TL;DR - Paul is sad.
This isn't for attention. This isn't an invitation for help - fuck - I don't want help. I don't want advice, medicine or even a kind word. I want to splatter my brain into this post without thinking to hard about anything. I want to shut off inhibitions, and fear of hurt feelings and missing punctuation. This ... THIS is what this slice of my internet is for. It's for me, for freedom, and for record of this terrible Polaroid of time that is bothering me so profoundly.
Everything I feel today - right now - is not real, it's a symptom of my depression. Now when I say "my depression", I don't mean "I like to sleep in on weekends" depression. I don't mean "a Facebook quiz diagnosed me" depression. I certainly don't mean "my life isn't fair depression". My depression, for me, is cryptic, it's savage and enveloping. My emotions burn like a road flare in how it's intense, blinding, and hot then ... nothing and it gets discarded anywhere. When I am confronted with an emotion other than depression, I try to healthfully acknowledge it, service it, and embrace it. With my depression, it's so difficult.
My depression is an emotional equivalent to trying to hold water in your hand. You can't manage it, you can't turn it into anything useful, and you sure as hell can't control it. I find myself almost in tears and not ever remembering what I was even thinking about to trigger it. It sets in like a heavy, set blanket and consumes everything you do. It makes you jealous, angry, sad, nostalgic, resentful, guilty, self-loathing, guilty, unsatisfied, guilty ... It shuts down every functional part of your body and leeches all of your mind's resources for it's own selfish purposes.
When someone kindly asks, "Well, what is bothering you?" in a genuine gesture of compassion I can never give an answer. Honestly, IT'S EVERYTHING AND NOTHING. My depression has no reason and it's massively frustrating. I can't diagnose it. I can't extract it to analyse it. It's just this barbed ugliness that manifests when it wants like a sentient being. It makes me hateful and jealous. It urges me to bring everyone down around me. It takes away any attention and energy I can commit to anything else and occupies my time.
I'm going to add how my life isn't terrible really. I have a house/job/car/kids/lady/life ect that no reasonable person can complain about. I've had traumatic experiences in the past but nothing - I feel- that prevents me from living a normal life. I'm not shy around people or experiences and I still feel that I can accomplish anything I put my full attention into. My depression does not give a fuck.
I've been to counselors, social workers, psychiatrist, psychologists, confided in friends, and nothing seems to stick because my depression can't be packaged into a nice little box of preexisting explanations. Nothing has worked. Taking to professionals only frustrate both parties. At one point, I was even lying to a social worker just for my entertainment. In the end, I am blanketed with the explanation of nothing being wrong with me because it's easier to explain than an uncaring, remorseless feeling of dread and anger washing over someone without a quantifiable reason.
This is the part in this rambling in which the writer usually sings the mantra of "we need to get over the stigma of mental illness" and some other copy/pasted meme we've seen on social media. Then I'm supposed to advocate for mental health professionals and encourage the fantastical teary-eyed reader to help themselves on a path of normalcy. Then I can smugly smile and sip my coffee taking credit for helping my fellow humans. Fuck all of that. There is no scientific method to solving anyone's specific issues. Counselling and drugs absolutely work for some people and whomever is taking productive steps towards becoming a happier person I'm glad for you and it's none of my goddamn business.
No one can properly appraise depression as its forever evolving and it preys on it's victim's insecurities and particular weaknesses. It seems like the only solution is to make little concessions over time. You compromise, you bargain with an entity that already has all of you. You have nothing in this negotiation, yet it takes pleasure in taking anything you offer it. You get dismantled by tiny ants and parts of you are just gone with no plan of them ever returning. Then you're left with this incomplete, broken, and disfigured person who is incapable of performing simple tasks and handling effortless thoughts.
I find myself joyless and paralyzed. Jealous and guilty. Under-stimulated and alone. I find myself looking back to times that I remember fondly (this blog is one of them) and irrationally blaming myself for why things have changed. My depression has caused me - so damn often - to disregard the present, and pine over the past. The past being as recently as days ago. It makes no sense but it doesn't make it less real. It's turned me into a person who so often looks to someone's perceived success and whining "That could have been me!"
Oh fuck - this brings me to my most hated cyclical loops in my mind, something depression loves to bring up and exploit. As my diseased mind combs through Facebook and sees all the people in the little world I created I see people, performing, creating, entertaining, succeeding, laughing, exploring, and improving themselves. Instead of celebrating the achievements of people who I PICKED as my social circle I narrow my eyes and hate them for it. My depression hooks into my raw nerves and whispers in my ear "This should be YOU but you're [dumb] [lazy] [fat] [incapable] [were robbed]" and then it grinds in my skull on how I'm not doing that thing. There's no right way to feel but I know that this mind-set doesn't serve me. I hope it stops someday. I hope I find enough happiness inside of myself to feel happiness for others but I'm not there yet. My depression doesn't give a fuck.
I'm also supposed to tell you that I don't want to kill myself. I really don't. Mental health professionals, sadly, do not take you seriously when you say that you don't want to die. I've experimented and lied on occasion but it's never once crossed my mind. Yes, I've definitely fantasized about it - particularly back in 2012 - when I was facing some heavy issues but it was never on a grave level. Suicide talk -to me - is selfish. You place the burden of living on someone else and absolve yourself of responsibility for getting better. You place this unfathomable pall of urgency to get you "better" and it's usually with drugs. Once you're at a level in which you don't want to die it's Mission Accomplished" and that's the end of your recovery. It's just another branch of this affliction that I'm thankful I don't have to deal with.
I don't know if I'll ever get better. I'm not opposed to conversation or if whomever reads this gets some kind of cogitative idea from all of this mess. This whole mess of consciousness was for me. I don't feel better writing all of this. I feel like I now just have a picture of the monster under my bed but he's still there listening to me snore. This may never serve a purpose, teach a lesson, or be read by an older, wiser me and I don't care. I don't feel brave. I certainly don't feel better. I can't imagine the ideal reader in my head. I just can reference the starting paragraph.
TL;DR - Paul is sad.