with lethargy and a plethora of other symptoms that matched exactly. I didn’t. I had an iron deficiency. Where was that on webMD?
Anyway, I have discovered that mental dis-functionality is much similar to this phenomenon. I’m having a bad day for no reason so…it must be depression! Here’s some Zoloft! Didn’t work? How about some Cymbalta! Still nothing? Try Prozac! No, no, says a different doctor, it’s your PTSD. You haven’t dealt with all the mean men from your childhood yet. Oh yeah, and that big “r” word that happened. Should probably talk to someone about that. But I disagree. I spent several years in therapy trying to “deal” with my depression only to find out recently that most of it was derived from PTSD. Wonderul. Who wants to pay my parents back for all those therapy sessions? Therapy had its merits, but in the end, it wasn’t for me.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, if I start to freak out because I haven’t heard from someone in a few days I have some kind of anxiety disorder. Have some Xanax. Well…I must admit that that one does work, but do I need it? Probably not. At least not until I’m a little less than psychotic because having Xanax and alcohol under the same roof is just dangerous – you start to get ideas…brilliantly bad ideas.
Here’s the deal though, if I do have depression (which, according to various doctors, I do in fact have both clinical as well as situational depression, but what do they know?) why does it matter? Honestly, my earliest memories are of thinking I was worthless, and fat, and just downright useless. BUT! I’m still here. I’m chugging along. I’m…dealing in my own special way. When I WAS taking anti-depressants things seemed to be going well, but I didn’t feel like myself. Is that bad? Is it wrong to only feel like yourself when you are constantly battling negative and self-loathing thoughts. I’m sure most people would say yes. Bad, Sara. Get help Sara. But I did get help and all it taught me was that I need to trust myself more. I began to rely on what they said more than what I felt. Bad. Idea. I discovered that I know myself pretty well, AND I know what I want. And when I say I know what I want, I mean I have no idea what I want and I’m okay with that. My long-term goals as of right now are to be a Stepford wife/mom to six kids and at some point become a novelist. I don’t have to be famous, I just want to made a difference to someone out there.
I think if we embrace who we are, flaws and all, we can all make it. To me, it is similar to embracing your body. Few people like the way they look, but we are taught to like ourselves just the way we are. I still find that part difficult, but I sure as hell embrace my psychosis! I refuse to try any more medication because of this wonderful little tidbit, when you go off the meds, you MIGHT have psychotic episodes. This little girl did in fact have those episodes. Two. Hello ER. Talk about an experience you never want to have again. It scared the shit out of me. How do you get away from your attacker when you are the one attacking? Don’t try this at home, kids.
Depression? Check. PTSD? Check. Anxiety? Check. Self-diagnosed psychosis. Check. Proud to be me? Check! How can I not? The thoughts that bump around in my head that never make it out would scare my friends and family, but I have them, and I deal with them and don’t let them take over my life. Some days are really bad, but there is always a tomorrow. It might not have sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, but it will bring something new to the table. I’m hoping for pie. Or cookies.
As always, I have faith. Faith in myself. Faith that I will make it. Love who you are. Embrace who you are. And never let go.
I like to see my life as this wonderfully messed up story that someone is reading right now, and as they read my life unfolds before me. But at the same time, I’m the one writing the book, and I get to choose what’s in the next chapter.