I procrastinate, things I enjoy, things I want to avoid, everything. Every decision I make I must question, painfully, as hour by hour goes by. Then I sit unfulfilled at my lack of action. Read a book, play a video game, even writing this very sentence is a long dragged out process. It’s painful. I grow up avoiding things that may hurt me, it has become second nature in almost all my actions.
This is anxiety of course. I tell myself to just take that first step, and it will be easier. It is easier, but it is fucking painful it is to get there. It is exhausting. I feel like my heart has broken after just a few hours of spending time with friends or family. “It is better to avoid it altogether” that little voice in my mind says. I would try to silence it with sleep but then I fall prey to a cycle of dreams I can’t see to awake from. I would spend the rest of my life in those dreams if I let myself. They are not happy dreams, they are painful and sad, but they have a sweet taste to them, a control over reality you can’t find in the waking world. Still, I wake up day after day.
Am not sure if I can describe the oddity of sudden depression to you. Sometimes with none, or very little provocation I can simply feel depressed. I feel that old weight on me, the tears welling up in my eyes. How do you fight that? How do you prevent it? How am I supposed to function when I can simply fall down at any given time.
My anxiety has not been well either. Phone calls freak me out. If I have a problem with my medication I can’t bring myself to make a call. Am pretty sure my wisdom tooth is going to rot out before I will make a dentist appointment. I rather be in pain then make that call. The money needed does nothing to help my anxiety. Sometimes I feel am just dragging myself along.
If you want to know what my anxiety is to me, it is being unable to make a new psychologists appointment after my old one left. Letting my pills run out rather than make a phone call. It’s avoiding a therapist for reasons I’m not even sure. It is a pain in my gut every time the phone rings. It’s finding excuses to push people away. Being unable to sleep in fear of anything that breaks my routine, anything new. It’s having high blood pressure because my heart races every time someone gets close enough to take it.
My depression is a call to the void. It is staring at train tracks and wondering what if. I hide in a hole building a wall of trash around me like a castle wall. I think of the past and never the future. I feel a call that leads me deeper into the dark. I find sad story’s and music and weep to myself. But sometimes I find someone who is worse off than me. I use what experience I have and try to help them, not for unselfish reasons but because it makes me feel better as well.
Hiding and pushing everyone away would be so easy. Even doing things I enjoy bring on painful feelings. I’ve done it before, I dropped out of school, grow fat and suicidal. I wrote on my skin with a knife. As painful as it all it, it is easy. I slip down a similar hole all the time. But I still slowly crawl out.
Have you ever laid flat against the ground and feel as if gravity was holding you down? Sometimes I forget how much I distract myself from myself. Just a few moments alone with my thoughts is enough to send warm tears down the sides of my head. I feel somber. My mind is so very clear, but the tears don’t stop.
I recently had to visit a new psychiatrist. My old one had moved away leaving me to deal with a new one. Sitting in a chair answering questions that I had long forgotten the answer too. I can’t remember old doctors names or the years when I started a certain medicine. Suddenly being asked the days date, and counting backward from 100 by 7 was embarrassing. It seemed my last doctor added agoraphobia to my chart without telling me. The lack of control over the situation made me feel so small.
What hurt more than any of my anxiety, however, was my father. Before I left for the appointment I happened to talk to him and told him where I was going. His response was surprising that I still seek help for my mental Illness. I have been seeing a psychologist almost longer in my life then I have not. Nearly more than half my life. How could he possibly not know? The nights I spent crying myself to sleep, the times I hurt myself, the very close fact that I was going to kill myself. How blind has he been to the pain in my life? When I was young I suffered alone. As I grow up I decided never again, for my sake I would be open and honest about it. It hurts to know that someone close did not hear me.
Recently I finally have gotten around to reading something that has been on my “to read” list for a long time. Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. A fascinating short story about a man who becomes a bug. However, there is something about the story that has gotten stuck in my head. The main character Gregory, and his family rely heavily on societal expectations and pleasing them. Gregory’s very first thought upon turning into a bug is that he is late for work. He near kills himself to try and go to work, despite turning into a giant beetle, for fear of being fired from his job even though he has never been late in years of working. His family hides Gregory away as a shameful thing. To make up for the lack of his income, they all get jobs and rent a room out of the house to make money. They go to insane lengths to please the renters of the room. Meanwhile, Gregory hides away and makes a great effort not to upset his family despite being mistreated and dying. He places the needs of others so far above himself that he dies not to upset it. His family only grow contempt for Gregory and wanted to get rid of him near the end. They decide that Gregory has no intelligence from his formal life because they never try to look and Gregory never tried to show it. In the end, Gregory dies alone, and the family gets a happy ending, calling out of work for the first time, kicking out the renters, and firing the rude maid. They realize they can do what they want with their lives and have an open future ahead of them.
So why is this story so stuck in my head? Gregory dies alone with his family seeing him as nothing but a giant insect with no intelligence. This is depressing alone but it’s Gregory’s nature that hits me. I used to be a lot like him. Haveing so little self-worth that any action was taken by the people around me always held more value than myself. I was prepared to die alone in my room trying to cause as little trouble to others as possible. Perhaps like Gregory, I saw myself as an insect. I would live and die a short life avoiding the lives of others.
Self-worth is just so very important to a healthy life. Somewhere along my life I never learned it, and have been trying ever since. If you don’t have the confidence to take a single sick day from work, to take care of yourself then you are barely living. It’s okay to be selfish, your existence is important enough that you can slightly burden others.
PS. I like to thank my brother for letting me rant about Kafka for a night.