For those who haven’t read Dear World, I’m a Mess: Part One, you can find it here. It might give you a better idea of what I’m saying below, which is a continuation. Like before, this was written at different times over several weeks, so hopefully you can make sense of the chaos.
Keep on reading about my struggle with depression these last few months below…
Why is it that we miss people when they’re not around, and take advantage of them when they are? I’ve been living at home (post-graduation) since April. How many months is that? Eight? Eight months as a bona-fide adult, living in my parents house and sharing a bed with my fifteen-year old sister (it’s a king-size bed. Sometimes it feels like we’re in a Jane Austen movie). I’m being yelled at to do the dishes like I’m a teenager again. It’s not that I resent my parents for telling me what to do (in their eyes, I’m still a child) but I resent not being on my own. But then I remember how I am on my own. In a word? Lonely. I’ve never actually lived by myself. At home I shared a room with a sibling. Always. And in college I always had several roommates. I’ve never even had my own room. When I was young, I used to think I wanted it. And maybe if I had been given it, I would be able to live alone now.
But then I remember how I am on my own. In a word? Lonely.
But the fact of the matter is that I have always lived with someone, and it has become a crutch. I will always have to live with someone. There were occasions when each roommate would be gone for the weekend and I would have the apartment all to myself. The first night, it would seem gloriously peaceful and freeing. I could sit around in my underwear and NO ONE WOULD CARE. I could eat in my pj’s…on my bed…at four in the afternoon. And then the next day would dawn–Saturday, beautiful responsibility-free-Saturday–and the silence would be deafening. I would go into the kitchen, empty of laughter and the smell of cooking food, then to the living room, so dark and roommate-less that it crushed me. It was in these moments that depression kicked in, taking over my mind like a plague and controlling my body like a malfunctioning robot.
So I knew, from days like this, that I wouldn’t ever like to live alone. So I wished, more than anything else, to live with family again. As graduation came nearer, my desire to live with family lessened slightly, but not enough to change my mind. So I moved back home after receiving my degree.
The first months were happy. An old job fell into my lap–a job I had left not liking and claiming I would never return to–and suddenly I was grateful for the paychecks as I watched my savings account swell. I was only working part time, so that left me opportunities to hang with my two younger siblings, whom I hadn’t spent very much time with before. I was happy. I had tentative, vague future plans; things like “Get a job/career in my field,” “Move in with a close friend,” and “Fall in love and get married.” But for the moment, I was relaxing and enjoying doing nothing productive.
Then the honeymoon period ended. Four months after I came home I visited my sister in Utah and was set up on some fairly disastrous blind dates. My confidence was pretty low. It was about this time that my boss asked me to come on full time. Additionally, I brought the plague home with me (a cold) from Utah and was sick for weeks. I no longer had those extra days each week to convalesce and I didn’t seem to be getting better. My body was wracked with coughs and weak muscles daily. The doctor said it was an infection. All of a sudden, the high I had been riding for months was gone, and all that was left in its stark absence was pain and fear. Even though I began to feel physically better (finally) after two months of slowly progressing with antibiotics and an inhaler, mentally–it was a whole different story.
I craved change, a new change of pace, a new scenery. I cut off all my hair, the same hair that I had been painstakingly (okay, not really) growing for months until it was long, luscious, and beautiful. I spent hundreds of dollars on new clothes and jewelry. I watched DIY shows on Netflix. But these quick-fixes, momentarily-happy moments didn’t seem to make any change.
And then it was November, and the holidays crept up on me; suddenly, Thanksgiving had passed and Christmas was around the corner. But while the chest infection was cured, the daily nausea still reigned supreme.
It began, I suppose, with anxiety (that I’m-going-to-hurl sort of anxiety) that kept me from eating breakfast. Soon, I couldn’t stand the thought of a piece of toast or breakfast taco at the beginning of each day. Around mid morning I almost did hurl, nearly everyday.
“What is wrong with me?” I asked my mom, my cubicle buddy. “Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? Why can’t I just feel okay? I don’t have to feel great or anything, just okay.”
Everything began to spiral out of control. Two days before Christmas I was parked in my driveway, sobbing so hard that I couldn’t breathe and desperately wanting to hear the voice of an nonjudgmental loved-one (shout-out to Kelsey who answered the phone when I called that night).
I was too far gone. I now hated my job (no matter how much money I was making) because the hours were long and the work non-challenging and unchanging. There was no way I was going to force myself to eat each morning. I was closing myself off in every relationship I had–family, friends, etc. I was sick in my body and sick in my mind. I was a wreck every day. My mental block was so obstructive that I was going to work myself into oblivion if I didn’t change, and change soon.
To be continued…