Depression and Change

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I think that, as a control freak, the single most frightening thing in the world to me is to realize that I have been being crazier than I realized. I have always had a really conflicted relationship with my panic and general craziness. I mean, on the one hand, they have always been behaviors that meet needs for me. That’s not something I’m super proud of but I know it’s true. I know that’s why it started to begin with. So there is a part of me that, particularly when I was younger, took comfort in feeling “crazy.”

Crazy, which is not a very descriptive word. Therapists always ask me to “tell them more about that” and it’s very hard for me to do so. It covers a multitude of sins. It is when I am afraid of people leaving or feeling trapped and claustrophobic and retreating from everyone. It’s when I’m sending endless emails, having panic attacks, my head is full of static, I cry a lot, I create drama, sometimes I dissociate. Essentially I can’t distinguish individual emotions very well at that point so it all goes under “crazy.” I think calling it that distances me too. It writes it off, it makes it stupid. I feel stupid about it. Because when I was younger I really valued what I felt like it gave me; it made me feel like I could force people to see me, like I was part of the world even when I felt like I was drifting. It made me feel like I could force people to care about me and I always kind-of felt like that was what I needed to do. But now, now that I am older I feel much less that way. Now that I’m older I feel like it is this thing I can’t control and that brings me up short and reminds me of how much I am not the person I want to be.

The worst though, the absolute worst, is when I have descended so far into whatever is going on and I haven’t noticed. Because if nothing else I expect myself to be self-aware. I am supposed to be that. To not know what’s going on, to just be lashing out and hurting people I love and not even know I’m doing it – that is beyond unacceptable. That’s treading dangerously close to my mother territory. It’s a really cruel cycle, of course. Because when I realize that has happened, I’m already in a bad place and realizing that sends me into a whole self-hating spiral. It is not super useful. As it turns out, not all of my responses are actually useful. Who knew.

Here’s the thing – I’m really bad at transitions. Like… really bad. I feel like a lot of people say that and that when I say that people nod and smile and say oh yes, I am not good with change either. And I think that’s true. Very few people are good with change and the people who are, those people are awesome and possibly hyper-evolved individuals. But one of the things I have learned over the last few years is that I respond in a lot of ways and some of them are very counter-intuitive.

For example, you might think that when a very intense and fairly brutal quarter ends that I would be ecstatic. Or when I’m graduating and essentially just have a couple nothing classes to mop up before heading up to a whole new thing. I want to be ecstatic because dammit, that makes sense! Also that sounds like a lot more fun. But that’s not what happens. However I also don’t melt down in a really convenient and recognizable way, where I get right away what is going on. I feel, retrospectively, that I should get right away what’s going on. I’ve done this a lot of times now. But instead what happens (and when I say happens, I mean happened because I’m talking about my last two weeks here) is that I just start… cracking. Suddenly David and I are having all these problems and I’m having to have talks with him all the time. And maybe like two are legitimate and the rest even I can’t figure out why I’m upset but I know I’m really, really hurt and really, really need to deal with it right now. Because everything is an emergency. I start having bad dreams, I am suddenly  more sensitive to everything. I am eating more (or less, it can kind-of go either way), I’m suddenly way more tired all the time and taking a lot of naps. I cry a lot. Now see, when I look back at this and put that all together now, it seems really obvious to me that I’ve been depressed. But I didn’t figure that out until yesterday.

It’s hard for me to recognize patterns. I live very much exactly in the present moment. I also have not had a lot of time with trying to identify my feelings or figuring out how you’re supposed to deal with those in a healthy manner. I’m really very challenged in this way and I forget that partly because I just don’t want it to be true. I really, very much want to just be chill. Like you have no idea how much I just want to be cool with things and not need to have things planned in advance so I’m not anxious about them or have slow and hurtful meltdowns over school breaks or drag people I love into my emotional mess. I really just want to be an easy person to live with and to love. It is very hard for me to accept the reality that, although I will continue to work very hard on myself and try to get healthier and more self-aware and treat the people in my life better and all of those things, I will probably never ever be the low maintenance person I really, really want to be. But since that may never happen somehow I have to figure out what is maybe sometimes challenging but okay versus what is harmful. I know that no one is without problems or baggage or whatever. I know that. But man, it would just be nice to have a little less of it.

So you know. That’s pretty much where I’m at and why I haven’t been keeping up with my blogging and all. I’m going to try to do better. I actually wrote a blog on Wednesday but I felt like it was awful. I don’t know if it was or not but either way, it’s not getting published. 😛 Next week I should have a good amount of routine starting back in my life with more work and soon school starting for summer and stuff. I cry a lot about being busy but that’s actually what keeps me okay. So hopefully I will feel better soon, both for my sake and the sake of the people I love. Who are, for the record, all disgustingly patient with me. The end.

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