Notes On Depression

It started just like any other day.
My alarm clock went off at 645am. Time to get up and get ready for work. I, however, not being a morning person knew that I could hit snooze *at least* twice more before I would end up being late for work. 

So I did. I hit snooze. And then I hit it again. And again. One more time. I sent a text to my boss saying I had overslept and would be in as quickly as I could. Several hours later I woke up. Saw the text message from my boss and ignored it. 

I reached for my phone. Texted my girlfriend. 

"I bailed on work again today," I said. I hadn't been to work since leaving it on Tuesday of last week. I had spent those days curled up in bed, barely eating, and streaming endless hours of Netflix. I spent those days thinking of all possible excuses available, what ones could I still use so I wouldn't have to go to work. I wore essentially the same outfit for four days. At night, I cried so hard there was no sound. I cried so hard I was left an exhausted husk of myself. I cried because I knew where I could have been ... where I was supposed to be, and who I was supposed to be with. But I wasn't. And it kills me. 

My girlfriend suggested that I take myself out for a movie, and her choice would have been perfect for my little nerd-loving heart (Venom) were it not what I said to her next.

"I think I might need to go to a doc first ..." leaving the rest of my sentence just hanging there in the air.

"Good idea," she said, confirming my unspoken, terrifying suspicion that something was wrong with me.

Meanwhile, I was texting another friend of mine. I felt paralyzed as I sat on the edge of bed, trying to get myself moving forward, dressed and out the door.

"So ... I'm trying to work up the courage to go see a doc today." There I was. On the brink. A few more steps forward and there would be no turning back.

"It's not hard. It's probably the best thing you can do," came the reply.

"Is it that obvious to everyone but me that I'm fucked up??"

"Mmm not everyone I'm sure. So a doc is not a bad thing. They fix damage. You just have a broken brain instead of an arm."

And cue the water works. I wept hard and fast. He was right of course. He's known me for years - the tragic, post-breakup, broken woman who comes to him for advice all the time on how she's supposed to feel better, or how to make it all work, to be happy, who's looked everywhere her entire life for happiness.

Finally, I got myself out of the house, half put together in a pair of jeans and a hoodie. Coffee from the McDonald's drive thru. A cigarette. The walk in clinic. I sat in my vehicle for a few minutes, trying to admit that this was all real, that it was happening, and that whatever has been wrong with me, I was going to finally get some answers. 

I was broken. A cute little joke among friends that we use to give each other a hard time when we forget to get a refill, trip on the stairs, over pour a drink ... it had a sudden new meaning for me. 

Trekked across the parking lot, secretly hoping the walk in clinic was closed for lunch, and I could do this some other time. They weren't. Added my name to the list. Took a seat. Escorted into the doctor's office.

"What brings you in today?" asked the woman.

"There's something wrong with me. I don't know if it's anxiety or depression, or both, but something is wrong with me and I don't know what it is." She left with a promise that the doctor would be in shortly. 

There were tissues on the counter next to me. I took a couple. It was mid-afternoon at this point, and I had been crying sporadically all day. Best be prepared for when the doctor began to ask me questions. Thankfully, his questions were short. I admitted that I don't know what I'm supposed to do. He gave me a prescription for medication, and some counselling sessions. No work until Nov.5th.

On the drive home, I called my big brother, told him what I had just been told.

"Ok," he said, as if to say 'So what? No big deal.' It threw me off at first. It still kind of does. He was more practical than I would have liked. But then again ... he's always been practical. Anyone, who at the age of 13 or 14, who can look at a map of downtown Boston and get us out of there like it was no big deal has a unique ability for practically I would think. There's a map for things. Routes to follow. The first thing was to call home, and be honest. I'd gotten a text before I had even woken up that morning from home that I'd also ignored.

So, I called home. I think parents have this thing where they instantly know what's wrong.


"Hi, Mom."

"Everything okay?"

"Yeah. I just saw your text and wanted to call."

"What's wrong?"

There was the slightest of pauses.

"Mom, I have depression." The words all came out in a tumble, with a fresh wave of tears. "I'm sorry!"

"Oh, sweetheart. Why are you sorry? Don't be. I'm sorry."

So. Here we are. Several days and a prescription of antidepressants later and I still haven't been able to accept that this is going to be life, at least for now. I always thought I was stronger than this. I'm the person who takes care of everybody else. I never thought in a million years that I would find myself here. I always thought that if it did happen to me, I would know how to deal with it. I have no clue. 

I don't even know how it happened. It just snuck up on me a little more each day. 

I did see friends, but left after a couple of hours. It's exhausting being around people sometimes when you don't feel happy, when you'd rather go home and crawl into bed and listen to songs that are at least half as sad as you are. 
Irritated at work? Who isn't. 
Not wanting to go out on a Friday night? Jammies, junk food and Netflix sounds way better.
Slept for 12 hours? I must have needed it. Naptime!
It's the week end, so wearing the same clothes for three days isn't a big deal - nobody's gonna see anyway.
Not hungry? That's ok - it's called Intermittent Fasting and you will loose weight. Just have a cup of coffee.

Some days are good. I still laugh and smile and crack jokes. But once all the noise and the distraction goes away there's a big, black shadow that kind of rises up inside of me that's full of loneliness with a voice that convinces a person that really, they're all alone. Nobody understands, nobody will ever understand, you're all alone and you can't depend on anyone to help you, that you should have been made of stronger stuff than this. Somewhere, there is a very tiny voice that says that it can't be true, can it? But the voice ... oh, that voice is strong. And it's easier to believe what it says than it is to fight it. 

So. There it is, internet.

I am broken.

I'll get back to myself some day, one piece at a time.


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