When Taking This Product, Avoid Alcoholic Drinks
September 29, 2013 § Leave a comment
This may be a somewhat nonsensical post because I’ve been drinking and just took a sleeping pill that says I should avoid taking with alcoholic drinks, but bear with me.
I think I need to start avoiding alcohol. Earlier today I seriously considered jumping off a bridge that I walked past on the way to a dog walking job. I debated things like how deep the water was and if the height of the fall was enough to kill me or just enough to break my legs and leave me in pain with constant aid and supervision for the next few years of my life.
Later, on my way home, I realized, almost with a laugh, that I’ve never written a suicide note. That thought has never even crossed my mind. I think that’s what people do when they kill themselves out of anger or revenge, when their suicide is directed at other people. I don’t have to write a letter because the people who know me best know my suicide would have nothing to do with them. They would know I hung on this long because of them, not in spite of them.
My cousin and I have been sharing a lot lately, about our depression, how to deal with it, how it’s sabotaged our relationships. I feel like I’m in a somewhat unwinnable situation because I know how it feels to be depressed but I also know how it feels to watch someone else be depressed. My cousin is ready to try medication, to see if his problem is chemical instead of genuinely emotional. I’m afraid to try meds. I’ve watched dad go on a roller coaster with medications: when they would work, then they wouldn’t work, when they worked but he went off of them… I don’t know how my mom and brother fared, but speaking from my experience, I feel like my dad took a lot of his own issues out on me, whether it was just because of the meds, I’ll never know. I don’t want to go on that roller coaster ride, I don’t want to hit those highs and lows that dad did.
But I don’t want people to feel what I felt either. I don’t want people that I love to suffer because I’m suffering, either because I take it out on them or because I burden them with my mental health issues. It’s a huge burden to tell someone that you’re broken, even worse to tell them that they can’t help you. The only thing worse than hurting someone you love is putting them in a position where they can only watch you be in pain, where they can’t help you. When I moved home last year, my dad was suicidally depressed and so far gone that it was incredibly painful for those around him, myself included, to know he was in so much pain but not to be able to help him. It’s infuriating to feel so helpless. It’s agonizing.
You should share the truest parts of yourself with the person you’re in love with, with the person you’re in a serious relationship. But what do you do when the truest parts of yourself are the parts that are broken, the parts that come with an “unfixable” label? The parts that say “You’ll never be able to make me happy because I am broken.” You are burdening them unnecessarily, you’re putting them into a painful, frustrating situation unfairly. They can’t help you so you’re better off not telling them. You should never cause the person you love pain, not if you can help it.
So what do I do? I’m alone now, which is dangerous because I don’t have the supervision to keep me from hurting myself. I tried counseling and found it as exhausting and artificial as it was completely useless. I’m afraid to try medication because I’ve seen my dad try it for 15 years with terrifyingly varied results. I know he thinks these new meds are the cure, but I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop. What can I do? What options do I have left?
My cousin says there is hope in the moments of happiness we’ve experienced. I can feel that hope when I’m in an okay place, but as soon as things get dark, all hope is extinguished. He send me a youtube video of a young man speaking about depression that I found very moving, but as I’ve processed it, I’m not sure he offered any answers. I can’t tell people I’m suicidally depressed every so often, I can’t tell them that despite my great parents and the life I’ve enjoyed as an over-achiever, that I still feel worthless and unlovable and like damaged goods. I can’t tell my new intern friends that I just stood on the edge of a bridge and was seriously considering jumping.
I wish I’d never told Alec and Mark about being depressed. It put them in a very unfair position, forcing them on the outside of a situation where they could only watch me be in pain but couldn’t interfere, couldn’t help. It was unfair to involve them in the first place, as a depressed person can never really truly make someone else happy. We can’t engage like normal people, we can’t feel the same level of connection and intimacy. Part of us will always be locked away in that dark place.
I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to go about seeking treatment when I feel so convinced from the outset that the treatments will fail. I can’t forgive myself for letting people love me when I knew going in that I was broken. I can’t forgive myself for telling those people that I was broken, for basically telling them they could never make me happy because I’m incapable of being happy. My cousin says two things are hugely important — true apology and true forgiveness — but as sorry as I am for ever causing anyone I love pain, I will never be able to forgive myself. True forgiveness is unattainable. He says that’s part of being a depressive and I’m sure he’s right. Doesn’t matter, I still can’t fix it.
I’m afraid to fix it. My reality is based in being depressed. I’ve been depressed since high school, maybe even before. I’ve gotten increasingly self-destructive. I’ve increasingly lashed out at the people who love me. What do I know about being happy, much less making anyone else happy? My world is dark and I’m used to that, I’m comfortable with that. Fear of the unknown has been a source of paralysis throughout the history of humanity. I am afraid to be happy. I’m afraid to seek treatment. I’m afraid of what will happen if I try to pick up the pieces, if I try to get better. I can’t decide if I’m more afraid of failure than I am of success.
For now, I’m in the dark and in the dark I will stay.