The Best Way To Beat Depression

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Depression is an ugly thing. I know. I’ve been there, more times than you know, that dark, midnight time of the soul, where monsters lurk with sharpened teeth and faries die underneath iron blades. It is never easy, and it is not a battle you can win easily, not without sacrificing a tooth or two, or a portion of your heart.

But there is one way to overcome depression, one tried and sure way which I have discovered over time, and which many other people have told me about, only, it wasn’t until I put it into practice did I realise how very useful it was: keeping yourself occupied. I know it sounds rather simple, and not the kind of solution you were asking for. Keeping myself occupied? Doing things, even though all depression wants me to do is lie in bed until I get nauseous and dizzying from staying in a supine position for so long?

Yes. The best way to overcome depression, to re-surface from the land of cluttered clockwork unscathed, with not so much as a single scratch on you, is to keep yourself busy every single second of every single minute of every single hour of the day. You mustn’t let yourself do nothing, not even for a second—you must be busy at all times, doing something, even if the task is as simple as typing a message to someone on your phone. The moment you stop doing, and lapse into passive activities, is the moment when depression likes to creep in, and ruin everything. It feeds off of lassitude and boredom.

This doesn’t mean that every “activity” out there is considered sufficient enough to be classified as an “occupation”. On Google, occupation is defined as “work”, or how one earns one’s living. There’s a secret here: why do you think so many of us who are unemployed, are depressed? That’s because we have nothing to occupy our days with, so we end up sinking deeper and deeper into the morass of our own thoughts. What we should be doing, instead, is trying to find a job, so that we can find ourselves productively engaged no matter what time of the day it is.

Passive activities like watching Youtube, or watching films. or even reading, are NOT good antidotes against depression, simply because, especially if you find reading an easy thing, they are occupations which require little effort. Effort is key. The task shouldn’t be so much effort that it causes you to over-stress yourself and have a mental breakdown, but it should be engaging enough to require your full attention at all times. That, my friends, is how you beat depression—simply by keeping busy, very busy, very productive, and entirely engaged with life.

I used to work in an age care centre, and even though I hated the job, and didn’t enjoy cleaning up faeces one bit, throughout the entirety of my experience at the age care centre, because I was busy and occupied, I wasn’t depressed. Not at all. It was only afterwards, when I had to wait half an hour for the bus, or during my break time, when I had to sit and eat and stare at a television screen, that the gloominess would begin to set in again.

I think I’ve stumbled across something quite marvelous, which many others before me have already discovered, yet is still new and fresh to me. Depression is beatable: not through medicine, not through therapy (although talking to your therapist is a productive activity, and probably why people feel “better” afterwards), but through simply lifestyle changes; namely, finding things to do. I don’t care what it is. It could be playing an intensive video game, doing the grocery shopping, playing Sudoku, writing a book, cooking, singing, working at a real job; never just laze around, watching Youtube videos, films, listening to audiobooks and reading books, like I have done before.

Keep busy, and it’ll keep you alive.

 

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A Genuine Insight Into This Dreamer’s Existence

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It’s exactly 10:39 at night, and I am sitting in my room, alone, typing on my laptop. I just got back from an evening with church friends, and, while I didn’t know quite a few of them, I did end up having a nice time, playing board games and eating food. I didn’t feel like I quite fit in with any of them. As someone who is going through a particularly miserable patch of their life, surrounded by happy people, with jobs and happy lives, I couldn’t feeling, internally, as though I was sticking out like a sore thumb.

I wonder what it would be like if you met me in real life. I started thinking about this, ever since I started an Instagram account and became active on Twitter again. You can follow me on Instagram HERE, and on Twitter HERE. I mean, I’m a very introverted sort of person, very internal, all of my thoughts and feelings are wrapped up inside my brain, instead of expressed outwardly. Perhaps, in real life, I might come across as odd or strange, or quite average, the kind of person that blends, unnoticeable, in with the crowd. Inside, however, there is quite a different story: inside, within me, I am a hurricane of feeling, of misery and poetry, stardust and sunkisses.

Disappointment forms the focus of my life right now. I am utterly disappointed that none of my books have become published. In fact, disappointment isn’t even a strong enough word for it. I feel as though I am dragging with misery with every step I take, leaving behind sludgy, footprints of sadness on the ground behind me. My entire body sags. Not being published is like not being able to breathe. I feel as though I was never born, and never lived. My entire life is not just missing a single jigsaw piece: all the jigsaw pieces have been scattered into the wilderness, never to be see again.

