But… I did everything right.

I talked with the family. I spend time with the friends. I spent time away from work. I spent time doing the work I enjoy. I spent time in silence. I spent time with music. I spent time awake, asleep, and in meditation.

I let go of an animal who was ready to go, and I brought home a new animal all rarin’ to go the other direction. I petted the cat and talked to the parrot and played with the goats and weeded the garden and made cheese and yogurt and the connection between some foods and the god-awful heartburn that has been getting worse.

I got some of the truck’s problems fixed and I know exactly what I need to fix the rest of them. I went to work so I could get paid so I could fix the rest of them.

I poured offerings and burned incense and whispered thanks. We’re planning our first community Midsummer and the planning is going well. I’ve made more human connections in the local community than I ever expected too- and there are more coming.

I stayed hydrated and I took my vitamins and I kept the junk food to a minimum.

I did everything right.

So why does it still feel like everything is wrong?

Why does it still feel like every laugh is poison, and everything I touch will break?

Why do I want to do anything but get out of bed?

Why do I find myself screaming and raging against some inanimate object because I’m so upset over some minor thing that I’m approaching blind rage?

If you have ever been here before then you already know the answer. If you’ve ever curled in around yourself and cried yourself to sleep even though not one single thing actually went wrong, then you already know how depression breaks humans. If all you want to do on a warm sunny day is hide in your house even though the mess you perceive in the house makes you even more upset but you can’t deal with it so you’ll read a book instead… you know what it’s like to live with clinical depression.

There’s no cure.

Living with depression is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I’ve done a lot. Getting out of bed  when the only thing I want is for everything to just stop is the hardest part of any day. Or maybe it’s laying down again and trying to sleep when everything is wrong and the only thing waiting in the darkness is your own sourceless hurt and anxiety. It could also be trying not to interpret my housemate’s every word as a personal attack…. not that it isn’t.( He’s got this nasty habit of having to one-up me in every conversation which… for the record…. is something you really, really shouldn’t do to someone who already has to fight to not crumble under the ever-increasing weight of their own self-hatred. Of course, trying to explain this usually results in him asking why I hate him or why I’m trying to start a fight…. hmm… maybe there is an external exacerbator after all.) Even if he is making it worse, he didn’t start it. This was here long before he got here. Some things help, some things make it worse, but nothing makes it go away.

There is. No. Cure.

And most people will never believe you, because it has no externally visible symptoms.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. On one hand, I’m glad to see that issues of mental health are starting to get some of the recognition they deserve as serious threats to human lives. On the other hand, at the end of the month my depression will still be there, and most of you will forget to think about it again.

Don’t stop thinking about mental health concerns and the humans around you. Don’t stop at the end of the month. Because we can’t.

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7 thoughts on “But… I did everything right.

  1. Are you certain you don’t have PTSD? You sound like me. PTSD encompasses depression AND anxiety. My heart goes out to you because I know what you are experiencing all too well. ❤

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    • I’ve heard both yes and no to a PTSD diagnosis. The one who said no said that it was just depression and I should focus on that. The other said that while depression was certainly part of the problem, all of the mess that I’ve dealt with in the past was contributing to PTSD symptoms as well. I know for a fact that the more urban the area the more likely I am to have a complete freak-out. This (combined with a work history encompassing emergency work and some events I don’t want to get into on a public forum which all took place in a very urban environment) makes me think that the second professional was correct.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am one of the mods of a PTSD fb group if you want in, just look up “Cannabis for PTSD” and I’ll approve your app.

        (Surgery was today- I read your post in prep room, I’m still woozy

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  2. Dealing with mental illness sucks. People either tell you to “just get over it” or in my case “omg back away it’s catching”. It takes a lot of courage to write/talk about. Reading posts like these really help to show that there are other people out there struggling and to keep up the good fight.

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  3. Again I find myself wishing that I had something helpful to offer here, truly. This time though all I can really offer is good luck. May you find the strength to walk through that all too familiar place again and again, even though it never gets easier.

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  4. I am sorry to hear you are dealing with this. Having followed your blog for a little while, I have found you to be an intelligent and fascinating person… otherwise, I would not have followed your blog. However, I have learned from dealing with similar issues in my family that these things seem to usually affect the nicest people. I suspect this is because what makes them “nice” is their sensitivity to their surroundings, particularly other people.

    PTSD seems to be a hazard for civic minded people who serve the public in emergency services and/or military service, and women in abusive environments. (While men can suffer from abusive environments, it does not seem as common.) Some mental illness might be better attributed to societal or cultural illness.

    As you have realized, it does not matter if you did everything right. It does not matter what you look like, how much money you have, what gender you are or how old you are. Mental illness does not discriminate. So, relax. You have done nothing wrong. You are a good person. I wish the best for you, and I believe you are on the right path for that.

    Blessed be.

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    • And somehow a person on the internet whom I have never met can find exactly the right things to say, even though the people here can’t. Thanks. I needed it.

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