My to-do list is like decomposing matter. Something that’s new on the list only just begins to decompose, while something that’s been on the list for a week is in a much later state of decomposition. Now imagine all of this matter neatly organized into a basket and left in your stomach. The stomach acids only add to the deconstruction of the matter and because the materials don’t agree, this poisonous gas and slimey ooze starts to fill up the cavity it’s in. When there’s nowhere else for it to go, it crawls through the rest of your body and makes you sick. The pain swelling inside of you makes it even harder to face your to-do list and finally you’re so sick that you want to cry. That’s pretty much been my situation the past couple of weeks. Tonight I can feel the noxious gasses stuck inside of me and trying to push their way out if it kills me.
On a positive note, getting a blog post out of the way will be a good removal of one of the old to-do list items, which should clear up some of the gunk in my system.
I’ve been depressed. I’m working myself to the max in school and at work to do the best job I can do. At work I now have the complication of being treated like crap, because of the whole reporting mistreatment incident. That gives me anxiety while I’m there that I brush off the best I can, but it effects me. Taking care of people for a living effects me too. Every day I go out there, mask my depression or irritation and make sure I’m tending to everyone in the classroom and encouraging them to challenge themselves whilst helping them face those challenges and praising their good work. I sat with one of our clients whose two decades older than I am on Friday and helped him get through word problems on a math sheet. I was SO PROUD of him and he was so proud of himself. It feels good, that’s what gets you through the day, making a difference. A lot of our clients call me mommy. Most all of them are considerably older than me. I feel like Wendy to the Lost Boys some days. But everybody needs a mother.
After work, if there’s school I need to mask my mood further to interact with my peers, particularly the ones on my research team. Then I go home, and do a few things to help out (laundry, garbage, putting non perishable groceries that have been sitting out away, etc.). Finally by the time I’m showered and in bed I just want to cuddle up with my stuffed Pusheen, play a few casual games on my tablet, and knock out. I probably won’t even get 8 hours of sleep. I’ll remind myself that I’m getting a B in my class, and for how hard I’m working, it breaks my heart and makes me want to hibernate forever. So does the fact that I have no time or energy to go to the gym and shed some pounds. My relationship though is going really amazingly at the moment, and I’m terrified to say that and jinx it, but that’s one of the few happy thoughts that helps me fly.
There are other tender situations. The other night I was already in bed when I heard my dad and sister get home. He had brought her home from school and my mom got up to help make her dinner. I heard their soft voices in the kitchen, everyone calm. We’re a family who takes care of each other. My parents are getting older, and they still baby my Asperger’s sister, which is fine I suppose, but what’s going to happen when they can’t do it anymore? (i.e. when they pass away). Already there’s two things that make me want to throw up at this thought.
First, I can’t deal with the idea of my parents dying. I don’t deal well with change. I don’t even deal well with having an abnormal schedule. I’m not as bad as the clients we have at work who will completely become hulk versions of themselves, but I crumble easy. Even the loss of one of my parents. God. It makes me sick to think about. And when they do pass who will take care of my sister? She literally does not know how to function as an adult in the world. I don’t even know what kind of job she could get. Will it fall to me to support her? Will she let me? She’s insistent she’s normal and can do x, y and z but I don’t think it’s hit her yet that life is going to be a lot harder when she doesn’t have that overflow of support and help to sail through it.
Fear. Fear is getting to me. I’m having obsessions about these sorts of things on a daily basis. Getting a medication change might help a little. I haven’t had my medicine adjusted in over a year. I need a new doctor though. My GP can keep the refills coming, but can’t adjust any milligrams. Therapy would help too. But can I afford that? Can I afford the TIME even? I need to do something though to assist my mental health, because though I’m functioning well enough, I’m a wreck on the inside and it’s wasting precious seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and MONTHS of my life. And for what?
I began reading a book called Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. There are some serious laugh out loud moments, and also some very real passages about what it’s like to deal with depression. I’m not finished with it, but I recommend what I’ve so far read of it. Sometimes I get real angry that I didn’t write a charming and funny book about my life yet and get jealous someone else did, but this one I enjoy without the resentment.
On page 132, there was a particular passage that struck home, and I thought I’d share it with you.
“And that’s the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn’t always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn’t even something–it’s nothing. And you can’t combat nothing. You can’t fill it up. You can’t cover it. It’s just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.
It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.
The problem might not even HAVE a solution. But you aren’t necessarily looking for solutions. You’re maybe just looking for someone to say ‘Sorry about how dead your fish are,’ or ‘Wow, those are super dead. I still like you, though.’”
In conclusion, I’m struggling right now. And to all of you out there who are reading this and struggling too, I’m sorry about how dead your fish are.