*** DISCLAIMER: This post is my personal opinion and experience with depression. I am not speaking for everyone with depression (so if you have depression and you read this and get mad, don’t be, because your opinion is just as valid as mine, I just put mine in my blog!!!)***
Wow, would you look at that, little old me forgot I have a blog AGAIN. The funniest part about that is that this blog is in my Instagram bio, like as if it’s “the thing” I do. Which I guess kind of makes sense, because honestly what else would I put? “Uber Driver/ Bartender Who Recently Became a Musician” seems extra, as does “Struggling to fucking live.” So SAM THE BLOG it is, let’s make this bad boy count! This blog is also what I used in my submission to Soho House Toronto, and I GOT IN USING IT. I really get my moneys worth out of this WordPress subscription.
The other thing I missed, was Mental Health Day… but to be fair, is it just me or is every week a fucking Mental Health Awareness Day? I feel like every morning I wake up, someone’s going “IT’S BELL LETS TALK DAY!” “IT’S NATIONAL ANXIETY DAY!” “MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY!” Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it, it’s just kind of hard to tell when these “days” are coming because who decides when they are? One morning I just wake up and Oh God, it’s here and I don’t have a blog post prepared. I remember back when Fish was alive, I’d always be pissed because the same thing would happen on “NATIONAL SPOUSE DAY” and I wouldn’t have a cute pic of us prepared for the gram- but that’s not a dark hole I care to go into right now.
Every time one of these “awareness” days happen, I’m like SHIT, I have so much to say about that, but whatever I’ll just write a post for the next random awareness day, dictated by seemingly nothing and no one. But last week, Mental Health Day snuck up on me FOR THE LAST TIME. I’m not playing by these rules, this is fucking anarchy. I’m just going to post about this now and beat these quasi holidays at THEIR OWN GAME. KA-POW!!!
Before I launch into (as I’m sure you can tell from the title) a deep topic, can anyone confirm Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy for me? I’ve been googling it, but I just thought I’d ask my 300 loyal readers if they have an in, and know something the internet DOES NOT. DM me if so.
Alright, now let’s get to the dark meat of this post.
I’ll launch right in with an annoying thing to say, I have depression. Ew, right? I hate saying that. And no amount of Instagram sponsored “awareness days” are going to make me cool with it. Not because I’m ashamed of it, but because it is an intolerable feeling, and in my opinion, if you’ve felt it, you will do anything to NOT feel it. I’m not a psychologist, but I have a theory (which may already be several people’s theory) that the root of every escapist or unhealthy habit is an attempt to distract yourself from depression. My biggest fear in life, is feeling depressed. It trumps dying, it trumps public speaking, it trumps never getting married or having children, it trumps being unsuccessful in my job. If someone told me I would not be depressed by veto-ing marriage, success, and everything I thought I wanted, I would do it.
Dealing with depressed people can be weird for people who aren’t depressed, because I feel like there’s this nasty RUMOUR going around that depression is the same thing as sadness. People who don’t have depression think, Well I’ve been sad before. They think of themselves on their saddest day, and think that depressed people are living that day, every day. The difference is, you got out of it, you got over it, so why can’t they? The thing is, not depressed people may never feel depressed. They could encounter unthinkable circumstances, and will still only experience feeling sad, never depressed. “I’ve lost a someone, that’s sorrow. What does this person have to be depressed about.”
This isn’t a competition, because what I’m about to tell you MAY JUST shock you. Depression is not sadness. It’s a DIFFERENT FEELING.
Let me explain the key difference! We have all been sad. You can be sad about mild things, or heavy things. For some people, feeling sad does not cause them to lose faith in the life they have been given. It can be a feeling all on it’s own, that doesn’t need solving, it just is what it is. My fish died, I was sad. Kristen Wigg left SNL, I cried. 9/11, I am sad about it, my aunt got diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, I was sad.
