Days blur together for me. I can go a long time without really doing anything. Spending each day like a robot. Then all at once it hits me. Loneliness suffocates me. I wonder why I let things get this way, I blame myself. I lack self-confidence and lack the self-confidence to build more confidence. If I am to drown in a sea of my flaws I will keep doing my best to keep my head above the water.
I have not written anything here for a little while. I’ve been unsure what to write. I write to make myself feel better but part of me also writes for a bit of validation. Not that I seek attention, but rather I just want people to know. I don’t even need people to understand, just a nod of their head telling me they at least heard or read what I have to say. Perhaps that part of me comes from being alone for so long that I never had people to even tell even my most benign thoughts too.
People have died in my world recently. Not anyone close, but not so far away as I would not notice. Death makes my problems seem petty and insignificant. In truth they are, it does not make them go away or change how I feel but I know they are. I fear for the future of my father because I can tell he does not believe he has one. He is stuck in a job he is too old to be doing, and all his friends are dead. I once said that I live in a manner that is just me committing suicide the long way around. My father is doing a much better job of it than me. All he has left are alcohol and a woman he dates simply so he won’t be alone. This alcoholic who broke my heart a thousand times slowly dying ahead of me.
What about me? I grasp for moments of happiness. I do things for the first time other have taken for granted. I can actually be happy for short periods of time. It’s the moments before and after that trouble me. A night with friends fills me with anxiety. I have trouble making phone calls and am worried something will always go wrong. Then after, I feel regret. Not at a good time, I just had but rather that I never had such experiences before. I think of the past and fall deeper down a spiral of depression. Am lucky if the only thing I feel is just empty. The funny thing about time is that it won’t stop. Life does not stop for me, my problems, my father’s problems or anyone else. Even death does not stop the march of time, at least not for everyone else. So am alive, and I will keep watching the time slip forward for as long as I am alive. Just doing my best.
Growing up my parents would pack me and my two siblings up to go camping every year. It was always over a weekend and we have a family reunion in between. When I was little I really enjoyed the experience but as I grow into a moody teen I set up a PlayStation in a tent and never leave. As depression took over my life, I sneak off at night to cry. They were beautiful quiet nights. My sobs mixed with only the sounds of frogs and crickets. However, I remember distinctly secretly wishing someone would hear me.
It has been a few years since then, and another family reunion has come up. I decided to try camping on my own this past weekend. I now have my own car, my own tent, my own money, I thought I surely be able to recapture some of the glory of my childhood. My Sister had similar ideas and was already planning a trip of her own as I was mine. We would have a chance to see each other for the first time in nearly a year.
The first thing I noticed about all of this was just how much effort my parents put into it. Booking a campsite, bringing food, water, clothes, soap, toothbrushes, and every other little thing that makes the experience a little more comfortable. I arrived on my own early Friday and was proud of my little set up. Things were going well. I managed to go for a swim in the pool and even strike up conversation with strangers despite my anxiety. My sister arrived in the evening with her boyfriend and we had a good time catching up. I made hotdogs over a fire.
Then I was alone in my tent, and all I wanted to do was collapse and cry. The sense of loneliness that filled my heart was like a dagger. I texted my mother for support before finally falling asleep. The next day was the family reunion. Frankly I was disinterested in the whole affair. It was nice to see my grandmother, my aunt, and cousins, but I had little to say to any of them really. It was hot, and exhausting. I must of sweat my weight in water. The reunion was wrapping up when it started to rain for an hour. I ran around to secure my sight so that the rain would not ruin anything before the rain stopped anyway.
Perhaps it was the heat, or dealing with the social aspects of family but I broke. I could only sob uncontrollably. I wanted to run away. I managed to walk for a while, the woods where pretty and reminded me of the times me and my brother would explore them. I followed a trail to a winery near the campground before walking back. It was here I made up my mind to just leave the campground. I turned some mail I needed to give my sister over, she was swimming in the pool, and quickly walked away embarrassed. I hid in the woods, my back against a tree hiding from my sister and from myself. I was having a full on panic attack. I imagined what it be like to hang myself from one of the trees in front of me. I traded some emotional texts with my brother, mother, and sister. The sun came down while I was hiding behind that tree. Bugs crawled along my legs but I did not care anymore.