I am exhausted, but I must keep writing, for that is the only thing that is keeping me sane at the moment. I was made for nothing else other than this dream of writing. I know nothing else, and exist nowhere else. Whatever I do for the rest of my life, be it childcare, or teaching, or whatever it is, I just know that it will all pale in comparison to the prospect of getting published, of seeing my book on shelves, of holding my book in my hands. I can barely breathe from the misery of it.

Perhaps I come across as too dramatic. After all, there are many other avenues which you can take to publish your book, such as self-publishing, or distributing books for a price in public. Other ways. But I don’t want the other ways. I want the official path, the one and only. If I could just thrust my book beneath the noses of my readers, and let them see the pure artistry and magic written across their pages—if I could just make one publisher see inside my mind when I write my books—

But it’s all for naught. Lately, I have decided to Instagram and Tweet as often as possible. I don’t know why exactly I’m doing it. I suppose, I want to be of more help to others in this world. I think, if I write a tweet about my misery, and someone else in the world somewhere reads it, then they might feel comforted. If they see a photograph of my laptop, or my doorknob, with a certain caption, they might feel less alone, less—-something. Less afraid. I don’t know. I want to provide comfort to people, in this often dark and lonely world. If I can do that with my life, then I think I can die happily, if not satisfactorily.

And that’s the thing. Oh my, a headache is beginning to build. I better stop writing soon. If I die without ever getting properly published, officially published—why, I think I might actually die with a tear trickling down my face. Eventually, I will self-publish, if this thing never works out, and advertise my book on this blog. I’ll sell the books for only a couple of dollars, because I know some of my readers are struggling financially, too, just like me. And perhaps people will respond, and tell me how much they like the books—and that, I think, will have to be enough. I can’t see anything more than that happening.

It’s quiet. It’s night. 16 minutes have passed. I have written around 800 words. Outside, cars are passing by on the street, making soft swooshing sounds. I am currently reading a book called Shopaholic Ties the Knot. The woman who writes this book is very blessed. I do not hate her; my heart does not hold such vindictiveness. Instead, I stare at her books with a gentle wistfulness, with a tinge of envy; she is married, with beautiful children, and has a long and steady publishing career. Her life is everything I have ever wished for for myself. Meanwhile, the days pass in a steady blur, of boredom and stress, job searching and interviews. I don’t know where I am going, and life is turning into a dull ache of pain. It isn’t excruciating: it’s just always there, pulsing, against me, against every part of me.

I reach out to God. I do. I reach out to Him. And tonight, I will go to sleep, thinking of nothing because there is nothing to think, my heart empty of dreams because it isn’t shattered or broken, it no longer exists, and I wade, sobbing quietly, into a future where I don’t belong.

A Thunderstormy Night

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Shell-shocked. That’s a little of how I feel. Here I am, sitting alone in my room, with my legs cross-legged on my bed, Taylor Swift’s new song, Gorgeous playing in the background, two books sent off to publishers, and life couldn’t be any more worse. Put it that way, I sound like a spoilt brat.

But that has no bearing on the fact that I am still completely confused, still completely depressed. I have lost faith in myself, and in life, too. Life was meant to be magical. As a child, it was. It is no longer. And I don’t know what to do.

I wish I could reach for something, or someone, who would assure me, and give me evidence, that everything would be “alright”. That I wouldn’t become homeless, or do not face a future of unemployment and boredom. That this is a kind world, filled with kind people, and animals, and books, and delight. But that’s not true. This is a cold world, filled with selfish people, and blood and murder, failure and despair. At least, that’s how it seems to me at the moment.

I can’t even seem to muster up the strength to write anymore, and that has been more devastating than anything else. Writing was meant to be my passion, my one true talent, and, now, depression, like some ugly monster, has utterly swallowed it and taken over. I am nothing but a walking home for this beast, this parasite, known as “depression”, as “the blues”, or, for those who are a fan of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the “mean reds”. Even God, it feels, has forsaken me; once a reassuring presence, He seems to have utterly evaporated from my life. When I reach out to Him, I can still hear Him, but He isn’t speaking any words of comfort that can soothe me.

Lately, I am starting to become addicted to chocolate. My mother’s client’s gifted her with a hexagonal bottle of Cadbury’s chocolate-coated almonds, and I have been unable to stay away from them since. They are terrible for me, I know, even if they do have an almond centre, but since I am depressed, I found myself reaching out for them, just for a little sweetness in my life.

