I have not participated in a daily prompt in ages but then again, I really haven’t blogged much at all lately. I’ve been very strung out by everything going on. My depression got me so far down in the pits I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the sun and think it was worth living beneath. I was a total wreck– caught in an emotional nightmare of a net. I can’t even get into details about it all because it’s just so much; like a boil that started out as an ingrown hair. It just kept growing, getting wider and taller until finally the pressure inside grew to be too much and I oozed through tears and screams the agony of my infection. It’s not cleared up, boils never go away without removing the root and I’m afraid this root is so deeply embedded in me that I’ll never be free of the random risings and burstings of the abscesses my emotions eventually become.
What is the point of depression? I’m not sure but I wonder most about the point of surviving another wave of it. It’s hard and never-ending, moving from one crash to the surf of another. You spend time in contemplation, feeling ill at ease with what you just allowed yourself to go through, and to what end? To feel mildly content with your life until it all builds into another threatening wave moving towards your shaky house on questionable stilts? It seems so pointless, it feels so useless, it tastes like salted copper and it makes everything slippery.
I don’t know about everyone else but for me, deciding to live is easy; succumbing to the depression is difficult while living after you rise from it takes tremendous will power– an exhausting amount. I have kids, two beautiful reasons to keep moving forward while my mind tells me they should not witness the struggle that it takes to be me. On my “healthier” days, I’m proud that they witnessed the struggle and see me continuing on with my chin out and my head high. I think of my husband, and how little he understands what I go through while considering how damaging it would be to him if I took myself out– just like his father did; I cannot put my kids through watching him try to survive that.
These thoughts build alongside the darkness that already lives within me because I lack confidence, esteem, and an overall healthy mind. When something in my life goes wrong, it adds to the constant battles I have daily, and I find myself fighting to thrive within a war zone while I try to maintain expressions that do not depict the turmoil inside. When I burst, it looks to everyone around me as if it’s coming out of nowhere and I seem dramatic and erratic over the smallest, simplest things. I want to scream at them that it’s not like that at all but I keep quiet because I know no one will understand. How can someone with so many faults have so much pride that she refuses to admit her problems until she’s a raging lunatic? It makes no sense.
I find that I’m extremely open about my emotional distress; unusually so. I’m not sure what to make of that with all the mental health awareness going about. No one wants to think what you go through is real; maybe they’re afraid what it means for them…maybe that’s why they feel labels such as depression and anxiety are unnecessary–aren’t these things everyone deals with daily? I don’t know the answer to that, I only know what I go through daily. This is why, when waves aren’t crashing down on me, hoping I stop fighting that undertow, I am unafraid to admit my bouts of emotional and mental instability. People have to know that these things are real and someone needs to admit they go through this so those too afraid to admit it, even to themselves, can know– on some level, they aren’t the only ones with these battles.
What do I do about it though? Publicly? I shut down and retreat; because no matter how much I want people to know and understand what it takes to make it through every day, those bouts of unfettered, raging emotions are just too heavy to risk what little sociability I do have. When you’re raging, you’re like a drunkard that returned home to the town that made you a drunkard. You’re unafraid, your drink (my boundary-less emotions) is shaded courage that allows you to spill every thought in every moment that touches upon your sensitive, spasmodic emotions. You don’t care…until you sober up and see the empty room littered with all the bitterness you spat at those that once surrounded you.
Today I thought my laptop crashed. I faced this in what I call “The crash of 2012” or maybe it was 2013 already? Either way, I lost 4 first drafts of cheesy novels I wrote. I hadn’t even touched them once I typed the imaginary THE END on the last page of each. I was devastated. I didn’t get to reread, edit, or even consider them official drafts. All I had left was what I could remember in my head which was basically just loose timelines of events. It was a lot of…not-a-lot-of-hard-work lost. I just spilled out my stories, hoping to one day gain enough knowledge to do something with them at some point. I just wanted the people and their stories out of my head.
I’m not a very good writer but I try…often. The story I’m rewriting now, A&R, is difficult because I keep trying to make it stupidly romantic so I’m constantly going back and rewriting the cheesier parts. It’s not a romance; it’s a drama with an obvious love story mixed with a grouping of love stories meant to be hidden because they’re not at all romantic, based entirely on loyalty and trust, and the reader is supposed to identify with that more than the romantic aspects of the story. Basically, it’s my first attempt to write something meaningful so I’m taking my time, constantly reviewing and editing, rereading the first half to remind myself of the character’s personalities I originally introduced so I can continue on the correct course of their evolution. It’s just really hard when you lack so much experience.
What the hell does this have to do with depression, or today’s prompt “or?”
I was faced with the same decisions I often face with my depression when it accumulates into a big, raging volcano shaped boil: let it get you down, or, fight it. Fight it, or, try to find a way to clear it up before it bursts. In this case, I was seriously considering picking up my coffee mug, dumping its contents onto my keyboard and then slamming said mug down until every piece of its ceramic making is dust beneath the keys. But I didn’t do that. I tried control + alt+ delete but all it did was make a window pop up telling me Windows was experiencing an issue. After that, everything I tried made the little window pop up and I just kept getting more worried. I wrote an entire chapter this morning, one I had been mulling over for days because I was unsure how to start it (I’m really nearing the end). The screen went black, the little blue wheel was spinning and nothing but that pop-up was changing; and, I hadn’t saved to an external drive of any kind in weeks!
As I held back tears, envisioning every delicious letter typed in the last few weeks being eaten by some hard drive monster with circuit board teeth, I calmly pressed and held down the power button in one final attempt to save me sanity. After a half-minute, the entire screen went black and the fans whirred to an end. I hobbled my ass to the desk to grab my thumb drive in hopes my story still exists.
I now have every copy, every shitty version of every shitty chapter, saved on that thumb drive and the desktop. I wish my depression came with the option of holding the power button so I can start back up as if I didn’t freak the maniac controlling my mind out by letting the blackness consume me momentarily.