[CW// Minor Discussion of Suicide]
A silent killer.
A few days ago I wrote a poem about my depression. I’ve been told by people I care about it’s powerful, evocative, real. It’s easy for me because I’m pretty good with words, and that’s a world I live in. I’m going to talk about my depression in a bit more detail.
It’s important I stress that this is how I personally experience my depression. How I do is only that, my own personal experience. Just because this is my experience doesn’t mean how someone else experiences it any less valid. Just as much as if someone experiences it differently than me doesn’t make my own any less valid. So keep that in mind.
Apathy. A sense of overwhelming apathy is the strongest part of my depression. The world becomes gray and muted, I don’t care about anything much. I don’t care about money, about things I love, about getting out of bed. I’ve literally gone weeks in a row without eating because it didn’t matter. I can’t even say I hate my depression when I’m like this, because I don’t care enough to hate it. I am literally incapable of getting up and doing things at time. It took me a long time to admit this is a disability. And because this is a mental illness, an invisible illness, many accuse me of just being lazy, not trying hard enough. I don’t have access to legal aid, and it inhibits my ability to get a lot of the things I need.
I lose time. A lot of time. I’ve lost pretty much whole days. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting there and the whole day is just gone. Sometimes it’s I start to do something and realize I’ve done it for hours even though I didn’t do that much. Most days lately I lose an hour or two easily. I’ll be sitting thinking about if I should actually eat, and then realize it’s dark when it was a while until dusk. Nothing happens, I just lose this time. It’s just gone and there’s no getting it back.
I don’t eat. Right now I eat about 1 1/2 meals a day, and they’re not the best meals. I’ve managed to cook for myself some times lately, but I often have to rely on whatever is cheap or frozen. Not having the energy to cook, while also lacking the means to eat out all the time often leads to days where it’s not worth the effort to eat. I’ve only skipped a couple days entirely the last month. It always comes down to not caring about eating to the point I’m not even hungry.
I don’t bathe. I can easily go 3 or 4 days between showers when it’s bad. I just do not have the ability to get up and clean myself off. This will, in turn, often stop me from going out and doing other things I need to do. It becomes just another things I do not have the ability to do.
I’ve contemplated suicide many times from this. Feeling this pointless, this powerless, this disconnected from everything. It eats at you. What’s the point of going on? Why does anything matter? At least I’ll be out of everyone’s way, right? And it starts to sound like the right way to handle it. It’s a lot of work to get past that kind of thinking.
There are things that I know help me. I know medication has helped a fair bit. I don’t currently have the means to get medication right now tho, making it completely beyond my grasp in a state that refuses to care about it’s actual citizens. I know to-do lists help with the fact I can’t always focus on what I need to do. But sometimes it’s not a matter of forgetting what I need to do and it’s a matter of just not being able to. I know being connected with people helps. When I feel like I’m connected to someone, it gives me more energy, but I don’t want to be completely dependent on someone for my ability to function, so it’s a very delicate and tricky balance. And there are other tools I might learn with help, but I don’t currently have that.
And here’s the thing, even with all of those, with all those tools, there are still going to be days when I can’t do a fucking thing. Telling a person feeling that crushing weight, that complete lack of ability, that muted gray of depression that they “just need to do it” isn’t helping. You’re being ableist. You’re no different than telling someone missing a limb to just pick up something or someone with cancer to not be sick. It doesn’t fucking work like that. There are tools that can help, but sometimes it’s just too much to bear and you’re going to lose a day or two.
This is really damn important. Recognize this is damn hard to live with an illness you can never, ever see. This is trying to struggle through a quagmire of things you don’t understand. And if you’ve found a way through your own muck, your own illness, your own hardships, don’t be ableist and say just do you what you did. Cause just because they worked for you doesn’t mean they work for me.
Have some compassion. I’m trying my hardest, and it’s horrible here.