I am thinking of doing a Foundations Course and returning to university, to studies. Perhaps from there I can even study to become a Primary School Teacher. It has always been a dream of mine, to stand as an Asian-Australian teacher in a classroom, and teach to a room of Australian students. But of course, these are all still works in progress. I am thinking of applying soon, perhaps next week. Then we’ll see what happens from there.

One thing I do know is, I most definitely do not want to study childcare. It’s not something I’m suited to, and I doubt I ever will. Primary school teaching is a career that can offer me many benefits, and I will have the ability to turn my tutoring skills, gleaned from experience in the past, to good use. I think, if given enough practise, I could turn into a patient, kind and caring teacher, one who leads students through difficult questions, and gets them through exams. It’s definitely something I am considering, and the one, single ray of sunshine or hope in my life right now.

I hope you are all doing better than me, dear dreamers. I hope you have good jobs, good partners, and, if not, I hope you are on your way towards gaining them ( I didn’t want to use the word “obtaining”, because jobs and partners aren’t pieces of a game you get by playing well in life; in my opinion, they come to you when you work hard, and are an honest and authentic person). I’ll be OK, don’t you worry about me: I am tougher than I look, and have even survived one evening of homelessness before, when I was kicked out of the house.

Oh, who am I kidding? I would never survive homelessness if it actually occurred. Well, here’s to new beginnings. To fresh hopes. Here’s to making a start on things, to going to places we haven’t been before. To teaching, and writing, and living the dream. I say this as my face twists itself into a rictus of a smile, and the sounds of the marching dead trample above my head.

An Unhappy Musing—Oh Dear

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Honestly, the titles of my blog recently could possibly form a new series known as “Very Blue” or “A Depressed INFP.” Well, I was scrolling through Youtube one day, when I came upon an announcement, about this random stranger, in some corner of the globe, getting married. Her name was Tanya, and I don’t know her, and she doesn’t know me, yet for some reason, I felt an overwhelming sweep of despair, at the thought of this stranger getting married, and living a happy life, with two children in the future, and a good job, and so on.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s not like I don’t want other people to have happy lives. That would be very cruel and horrible of me. No, it’s not that. I just felt sad about it, because those kinds of happy lives are the kind I thought my life would one day turn into. Now, at 20 years old, nothing seems to be on the horizon, not marriage, not a job, not children, not published books, nothing. At the thought of this woman, probably in her twenties, getting married, and living a wonderful life, surrounded by friends, I suddenly felt a wave of loneliness and self-pity, so strong I was choked by it.

You know, when I was a child, I always assumed adulthood, like childhood, would just fall into my lap. A job. A house. A partner. These things would just come, like candy falling out of the sky, just like the way I was born with a mother and father, or that, when I was little, I had a home to live in and food in the fridge. I took it for granted, those things, and so, when I grew up, I took it for granted that the normal, everyday milestones of adulthood would also just magically come my way. Obviously, some work would be involved, but, in the end, everything would be alright, and I would get to ride off into the sunset, happy and content, just like everyone else.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite turned out like that. For one thing, I didn’t finish Year 12, which meant the possibility of university was severed. For another, I have no idea what to study or what career to specialise in—in terms of finding a career, I am utterly lost. The more I think about it, the more I feel it is a problem of fit. What do I mean by that? Simple. I can’t fit into society! I am this extremely introverted, daydreamy, awkward and terribly self-conscious young woman, who bundles her way through life, and is not very much good at anything, except her one talent, writing, and even that is average at best (or, at least, in her eyes). A day or so ago, I wrote a short story about the Zodiac signs, and I was considering publishing it on this blog. But I felt so bad about it, so riddled with self-doubt as to whether it was a good story or not, that I didn’t, and ended up sending it to a place called Open Pen instead, a publishing company, hoping they’d snatch it up, even though I have no hope of them doing so and it’d have been better if I’d just posted it on my blog in the first place. Did that sentence even make any sense? I don’t think it did: it was much too garbled. I am much too garbled.

Dear dreamers, I am so lost in life I feel as though I might throw up because of it. Strange as it might sound, I believe depression has a genuine, physical, negative effect on the body; ever since becoming depressed, I’ve been getting aches and pains in odd places, and getting dizzy, even though I am young and meant to be full of health. My sleep cycle is alright, and I have no loss of appetite, but it is as if a perpetual cloud of greyness hangs around my head. This entire business of having to have a job to earn a living is beginning to do my head in. “I’m not good at anything!” I want to scream. “All I’m suited to is writing short stories, children’s books, and blog posts, and never gaining any recognition for doing so.”

