Blue's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (life viewed through the lens of depression)
Some of you are aware of my existence by now, but for those who aren't, I'm fairly new to this forum. I've been stumbling my way along with depression for somewhere around seven years. It was triggered by a life event and exacerbated by circumstances since then, which I've done my best to eliminate where possible. About a year ago I changed track with that and made the huge decision to end the relationship I was in. Rough though that was, I finally started to see a bit of progress. I've still had a fight on my hands, to stay afloat and get control of my time and money and my peace of mind, all of which were tied up for a long time in untangling my finances from those of my ex (not his fault, the bank made it really damn hard, and my job and my own state of mind weren't helping).
Now I've started enjoying things again, and am not always instantly down when I'm on my own. I was once a (deliberately) solitary creature who enjoyed my own company and learning everything I could, so it's good to be more like that again. The depression's always there, lurking in the background, but I sometimes go a few weeks at a time without any prolonged episodes. Long enough to start feeling like I'm healing or that my emotions have some concept of cause and effect again. Then down I slam again, sometimes for a day or two, other times for weeks, and it feels like I've made no progress at all. In these periods my mind and my emotions are constantly at war, particularly when I'm alone and/or it's quiet. My mind is calm for the most part, and well aware I'm strong and capable and have strategies and I actively work on those in spite of the depression. My emotions, on the other hand, are running about with flags chock full of negative messages and even though I know it's not (or even close) I feel like everything is collapsing, that I can't deal with it and I just want everything to stop. That's where I'm at, today.
I do have an amazing partner now, who is extremely supportive, and has helped me immensely. My current problem is that I need my friends and family, too. I so rarely have time that isn't ruined by unsociable work hours and also the energy and will to socialise, but my friends are seldom available when I do. In those times I know it may be weeks or months before I can see them again, and I miss them, and that's mostly when I crash again these days. Dunno how to fix that yet, but I need to vent, and here I am. Getting better but having a really crap day.
Yeah, it's pretty hard having them just near enough to be slightly out of reach.
I'm a grunt in a supermarket (so much for my degree). It hasn't really been such a bad day, just a tiring one, and a very early start. I haven't tried Kracken, and only recently got into Captain Morgan, as it's my other half's drink of choice. Ex used to drink it too, but the pre-mixed cans, which smell vile and put me off it. Sub-standard cola can ruin an otherwise good drink.
I think making friends is the same as finding romance; so much easier to do when you're not trying and don't particularly give a crap. I've found that just doing my thing my way and not hiding who I am has worked wonders for me in that department. Which isn't to say I'm the life of the party, but it has attracted a small number of exactly the right kind of people (i.e. deep thinkers that can carry on a meaningful conversation and get that I'm all f***ed up and will sometimes not want to see anyone for weeks). I recommend it.
What happens when you feel like you've said all you can about your depression? You've described the same feelings a thousand different ways, over and over and over until it feels as repetitive as the depression itself. The thoughts aren't new, neither are the words. And the more you speak out the more it feels like complaint after complaint and you never liked complaining. Not in your nature. You'd gladly listen to others as they did so but you were always silent because your stuff always felt petty. And so now, it feels like you're being a burden. It feels less brave, less like catharsis, less like people care. Like you had your 15 minutes, now step aside, there are others, what more could you possibly say anyway?
And you feed into it, get more and more quiet, listen to others, wonder what fresh way you could provide support because what you were going to say has already been said, so now, what use are you? And you slowly step back. A bit further each time, other people have got it covered.
And then everything you've been talking about it hits you harder because you walked away from the support circle. You don't step back in, because again, same stuff different day. And you try other outlets and you realise even you don't want to listen to yourself anymore. And the thoughts swim in your head, you've worked yourself back into silence and day by day, you feel lonelier and lonelier. You can't bear yourself, you can't bear others. You feel dated. What then?
Oh...trust me, I'm not trying at all haha. I just meant that I feel uninspired to have friendships. My counsellor suggested that I make them to feel less alone in an environment I hate. But I agree, if it's organic, it works out just right. It's great you have understanding friends.
Ah yes...the pre-mixed drinks...I recommend Kraken. And I also recommend ginger ale and lime with the captain instead of the cola. But cola is good too. I actually prefer spiced rum with ginger ale and lime.
I think a lot of people say "so much for my degree" myself included. The day I graduated, I actually used it as a sort of umbrella against the drizzle. Just a piece of paper. Should have saved the paper and put it in an email actually. I do grunt work also, but less lifting..
I know what you mean about feeling like a stuck record going over and over the same stuff. It's mainly with my partner I feel that way. I can and do talk to him about everything, he's the one person who listens at any time of day or night (at least, around sleep/work/etc.) and is patient with me, but I'm so tired of coming to him with how bad I'm feeling. He's nothing but loving and understanding and reassuring, but I can't help worrying he'll just get sick of it. I'm so sick of it myself, sick of the same s*** coming up, and sick of my own company when I'm like this. Yet for some reason he perseveres and is completely unwavering.
