Saturday, August 3, 2019

Let's Dig In: Depression Part III (things are getting serious)

This has been sitting, festering in my drafts folder for months. And by months, I mean since May. Yeah, festering. Even the post after this is mostly written... and been festering for... almost one month now. The initial data dump that spewed out the bones of this was easy. The meat? Not so much. But I need this to quit festering. So here we go... It's going to be a little all over the place. Strap in.

Life is cyclical. Depression is cyclical. A great analogy for this is The HeavyDirtySoul music video by none other than Twenty One Pilots. In it, Tyler is in the back seat of a car, dreaming. In the dream Blurryface (or is it Keons) is driving and almost runs over Josh repeatedly, who is brought into Tyler's dream and is sitting at his drums in the middle of the road. He's driving in circles. But with the help of Josh, in that the harder he hits the drums the more the car falls apart, to the point where it bursts into flames and explodes and Tyler escapes. Thus defeating Blurryface. Only to realize it was all in his head, and he's still asleep in the car. It just repeats. It resets. Even before they made this "official" music video, they made a video for HeavyDirtySoul (Circle). Again, where instead it's a concert that repeats. Every day is a battle to be fought, and every day the sun sets, and every new day the sun rises. Start over. Now with Trench (the latest album-almost a year old now), the story continues with the music video trilogy starting with Jumpsuit (which picks up after the car explosion the next day). Either we are still in Tyler's dream and instead of resetting, the dream continues as he walks away from the burning car and conceivably into Trench. Or he broke the cycle. And he's no longer stuck in the car going in circles. He and Josh broke that cycle and are now on a new journey... in Trench, which is full of circular patterns, new enemies, old enemies with new names and faces, and new and old battles. Life continues on, sometimes in circles and other times winding paths.

There are nine Bishops in Dema (the fictional city in Trench). We know Nico is a dick, and he is talked about quite a bit in the album, and we know a tiny bit about Keons (not such a dick) through Clancy's letters, but what about the other Bishops? Will we ever get to learn about them? Interesting aside is that all the Bishops names come from song titles or lyrics from the previous album, Blurryface. Keons: the lyric "choke on smoke" from HeavyDirtySoul. Did you know that if you do a google image search for "happiness" the prevailing color is yellow? Hmmmm, those boys were on to something.

And now to somehow fit the above paragraphs with the ones below. Smoothest transition ever.

Look at this while I figure this out. Here is JaidenAnimations explaining her anxiety: Anxiety is the Greatest

Cool, now that you watched that and forgot about my not knowing how to connect that previous paragraph to this one, here's the next paragraph. Not sure if it was just my generation or not but it was somehow and pervasively so drilled into us that we needed to find out why we were put on this earth. Our life had to be meaningful, a purpose, and we needed to figure that out and go do it. We couldn’t just have a job and enjoy life as it happened. No. We needed to find our passion. Our purpose in life. The dream job. That one person who would make us complete. And you needed to figure this all out by like the end of high school so you knew which college to go to and what degree to get. Yeah, sure no problem.

Some people found those things. I didn’t. I don’t know my purpose in life. Why I’m here. What I’m meant to do. I’m technically middle aged now. I should have figured this all out by now. It's probably why my anxiety and depression is worse now as an adult than when I was younger. But what if what was grilled into the psyche of us all was wrong? What if there isn’t a meaning to life. A point? What if we are just too evolved and self aware. What if I’m suppose to just enjoy the planet while I’m on it?

I wish. But that’s not how my brain works. I need a reason to live. A purpose. I need meaning in my life. Am I saving the world with my job? No. With my donations to organizations? No. With my reusable beverage containers and steel straws? No. Maybe with these things I end up saving a life. But we’re all going to die. Why bother. Maybe my purpose should be to help others.  I can’t just sit back and enjoy. My brain won’t let me.

There are lots of different types of depression.
Traumatic vs non traumatic. PTSD. Survivors guilt. Single event. Multiple event. I haven't suffered a trauma. I don't have PTSD. I haven't gone through a life and death situation where I survived and others did not. I cannot speak of these things as causes because I have not lived them. I know many who have. But I can only speak on what I truly know and have and continue to experience.

And that is my type. Live with it for life. There’s no cure. It will never go away. You can make plans. Be excited and happy and seeing and socializing with friends and doing all the things you’re supposed to do to help with your depression and taking meds, seeing a therapist, and soaking up sunshine. You can be doing everything right. And still have one dark moment that ends it all. People talk about warning signs. Maybe there are. But many times there aren’t. There’s no predicting a dark moment. There’s a warning siren that goes off in my own head but what if some day it doesn’t. Or I ignore it for too long. There isn’t anything anyone can do. No amount of check ins will stop a single dark moment... that you fight.

