Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Re: Depression

Seeing as this is where I come to dump stuff that I write, I felt like this was one I should move over from Facebook (which I ordinarily keep private). It was cathartic to get out; perhaps someone else will find it cathartic to read.

Incoming wall of text. Fair warning; I'm going to be discussing depression.

Today, I graduated. Not in a good way; I went to the doctor's office because lately, I have been fighting one of my long time demons. If you have known me for a substantial amount of time, you know I suffer from depression. The severity of it has varied from year to year, but it was coming to a very nasty head. I was diagnosed as experiencing moderate depression with at-risk for severe. Thoughts were wandering where they shouldn't, I couldn't drag myself out of bed in anything close to a timely fashion, I haven't worked out in weeks, my work productivity was being severely impacted, I'd come home with a ball of anxiety in my chest and, in short, I just haven't been the same me many of you are used to.

Or maybe I have and you've not really noticed. Because, you see, I've gotten very good at hiding when I'm suffering. I have to. I work in a very publicly visible environment. I smile for the camera and add happy faces to most of my messages. I do my utmost to be polite and professional, or give a gentle, playful ribbing to my closest of e-friends. I lend an open ear and am always here to listen.

But what I rarely do is talk. For some people, depression is an intense feeling of loneliness. That isn't the case for me; while I do a really terrible job of socializing and creating a network for myself, it's not because I feel alone and that I can't relate. No, my depression is a raging bitch and likes to tell me that I don't deserve anything.

That's how it manifests for me, and why I hang on so long to things in my life I know are successes. Because I have to in order to survive. Small victories have to become big ones to me or they are otherwise meaningless because it is so easy for me to trivialize them or forget them altogether. I crave praise because it's completely tied to my self-worth and, when I'm at my worst points, I truly feel worthless. And telling myself otherwise just doesn't work.

So, today, I started medication again after twelve years of being off of it. I've scheduled counseling for next week. I am getting the help I need because, thank goodness, I am weirdly aware of my issues and when I need to resolve them. I am very glad for that quality because, if I didn't have it, I'd think taking these steps was some kind of failure on my part. Instead, I know, even if my brain doesn't want to accept it as such, that I took some very important steps today to getting better.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for listening. If you don't know what to say, that's okay; not everyone can or will understand the kind of thing I'm going through. If you want to do something, leave me something you like. Maybe it's a website you use to decompress. Maybe it's a ridiculously cute cat picture. Maybe it's your favorite meme. Whatever - I'll use this as a nice little pool for recovery for the next few weeks while my brain settles into a new chemical balance. I'm going to struggle, but I know I have met so many amazing, loving, thoughtful people who (somehow) think I'm worthwhile. And when I'm in this place, really all I need is a reminder.

Remember (and this is as much for me as it is anyone else who experiences the same thing): It's always lying to you.


Menagese said...

Depression sucks, and recognizing the need for help and getting it is the best first step possible. I went through the feelings of extreme loneliness and zero self-worth, coupled with severe social anxiety and being bullied through mid/late teens to early 20s.

And then I found WoW, and that was my escape and what helped me pull out of the spiral I was in. These days, if I need a laugh or just something to take my mind of things, these are usually my go-to places. May you find escape in them.

Reddit: /r/mademesmile, /r/wholesomememes/, /r/wholesomegifs, /r/funny
Reddit Cats: /r/Delightfullychubby/, /r/blep, /r/StartledCats/
Random gifs/images:

Majin Link said...

I Understand where you are coming from, having been diagnosed bipolar, manic depressive, and a crap ton of adhd combined type. I wish you only the best, as do you all of your... fans? Sure. Fans. You've got a following, and they want you to be well. Which, is easier said than done.

Having depression is like having a poison living inside you. A demon, choking the life out of you. Mine manifests, at its worst, as voices in my head of the people I care most about telling me I'm not good enough, that they'll betray me, that I'm useless, worthless. Normally I don't speak about it, but I've found that knowing that people understand and wish you only the best despite how your depression may make you feel about reality is... helpful.

I won't claim to know you. I won't claim to be an overly empathic person. But I understand this, and this something [that I feel] we're all in together. This is a battle that isn't my business, but [even though I'm stranger danger] I'm here for you. We all are. We'll listen. And-- While most of us are not trained professionals and can't give you the proper diagnosis and feedback of a professional, we can give supportive messages and posts.

