Mental Illness Bites

Today, right now, every moment. I am beginning anew.

Archive for the tag “happiness”

A Description of Sadness

In my last post, I discussed an assignment my counselor had given me. He asked me to describe my sadness. I believe he was looking for some quantification of my depression, in order to better understand how it is for me; because truly, it is different for everyone. This is what I wrote for my counselor. This is a brief look into what it’s like for me. Everyone’s mental illness is different; some people may see themselves in my words, many will not.

     Always I convince myself there is a reason – this or that is causing my sadness and if I could just fix it, then the sadness would go away. New friends, more money, a relationship, a better job, understanding from my peers, weight loss, success, and on and on. But throughout my life I have had each of these things at one time or another, sometimes many of them at the same time and they created no lasting happiness.
The sadness is a weight, a pall cast over my day. It will never lift and I will never be free. The only way out is to fill the silence with absorbing distractions, TV or books or sleep or self-destructive habits. The company of others only makes it more difficult at these times because they do not fill the silence and I feel guilty for being such a blob.
There are other days when it feels like I could out run the sadness if I just keep moving, keep doing. Then the sadness feels more like a specter waiting in the wings. When I pause to reflect or notice my surroundings it creeps up, tears threaten. And I must begin to move again or I will descend into that other drowning sadness. The one from which it is so difficult to escape. I must stay outside myself in and out of the moment at the same time; focusing on the task, any task, only the task.
And that is the feeling an overwhelming amount of the time. The sadness can be lifted and distracted by friends, family, tasks, general busy-ness. These are the good days when I appear the most “normal,” the happiest. These are the days when it most feels like everything will be okay and life will go on.
It is the other days that I dread, that stalk me through the quiet moments and descent without warning. Life feels meaningless and pointless during those times, a merry-go-round I’m supposed to be happy riding my whole life.
And always the sadness makes me question the point of it all. Why are we here? What is our purpose? What is my purpose? If the world ended tomorrow would the universe care? I am just not sure that I see the point of existence.

I looked back through old journals and poetry written over the last ten plus years. Entries popped up again and again questioning who I am, questioning my purpose, my personality. I’ve wondered over and over how to define myself, what is truly me and what I steal from the people I spend the most time with.

“She’s afraid to think, afraid to be at rest. She must occupy her mind with stories and games and schedules she can’t possibly keep up with. If she stops she’s afraid she’ll lose her sanity and that she won’t. She’s afraid she’ll actually have to deal and the reality of her isolation makes that unbearable.”

“She’s missing pieces inside.”

“I expected to fit somewhere, to be something instead of nowhere and nothing.”

“I am almost always quick to anger. When people say things I don’t want to hear for any number of reasons, when they ask questions but then can’t understand the answers, when they ask questions to which I don’t know the answers, when they ask questions to which I don’t have the energy to explain, etc. I am short-tempered, easily agitated, quickly frustrated. I feel invaded, unable to express what I’m feeling, disjointed, disconnected, deeply misunderstood. Things I have no right to feel. And so, when I act out on these things by becoming angry, silent or frustrated I create a problem where none exists and in turn make the other person equally upset. It is my fault.” December 2003

“My chest feels like it’s closing up, it’s difficult to breathe. My head is pounding not a headache but something different, something harder to place, elusive like a fog. I feel helpless, more hopeless and pointless than I ever could’ve imagined. I feel constricted, like the room is closing in on me, like I’ll be swallowed up by it and no one will notice.” October 2003

“I have nothing that defines me. When asked what words best describe me I am stumped. There is nothing, therefore I am nothing. All I know of who I am is who I am when I am with other people.” July 2003

“I am shaking from the inside out. You don’t find me here. You don’t know me here. I am not clean. i am not lucid. I am not safe from myself from you fro anyone. I am not hiding. I am not seen. My eyes are not open. My voice is not heard. I don’t know myself. I don’t know who I am and as soon as I figure that out this will all get better. This is who I am, but who is this. Is this midnight writing to no one for nothing? Is this all i am. It can’t be. There i so much more, but no words, no place to stay, no life of my own. I have been following, pretending, moving on whims. I am not sure what is mine and what is everyone else’s. I am not sure what it is I am doing here.” April 2005

And so more themes, not knowing myself, not knowing who I am. And the sadness and confusion that goes along with that. Then there is the desire to feel physical pain, to bring the internal outward. It comes up over and over again.


My experience from month to month, even day to day, is not always the same, but the sadness has always been there in some form. This is a snapshot of my depression. Would you like to share a snapshot of yours?
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Wisdom

I had two of my wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. They both had cavities in them and the dentist said it would be cheaper to pull them then to fix them, and since I don’t really need them anyway…well, that’s logical right?

Losing my wisdom teeth might make me question the presence of wisdom in general. Turns out the name wisdom teeth might be a mistranslation from the Dutch word “verstandskiezen”, which literally means ‘far-standing molars’. On it’s own “verstand” means wisdom. Coincidentally, in German “verstanden” means understood. Is wisdom always understood? Anyway…

Losing teeth changes the way your mouth feels, changes the way your tongue rests, the consistency of your closed mouth, something I very much took for granted.

I lay awake at night thinking I should be writing something for someone. For myself always. But I should be putting my writing out in the world whether it is useful or not, whether someone reads it or not. But to say what I really want to say, it would not be appropriate for very many to read, but maybe that’s the point. My censor is stopping me. Curbing my desire, perhaps even my happiness? Would a blog read by no one bring me happiness?

The Yarn Harlot writes about yarn and knitting and her life as it apparently revolves around both. She is witty, self-deprecating and brilliant. She goes days without writing, but writes at least a few times every week. About crafty things, things that make me laugh and nod along. I would like to do that. Write something that makes others laugh and nod along.

What is my theme? How did she begin? Did she sit down at the computer one day and just start typing about what she had done that day? Or did she go into back story, introducing her family members, her history, her life situation? Or was it an organic development, seeping through her writing as the days passed on.

Is this in fact enough for a first entry? Can I begin here? I suppose it hurts no one to try.

Turns out, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee started with the top 10 reasons she should do a knitting blog. I have no justification, just words on paper that might make someone else laugh or smile or shake their head in pity. One might question the wisdom of my motives.

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