It’s not my mouth or my vagina. Or my butthole. Or…any other orifice. It’s a metaphor.
I’m trying to describe clinical depression. I have a doozy of diagnoses when it comes to this–Double Depression, or dysthymia PLUS major depressive disorder. Dysthymia is like…okay, non mentally ill people are at a neutral for a baseline, okay? They’re at 0. Positive emotions are up to +10. Negative? is to -10. So average person starts their mood at 0. With dysthymia, my baseline isn’t 0–it’s like -2. I start off in a lower mood. And then here comes MDD, that means periods of time at a -6. But because I’m already low, it’s like, -2 + -6 so I’m at -8. I don’t know if that’s a scientific truth, per se, that it might be cumulative, but that’s how it feels.
I’m at -9 right now. My depression is in a deep downswing. And I’ve been struggling to express exactly how it feels to my mostly neurotypical husband. And what I came up with, is that it’s like a black hole.
It is simultaneously empty and impossibly heavy, the heaviest pit of negativity and/or nothingness in existence. It could devour the whole world if it were let loose. But it’s trapped–inside of me. Right in my diaphragm, in the center between the line between chest and stomach and my shoulder blades. I’m keeping it contained against my will. Just 250lbs of me, surrounding a black hole. My body strains with it. It hurts, and it makes me feel uncomfortable, and I want to die so it will end. It’s horrible, feeling this heavy emptiness. It sucks everything I have, and here I am, resisting, surviving, day after day, struggling. My body is a prison, and the black hole of my sick mind is the prisoner. But the prisoner is too much, too big, and the prison doesn’t have the resources to keep it contained.
The answer isn’t to shut the prison down forever, of course. It’s to increase its resources. And that’s the biggest struggle of all. Self care is supremely difficult when depression is deep. It’s hard to shower, to walk, to work, to care, to love, to feel anything or expend Amy effort, even enjoyable effort. Like reading–I feel like it drains too many of my resources. Of course, it would probably replenish some, in the end, but just getting started on ANY self care requires energy, and I just have none. I’m walking around on fumes, and sleep only does so much to rest me. I feel my pain in my sleep, in my dreams. I toss and turn, I get episodes of insomnia, my brain just will not let me relax.
So I have been…faking it. I’m good at acting. Acting like things are okay for those who don’t already know me better. But this is my confession–I’m not okay. I probably need a change in medication, considering this downswing started when I stopped my sedative anti-depressant and my anti-anxiety mess so I could start this new ADHD med I got prescribed.
So that’s where I am. Why I’m not writing. I do not have the resources to write, the energy, the spoons, the anything. I can barely get out of bed, and only then because I have Obligations and Responsibilities and life doesn’t stop just because I feel bad, especially at my income bracket (lower class–but just not poor enough to get help). I have to work, I have to care for my own child, my husband can’t take off work or school to help me.
I don’t know what to do but wait it out, slowly sinking. I know the chances of me surviving this aren’t high. I get therapy, I get medicine, I get doctors and nurses and all the medical world has to offer me at great cost. And it’s not enough. What will ever be enough?