Thursday, September 04, 2014

What seems like baby steps are actually huge steps when one is in the depths of depression.  I was thinking last night; one of my favourite books is Alice in Wonderland.  She enters Wonderland by falling down the rabbit hole.  That’s kind of what it’s like only one isn’t entering Wonderland.  At the bottom of this rabbit hole it’s dark and nobody can see you and you can’t see them and that’s the way you want it to be.  Isolating ourselves is one of the things we do best – at least isolating ourselves from the ones we care most about.  I could function very well on one level, I planned a Bilbo Baggins type party for my 60th birthday  - inviting 22 people and had a wonderful time, I came to work just about every day; I may have taken one or two ‘mental health’ days but many less than some people.  I was fun at work and did fine on phone calls.  It’s only the ones we love the best at least in my case I have the hardest time dealing with.  And then that creates a whole new set of issues as they don’t really know or is some cases understand.  I read up on the symptoms of acute depression and that’s where I’m at and one of them is self-loathing and that I can really relate to.  The more I draw in, the more I hate what I’m doing to them and to myself, thus causing me to draw in more.  And they don’t know what I’m going through ‘cause I don’t call them, or see them or tell them, thus causing even more self-loathing.  It’s a vicious, vicious circle and I wish I knew the answer for everyone or what to tell people who love someone who suffers from it.  I think it may depend on the severity.  Suicide for example, has never been a concern in my case though I do understand the utter hopelessness people contemplating it feel.  As I said, self-loathing is a symptom but I’m still rational enough to know that would make my family really hate what I did and the aftermath would be unfair to them – the thoughts of closing the house itself for example.  I have over 40 boxes of books in one room alone and I’m sure they’d be cursing me with every box they removed.  And then they would probably burn them they’d be so angry and we can’t have that!!  But that’s me and loved ones don’t know what’s in the heart and mind of someone who’s not doing well, so doing nothing might not be so good.  I think just contact them and be gentle and patient and not expect a long answer unless the sufferer is in a ‘moment’.  And even if they are thinking “I wish they would just smarten up and get over it” try and understand it’s not that simple.  After my Keeping up with the Karsdashian’s weekend marathon it’s obviously something Kim doesn’t get but Kloe does about Rob (“self-absorbed little twit” she muttered).  Most important to family – know that it’s not lack of love that’s keeping the depressed person isolated, it’s the depression itself.  Now poor Rob is probably experiencing self-loathing for missing the twit’s wedding.

I LOVE the song Stuck in a Moment by U2.  The following lyrics couldn’t BE more perfect.  I’ve sung it to myself many a time over the years:

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

Don't say that later will be better
Now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if our way should falter
Along the stony pass

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if your way should falter
Along this stony pass

It's just a moment
This time will pass


This is exactly how it feels – like we are stuck in a moment – only it’s longer than a moment, and we really can’t get out it no matter how hard we try.  But as hard as it seems to believe – to the point of impossibility, it’s just a moment and this time will pass.


And to end on a more positive note – and using metaphors which I love to do, I hit the floor of the rabbit hole – hard – but now I’m standing up, brushing off all the dirt and looking up for a way out.


azteclady said...

I love you, Kristie.

"At the bottom of this rabbit hole it’s dark and nobody can see you and you can’t see them and that’s the way you want it to be. Isolating ourselves is one of the things we do best"


And it's so difficult to get those who love us to understand what's going on. We function--we go to work, get the bills paid, how come we don't have energy/desire/the impulse to spend time with them?

We are here, and we care, and most of us in this space understand. We have been there--some of us quite recently--and we'll be a little ways nearer the exit to the real world.

Statch said...

..."now I’m standing up, brushing off all the dirt and looking up for a way out."

I'm SO glad to hear this. This post really helped me understand how it is for my friend with depression, especially the vicious cycle analogy...the more I reach out, trying to help, the worse I'm making her feel, because she can't respond when she's in those troughs. I'm going to tell her that I understand that. I was really happy when she asked me recently to do something practical that she was having trouble making herself do.

Take care of yourself. I'm rooting for you.

AnimeJune said...

Chiming in with how I felt the same, combined with anxiety and panic attacks. I keep thinking I'm too young to feel old, and too young to think I've wasted the best years of my life, but sometimes I still feel that way!

You've been such an inspiration to me, both with your prodigious reading, your passion and your kindness, but also in your example and your honesty. There's a reason you're in the acknowledgements of my novel :)))

Hang in there! And let me know if there's anything I can do!

Kristie (J) said...

AL, that's the thing of it isn't it? We can function quite well on a superficial level. I spend a lot of time on the phone at work and people hearing me would think I'm doing just fine yet I struggled SO hard ALL day to call my son on his birthday. I think part of it is our emotions aren't involved with the superficial thus making it so much easier.

Starch, if your friend is like me, she really does appreciate you wanting to help, but just has such a hard time accepting it. Just be gentle and know that it's not you she's rejecting, it's the depression that has hold of her. And when she does start coming back into the light, I don't know if she will be able to say it out loud, but it will mean so much to her that you care. And the fact she did ask for help is HUGE and a sign she's not in complete darkness. That's one of the hardest things for us to do - ask someone for help.

AnimeJune, I'm glad I can help. And I know what you mean. You think is this all there is and how can I live my life like this. I've only had a couple of panic attacks in all the years but claustophobia is a big factor with me. When I went to the cottage for a week I felt terrible because I only did dishes once. It want because I didn't want to do them, but 2 or more others were in the kitchen too, it was a small kitchen and I couldn't bear to be crowded. Then in the insanity of self loathing, I hated that I didn't help more, couldn't tell them why and circle and circle.

And I have your book yea!! But I've lost the ability to read books for the moment. That was the last symptom to hit and one of the hardest. But when it comes back, yours is #1 with a bullet to read.

Statch said...

Kristie, thanks so much for responding! I can really relate to being able to function on the superficial level at work while struggling outside of work. It seems so important somehow to maintain that facade at work. I'm glad that it sounds (from your previous posts) like your workplace stepped up to help when you let them know you were having problems.