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.
This year has been strange to say the least. I have gone through more depression than I thought possible. I discovered I have PTSD from events in my childhood in addition to my clinical depression. I have lost love – a love nobody will ever understand or accept – a love I hope I can get back one day. I have been to the emergency room, experienced psychotic episodes, and most recently I have had my first allergic reaction to medication in the form of a seizure. It’s been scary, but I fight through it because I have to. Because I can’t show that I am weak. Because I have to be strong.
Everybody wants you to be happy. What do you have to complain about, right? What do you have to be depressed about? Which really only makes you feel worse because sometimes you can’t put your finger on it, sometimes you just are. Depression can come at you out of nowhere. You can wake up crying for no reason and have to pull yourself out of bed, remind yourself that you need to look presentable, talk yourself into getting dressed, convince yourself that it will get better even though you feel like you are in the deepest pit of despair and would rather hide in a small dark space than face anybody. But you do it because you are told you have to. Because they say it is what’s best for you. And maybe it is, but in that moment, it isn’t. It is so exhausting having to put on a happy face for the world; having to interact and pretend everything is just peachy; having to hide the fact that you are ready to burst into tears any second.
But what if I don’t want to be happy? What if I would prefer content? Because happy seems so far out of reach…so far removed from what I know that, well, it’s depressing. I don’t seek happiness, I seek contentment; peace. I want someone to understand that I’m okay being sad – it is something I can deal with because I have had to since I could count my age on my fingers. To be honest it is a comfort. A crazy, psychotic, can’t-understand-it-myself, cozy little comforter that I can hide under when things become overwhelming. Why? Because I don’t understand happiness, it honestly scares the shit out of me. It is this strange emotion that I have to ease myself into and if I don’t realize I am there and then it suddenly hits me, I panic. What am I supposed to do with happiness? There are people in this world who aren’t happy, who need help, who are suffering, so what right do I have to be happy? I don’t like it. I can deal with contentment. With being at peace. But happiness is just fucking scary.
When I had my love happiness wasn’t as scary because it was our happiness. As dysfunctional as our relationship was, it worked. And it is the only type of relationship I want, damn it! I am by no means normal, so why in the world would I want a cookie-cutter relationship? Very few people understand this…actually…I’m not sure anybody I know understands this, but I honestly don’t give a shit. I am not widely accepted as it is so I don’t expect my relationships to be either. Losing that love has been the most difficult, unbearable pain I have ever have to experience. That was months ago and I still cry about it. I still miss him. And more than likely I will never stop loving him. He fit. He made sense. Very little in this world does so, to me, he was perfect.
So yeah, maybe I shouldn’t dwell on the past. Maybe I should be grateful for everything I have and focus on only that, but I’m sorry, I can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful, I am, but I am also human, and feel emotions very deeply – so I won’t be able to just get over it. I won’t be able to say to myself, “hey, get over it, move on, stop being sad,” because that’s my fuel. It is how I drive myself to do more, do better, do anything. I feel stronger when I make it through a day without crying. I feel stronger when I force myself to do something I don’t want to, which is pretty much everything. If I let my depression take over my life I would be in bed right now, crying, wondering how to move on with my life. But I’m not, I’m here at work (obviously working very diligently) and I go out, I make friends, I live. And it isn’t the hope of happiness that drives me, it is more the wonder of the world that I am able to see because of my depression. I love observing people who seem happy, alive, wonderful. I will never be like those people, but I’m perfectly fine with that because I love being me. I will take my depression, my psychotic episodes, the friends that don’t understand and don’t care – because everything I go through, and have been through, make me who I am. And I’m pretty weird, thanks so much! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Who wants to be normal, anyway? So. Boring.