It's different with my friends, though. We don't see each other all that often, and when we do, we talk comprehensively about whatever's going on in our lives but the minute details don't keep coming up because there isn't that same level of constant contact. They know about my depression and poor social energy and all that stuff, so if for instance I knock back an invitation somewhere because I need some time on my own they get all the stuff that surrounds it and it doesn't need discussing. It's just "you know the deal", and they accept it. That said, as I've previously mentioned, my social group consists of a bunch of misfits with various mental problems themselves, so conversation about it (and pretty much anything else, too) is often comparative or theoretical and hugely in depth and informative because of it. In essence, like the conversation we are having now. You're definitely someone I'd hang out with. 🙂
Can I ask about the circumstances under which you've made friends in the past? If they came to you, or you approached them, and in what way? I've had various cheery types invite me to work parties and such, and those are the friendships that are a bother to maintain, that just fade away. But the ones that have lasted have almost exclusively been the result of my policy of being kind to the oddballs and loners. Not in any overt way or intending to make lifelong friends, but they have tended to attach themselves to me and seek something more, which works because it's my experience that it's the weird and horribly damaged ones that make the best friends.
As for work, the economy collapsed just as I left uni, which didn't help, but I can't even blame that. I was always in it for the learning and couldn't prioritise the job, so I made my own bed there. If it comes to matter enough, I'll fix it.
Yea...I hear ya. When I was in my Honours year they cut funding to medical research so no one really wanted to hire a newly minted graduate who wasn't from the country. It's why I had to leave. I needed the job to stay. But, I am the same as you, I like to learn. If all things were equal, and everything we wanted was provided for us, I would still get an education, still "work" it's never been about the money. I just know I need it to live a bare minimum of a life.
I just met my friends as a consequence of circumstance really. I was the way I was and if they liked it, they stayed, if I liked them, I stayed. I'm only counting the people I met in my adult life, not school. So, whomever I had the same units with or my lab partner, we had to speak to each other really. It just happened, never woke up in the morning and said "I'm going to make a friend today" Two of the three people I mentioned earlier was through uni and doing my degree. The third, who I consider my best friend, we met so randomly. I met her in Dubai just before an IELTS exam, and we were the only two in the room at first, and I noticed her Sri Lankan passport and she'd noticed my Sri Lankan passport and we just started speaking. It was probably the most comfortable convo I've had with a stranger. Then we didn't meet until Aus again. Met intermittently because she did business and I did science. We only really got close maybe 1.5 years ago. And we had no idea why we had wasted all that time. Uncannily, we had met previously at a third party's house a couple of times. I kind of just talk to anyone, misfit or not, if they ask and I feel it's genuine I reply. The ones who made it I essentially vibed with, and yea, we're all a little off center; the way we act or think, or both even. Definitely can have the spectrum of conversations with them. I agree with you, overtly bouncy, cheery ones I can't really put up with for long.
I'm glad that you have a partner who you know you can go to with the same problems, and who you know will listen each time and support you.
I think you're a pretty kind person, deep in thought and considerate, I can see why he would be unwavering and perseveres.
Thanks Blue, I would definitely hang out with you too. In fact, I consider this hanging out 🙂
Learning and creating are where I find a bit of meaning in life. The rat race... not so much. Worrying about an impressive career and having all the shiny things everyone else has rather detracts from it, in my opinion. Granted, money is an unfortunate requirement, but I suppose having to work gets me out the house and I do occasionally make a friend, as previously mentioned.
In many respects I like my job well enough. My peers on the bottom rung are a pretty agreeable bunch for the most part, my department manager is great, and I enjoy the physical nature of it. I look at my work as getting paid to exercise (I have great guns, and didn't go to the gym and pay for it), then I come home and indulge my mind (at least, when the rotten thing is working). It's just the structure of my shifts and the absurd decisions of upper management that make it a drag, because it's minimum hours over maximum days, not enough people to do all the work, and they're always trying to cut back more, to the point where we don't have the things the customers go there for in the first place... hence less profit, more cutbacks, etc. And I don't get any damn sleep and it stuffs up my social life. (*expletive deleted*) Sorry, that turned into a rant for a moment, there.
Looks like we have much the same approach to social stuff. I'm not unkind to the popular ones, of course, I just don't leave out the weirdoes. Doesn't really mean much to the popular ones because they're used to favourable attention, but the ones that don't quite fit in respond pretty well to being treated like actual people. Although, that said, there is one friend I made fairly recently who is very well liked by all, but in conversation with me one day kind of just gushed out all this stuff about her social anxiety and how good it was to talk to someone she felt didn't want her to just put up a happy front. Said she liked how forthright I am and how I couldn't give a toss what people think of me, and wished she was more like that. That was a nice moment (genuinely, not just for my inflated ego). If you're lonely, keep doing what you're doing, just maybe don't hold back on asking someone you click with to join you for a coffee or something if you may not otherwise have done so.
Thanks for the kind observations about me, too. You got a smile out of me. And I guess this is hanging out, albeit with censorship and the odd bit of the conversation disappearing for a day...