So today was one of those days where I’m uncharacteristically emotional. I hate that, because I’ve always had the mentality that crying is a sign of weakness, that emotions in general are a sign of weakness. Only in myself, though, because when other people show how they feel I think it’s pretty cool – they’re proving themselves to be alive and human and real. When it’s me, however, I hate it. As does everyone, I think.

I have exams next week, that I’m oh-so ridiculously stressed about, that don’t even really count for anything and result in grades that won’t ever make it to any official records. Because of that worry, however, I haven’t been sleeping properly and I’ve pretty much stopped eating. It’s been like this for about four days, and I feel so awful. I don’t want to go back to how I used to be, and yet all these food-related thoughts powered by extreme sleep deprivation have infiltrated my mind, or at least become more noticeable than usual.

All of that anxiety has then made it horribly easy for other unwelcome, supressed thoughts to make themselves known (again): your boyfriend doesn’t really like you; your boyfriend’s friends hate you; your boyfriend doesn’t love you (and here come all the reasons why); your friends are only there because they pity you; your grades are slipping and your school will reassess your scholarship and kick you out… I could go on but I think at this point the list would go on for far too many pages.

I should note that I know that a few of these things aren’t actually true, but on days like this the rational side of my mind manages to disappear for a few hours and leave me alone with the other side, the one that mocks and taunts and points out everything that is, and could possinly be, wrong.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that on days like this I hurt the people closest to me, and it’s true; my lovely boyfriend who I like and love and care about so much, who is also the kindest, most thoughtful, funniest and most cleverly intelligent person I’ve ever met, saw me on the stairs at the end of the day, a few very short minutes after I’d ended up crying into my friend’s shoulder in the toilets, gave me a hug and goodbye kiss and I was so close to crying again so I turned away and hot-footed it down the stairs. He laughed from behind me, at what I have no idea, but I’m so terrified that I hurt him and that was a laugh of incredulity at my awfulness. He’s honestly so amazing, and I know that if I keep doing this he’s going to leave. I’m so scared about that.

Hastily pushing that painful topic aside, I was also supposed to have dinner at a close family friend’s house this evening. I went round after school and told both them and my mum that I’d had a horrible day so couldn’t stay to eat as I needed to get to my room and calm down. I should mention that a few tears made their hated appearance around about then because, as well as the nastiness of my day, I knew that I was being rude. Something my mum’s just come home and told me in greatly exagerated detail, having left a few hours after me.

The reason I take issue with my mother sometimes is something I should probably mention and explain here; whenever I’m having a day like this, and even when I’m not, one of her seemingly favourite things to do is mimic me, putting on a ridiculous voice and flapping her arms about while twisting the things I say and intentionally making me feel guilty. She’s even admitted to the fact that emotional blackmail is something she knowingly uses on me, which is horrible because she knows exactly how bad that makes me feel.

Anyway, I’m well aware that this post has become something akin to the content found on an angsty teenager’s blog, so I should end it before it gets worse.

I’ll finish by saying that I hope no one else feels like this, but as it’s inevitable that one or a few of you do please feel more than free to leave an emoji in the comments and I’ll find a way to contact you and try and help.

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Just One Of Those Days

I’m having one of those depression days again and I feel awful.

I think it was triggered by a mixture of things, the most notable of which being that I am so goddamn paranoid… I hate it.

I worry that the slightest thing will make my boyfriend realise that I’m way less than what he deserves or could have. I worry that he doesn’t actually like me. I worry that we’re low-key because it’s not a serious thing. I mean, we talked about it and we are together but just not shouting about it, which is completely fine and yet I’m still worried… Part of that conversation was an agreement, initially brought up by him, that we can do whatever but no falling in love (which I don’t feel like talking about). This agreement was fine at the time, but over the last few weeks I’ve started wondering if that’s just what he wants because we aren’t actually serious. It’s horrible.

The thing is, I know that I don’t doubt him even if it seems like it; I doubt me because I know I’m not good enough for him.

