Hi, guys! I’m going to tell you a tale of depression. Also I made some art for a friend who deserves better, but I had some time constraints and also some personally-imposed stupidity restraints. I’m going to share some pictures with you because you should suffer, too! *wink wink*
Happiness is a concept that I grasp and an emotion I can mimic. Not in a sociopathic way, but in an “I know what’s expected of me here” kind of way and a little bit of “nobody will bother me if they think I’m happy” kind of way. A couple years ago I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with single-episode major depressive disorder and partially resolved borderline personality disorder.
The diagnosis of borderline offended me at the time – I remembered in nursing school during mental health class reading the description of borderline and thinking what a horrible thing it would be to know or be close to someone with it. The joke was definitely on me, though, because flipping back through the pages of my mistakes, I can very clearly see all of the traits I exhibited.
By the time I was old enough to be engaging in actually risky behaviors and screwing up my own life in really grandiose ways, I had wholesale rejected the mental health field as a bunch of quackery. This is in part due to my misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder in my early teens and subsequent heavy medication regimen that didn’t do a damn thing for me because I definitely didn’t have bipolar disorder. The other large failure on the part of the mental health system was sending me to therapist after therapist who decided that I was too self-aware to need therapy. I suppose I was probably pretty good at manipulating people, or at least I thought I was since I could fool any therapist or psychiatrist I got put in front of into agreeing that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with me.
In truth, I was a house on fire. I didn’t and couldn’t process emotions or have relationships correctly. I actively sought out situations that could cause me hurt. I brought drama everywhere I went, I told some really wacky lies, and I was desperate for affection of any kind. I was an ugly person, inside and out. Overweight and constantly fluctuating between hating myself and lashing out with venom at anyone who didn’t like me. A hilarious and harmful contradiction in so many ways.
I spent many years trying to defeat myself, and I suppose I must have managed at least a little bit because that adorable psychiatry resident slapped a “partially resolved” onto that borderline diagnosis. It was also ironically depressing to be diagnosed with single-episode major depressive disorder, because it hadn’t occurred to me in any tangible way that I had never not been depressed for my whole entire life, for as long as I can remember.
I realize these days that I’m a cliche. I know emptiness so well. Numbness. Loneliness. Failure. Memes upon memes devoted to my very lack of interest in being a person in the world appear every day. The snapshot of me is: fat lady, chronic illness, can’t hold down a job due to said chronic illness, depressed, lonely even when surrounded by people, please don’t make me leave the house, don’t touch me, no wait go ahead and touch me just not too much, whatever I say don’t bring me ice cream, but if you don’t bring me ice cream I’m going to snap.
At the heart of all of this, I’m here for you if you need me. I know what you’re going through, probably. Comment or message your woes. I need a distraction from the gaping maw of the universe staring into my soul, constantly reminding me that we are speck of nothing existing for no reason.
Obviously I’m having a moment right now. Maybe the moment will last or maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up with a little blob of serotonin or dopamine where it’s actually supposed to be. We never know, do we? I just can’t put the mask on right now.
Here are some crappy spooky digital drawings I did, for you to enjoy: