So, I haven’t posted in a long while, and basically, that has all been down to a massive depressive episode. Going through a huge mental health crash and sorta coming out the other side has left me without much left that I do. But I have had time to think, and pondering about how I could think all the things I did when depressed and how I could act the way I acted. It was very weird, it left me feeling at the mercy of random moods and unsure of who I was. When I’m thinking about the impact depression had, it’s not the few weeks where I was incredibly suicidal, it’s the slump afterwards, the constant feeling that I was worthless, hopeless and without happiness that I think of. It’s the slow recovery from that, into a state of trying to deal with the state you are in now, it’s like emerging out of a vault into a irradiated wasteland and wondering how on earth you build your life up again, and what the hell happened.
So, I’m in a weird spot, but I’ve had time to try to figure out the process of depression, I play a lot of games, and it’s fun picking apart their systems, so that’s what I did. I have tried to figure out how depression works and why it affected me the way it did, and I’m blogging about it so it seems less of this mysterious force and more understandable, and when things are understandable, you can fight them better. All of it might not apply to you, and my be complete bollocks, but it’s how I understand things right now.
So the things depression seems to do is, for one, stop normal things feeling good. Like eating, sleeping, having a good shit, masturbation, all these basic biological acts that at least leave us feeling relived, and often positive for having done, just don’t feel like that anymore, it just becomes stuff you have to do. And this resulted in me desperately eating takeout food because I didn’t care, stuffing my face. Not caring about my appearance because it didn’t feel different either way.
The second thing is it stops you being able to make yourself feel good. When you something productive, or something you consciously understand and enjoy doing, I imagine it as you telling your body, yes, that was good, that was a positive experience. And your body usually goes with that and you feel good. And depression comes in and stops that happening, or you end up in a bad situation for so long you forget how to do that. And you just can’t seem to figure out why things don’t feel good anymore, and you never come up with the explanation of “I’m just not able to feel things right now.” you go for more logical, but wrong, thoughts about how the activity is going, and you often conclude that maybe you just don’t like it anymore.
The final thing it does follows on from that, it stops you being able to remember anything good. It’s like google searching and nothing coming up, you assume there is nothing there, but rather it might there but you can’t find a path to it. It’s like the tag for “Happy” got deleted and you can’t search for those things. If you do remember them, you can’t recreate that happy feeling, there is no warm nostalgic glow, just a cold memory, or a memory with only the bad feelings and none of the good. It really taints how you feel about anything, suddenly *nothing* was ever fun for you, you have never been happy, and you have nothing to refute that claim. That for me was the feeling that completely crushed me, it made life seem pointless. And it’s important to note how sensible that seems when you literally can’t feel anything good.
Getting to a doctor and getting Citalopram pushed the depression away, but getting through it, to get to that stage where I could do that, involved remembering those things that I *knew* were happy memories, doing things that I *knew* were good and would always make me feel happy and that disconnect that I couldn’t remember them, or couldn’t feel them, sort of shocked me enough to realise something was deeply wrong, that it was my mood, and not the world.
It will sound soppy this, but the main thought that made me realise something was wrong was of Hannah, my now fiancée. I couldn’t feel happy with her at the time, but I knew I loved her, and that drive of depression to push everything away and sink down clashed with the love I had. It didn’t cure me, it didn’t save me, it didn’t always happen either, but it always made me realise I was in a depressive phase whenever that happened, and it allowed me to get back control, even if I couldn’t feel anything at all. So thank you so much Hannah.
And thank you to Becca, https://twitter.com/starsandspirals for giving inspiration to write about this. I know you’ve recently posted “I am not your inspiration” but I genuinely couldn’t think of any other word to describe that I’m writing this because you wrote stuff.