There’s something I’ve been meaning to write about for some time now. And the main reason I’ve put it off for some long was because of the feelings of loneliness and the inability to trust people. But some of that is starting to subside, so I thought I would take some time to write about dealing with depression and bi-polar. A fair bit of warning, aside from the usual content warnings that come with a frank discussion of your weaker moments, I’m also in the midst of actually having an episode, so please pardon if I start rambling off-topic or if I fuck up my typography.
So, to start: living with this shit fucking sucks. There’s nothing fun, or glamorous, or, for fucks sake, romantic about living with an illness that will constantly try to kill you from the inside. Those positive feelings: love, joy, basic fucking happiness, are only temporary. The rest of the time? I’m sad, and prone to depressive episodes. I’m constantly upset, to the point of uncontrollably sobbing, or worse, flying into a total rage, screaming and yelling at nothing. And I’m not going to lie, I have definitely been suicidal, and I have attempted it more than once. I have this body horror-like disease where my brain is at constant odds with my body, and will create lies that will make my body want to destroy itself.
For example, and I’m not saying this to brag or anything like that: people like the things that I do. They like my essays. They like my artwork. They like my jokes and political commentary. They like me, for whatever fucked up reason. But I can never see it that way. It doesn’t matter how much praise I get, or what kind of compliment I receive, I know, I know, in my heart of hearts that it’s all bullshit. That people are simply being nice to me. They know as much as I do that my work sucks, and that I’m an extremely shitty person, but they don’t want to say it out loud. And I know, every morning when I wake up, that this is it: today is the day everyone will finally get tired of humoring me, they’ll all find out at once that I’m a fraud, and a piece of shit, and leave. And if they don’t, then I’ll have one too many episodes and drive them away myself. I can never let myself be happy; to live in the moment. And that misery and that frustration is what leads to the ideation and desire to push people away.
And of course the irony is that without my support network, I definitely would not be alive. What would be the point of going on, if I didn’t have a partner who showed me that even someone like me was capable of being loved? If I didn’t have friends that I knew that I could turn to in moments of complete desperation, when I can no longer hold everything in, and present a stoic image in order to help others? One of the symptoms of BPD is extreme empathy, and if I can’t help others, then I feel useless as fuck, to the point of physical pain at times. And I hear my friends or my girlfriend having problems, and I try my best to be that helping hand, and then completely break down when they’re not around when I’m not able to help, never asking for any help for myself in return. Mostly because I never feel as though my issues even compare to theirs, and I feel as though I’m insulting people by asking them to put aside time for me: the fraud, the horrible asshole who gets mad all the time and pretends to be more talented than they actually are. And then I feel emotionally manipulative to even bring up “hey, I’m not doing well, and I’m scared that I’ll be too crazy for you to want to be around, and I don’t want to lose you.” So I live with this perpetual catch-22 of needing support, but not wanting to be a burden. And I’ve spent the last couple of hours being terrified about this.
Like, there is no good reason I should be feeling this way. I was having so much fun with people last night, and then again earlier today. But, like I said, I can never be happy for too long. Now I’m trying to type this shit out with tears in my eyes, knowing that at some point, they’re all going to leave me. And how do I know this? Fuck, I don’t know, but it has to happen, because I have an internal monologue that helpfully reminds me on a frequent basis that I don’t deserve good things. That I don’t deserve to be happy, and hell, I don’t even deserve to be alive. And this is a fight that I’m constantly in, and have nearly lost. And it would be cool as hell to say that I’ll finally win someday, but, that’s not true. I’ll live with this for the rest of my life. It will never go away, no matter what medications I take, or what exercises I do, or whatever else.
Mauro Ranallo, an amazing sports commentator/mental health advocate said that “Mental illness is a life sentence. But it does not have to be a death sentence.” And, that stuck with me. Like, I don’t actually want to be dead. I just don’t want to live like this, being a fucking burden that adds to everyone else’s problems of having to keep an eye on me so I don’t do something stupid. I know that if I were to actually go through with things, I would hurt a lot of people, which is the last thing I want to do. I care about the people in my life too much to do something like that. And there are days where the only thing- literally the only thing, that keeps me from harming myself, or taking my own life, is them. And then that too ties into the whole “emotional manipulation” thing. Like I’m implying that if they’re not my friend, then I’ll be dead, and it’ll be on their hands, even though it absolutely would NOT be.
I don’t even really remember why I started doing this post. Maybe it was simply to vent. Maybe sharing my story will help someone who feels the same way? I don’t know.