Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Darkness

I sat staring at this blank screen for about an hour. I didn't know where to start. I knew this was something that needed to be put into words -- not as a cry for help but as a moment to be truly honest about something that I normally hide from everyone, but I didn't know how to say it.

The fact of the matter is that I've probably had Seasonal Affective Disorder since middle school. Or maybe it's Major Depressive Disorder. It's never really been cleared up. I've had bouts of depression during spring/summer, but it's always been worse during the winter months, when I feel like everything around me is dying.

That's how I feel right now. Like I'm dying. More specifically, I kind of feel like I'm drowning. Like I can't breathe correctly. Like I'm swimming against a very strong current, a current that is trying to drag me down to the ocean floor. You know how when you're underwater, you can't hear anything correctly? I feel like that too, like the whole world is out of tune, like there's some kind of impenetrable membrane separating me from everyone else.

Perhaps I should say here that I'm not suicidal. At all. I want desperately to run away because I feel trapped in this town, or perhaps just trapped in my own head, but I know that I'll be okay again and that makes this bearable now.

This is the worst I've ever felt though. It's like I can't function properly. My heart and mind physically hurt, like every heart beat and every thought is a physical exertion that I just won't be able to complete again. I'm exhausted constantly. My whole body aches. I've been sick for weeks now. I can't sleep for days at a time, and when I finally do sleep getting out of bed is a multiple hour long argument that often includes me crying at some point. In fact, I cry for no reason these days; I'm crying as I type this just because I'm thinking about crying. I feel like I'm losing my mind and there's nothing I can do from teetering on the edge of total collapse as the walls close in around me.

And yet, I have no desire to be on medication. It's partly from a pride stance, but it's also because I don't want something that will "even out" my mood. I still have good days. In fact, I have days where I feel like I'm flying, like I'm unstoppable, like the world could not be more wonderful. I've had a day like that this week. I remember how to laugh on those days. And I don't want the meds to take those days away because if I can't fall asleep hoping the next time I wake up will be one of those days, I might actually lose my shit all together.

But nights like tonight, when it takes all my willpower to not just curl up on the floor of my closet and cry, or use one of my even less healthy coping mechanisms, I start to think maybe I should set my pride on the shelf along with the good days, and take something to at least make me feel like I'm going to make it to spring.


  1. I've been where you are. I would say your are depressed. I had a long term relationship end unexpectedly while I was in university and it knocked me into a depression for a long time. I too was against going on medication, maybe because of pride, but more so because I felt it wasn't authentic happiness. I wanted to be genuinely happy and functioning and taking medication seemed like it would make me a different person. Eventually I did go on an anti depressant because I simply couldn't function. I found, for me, that it simply started to make me feel more awake, less in a fog, and I had more energy which helped me get out of bed and be motivated. I am no longer on them, and I wouldn't recommend them for everyone. I think your breakup is too fresh and you will probably be able to move through these feelings on your own.
    It will get better.

  2. I am sorry you are going through this.

    I didn't know it until I moved to the Midwest, but I do get seasonal depression during the Winters. It is very difficult.

    Maybe talking to someone is a good place to start, regardless of medication. EVERYONE can benefit from a good therapist if you ask me, most of us are simply not brave enough to go.

  3. aww it's sad to hear about this. but i'm glad you know that you'll pull through. :)

  4. You are not alone... I have felt like this off & on for 9 months (when the divorce started). I eventually said the hell with my pride & went to a doctor. I give people medicine at work all the time to fix things. Why should I be so stoic & not take them when I need them? I go to a counselor & a psychiatrist now. I take meds & talk about my problems. Once I started that the days of crying became less & less. That is not to say I do not have them, but it is better. Nothing can erase the hurt of losing someone. It is going to hurt & time is all that will heal that. In the meantime I guess I just try to get through my days without letting myself get too far depressed. I just try to stay as busy as possible. If you ever want to talk about anything, let me know.


  5. I think the breakup is exacerbating the problem. I have seasonal depression too but I didn't really grasp it until I moved to England and the winter was really dark. It was completely dark by 4pm in winter there and I was miserable. NJ isn't as bad, but it is darker than TX where I grew up and it does affect me. I don't take medication, because over the years I have tried several and I have had adverse reactions to everything I have ever tried. But... I know people that do take medication that it does wonders for. If you need it... then take it. If you think you can make it through without it- fine- but please don't let yourself suffer. I just try and be a little more physically active and get as much sunlight as I can in the wintertime. I still get down, but not as badly as I do if I stay indoors all winter long.

  6. This is eerily similar to how I am 90% of the time, except I often contemplate suicide even though I know I will never do it because I couldn't put my family through it. I don't want to be put on medication either, and I can't afford a therapist, so I just deal with it no matter how hard it gets. just know you arent alone, and medicine doesnt solve the problem, it just solves the symptoms.

  7. To the person above this -

    There are lots of free resources out there if you're looking for help.


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