Escapism is Not Self- Care

You just had the longest day you’ve ever had.

Your depression and anxiety seem to be teetering between bad and worse.

You woke up hoping that you would somehow turn on a happy switch and it’d be all better.

But today is even more lonely and exhausting than the last.

So on your way home you stop and buy ice cream. You get home and shower immediately because you just want the day to be over.

You rush to your bed, grab the ice cream and your phone and you start.

You start with one video on YouTube and now you’re more than an hour in. You switch apps to Instagram and start scrolling. But then there’s Snapchat. And you open Netflix, SoundCloud, Hulu, Kindle. Anything to get your mind off the things and out of your feels.

You sit alone in your room for hours staring at the screen or sitting silently in the dark.

You’ve escaped.

But you dont feel better. You aren’t taken care of.

You just feel numb.

Numb to yourself.

Numb to the world.

Numb to it all.

 

Depression Lives in Your Thoughts

You’re just sitting around minding your business when a thought pops into your head.

It’s intrusive and overbearing and nauseating.

It’s the last thing you want on your mind.

So you try to dispel the thought from your consciousness.

You beg and plead for it to go away. You try to turn it off by distracting yourself with an endless stream of shows and status updates, but there is no escaping it.

And after a while, you start to believe it.

You are worthless.

You are broken.

You are a piece of shit.

You are not good enough. And you never will be.

In fact, everyone is better off without you.

Those thoughts permeate your entire being, mulitplying with every second. Until that intrusive thought is not just a thought.

It’s now an undeniable fact that you hold dear. It’s what you believe about yourself.

It’s your depression taking hold of you, making it nearly impossible to fight back.

But we keep fighting anyway.  ❤

When All You Feel is Numb

By far, the worse thing about depression is the days where you feel numb.

You’re not really sad or upset or lonely. And even though the emotion is unexplainable, it demands to be felt.

The numbness takes over and your depression is more crippling than ever. You can’t move or speak or think because you know you’ll feel nothing.

You dont really care about anyone or anything. You’re short with your family and you ignore your friends.

Nothing anyone could say could make you feel anything. So you try to avoid everyone at all costs.

You try distraction after distraction: Netflix, YouTube, reading, writing. But you end up right where you started.

Numb. Falling deeper into the void.

Until eventually the numbness turns into guilt. And you feel shitty for ignoring the people around you. You feel awful that you can’t force yourself to care. And you hate yourself for not just being like everyone else.

So you force a smile, bury the numbness, and pretend to care. You cope for the sake of those around you.

Hoping that one day you’ll actually feel something.

 

When a doctor asks if you have a history of depression…

I went to a routine doctor visit a few days ago, and and they asked if I had a history of depression.

I wanted to say no and spare myself the pain of rehashing the details. Just pretend for a second that I dont still carry that weight with me. But, I answered honestly…

Do you have a history of depression? Yes.

Where you ever on medication? Yes.

Which ones? Prozac, which I took and Zooloft which I never got filled.

Why did you stop? It never helped.

So what helped? Therapy. Exercise. Avoidance.

So you’re mood is stable now? Uh, sure.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Every day.

Have you lost interest in things you like? Hmm, sounds like a trick question. I dont like anything.

Have you ever thought about hurting yourself?  Yep.

Have you ever attempted to? Uh, well…

What did you do? I treatened to kill myself with an earring because its all I had in my room. Then I said I would just starve myself.

Oh, what happened? They sent me to the hospital. And it was awful. Like strip search, lesbian roommate that tried to touch me, people telling me I’m crazy… awful.

Ah, I see. Did you get help? Yes, I saw what it did to my family and I vowed to never mention suicide again.  And I went therapy for 2 years. I worked to get better, every day.

So you’re not depressed anymore? No, I am. I’ve just kinda learned to live with it. I cope.

How do you cope? My life is great so I feel guilty every day about my depression. And that guilt drives me to appreciate the little things. It’s not that healthy, I guess. But it works.

What do you think will help your depression? Honestly, I dont know. I just want to love myself. I want to feel like I’m okay. I want to feel happiness, even if it’s just brief.

Do you want to see someone? No, not right now. I think I’m pretty stable.

……oh…okay? Okay.

 

 

The Perks of Having a Depression Buddy

The Law of Attraction says you attract what you put out into the world.

So when you’re dealing with mental health demons, you attract other people who are dealing with them, too.

While a good amount of those people can be toxic, sometimes you get lucky and stumble across someone that truly understands what it’s like to live inside depression.

Before them, you thought you’d never be close to anyone again.

But then they surprise you.

Within weeks the level of comfort and ease around them is magical.

Instead of taking you further down the rabbit hole or trying to lift you up, they are willing to meet you exactly where you are.

You lay next to them all day and forget that most of the world exists.

They don’t judge or diagnose or look down on you.

Instead, they sit with you talking about nothing or everything, in complete silence or with Netflix in the background.

  • They listen.
  • They ask questions.

And for the first time, you feel heard.

When you’re in their presence you fall in and out of introversion. Feeling like you’re alone and not alone, all at the same time.

Your buddy becomes a part of your coping strategy.

They become your best friend.

But depression is a jealous bitch who always needs to come first.

And you have thoughts telling you that you need to overcome your demons on your own.

But the perks of your depression buddy are endless.

They bring hope, love, forgiveness and understanding  when you need it most.

So remember, nothing in this world was ever accomplished alone.

Choose your friend over depression. And maybe, just maybe, the days of feeling lost and lonely will disappear, slowly and then all at once.

-(Rule)

It’s not “just a diet”

Do you ever wish you could just hold on to dieting for a little bit longer?

Just until you’re back at your pre-recovery weight.

But this isn’t dieting, is it?

Years of obsessively counting and weighing and fasting and exercising is not dieting.

Sitting on the floor crying after successfully purging is not dieting.

Even if your mind keeps saying you can be normal after you’re done putting yourself through hell.

Even if it tries to convince you to just put off your recovery for a month or 2 until you’re where you should be.

But, it’s not just a diet.

And you can’t keep putting it off.

-(Rule)