I walked back to my campsite without any light and packed up my tent and things and got in my car. I drove past my sisters campsite, gave her a hug and drove away. Sobbing and crying along the way. I had to pull over to the side of the road to wipe my tears more than once. When I was about fifteen minutes from the campground I pulled over once more. I could only think that “If only I just jumped into the pool with my sister that we could have swam, made s’mores by the fire and everything would’ve been ok.” I know I was running away, all i wanted to do was run away. I felt humiliated about how emotional I got, making me feel even worse. I called my mom, as if asking for permission if it was ok if I just turned around and forget it all happened. My sister was still up, sitting by a fire, I still had a little time to change the outcome of the night. I turned the car around, went back to the campsite. I went to my sister campsite and managed to enjoy a bit of time by the fire.
I never did put back up my tent, I slept in my car with my feet hanging out the window. I was able to go for one last swim in the pool with my sister before we had to leave the campground. It was a stressful weekend over all. I feel like I made a fool of myself the whole time. However I did manage to scrape together a better ending than what could of been thanks to the support of my family.
Tonight I ran. Mist filled the air, covering my glasses. Music filled my headphones. It was dark and solitary. I could feel the mist on my skin and the movement of my body. I was huffing and out of breath but it was completely peaceful. I could enter a space in my head without malice for myself.
Last night I cut myself. My hand accidentally smashed into a glass light fixture. Blood spilled and dripped onto the floor. The pain was sharp, quick, and the blood was warm. I had a smile on my face, it felt good. I felt nothing but relief as blood oozed out of my hand. Am not proud of this. I stare now at the wound and wonder if I could peel all of the skin off my hand like a glove. Such feelings are better suited for one of my horror stories, but this is my life. Should I feel ashamed for a desire to hurt myself?
I have always been my own worst bully. Sometimes when I have no obligations I oversleep greatly. I’ve told myself that I am such a waste, lazy, fat, a slob. I sleep for over twelve hours till I get hungry enough to leave my bed. I allow trash to build up around me, and call myself the same.
My intelligence and imagination has always been beloved traits of mine. As such it’s something my mind knows to turn against me. If I make a mistake am stupid. Dumb and Stupid often echo in my head over and over. Am a moron, a fool, a child. I seek out and aim for my own vulnerabilities. What I call spiral logic soon kicks in. I bully myself for bullying myself. I feel the need to punish myself further because I punished myself. “It’s stupid to think this way, why don’t you just stop” It’s a constant battle that I fought most of my life. My mind has always taken every opportunity to put me down in my life. I try to fight it, the most effective tactic I learned was not to dwell on such thoughts. That If I call myself stupid or a loser that I let the thought come and go. I don’t think about it more than the first thought, I don’t let myself spiral into a mental argument of why am stupid or a loser. I remove the emphasis and don’t dwell, letting the voice in my head grow weaker. I don’t always succeed, but I try.
“I mean, considering how frail I am, if I was happy, I’d get crushed. Like, crunch. My eyes, my body, they’d be crushed. I couldn’t bear the weight of happiness. In stead of being happy after all this, I rather be steeped ankle-deep in lukewarm unhappiness and bear it all. I want to keep my shoes soaking wet for as long as I live. In reality, that’s what I’ve been doing…Yup. I can’t be happy after all this. ” – Sodachi Oikura from Owarimonogatari
Depression and Anxiety can often lead to spiral logic. This is when the having depression or anxiety is enough to make your depression or anxiety worse. It does not take much, just one bad moment or day. Just enough for your mind to feed on. Soon you are depressed because you are depressed, you are stressed because your are stressed and you are having an anxiety attack because you felt anxious.
Your mental health is a gross eater. It feeds on itself growing worse and worse on its own power. You fight so hard, but one misstep no matter how small hurts. Your mind finds that wound and tears it wider and wider as you dwell on it. Every step backwards can feel like a fall off a cliff back to where you started, but perhaps each climb back up gets a little more easy.