Obviously, there’s also the whole panic about grades which I could probably eradicate by some revision, but over this past three week holiday I’ve done none. Sure, I’ve sat down with my books and all that but none of it’s stuck – I have a brain like a sieve, as I’ve probably said before.

Linked to that is the stress of university; I don’t have to apply til later this year unless I go for Oxbridge, which I don’t think I want to do. It’s just the whole future thing, I think, and the distance bit and the fact that I’ll be leaving behind everything I know. Bit scary, really.

On top of all that I’ve got strange little problems at home, and I’m just as paranoid about my friends as I am about my boyfriend, again because I can’t see why I’d be even slightly interesting to them.

All of this has come crashing down today and landed me with an awful migraine, one that came with all the symptoms of flu; in short, my depression has taken today as its day to remind me that it’s still there, as loud as ever.

I wish I could get rid of it, because I know that it’s the reason for my paranoia and anxiety and everything else, or at least I know that the three go hand in hand. I hate the fact that everyday I have to fight my own head, with my head, and that every time I wake up on and after days like today the phrase ‘won the battle, lost the war’ seems oh-so relevant.

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. It’s like this muffler stretching over my nose and mouth and a weight on my chest that makes breathing really hard, as well as this ache in the back of my head and a mixture of guilt, anxiety, paranoia and so much else biting at something deep inside my chest. Ohmygod I hate it.

Dear Nina,

I mentioned in my previous post that I was looking through some old notes I made on my phone and I found a record of some messages that my best friend, who incidentally lives in a different country to me, sent me when I was going through a particularly rough patch.

I want to paraphrase them a little so that they are suitable for anyone and everyone who might need them, because they helped me and I believe that everyone deserves to be made to feel better when they’re having a bad day.

It’s okay.

I will always be here for you and I won’t be mad at you for hurting yourself. I just want to help you to get happier, so whenever you feel like hurting yourself you can always write to me. I will never be dissapointed if you hurt yourself again, because it happens, and sometimes you just break your Wall (the one you put up to try and keep the bad things away). I will always love you, no matter what you do to yourself. You will always be my best friend and I will always be there for you.

If you get sad over small things, I won’t laugh and make fun of you – I will cheer you up and try to help you. If you are scared, and if you feel your anxiety, I will try to calm you down and just help you in any and every way that I can. No matter what is making you sad or scared, I will help you (even if you are too scared to ask for small things, even a sachet of ketchup, I will ask for you). I will always help you and I want you to know that you can ask me anything.

You are my best friend and I find you so beautiful even with your scars. Your scars and past don’t define you as a person. It’s the way you treat others that defines you.

I want you to know that even if it’s 4am and you are feeling sad, call me or write to me! I will just apply cold water to my face and stay up until you are feeling better. I love you.

Please remember that I will always love you and you will always be the same amazing girl that I call my best friend.

No matter what you do and no matter how much you hurt yourself, you will always be you in my eyes.

I am not mad at you for hurting yourself and I will not be dissapointed at you for hurting yourself.

I will always love you. Please remember that.

I know that her message was personal to me and fitted my situation, but I think that most of it could be applied to any situation where someone feels bad.

I also want to add that if anyone is reading this and is in need of someone to talk to then comment on this post and I will find a way to get into contact with you, whatever the time, because no one should feel like they have no one.

Just Something I Found

While looking through the notes on my phone I found a piece I wrote nearly this time last year. I wasn’t going through the best of times, but by the time I wrote this I think I could effectively ‘see the light in the darkness’, so here:

I have scars on my wrists,

And bruises on my knuckles,

With broken veins and a broken heart.

I have a void where I should have life,

A hole where I should find love,

Yet still I am alive.

I have scratches and marks aplenty,

And cold that runs so deep,

But somehow I am thawing.

I have scars, yes,

But they’re not all so bad,

They show that I have lived,

And survived a lot of things.

Perhaps to the others my hardships

Are nothing but minor setbacks,

But to me they cut too deep

To ever really hide.

I have family and friends,

And I love them all so much,

And it’s thanks to them that I’m still here.