So what am I saying? Maybe my purpose is helping people understand. Most of us who have depression are extremely self aware and know our brains and how they work. Those of you who don’t have depression? You don’t. You don’t understand. You don’t see how suicide can be an answer. I’m not saying it is the right answer. We all hear after a celebrity suicide about how could they? They had all these things, kids, money, fame, spouse, whatever. They were happy. They were going to do this or that the next day, or why didn’t anyone see the signs. Well you know what? That’s not how it works.

So yeah, I need a reason. A purpose. A meaning. I need a reason to keep listening to that warning siren no matter how many times it goes off. No matter that it will never go away. What’s my purpose?

I've been excruciatingly slowly loosing weight. Do you know how good it feels to wear new jeans that fit? I can’t fit into my regular ones still but no longer am I in my fat-fat jeans. I’m between. Knowing that I no longer have to wear the fat-fat jeans and buying jeans in a smaller size that fit well is amazing. It’s the little things. I need to remember to celebrate the little things. I went out and bought two new pairs and gave my old two pairs of fat-fat jeans to my sister for her sewing projects. Trying them on in the store was amazing. I imagine it's like what people feel like after amazing sex or something. I wouldn't know. But it was euphoric.

The internal depression voice says mean things. The mean one says you’re a looser. You won’t amount to anything. You’re a worthless piece of shit. No one loves you and no one ever will. Why do you think you’re still single and alone?  No one cares about you. That’s what mine says all the time. Now I know what it tells me is lies. I know that if I put myself out there and focused my time and energy on socializing and all that stuff I could find someone if I wanted. If I wanted. I don't. The constant bombardment of that voice and constantly reminding myself to not listen to it is tiresome. You wonder why people with depression are tired all the time? It’s mentally exhausting let me tell you.

And now how giving in to the voice just once can end your life.  Example 1: Chester (he spoke about it in interviews and such): he was sexually molested as a child and as a teen suffered physical and emotional abuse, bullied relentlessly at school, suffered from anxiety, low self esteem, drugs and alcohol abuse, and depression. You name it he did it or was done to him. To say he survived as long as he did is quite amazing. But all it took was just that one moment of listening to that voice and gone. Example 2: You can have all the things (love, kids, money, a job you love, whatever makes you happy) and one flick of the wrist while driving or as simple as getting up in the middle of the night to go pee and just take all the pills in the bathroom and go back to bed... gone. It can be so simple. So easy. Just think about all the things, people, support certain famous people had. They had the loving families and friends. Took medications. Saw therapists. They did all the things you're suppose to do, and yet... Chester Bennington, Anthony Bourdain, Dolores O'riodan, Chris Cornell, Kate Spade. There were no warning signs. They all had things to do, places to go, they all had plans... to not die. Linkin Park were going to start their European tour two days after Chester killed himself. Dolores was set to record a song the next day. Chris had just finished a concert performance.

I'm not okay. I'm 41 years old, I should have this figured out by now. Why am I even more messed up now? More depressed. More anxious. More social anxiety. More fearful. Why? Shouldn't I have a better handle on my inner demons? Why are they so much stronger now? Am I weaker? Have I grown so weary of fighting that I can no longer keep up? Am I that tired? Am I that exhausted? That's scary because when people like me get too exhausted and weary of the constant fighting, the more and more alluring it is to just stop and end it, once and for all.

I'm now the same age as Chester was when he ended it. That epiphany hit me the other day. And honestly I've had a rough go of it lately. I hate July. Nothing personal July, I just hate you. My mom was born in July. She's dead now. She loved celebrating the 4th of July. I hate this holiday now (for multiple reasons, one of which is because my mom loved it and she's gone now so it lost its appeal) (I wonder if I hate Christmas more now because she's gone and it was her favorite) My parents got married in July. It's quite often too hot to enjoy the outdoors. It's one of the busiest months at work. But I can make reasons for why I like or not like any month of the year. It just happens to be July right now, and I hate it.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand it's now August. I don't like you either. I'm still here. Still have depression. Going in circles. Pretty sure I'm still stuck in the burning car loop. I'm not sure if this shed any light on what life is like with depression. But damn it, I want this piece of garbage out of the drafts. And quit festering. I got two sick cats to deal with, one of which may be dying.

But not to leave you on a sour note. I got out of my home office for a day and actually had a nice time out on a survey with co-workers I had never met before and was not nervous or anxious or have any bad thoughts or problems. Go figure. And we all stood there and went, "It's so obvious. Surely it's been recorded before. We should record it anyway. Right? Yes? Yes."

Let's Dig In Series links: Religion Part I and Part II     Depression Part I   Depression Part II    Obsession     Anxiety Part I