Depression brings a certain feeling into the mix, a key factor that separates it from sadness, and that is “HOPELESSNESS’. HOPE-LESS-NESS. Geez. A common feeling that can accompany hopelessness, is apathy. And what is so lethal about both these emotions, is that by definition, they are a problem that cannot be solved. You are not hopeful that anything will change, you are therefore apathetic about the world / your life, and the combination allows a cozy incubator in which you can comfortably do nothing about it. Because there is nothing to do about it.
I didn’t know I was depressed when I was younger. I was troubled all the time…like DEEPLY troubled. But I didn’t consider it a mental illness, I considered it being like, I don’t know, too aware of things we mortals are not supposed to think about. I would think about things until they were MORBID, and these morbid thoughts would CONSUME me, and I could not live my life without them being in the back of my mind, and I would essentially allow them to ruin every “precious” day. Here’s a fun example!:
“Ok, so we’re all going to die. That means that this time is MY RESPONSIBILITY. I could spend the rest of my life in my room with my Mom and I DON’T get to keep my Mom, even with no outside factors, one of us will die first and have to leave the other one. Actually, I don’t even get to keep myself. I’m looking at my hands, who’s hands are these if not mine? And I DO NOT get to keep my hands, my face, my body. So assuming there is no life after death, we will never see each other again, I will never see myself again… but assuming there is life after death then what, there’s such thing as ETERNITY? Like my soul does this forever and ever and it just keeps recycling lives until FOREVER? Ew. Forever. I guess it’s fine though, if I have been doing it already, and haven’t noticed. Maybe this is like my 80th life. But what if it isn’t. What about my boyfriend that I love more than anything, let’s say we defy all odds in this life, and it works out, and we get married and have kids and spend our lives together and we STILL don’t get to be together forever, we will HAVE to lose one another. TILL DEATH DO US PART, IMPLYING WE DO IN FACT, PART AT DEATH. WHY IS THAT IN A BIBLICAL OATH??? GOD THINKS WE ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO PART AT DEATH? WTF IS THE POINT OF PARADISE LOST? WHY DID MILTON WRITE THAT IF THERE IS NO HEAVEN?”
Alright, so there’s an example of a thought I would have, and it would consume me in all woks of life! ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT, NO MATTER WHAT I WAS DOING! “I don’t understand how people are just DANCING at Gracie O’Malleys right now, when we are all GOING TO DIE. DO THEY UNDERSTAND THAT DEATH IS FOR SURE GOING TO HAPPEN?” BUT that isn’t even depression. At this point, I’m just kind of talking about being…I don’t know, I guess neurotic?
Depression is the feeling that comes with this thought, or after this thought. I don’t know why we’re alive. I don’t want to commit suicide, but I think this is pointless. And nothing matters, and if nothing matters then I’m never happy, and never sad, because I don’t give a shit about anything — worst of all, there is no solution to this problem, because no one can convince me that what I’m thinking isn’t real or true, they are just lucky enough to have not had this thought. Once you think it, you can’t un-think it.
It’s not just THAT SPECIFIC thought that would lead me to this conclusion, that is just an example, but the conclusion remains the same: I’m APPALLED at this life, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It will stay like this. And any time I want to know if I’m having a depressed episode, I just think: OK, let’s say you take out a 10K line of credit, and you can do ANYTHING you want right now. You can go on a trip. You can get on a plane today, you have money. You have NO obligations. You can do anything you want with this day, what would make you feel better?
The answer I usually offer myself is NOTHING. There is nothing I want, nothing that will make me feel better, no life I would rather be living, everything is hopeless and there’s no fixing it, and for that reason, I don’t care about my life, as this is all a pointless dark hole and everything is grey and shitty and nothing is colourful and that’s how it will stay until I’m fucking DEAD, and even then I might be forced to endure a cycle of meaningless lives forever, or even scarier, I will be eaten by maggots and then in 4 million years the sun is going to SUPERNOVA and this earth won’t exist anyway, and neither will the maggots that have eaten my body.”