Hang in there, and stay excellent.


kushi said...

Well, i can relate to a certain degree. It's a good thing you're taking care of yourself.

Patrick Freese said...

thats a really big step in the right direction, you took there. I'll just leave you my thoughts here and hope you can smile some about things I say. (Sorry in advance for my english - I am not a native speaker. You can read the whole post with a strong german accent - that should bring the first smile on your face. :) )

I have experienced on my own, that life can and will be hard in many situations or phases. It's something we cannot influence at some point and that's not scary - it's pretty good. If you could influence your whole life, would you choose it to be 100% happy and fun? Or would choose it a little different? If I ask myself this question, I'd say I want it at least 1% to be not fun. And I think thats what many of us want, because it's challenging. The fact, that you accept the fight with your depression and don't surrender, because it looks so scary, is sooo huge. And even if I don't know you personally, I am proud of you.

Sometimes it feels like you can lose motivation. What keeps you going, what lets you feel alive. But Motivation is nothing you can lose. I'd say: "it's like you can't forget how to ride a bike" but this phrase is used soo often.
I would say Motivation is sometimes just hiding. Like you know the lyrics to one of your favorite songs, but you just can't get the melody back in your head. "Here's a little song I wrote. You might want to sing it note for note ..." But how was the refrain again?
And then you stop thinking about it and go on with something else. Suddenly, maybe a few minutes or hours later it comes to your head and you start whistling "don't worry, be happy". I know, it's a cheesy song to take as an example; but it's so simple and so true - I just like it.
What I want to say is: Even if you think you lost your motivation, it's maybe just hiding behind the next corner (or behind an other song thats sooo annoying you cannot think about other melodies - *Play Darude-Sandstorm*).

When I was really sad and thought I completely lost my Motivation, I somehow found a Youtube-Video of a Monk (no, not the D3 or WoW-Monk - A real one :) ) - and this man, maybe in his 50s, sat there and spoke in a very calm but meaningful voice: "No matter how bad your life is at this point. Every bad phase in your life is just temporary and will end. There will always be better times" - I know, it's not an ancient wisdom this guy told the camera, but those words somehow found a spot in my brain and stood there for about six years now. And i can agree with him, the bad phase was temporary. And I know there will be tough times in the future. But even those future-tough-times will be temporary.

Some things I really like. Theres on spot #1 my dog Kyra. http://i.imgur.com/LdJ8Buo.jpg http://i.imgur.com/wuGNj9c.jpg

Some funny YT-Stuff worth looking:
Bert Kreischer - The Machine! (A must have & Evergreen - Never get's old) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHfroJBMlVM&feature=youtu.be&t=32
Aplfisher - Awesome Streamer - My all-time-Favorite-Highlight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x1jXuDbQ2Y#t=4m15s
Do you prefer music to calm down? I'll leave you these songs:
Bruno Mars covers Sting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31ug1KLyd6Y
Want to see an impromptu song with the crowd? Matt Nathanson - You shook me all night long https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hzaPRa76yQ (watch the whole thing, don't skip!)
Man, I love great Crowds - Stevie Wonder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzbRoG6XFlg

Sooo... I tried to keep it short and already reached the cap. Let me just add: If you need someone to talk to or just someone who listens, you can always write me a message. You're awesome! Keep your head high, even if it feels heavy sometimes.
- Patrick

yann beelen said...

can relate to depressions and gaming. have a ASS syndrome (Aautism spectrum syndrom) or asperger. Ir is from day 1 and still clicking 49 years. had a few depressions during my live. Also been gaming since i recall having my Schneider in 1986. Then i went to a PC and never stopped playing since. That was also my way to cerconvent depressions or also i had also depressions because i didnt met alot people online.I was in a old guild in dark age of camerlot for 4 years till warhammer online (Dragon legion excalibur - europe). I have been tested games in beta from 2001 for Nival (russia) but i am from belgium so i frequent look up forums and leave comments there.
also hooked in to Diablo franhise and everthing blizzard brings (didnt start with overwatch though)..

hope it goes wel with you.
most lately depressions was 3 years ago about some love i didnt could have
that lasted 6 mounths.lately i am a bit depressed because of my mom situation is going down and i have to step in with all my problems