so ya’ll mother f**kers will stop asking “why” because it’s really complicated

So yeah, the rumors are true: I’m leaving Colorado to go back to Maryland. It’s not that I WANT to move back, to be honest I didn’t ever want to move back. But, unfortunately, it is home and that’s where I need to be right now for a lot of reasons.

A lot of things have happened this past 10 months that completely broke me down and built me back up again, stronger than ever, so I can’t say I wasted a year. I went through some of the worst depression I’ve ever been through, and through this, I learned a lot about myself. Ultimately, this past year I haven’t been getting what I need. I need art. I need my piano. I need the conveniently close music venues. Without all this the past year, I found myself as a completely empty shell. It wasn’t until I started painting again that I realized what it was in my life that I was missing: I lost a giant piece of myself.

I spent an entire year trying to find myself, when really it was there all along, I had just forgotten about it. I didn’t need to pierce my lip, shave my head and buy a skateboard to try and find who I am. I just needed to do what came naturally to me and ultimately just be myself.

So really what happened was that I came out here with no real plan except to hike mountains and drink good beer. But that wasn’t enough. It was fun for a couple months and then I got bored. I had the worst time trying to find a job and spent weeks fretting about being unemployed and alone. I would find a job, go for a day, hate it, and quit. This happened several times. I realize now I was wasting my time obsessing about finding a job and not spending the time I had to do the things that make me happy, like doing art. And that’s how I got depressed. Going nowhere. Not doing the things that make me happy. My body started shutting down. Weaning myself off my medication didn’t help either. I was drowning my body in alcohol every night and sleeping most of the day. Inevitably, I could feel my mind and body deteriorating and I slowly started to give up. I got to the point where leaving the house and even keeping a job was close to impossible.

One day a few weeks ago, I found myself at the bottom of a couple of bottles. I went a little psychotic. But then I started drawing. And then I picked up my paintbrush and I guess that was the moment when I came to (despite being out of my mind trashed) and realized what I was really missing in life.

Basically, I’m not happy in Colorado. I’m not getting what I need here. I need to go home for a while and reground myself and recover from the reality trip I took for 10 months. Hopefully, I’m going to go back to college to work on my second bachelor’s degree in art and then start applying to graduate schools for a master’s in art therapy (hence that I’m not moving back permanently). And of course, I’m going to just enjoy what I was missing from home: good friends, family, my piano, my cat and dog, being close to the water. The demons I left at home aren’t so scary anymore. Maybe time away is what healed me and made me strong enough to face them again.

I’m better now. I started treating myself better by eating a healthier diet, not drinking as much and making art every single day. I finally recovered from the klonopin withdrawal and now the fog has lifted from my head.

I will miss the mountains. I will miss the amazing beer I’ve tried here. I’ll miss some of the friends I acquired here. I will miss this beautiful summer weather. But it’s okay. I know I made the right decision.

You could say I’m a survivor of reality.

 

Advertisements

symptoms.

Everyday I ask myself, “what the FUCK is wrong with me?” Because this isn’t me. Or maybe it is. Things got a little bit crazy.

I haven’t been myself for 10 years, but I don’t remember being this out of control pre-medication.

The panic attacks, the lack of impulse control, letting myself give into things I know are wrong. I get too comfortable too easily, and then stepping out of that comfort zone is just too terrifying. I want to go to sleep every night knowing that things will not have changed when I wake up in the morning.

But they need to change, because this isn’t how to live. They’re all just symptoms of something bigger, something I need to face.

It’s 9am. I’ve been lying in bed since I woke up at 7:15 and couldn’t fall asleep, but couldn’t rationalize getting up. Nothing is going on today, why should I get out of bed?

Depression is a sneaky bastard. One day you’ll be totally fine. Things aren’t amazing, but nothing is really going wrong, so you’re okay. And then everyday starts being like that; not great, but not bad. This slowly evolves into having bad days and not-as-bad days, and eventually you find yourself just trying to survive each day because everyday is bad and it never gets any better.

But you still don’t even realize that you don’t have any good days anymore until suddenly 3 months have gone by and you’ve been miserable that entire time.  And that’s it: rock bottom. Everything is exhausting. Motivation is unheard of. The things you used to enjoy doing don’t sound appealing at all. Every morning is spent staring into space for several hours until the motivation to do anything, even clean up from breakfast, comes around.

The truth is, I had a really hard time accepting the fact that I had slumped back into my depression. I didn’t feel sad, or down or suicidal or anything I normally feel when I’m depressed. But that’s the thing about depression, sometimes it makes you feel nothing at all. I thought I was just having social anxiety as a result of medication withdrawal, but it turns out, I just don’t even want to be around people because I’d rather be in my bed with a bottle of wine watching Netflix. I thought my lack of energy was also from medication withdrawal. But that’s the other thing about depression, it’s not just an emotional state. Depression consumes every physical and mental part of your existence until you are an empty shell of yourself. 

My therapist calls this type of depression “anhedonia.” Basically, it’s the inability to feel pleasure. It’s just a fancy word for complete apathy towards life. There are things I should be happy about right now (which is why I hate the word “should”), like D is graduating on Friday and I should be happy for him, but I can’t. Seeing all the college kids this week killing themselves with schoolwork to get through finals makes me really sad. By the end of the week, all of them will have a sense of accomplishment and relief and gratitude that summer is finally here. As for me, by the end of the week, nothing will change. I’ll still be here. I want to be happy for them, I really do, but I can’t. It only reminds me of how little I’m currently doing with my life, and queue my spiraling downward into further depression.

It’s not easy to be in, and it’s even harder to get out of because there’s no magical cure or treatment. It makes me constantly ask myself, “what do I need that I’m not getting?” I try to think about the person I was when I wasn’t depressed: creative, active, and I had a sense of purpose. Now? I try to draw just to get out of my head, but it takes so much energy. Trying to do anything except binge on Netflix and lie in bed takes an enormous amount of effort, but that’s the price of trying to heal myself.

I’ve spent 3 days trying to finish this post. I give up.