Then I’ll add another level to this whole mess by staying in bed all day thinking about what a dysfunctional person I am, I can’t get anything done, and if this life is important (which I suspect it might be, because everyone else seems to think so), I’m wasting it and fucking it up because I’m unmotivated to fix it, further fuelling my depression and, oh look at that, I spent August 2016 – June 2017 in bed, not eating, self mutilating, and one year closer to death! GREAT!!!!
…Do sad people think like that? Is that sadness? Lmao… just a question? I already know the answer! Because there are a lot of days when I’m not depressed, and am able to feel sadness without depression. Like when I killed my OWN God Damn fish lmao. There have been deaths in my family that have deeply saddened me, and there’s nothing to do but be sad. I can be at a funeral and be VERY SAD, and I can be not a funeral and be HOPELESSLY DEPRESSED, because they’re DIFFERENT emotions triggered by different things.
And not like this needs to be highlighted, but here’s another key difference — besides the fact that they are different emotions (and despite all the “Let’s Talk” days), people still somehow overlook the fact that: DEPRESSION IS A MENTAL ILLNESS. IT IS A MENTAL ILLNESS. SOMEONE WITH TWO BROKEN LEGS CANNOT PARTICIPATE IN A TRIATHLON. SOMEONE WITH STREP THROAT CANNOT FLAWLESSLY SING A CONCERTO. Someone with depression cannot drag themselves out of it, because their brain is literally at a disadvantage.
Anyway, whats the upshot of this fucking depressing post? Now that I’ve brougdepression and sadness are 2 different things, I will round this off with two closing points.
For those of you who don’t have depression, hopefully this helped you understand a little more about it.
For those of you with depression, I feel you HARD. It can feel like you’re consistently walking uphill, in heels, against the wind lmao. People not understanding it or telling you to “feel better” can not only make you feel isolated, but that kind of take can make you forget that your brain is sick. It’s not a choice you are making to feel like shit all the time. You are not a loser and you are not failing anybody by not “doing better”. You only fail yourself when you don’t do everything you can to try and make yourself feel better. So keep on fighting the good fight, go see a psych, look into medication, look into therapy, because I can tell you from experience there is no one way to “fix depression” that works for everyone, but there is a combination that WILL HELP YOU MANAGE IT. People love to throw around opinions “Exercise will cure you” “Medications are so bad for you” “You need breathing exercises and positive thinking”. No one is right, because whatever you need is specific to you. And if you think you’ve tried everything, you haven’t. It’s impossible that you have, because there are so many combinations of things, people, medications, lifestyles, that can work.
I have been on FIVE ANTIDEPRESSANTS. None of them worked. I have seen 13 therapists, I hated all of them except ONE. I’ve done CBT, seen psychotherapists, psychologists at Sunnybrooke, I’ve gone to CAM-H, I’ve done HYPNOSIS, I’ve done fucking REIKI lmao. Just don’t give up, because one of these people, medications, therapies, lifestyles, is going to work for you. There are too many options for one of them not to. I know it can get discouraging when things don’t work out, but sometimes good things take time, and patience. It took me 10 years to manage my depression and even NOW 2016 was a fucking write off for me! But for the most part, it is managed, and it doesn’t mean it’s GONE, but I DO enjoy my life now.
Whatever you do, do it for you — not so everyone else can see how well you’re doing, but so you can enjoy your life, because it can be good if you get the help you need. And obviously, surround yourself with people who understand, not people who make you feel like a weak, failing, lonely, loser. ALSO obviously message me if you want. I’m a game girl for this shit.
AND TO THE PRETEND INSTITUTION OF INSTAGRAM MENTAL HEALTH HOLIDAYS, LEARN TO MARKET YOURSELVES AND GIVE PEOPLE A HEADS UP, OK??? Geez lmao. I would like to be involved I think!
I’ll sign off appropriately with:
PS– ACTUALLY listen to this song — like LISTEN to it. I even provided an acoustic version so you can really hear the lyrics it’s so applicable, consider this a pairing with the blog. Like the blog was the steak and this is the CAB SAUV that brings out the flavour… lmao holy shit bye!