My greatest fear is not homelessness anymore, it is boredom, because it is impossible to write all day long, and, once you become unemployed, you suddenly realise how many hours there are in a day, and how much effort it takes to fill them. The thought of getting a boyfriend, of doing anything else, apart from trying to get through each day without feeling too depressed, is too much for me at the moment. If I was motivated, I would join dating sites—but I’m not. Who would want to date an unemployed, twenty-year old writer, penniless and introverted beyond belief?

I am waiting for something. I don’t know what. The other day, my mum bought me some watermelon, and I spent ten minutes stuffing my face with slices of it before I realised I hadn’t tasted any of it. I am eating, I am sleeping, I am breathing, but I am doing all of it on autopilot, while my eyes remain glazed over, their expression listless. Suicide is out of the question: I couldn’t do it to my family, or have the courage to go through with it. Even in these respects, I sometimes feel like a coward. I am very afraid of physical pain: once, when I overdosed on Panadol pills ( I can’t believe I didn’t mention this yet in a blog post; remind me to), I was even afraid of the discomfort of an IV drip, as the little plastic tube directly entered my vein and chafed against the inner wall of my vein, creating great pain, so I am definitely not going through with that again.

It’s not all doom and gloom, my dreamers, even though I might appear to be that way. I mean, I still have a roof over my head, and food in the fridge, courtesy of my family. I still have my writing, and I still have hope, however small. I am just so discontented with the reality of life. I am panting with the desperation of wanting to rip it away, the surface of reality, to reveal what’s truly behind it: shining stars, and delight, and a world where I belong.

When Depression Hits

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I don’t want this blog to dissolve into a cesspool of moaning and groaning, but, to be honest, life isn’t going well at the moment, and I feel like writing is the only way I can keep sane, for the meanwhile. In fact, I don’t even know what I am writing right now, I am nearly going insane because of my misery. And the thing is, I don’t know what, exactly, I’m so miserable about.

Well, apart from the fact that I’ll never get published, that I’m suited to no jobs, and that, in the near future, it’s likely I, a bright and intelligent young woman, shall be homeless—why yes, I say, with a hysterical laugh, I don’t know why I’m miserable at all! No idea!

I actually have no idea what I’m writing about. This blog, since its birth, has been a raw and honest view of my life, and I have never filtered any of my thoughts and feelings. And right now, as of right now, right now, ladies and gentlemen, I feel as though I might go insane because of misery. Insane. Actually insane.

I’m so depressed I am literally going crazy. None of my writing is going well, and I doubt any of it will ever get published, its all pure—well, crap. I don’t see myself in any job in the future, not childcare, not as a library technician, nothing, zilch, nada. In fact, in this post, I am just repeating myself. Soon, in the near future, I am certain you will see a post titled, “I am now currently homeless” or something equally miserable. Gosh, aren’t I a ray of sunshine?

For the last couple of seconds, I scrolled up and down on my page repeatedly, a useless motion borne out of pain and anxiety. What do I do with my life? What is life about? Sometimes, I wish I had never been born. As of late, everyday I have been wishing I had never been born. If I had never been born, then I would never have become conscious, and if I had never become conscious, I wouldn’t have had the stupid pipe-dream of becoming a successful writer, and be feeling any of this misery in the first place. So, really, it’s my mother and father’s fault, for creating me in the first place.

I’m really not suited to any job except writing. Introversion isn’t even a strong enough word for how much I like to spend time by myself. Other people exhaust me, they really do. I just don’l like the outside world much; I much prefer the world inside my head, preferably one created by myself. However, I do have friends, and I do enjoy hanging out with them, and I don’t mind talking to psychologists. It’s the social aspect of jobs I find tiring, the obligatory greetings and smiles, the small talk that makes me want to squirm on the inside, the constant pressure to maintain a façade so no-one sees the real you underneath while you are working. The social pressure of having a job is the worst, possible thing, it really is.

I am stuck in a nightmare. This is what happens when I have depression. It feels like you are stuck in a never-ending nightmare, with sleep being the only relief. These days, I wake up and almost feel the urge to cry, because my mind, always trying to be helpful, provides me with such beautiful, lovely dreams, only for them to evaporate the moment I become fully conscious. It sucks. It really, really sucks—and you know things are bad, when I use a word like “sucks”, something which I try to avoid because it sounds very unsophisticated and crude.

