I broke this week.
I crashed this week.
I drowned this week.
Whatever you want to call it, my depression came back. I think I probably just didn’t take care of myself as much as I needed to. I’m not sure. I wasn’t exercising or sleeping enough, and was very stressed and overwhelmed by the amount and difficulty of the homework I needed to do. It was too much. College can be too much.
I ended up crying and having “depressive attacks” four days in a row. Wednesday I had a migraine, took a nap, started self-medicating with Benedryl and Advil, and slept a lot. Thursday and Friday I was so far behind on homework that I worked for 8+ hours straight through, both days, stopping only to eat. And to go to class. It’s not really surprising that I couldn’t stop crying.
I don’t know if anyone else has a name for what I call my “depressive attacks.” They must. Any ideas? For me, they’re very similar to panic attacks, but there is not feeling of panic or anxiety. Instead it is grief. There is this intense feeling of deep inner sadness that starts in the gut, and can only work its way out through crying.
It is a wave of grief that washes over me which can only let itself out by crying the disgustingly intense kind of crying. The kind that should only be cried when someone you love has died. The attack sneaks up on you, hits hard, then passes as quietly as it came.
When I have my depressive attacks is when I feel the most vulnerable, embarrassed, and ashamed. I do not like people to see me in that state. It is terrifying for them– they feel helpless and afraid of the monster, my illness, which has stolen me right out of my body. I know it will pass– they don’t know it will pass. It’s not fair to them.
Friday night I had one of my depressive attacks with one of my best friends around. She’d never seen it before.
One of the things I do when I am in that state is tell myself that I’m okay. I find it calming. And I need to remind myself that the feelings will pass.
I’m going to be okay.
I wish so much that she hadn’t been around when it hit. I hurt her– I scared her. And at one point she responded to me:
No, you’re not okay.
No, you’re not. That cut through. Because there was so much truth to it– I wasn’t okay. I was just telling myself that.
I knew I was going to be okay. I am okay– good, even– now. But I wasn’t then. And I’m ashamed of the person she saw on Friday night. Of that person who wasn’t okay.
I want this blog to have an air of hope against the stigma of mental illness. But I also want it to be honest. And that is the truth.
I am ashamed of the person she saw on Friday night.