That’s what Jenny The Bloggess said, and I never really understood what she means by that until now.
You know, for years, I didn’t believe in depression? Honestly. I literally didn’t believe it was a real thing. I was one of those ignorant people, totally ignorant! and I really thought that people who said they were depressed were just lazy whiners who needed to get over themselves and realize that everyone has problems, so shut up about it. Not only that, but I wondered about some depressed people I know, what do they really have to complain about? They don’t have hard lives. They aren’t poor or abused or abandoned or single or getting over a recent death or something.
Get over it. That used to be all I thought about depression, that it was something to just get over and knock it off with all of the self-important complaining.
I was wrong.
I suffered from being wrong. I held off seeking help for myself for way too long, because I held on to my ignorant beliefs long into adulthood. I was wrong, and I wasn’t the only one who suffered from my ignorance, and that is something that I’m having a hard time forgiving myself for, the people I’ve alienated along the way because I just got so sick and tired of listening to their crying.
I was so wrong.
I’ve been in a bad place this week and it’s really scaring me. My days at group therapy have tapered off to one a week while I wait for my appointment in March with a new therapist, and this week I didn’t go at all because I have been having such bad sleeping problems. I’ve had insomnia on and off for years, most often in the springtime for some reason, but now it’s back with a vengeance and it’s kicking my ass.
I’m a night owl by nature and I don’t even consider going to bed before midnight even though I get up at 7:30 every morning to take Elise to school, so on a good night I’ll get around seven hours of sleep but it’s usually more like five and a half or six hours, and that is fine for me. I can function great on five or six hours of sleep, and to be honest, on weekends that I don’t have to get up and I somehow manage to sleep eight hours or more, I feel like that is TOO much sleep for me, and feel zombieish and slow the next day rather than energized like a normal person would.
I don’t know why six hours of sleep is the magic number for me and I can’t fathom how a bit more or a bit less wreaks such havoc in my life, but there it is. Since Tuesday, for the last three nights, I haven’t gotten more than three hours of sleep. Last night I even took two Tylenol PM at one in the morning, but the last time I remember looking at the clock it was after 4, and I had to drag ass out of bed to get Elise fed and dressed and to school on time.
The weird thing is, I am not tired during the day necessarily, but my god, have I felt depressed this week. I haven’t wanted to leave the house in the last few days, so I pretty much haven’t. I haven’t napped or crocheted or written or even read much. Today I watched almost the entire first season of Dawson’s Creek on DVD, hours passed by staring at a screen that gives me nothing back, and that’s not what made me feel bad. What made me feel bad was when I took my eyes off the screen and looked around and let my mind wander, and that’s when it always wanders off to bad places.
I’m never going to live in a better house than this. I’m never going to get a good job. I’m never going to be a successful writer. I’m never going to have a successful career. I’ll be poor forever. I’ll be alone forever, and I don’t even have a cat to keep me company. I’m a terrible mom. I’m fat. I’m unattractive. I’m totally worthless. There isn’t a single person in the world who needs me. None of this matters, none of it at all.
Depression lies, right?
MA, my therapist, has to keep reminding me that recovery isn’t a straight trip up the mountain. I’ll take two steps forward and one step back. Talking things out and taking pills aren’t a cure for this, just things that make it easier to deal with. I’ll fall down, but I’ll get back up. I have to believe her.
I have to believe that depression lies to me.