I don’t even know what the point of this post is any more. I’m just typing words, hoping they’ll lead me to something better than where I am right now. Hoping some part of this will be nice and therapeutic. If you have ever been depressed before, I am certain a lot of what I am writing resonates with you right now. If I was depressed—I mean, if I wasn’t depressed—I mean, if I was someone else, depressed, and reading my blog, I would feel greatly comforted to know someone out there feels the same way I do. Do you know what I have been up to today? Watching videos about homeless people and homeless shelters on Youtube. If that isn’t morbid, considering my situation, I don’t what it is; it’s rather like a terminally ill person designing their own tombstone.
What do I do? Pray? Meditate? Hope? Blast some Taylor Swift music, and pretend everything is alright?

I don’t know.

Dear dreamers, I really don’t know.

Well, Things Keep Getting Worse

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If this blog can do anything for you, it is to make you feel better about your life than mine. Not only am I broke, unemployed, and trying to claw my way out of both states, none of my books, my most treasured possessions, have been published.

In fact, these days, as I trudge through the rain, umbrella in hand, my mind full of dark thoughts, I am starting to feel like a dead man walking. Or woman. Nothing seems to be going right; none of  the careers which I dive into seem to be working right, although, to be honest, I’ve only had three jobs in my life so far: one tutoring children, one working at a fish shop, and another at an age care centre. Nothing fancy, nothing really worthy of putting on a resume. Meanwhile, all my highschool peers are in their last years of university, have extensive experience in their field of work under their arm, and are on their way towards bright futures.

To speak even more honestly with you, if this publishing thing doesn’t work out, deep down, inside, even though I will be too frightened to go with it, I will be suicidal—literally a dead woman walking. Writing has been my dream since I was five years old. It is no longer a dream. Instead, it has morphed into something terrifying and grotesque: a be all and end all. Instead of angels singing, I hear demons howling. Instead of typing up words to build a better future for myself, I feel as though I digging a hole no-one cares about. I have nearly three finished children’s books inside my sleeve, and, while I would love to just publish them on this blog, or on Amazon myself for a couple of dollars, something deep inside me wants to reserve them for an actual publisher, so it has an actual cover, and I can one day hold an actual book in my hands.

I don’t know what to do. I feel myself slipping away. I hope this isn’t misconstrued as some kind of drama queen-esque mental breakdown, because I am not trying to be a drama queen, I am in real, true suffering. I listen to music, and I am listless, I stare out of the window while I ride the bus and I am depressed; whenever I think about my future, I want to crawl up into a ball and block out the sun.

Life isn’t turning out the way I wanted it to. When I got lemons, not only were they too rotten and sour to make lemonade, but they were also crawling with maggots and flies. You know an INFP has hit a low point in their life if delicious food, whenever it is available, is the only pleasure left in their life. I get excited about icy poles, for Dreamer’s sakes. When I eat, at least I am able to forget about the mess my life has turned into. Well, it isn’t such a mess. If I posed my books on my blog, I am certain hundreds of you would like to read it. They are such wonderful, whimsical books, that I am certain not only would I get lots of comments from my readers, but I would feel greatly gratified and happy. Even if I put the books on Amazon, and they cost a couple of dollars, I am sure someone would buy one or two of them. But that isn’t the point. The point is, I want to be published, properly published. And the more time passes, the more I feel as though that will never happen.

A Melancholy Post

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I believe I am a fount of undeveloped potential. I believe my books, if read by the right person, might be scintillating enough to be published, and perhaps even made into films. But, so far, nothing has happened.

Enough about me. What about you? I hope you are having a wonderful time in life, I really do. I’m not one of those people who are bitter and upset if other people’s lives are going well—as one of God’s children, I rarely feel any jealousy when others are happy, and I am not. I hope you are in good health, and doing what you love, and enjoying life to its fullest. I hope you have good family and friends, or spouses and children, and that they are well, too. And I sincerely hope you’re not an unemployed, depressed starving artist who is seriously starting to re-think her dreams of becoming a writer, because they look to be as likely to happen as her becoming an astronaut tomorrow.

I went and saw a movie today. The funny thing is, whenever I am in the middle of watching a movie, for a brief moment, my depression lifts, and I am transported somewhere else. The movie, in case you were wondering, was “Black Panther”, and it was a marvellous film, though not exactly the kind of thing I would usually watch. There was far too much violence in it for me, though I did like the fact that the cast was nearly all African-American, which is unusual. If only they’d make more movies with other minority groups, like Asian-Americans (I am Asian myself, in case you were wondering.)

