Aug 10, 2016
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
Dear (Spilt Milk) Diary,
Sometimes good things can pull me into a depression as easily as the bad stuff. Once that pressure is there – once I have something to lose – everything changes. During the first six years of my illness, I scraped by. I was not my best, and I’m the first to admit it. And for once in my life, I’m reaching a period of relative stability, a place where I could maybe (just maybe) be my best, and instead I’m indulging in self-sabotage. What if my best isn’t as good as I remember? Who am I outside of my illness? Why are there only two scoops of raisins in Raisin Bran, and not three? These are the questions that keep me in bed every morning.
I was not my best, and I’m the first to admit it.
This week, especially. I’ve been having a hard time answering emails (sorry Suzanne and Marianne), keeping up conversations and moving forward. It’s like the part of me that cares is broken, and all that’s left is a cheap IKEA knock-off of my brain. I’m not sure how to help other people when I can barely help myself. For a long time, success in my family was equated to me being able to hold down a 9-to-5 job – and for a long time, that seemed near impossible considering my 14-hour medication knockout periods. Now, I’ve switched to a less sedative brand, landed a full-time communications job and my first day is in a week. I’m so scared that I’m going to let everyone down, and it won’t be my illness this time – it’ll just be me.
Part of me wonders if I’ve been using my illness as an excuse for not trying new things, if triggers are just my way of copping out. Of course I would never think that of anyone else – I believe that we all move at our own pace for a reason – but it’s easy to beat myself up. I’ve been very lucky this year and I don’t always feel deserving of what I have. I can hear Michael yelling at me now, “That’s depression talking!” but the voice always sounds so real that sometimes I forget. You’re allowed to have bad days, but if you have three in a row, I think you’ve got to do something different. Or increase your ice cream intake.
I believe that we all move at our own pace for a reason.
Today, I drove to a coffee shop and I’m forcing myself to write, even though it feels like nothing good can come out of me. This came out more like a journal entry than anything, but maybe that’s okay. Sometimes you just need a push to get rolling, and maybe tomorrow I’ll write a chapter of my book, or a letter to my mom, and that will be enough. This article is short, but I wrote it despite being in a dark place, and for that, it is beautiful. I guess sometimes I need a reminder that I can’t always be funny, but I will always be more real than the voice in my head. If you have any suggestions on how you get yourself out of a funk, I’d love to hear them!