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Monday, April 14, 2014

Discovering What's Missing

While lost in that darkness you lose yourself and your life, which includes everything you normally enjoy. You stop caring about those things, doing them feels empty or like it takes too much effort. Along with losing my desire to stitch I also lost my desire to read.

Now reading has been a constant companion for me, a long with writing. I read books constantly since I first learned how to read. I remember as a child sitting in the back of my closet, yes behind the clothes, with a flashlight and reading. I did this in the middle of the night and hiding in the closet (sometimes) was to keep the light from showing so I wouldn't get caught because I just *HAD* to know how the story ended. Everywhere I went, I brought a book. They were my friends for many years when I didn't have friends.

Yesterday Ron and I went out for dinner, something we haven't done in over a year. After the meal (which was great btw!) we went to the book store. The last time we went I remember just rambling around not finding anything of interest, but last night I was interested. With a bit of help from an employee I found some books I wanted. Stephen King's son (one of them) is a published author as well. He goes by the name Joe Hill and he had 2 books out that I had not seen before, so I bought them. (I already had his other 2) When we got home I peeked at them and chose one to start reading, NOS4A2. It grabbed me within the first couple of pages and I LOVE when a book does that. It grabs you and takes you someplace magical and wonderful.

Feeling that again made me realize how long it had been since I actually read a book. I re-read books and enjoy them every time. At least, I used to. I thought back and it took a while, but I think it has been well over a year since I read a whole book, either a new one or an old and much loved one. This just blew my mind.

Me? Not reading?

Reading had always been my escape, my comfort, and my savior before. Stories helped me deal with so many stressors and depressive episodes before. Why was this time so different? I don't know but it certainly was different.

I read for HOURS last night! I devoured the words as the images filled my head and just enjoyed every bit of it. I finally dozed off over the book and when I woke up after just a few minutes I did what I promised I would ad put the book aside and tried to sleep.

I wasn't kidding when I said I spent most of my time over the past couple of years doing nothing except staring at stuff on the internet (sometimes good stuff, sometimes stupid stuff).

It feels good to be doing the things I enjoy, and enjoying it, again. But I am worried. Will this period of being awake just last a couple weeks, then go away quietly like the last couple I had in the past 3 years? I hope not, I really do.

(BTW there is good news about my chronic pain. Turns out hypothyroidism can cause pain. My thyroid is better balanced thanks to medication and in doing so lots of symptoms cleared up, and the intensity of my pain had dialed down a bit. I am back to being able to stand for 10 or so minutes. Eventually better things will be written about but right now I'm writing out what my brain is focusing on and it seems to be focusing on noticing how badly this depression affected me.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thoughts on Depression

Past words echo in my mind..words spoken, heartfelt and believed at the time…yet uneducated, naive words. Life, as always, is a hard teacher sometimes. I remember saying “You’re either suicidal or you’re not. You either want to kill yourself, or you don’t.”…passive suicide was something I couldn't fully understand or believe in, at least not when those words were spoken.

I understood fully sayings such as “I just don’t care anymore”, “life seems empty”. Yes, these made sense because at different times in my life I felt those things.

Depression isn't new to me. I've had my down times, self destructive times, wanting to kill myself times, melancholy, sad, angry and others. I’d had periods where nothing seemed to matter much at all.

But I've learned, yes one can chose to die without actively taking too many pills, using a gun, or any other method of suicide. This manner of suicide is more insidious, sneaky and dark. It comes after “life is empty” and “I don’t care anymore”. It is the miasma that occurs when one lives beyond those stages. Not only does nothing matter anymore, but it matters so little that you can’t even be bothered to use that tiny bit of energy to say it doesn't matter anymore. It isn't worth the effort to say it or write it. After that it isn't even worth the effort to think it. 

That is where I got to spend 2 years.

Yes I had periods where my anger woke me up a bit, but it didn't last long and as time passed, those periods happened less and less often, had a lot less energy behind them, and eventually ceased at all. “It just isn't worth it”.

At this point, death is welcome, even desired. Though you can’t summon the energy to end your own life, you find yourself craving it. Just wanting it to happen, not giving a shit about when or how, just “soon”.

This is a horrible place to be. It is where I spent most of last year, empty, dark, just existing but not really there. 


I'm working on getting back on my feet (literally and figuratively). Thanks to a major health scare in late October 2013, the severity of my depression finally became clear because for the first time in a long long time I felt something. When my heart went nuts and I thought I was going to die, my brain started screaming "I don't want to die". Since then, I'm trying to get back some life. The words above were written last night while I was thinking about how the last year truly was.