What else is there to talk about? Lots of things. Money is tight. Extremely tight. Tight enough that I am quite stressed, and biting my nails at night a little bit about it. I’m always afraid to eat out, and worried I spent too much—since I went out with a friend today, and watched a film, I spent around $20, which is over the daily limit that I get from Centrelink each week. I am searching for a job—in fact, right this very moment, I am about to start work experience for my Certificate III in Age Care. I will be working with the elderly, tending to their showering and other daily needs. While it is not the most glamorous job, at the very least it will pay some of the bills. And the hourly rate is around $20, so if I work full-time, which I do not plan on doing so, because of my mental illness, and part-time instead, I could easily earn $300 a week, and help my mother out with the bills.

Shattered dreams. Shattered hopes. It feels as though I’m some kind of grey sludge, crawling from one day to the next, leaving a trail of misery behind me like a big, fat snail. I want to be a writer so badly, it hurts; I want my books shown to the world so badly, when I think about it, I can’t breathe. It’s more than just a passion, or hobby, or a calling: writing, for me, is something that is intertwined with my soul, and the thought of never being successful at it, sometimes, is more than I can bear.

Moments at night, or when you are alone, are the worst. Have you ever been miserable about something, for an extended period of time, and then woken up in the middle of the night, alone in that darkness? Is it not the worst feeling it is possible for a human to experience, almost? Alone, in a galaxy. In the middle of the ocean. That’s what it feels like. As if everyone else is happily going on with their lives, having calm and blissful dreams, while you suffer, and suffer, alone in the dark depths.

I don’t know how I get through the day, and if you are going through something terrible, I don’t know how you get through the day, either. Every single second of existence feels painful, like it’s being dragged across my skin. Change your dreams. Give it up. Forget about becoming a writer. My mother tells me these things, but I don’t listen. I can’t. Writing is something I fell in love with at first sight, and, just like falling in love with a person, it’s impossible for me to stop now. I was fated and doomed the moment I picked up a book, and then picked up a pen to write my own stories. Isn’t that how things usually start? With a look, a glance—and then, you are gone.

Excuse-me for writing such a melancholy post. I’m sure your life is doing much better, and you do not need this little bit of melancholia in your life. Still, I am going to post it, because it is an accurate representation of how the world seems to me at the moment: dark, and depressing. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find a way out of it. Success is sweet, they say, but failure isn’t bitter, it’s downright poisonous.

The Reality Of Depression

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Well. The depression has returned. It came back three days ago, and I have a feeling the beast will be staying for a long while this time, biding its time, sitting on my chest like an unwelcome dog. I haven’t slept in three days, and feel like hell. Even the slightest, tiniest of tasks, like sipping a bit of water from a cup, or relieving my bladder, takes a monumental effort; I’ve got heart palpitations from anxiety, and nausea and dizziness to boot. Nothing I write is the least bit good, and my writing dreams are dust. When I get like this, I see nothing—no future, no past, no present, just endless pain and misery, for eternity.

There’s no hope. Granted, I’m not suicidal yet, I don’t have any plans to kill myself, but it is likely I’ll be hospitalised before the week is out if my mood keeps up. I’m just sick and tired of everything. Sick and tired of writing and never getting anywhere with it. Of staying home, and feeling like I have no future, no career, no hopes or dreams, nothing to look forward to or be happy about. Everything is colourless and dull; there’s nothing more depressing than the world outside, with its cars trundling down the streets, the empty pavements, the grey leaden sky, the people on the buses and trains, living in their own separate houses. Every word I write is a barbed thorn, digging into my flesh. Depression isn’t anything to laugh at; it’s black, it’s dark and all-consuming. It is the lack of hope itself, the world become a pencil-drawing instead of a rich, colourful canvas. I can’t remember the last time I was truly happy.

When I get particularly depressed, as I am now, a dark, thick self-loathing overtakes my mind and body completely. I can’t look inside mirrors, and every word I say, every movement I make, is pathetic and disgusting. I can’t stand being alive. I can’t stand my own presence. All I want to do is lie down, in a dark room, take a few hundred pills, and go to sleep forever, so I will no longer have to bear reality and all its sharp edges. I want to step out of my body, shed it like a butterfly does it chrysalis, and flutter away on angels’ wings to heaven, to somewhere pleasant, without pain or fear or despair. When I get depressed, I wish I had never been born.

