I’m spiraling.

My depression has taken over, and I’ve been hiding from my life for a whole week. 

I cringe just even typing that; in full projection of how many people might respond with how sorry they are to hear I’m “having a hard time.” The truth is, I’m not. That’s just the best way I can verbalize it without summoning the men with white coats to my front door.

Spiraling is easy. It’s what I do. 

I go and I go, and I give and I give, and then I crash. History has shown me, time and again, that I don’t have the slightest idea how to stop it. I just know it’s coming. 

To be fair, I have made some progress over the years. Each time it happens, I catch myself faster, find discomfort sooner, and slow the free-fall train to Total Uselessness. Although, the grace period – however shortened – is always far more painful and exhausting than the last — because I should know better. This cycle leaves me feeling completely insane, wondering how I could have let this happen…again.

I mean, really

Julie Maida - Riding the Sick (Uni)Cycle of Depression

I’m a fairly intelligent person. I’m super self-aware and intuitive. I’ve overcome alcoholism, gotten a pretty decent handle on an interesting dissociative personality disorder, and even survived my daughter’s teen years. 

I’m practically a super hero. Self-care, however, has been terribly baffling.
I have been physically ill the last few months with a surpising bout of Pertussis (aka whooping cough), which has made quite a declaration of limits reached that even I can’t ignore. Sickness always proceeds a plethera of emotional red flags – flags I acknowledge while I jog right past (maybe even waving), making note that I definitely need to slow down a bit and learn to say the word no…tomorrow.
Inevitably though, my dedication to providing comfort to complete strangers wins out, and I put off whatever it is until I’m knocked unconscious. 

Then comes the hiding, which I have mastered. I over-eat. I under-eat. I start smoking cigarettes again, hate myself for it and quit, and then start again. I crawl out from under this heavy picture of “good person,” and grapple with what it might take to be a great one.

My only saving grace is that even while I’m falling to pieces, abusing and neglecting myself, people let me know I’m helping them by being open and honest about how completely flawed up I am. If anyone can find a way to make their demise some kind of public service, it’s me. 

I’ve written about this a million times, and I understand that there’s no fail in process, but I might be the slowest learner ever

I’ve almost conceded to the fact that this is how I might die. Martyring myself out like a cheap hooker, in hopes that someday I might feel worthy of the attention I show others. That idea is so warped I wonder if I might actually be certifiable. 

It makes total sense that I used to view psych wards as vacation spots, away from the driving forces that keep me from silence and solace. I like noise. I thrive in chaos, and the life I have created for myself (to be rid of it) has only allowed me the opportunity to grasp at it via other people every day. 

I’ve spent years trying to psychoanalyze all the insane reasoning behind my terrific lack of self-love. I have exhausted countless hours in soft chairs while threading sharp, invasive needles throughout every moment I can remember that might keep me stuck here. I have thrown money at expensive head shrinks who’ve guided me through interviews with my subconscious mind for God’s sake. I mean, where better to get the inside scoop, right? 

I’ve checked all the dark spots for the reason I’m like this. Not even, sadly enough, because I don’t adore the life of Mother Theresa, but simply because I know someday it is going to literally kill me. And after I’m gone, what if everything I’ve done isn’t enough? What if all the people I’ve loved, helped, and spent my life killing myself for forget me?   

So, I keep running on the insanity wheel, feeling unable to jump off, praying for it to break so I can have a few free moments of rest while I fix it. 

And I will fix it. 

I like fixing things. 

I just hope some day I won’t feel obligated to give away so many pieces of myself to getter done.

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5 years ago

Hugs to you, Julie. I hope things get better soon. I’m also fighting my own battle right now.