I have love,

Not that I can always see it,

But I know that it’s always there.

So thank you, every one of you,

Who has held me when I’ve cried

And helped me to my feet.

Thank you every one of you,

For the solidarity I needed.

Now I’m not going to pretend that I’m particularly good at poetry, but it’s always been a way for me to express myself; I’ve never been much of a talker and so at a young age I realised that I could far more easily convey myself through the use of written rather than verbal communication.

This poem, sort of named The Scars On My Wrists, was my way of trying to look at my depression. I’m not sure what else I can say about it because I think the poem says enough, at least in the best way I can express.

 

I have depression

I do, and it’s horrible.

The purpose of this little post isn’t to go off on one about how horrid and awful my life is, because believe me I do that enough offline; instead I’d like to write a bit about my depression, because I think it’s something that’s different for everybody.

On the whole, I think I’m quite a smiley person, I mean I laugh a lot and generally don’t wallow around too much. The thing is, even when I’m laughing with my friends there’s a voice in my head telling me that they don’t really like me, or that I’m ugly, or that people are looking and judging me negatively. It’s a pretty self-centred mentality when I come to think of it, but it’s not something I can just stop because it’s just there, as much a part of me as a hand or a foot or something; noticeable, because there’s no way of removing it, and inconsequential, up to a point, because I can’t remember it not being there.

Generally speaking, therefore, that little niggle of depression is just an annoying, underlying little buzz that knocks the confidence but isn’t crippling in its presence. Generally speaking, I said. Because there come those days when it is crippling, to the point where I physically can’t get out of bed due to the sheer weight of my mentally emotional state.

Sometimes, on these days, I feel like everyone and everything is against me no matter what is said. It feels like I’m suffocating, and sometimes I genuinely can’t find enough breath, and so I lie there in a cloud of nastiness with that little buzz in my head suddenly finding a megaphone and yelling out all those things that before were just whispers.

When this happens I’m really not the nicest person to be around. My only excuse is that I can’t shut out the stuff in my head and so, if there are people around, I tell them those things; I attack the people closest to me because I don’t know how to turn off that voice in my head telling me that they don’t care, or don’t love me, or don’t like me. So my loathing of those things bursts out of me as if it’s me who doesn’t care about people, meaning that I turn from just being sad to being an uncontrollable monster. When I flip to that ghastly being there’s nothing I can do, and it’s as if I’m sitting there watching someone else screaming remorseless words and watching them find their mark. When that happens I want more than anything to stop, because I know how wrong it is and I can see the effect it has on other people, but I can’t. I don’t know how to.

That’s what my depression is like, a perpetual sense of unworth that could, at any moment, build up and up and burst free, like a monster lying dormant until it gets nudged awake, at which point it rears up and rips out of the frail cage it was imprisoned in.

I hate it.

Of course, there’s the ‘cute’ side of depression too, where you just sit there and cry a lot, perhaps buried under a quivering mountain of pillows and duvets and blankets, but beneath the layers of soft bedding there’s still that monster inside eating you alive with sadness, guilt, pain, loneliness.

Then there’s the depression that is shown through self-harm and/ or thoughts/ acts of suicide. That’s pretty grim too, and it’s often seen as the worst means of expression because wanting to hurt yourself and/ or die goes against nature, but when you’re in that place of self-loathing you’re not thinking about the different ways to show how awful you feel because all you care about is making that feeling go away for good, no matter the cost.

Those three expressions are the ones I’ve experienced. The first, the one involving screaming and hysterics, is the one that I find worst. The second, involving the uncontrollable crying, is the one I most often find myself experiencing. The third, involving self-harm and thoughts of suicide, is the one that I hope is in my past. They’ll never know it, but it’s mainly because of my little sister and best friend that I never followed through with the plans to end my life or permanently scar my body.

After that rather rambling explanation, I’ll end this particular post. I can’t say how often I’ll upload following ones, but I’ll endeavour to do it enough that this blog doesn’t wither away.

I hope that this has brought some understanding to what it means to have depression, and that it isn’t just a permanently flat state of bleh.