I really feel quite ill. The only purpose of this post is to shed some light on the reality of depression. I feel sick and nauseous, deep down to my very core; the lymph nodes at my neck are all tender and swollen, and I can’t breathe, as if there’s a pillow clamped to my chest. I have a pretty good idea for a book, but not the writing skills to bring it to execution, and I cannot help but feel that my dream of becoming a writer is out of reach for good. When I get depressed, everything is irritating and unbearable; the light of the sun, my family’s attempts to speak to me; all books and films become boring and banal. .

Whenever I get depressed, I wonder how it is that everyone else can remain so happy and calm, and go about their days with such faith and motivation. Why is it that only some people have demons? What makes one person more susceptible to the blues than someone else? It doesn’t make any sense, and I am full of jealousy towards those who live their lives happily, untroubled and carefree, because it seems to be a state I can never attain.

I don’t know how much longer I can keep this no-sleeping business up. Twice, I have run through my head suicidal methods—there’s pills I’ve been taking for depression, paracetamol in the drawers in the kitchen, which I can overdose on, and close to where I live a bridge that overlooks a reservoir of water which I can jump off from if I need to. It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t depressed why I would want to take such a drastic step. I’m still afraid of doing it so far, but some part of me wants to do it, desperately, because I can’t stand being myself, being conscious and existing, for a moment longer. Life has become unbearable; it’s as though someone has crammed a lump of something disgusting into my mouth, and I want to spit it out—by which I mean, kill myself. I do sincerely wish I had never been born. I wish I could return to a better place, to my childhood, when everything was fun and exciting. I’m lost in life, and I don’t know who I am, or where I am going; I want to find satisfaction, contentment, happiness, but all these things seem as out of reach as the sun, and instead of smiling all I feel like doing is throwing up.

 

When Everything Seems Difficult

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One of the first signs that depression hasn’t completely released its hold on your life is if everything seems difficult, from the smallest of tasks, such as brushing one’s teeth, to bigger jobs, like applying for courses and making grown-up purchases. For me, it’s as if my brain has become, after the depressive episode, stuck in a kind of rut. In the past, I used to be able to write words and sentences with ease; now, they trip and stumble over each other on their way from my brain to the page, heavy and loaded with insecurities. When before I used to be able to immerse myself in fictional world for hours on end, now I find it a stretch to even write one scanty page of fiction a day.

It’s as if my mind has blacklisted, without asking me, all the tasks that I once found fun and enjoyable, and have now made them unbearable chores. It’s one of the reasons why I find it highly unlikely I’ll get published in my lifetime at this rate—not if even the writing of words sends me down a crazy spiral of despair! And to make matters worse, this lack of motivation and energy stretches to all domains of one’s life. Not only do I find the prospect of applying for my Diploma of Nursing next year complicated and unbearable, but I also find the very idea of finding a significant other and settling down and having a family an immense chore in the future, which, if I do manage to attain it, will require only more hard work and sweat and blood and tears. Laziness isn’t the reason for this—if that were the case, all I had to do was give myself a good talking to—but something more, a lassitude and lethargy of the soul, that makes all of existence as boring and monotonous as pushing pebbles up a hill with your fingers.

I feel terribly tiny and insignificant a lot of the time, and it is not a nice feeling. Sometimes, what I feel is anxiety—fear of homelessness, of not having food to eat or a roof over one’s head—but other times it’s this blank loneliness, wherein I feel myself to be little more than a speck of dust on the wind. In a sea of billions, I am nothing, and whether I live happily or miserably, die early or late, it matters little to the world, to the universe. Perhaps God, if He exists, cares, and a handful of people on the planet, but other than that, you and I, each and everyone of us, are tiny ants crawling across the surface of the planet, going about our daily lives, with our small cares and worries. Inevitably such thinking leads me back down into a state of depression, and I try to claw myself out of it by reminding myself that I am a miracle, and a part of nature and the Universe just like any other organism.

Life is hard. I think it’s hard because humans don’t really know what we want, and when we do get what we want, we often find we do not like it. Everything seems better when seen through the lens of “in-the-future”, but when that particular future becomes the present, we find that whatever we wanted–a family, a car, a house, a better job–actually makes life just as mundane and ordinary as when we didn’t possess it. And that’s the problem—after this depressive episode, I don’t know who I am or what I want anymore. At the moment, my only goal is to study so that I can eventually find a job and support myself financially, and that in itself will be a large mountain to surmount, but after that? Or during it? What do I want? Now that I no longer have the prospect of becoming a fiction writer in my life, I am left adrift, my identity scattered and broken. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put myself back together again.

 

 

 

Waking Up Depressed In The Mornings

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Every morning, I wake up depressed.

I don’t know why this is the case. I don’t exactly have a very bad life. I know where I need to go, what each day holds, especially now that I have resumed my studies. While the prospect of the day’s work ahead of me is daunting, and sometimes makes me want to crawl back under the covers, it is not explanation enough for the overwhelming black misery that floods my heart each time I open my eyes in bed in the morning and find myself back in the world.

I think it has something to do with the mystery that we are all in, the mystery of life. When I awaken in the morning, the mystery returns along with my faculties, like an unanswered question popping back into one’s head, and I am tormented by the lack of answers, by my own sheer bewilderment in the face of life. I don’t know a thing about life or death, and neither, I think, does anyone else on this planet. And the mystery of it, the absurdity, in all its baffling glory, is so irritating sometimes it makes me miserable. I’m just not good with mysteries, with not knowing. I like to know. I’m the kind of person who hates not being told things, or not having the answers to things. I am a worrier, and a hypochondriac. I like to get to the bottom of things, quick snap. If there is a problem, I try immediately to find a solution, to resolve it. And life itself sometimes feels like the most unsolvable, infuriating problem there is. Hence the depressed mornings.

I know, I know, as they say, “Life is not a question to be answered, but a mystery to be lived,” or something like that. But I can’t help it. I can’t help the niggling sense that there’s something going on around here, something important—at least it seems that way—only no-one’s telling us anything about it. And that’s so frustrating. It really is.

Here are two very sad things, very tragic occurrences, that I’ve noticed recently, in my everyday life, just by watching the interactions of the people around me and society in general. I like sad things, because they tug at my heart, and it makes me feel more alive, somehow. I’m full to the brim with unspent empathy, you see, I’ve got endless reserves of empathy, deep reservoirs of it, and nowhere to spend it. My family members don’t really need me. They see me as more of a burden. So instead, I apply my empathy in small and silent acknowledgments of the suffering in the world around me. I think suffering is beautiful, in many ways. It’s awful, but it’s beautiful, somehow, the way a dead bird lying on the side of the road looks sad and infinitely beautiful both at the same time. Whenever I see a dead bird, lying all by itself on the side of the footpath, I feel an overwhelming melancholy sweep through my heart, along with a kind of miserable joy. I don’t know how exactly to explain that, either.

One, for instance, is that sometimes people can’t help but love those who cannot love them back. I’ve noticed this a lot, over the years. Lots of people love certain people more than those people love them. It’s a tiny tragedy, occurring in hearts all over the world: mothers who love their delinquent sons or daughters, who couldn’t care less if their mother lived or died; women who love their men, even if they are abusive or selfish or unkind; men who love their wife, love them dearly, even after she cheats on him and treats him very badly. It’s a very complex issue, you know. There’s lots of hidden wiggles and swirls and complexities to them. These things often are. And I myself have had certain experience in this field of heartbreak. My father is a strange man. He loves me, in his own way, but he is too selfish and self-centered, due to childhood trauma, to properly express his affection. Nevertheless, I love him, I love him with all my heart, because he is my father, and a daughter often can’t help but love their father, and desire his attention and approval, no matter how badly he hurts her. And now I find myself attracted—well, I don’t mingle with people often enough to meet many, anyway—to people who resemble my father, people who can’t love me properly, and who I will always love more than they love me. And that’s a very sad place to be, I can tell you that first-hand.

Another thing I have noticed is the silent suffering that goes on behind closed doors, behind walls and windows with the blinds drawn. A man who suffers alone in his house, wifeless and childless, with cancer and the daily chores of living. People who have mental breakdowns deep in the night, alone, in their bedrooms and bathrooms. Just a few days ago I was in the throes of such misery at the thought of the wonderful days of my childhood compared to the life I live now as an adult, so wracked with nostalgia, that I found myself curling up in a foetal position on my bed, in the dead of the night, and crying my eyes out and feeling as though my heart would break from the pain. It was a little bit of silliness on my part, probably, but at the time, I can assure you, it felt very real, and I felt as though I would die from the sadness.

But I didn’t. I’m alive. Time passes. It goes on. People die, and others live on. Even if the sky were to fall down, eventually, people would just begin to pick up the broken blue and white pieces and live their lives anew. All feelings, all states of mind, all suffering, all happiness, is temporary. And there’s some strange comfort in that. There really is.