This is my place on the Internet where I can be sad

What did I do wrong to be touched by this merciless illness that prevents me from pursuing that which my soul calls me to do?

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 1.02.40 PMI want to get better. I don’t want to obsess over some guy anymore. I want my independence from my codependence. I don’t want to struggle to wake up in the morning, to fold my sheets and brush my teeth. And, I don’t want to lie in those sheets later in fear of a night that won’t allow me unconciousness, and of another morning. I want to praise the new days and not look outside and feel so unfortunate to be living. I’m tired of the stabbing pain whenever my heartbreak returns and the uncontrollable tears whenever I think of the bleak, realistic future. It is so hard to have to steer my thoughts every day, to work so hard just to do something that is so natural to others—think—without falling over. I am tired of depression and I want it to go go away! I don’t want to live a life like this, I really don’t, and I don’t think I should have to. I don’t think I should have to continue living this. But it’s not that I don’t want to experience things, but I feel as if it’s impossible to truly experience anymore. I would love to feel passion and motivation and optimism and I would love to lose myself in life. But, I feel that I am half a person.

I want to get better, I do, and I mean that. I feel like I am finding out what I would love to do yet I am inhibited from completing those dreams—because how could I ever attempt such magnificent feats when I can barely get to work, class, and other commitments. I fail at these things and leave the impression of an unreliable, irresponsible individual, and I so badly don’t want to be. I’m so confused and I can’t think straight. I feel like a rope is pulling me back from my day to day. Like at a concert where there’s barriers preventing you from flowing over into a certain area. Those barriers are pushing against my stomach and stopping me from reaching the stage. Or maybe it’s more like police tape. I know I can cross it, it’s just tape—but I know that once I do so I’ll be immediately pulled back by a force who yells at me for leaving my place behind the marker. Or maybe, it’s best put as a construction fence. Look how clearly I can see to the other side. The other side is mesmerizing. I’m being pushed back by the gates. My wrists are tied and I’m using too much strength to pull against them, and I get tired easily. I try to operate from behind these fences but it’s a Herculean task.

The truth is, I don’t want to go back to the past. I don’t want to go back to him or to acting within the mask I did before. I don’t want to go back to having some solid group of friends who I’m not sure I really like, but keep because they exist, at least. I’d rather be alone. I really mean that. I’d rather be without friends, without protection, without him. to be honest, I agree when they say I am stronger, smarter and more mature because of all this, even though my response is always just that I’d choose stupidity over these feelings. I wouldn’t. In truth, I am okay living with broken bones. I just want to have a full body. I want to have a full body and never fear of being half a person ever again.

Every single moment it multiplies. They ask  me how it’s feeling but how can I explain? The depression, well, it’s always there, an invisible umbrella above my head. Yeah, I can have a good day, but does that mean I wasn’t depressed that day? No, because I remembered it when I woke up. I remembered it when I brushed my teeth. I remembered it when I went to class. I remembered it when I ate my dinner. I remember, I remember, I remember. It never goes. It is consciously roaming around in my mind.

I’m not really sure what good life is supposed to feel like. I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like, I don’t know what it’s supposed to smell like or taste like. I’ve been in this for so long. There was no point after adolescence where I lived non-depressed, so my whole adult life has been like this. (Granted, I haven’t been, biologically speaking, an adult very long). That makes it very frustrating. When will I know when I am better? They could do CAT scans or EKGs or check vital signs or some other objective like test for other illnesses. But what about us? When do we know that it’s gone? This prompts me to think that it never will be. This prompts me to think, I don’t want to live a life like this. I don’t want to live a life like this, I really don’t, and I don’t think I should have to. I don’t think I should have to continue living this…

But I’m not going to kill myself because I guess there is hope, however false or peculiar it may be. One day the ropes could be cut, maybe. Maybe the gates will be pushed down, or better yet, burned. Maybe the people suffering in the world will get help and maybe adversaries will find diplomacy. Maybe the current environmental situation will improve and people will continue to live possibly flourishing lives surrounded by happiness and nature. Maybe I’ll get better, and the depression won’t rebound. Maybe I’ll find someone I love to share my life with who isn’t him, maybe I’ll make my parents really proud, maybe I’ll be able to accomplish some of the things I feel my soul wants me to.

Right now though, it’s SO hard. I’ll have to let you know how it goes, Reader, but I make no guarantees. I’m just glad that there is such a vast space like the Internet, where one can make their own home and write whatever they want. This is mine.

________________

Image: Fire Weave, Jeremy, 2007. Produced by Toby Keller of Burn Blue Photography, a Thailand based artist who creates light paintings with nature photography. This piece is part of a series called Dancers and Spinners.

I want so badly to set the world on fire.

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t see myself recovering.

I started writing this because I want to recover, I truly truly do. I don’t want to feel this way and I do want to try, and I had felt it more than ever. But I just don’t see it happening. I don’t see myself ever recovering from this. I can’t imagine a day where I don’t cry. I don’t see myself recovering because of him.

Yes, I am depressed because of you and I have always been careful not to say that but it really is. You are the main contribution to my depression. My fall was so tied up in you and so any attempt to reflect disallows me from letting go. I can’t let go because I let myself submit to you. I can’t let go because I sacrificed so much for you. I can’t let go because I am obsessed with you. I can’t let go because you promised me you would spend your life with me and I believed it. I can’t let go because you hurt me so much. I can’t let go because you treat me differently. I can’t let go because I believe in justice and what was done to me wasn’t just and I can’t accept it no matter how hard I try. I can’t let go because you were the first real friend that I ever had and I find it hard to believe I will ever have another. I can’t let go because you know too much about me. I can’t let go because I care too much. I can’t let go because I give away my dignity for you. I can’t let go because I lied to be with you. I can’t let go because I’m so ashamed and I want to justify my actions even though there is no justification for it. I can’t let go because you lied to me. I can’t let go!!!!!!!! I don’t know what to do. How is it possible that one person can leave such a scar on you? I feel like half a person. I’m tired of people telling me all these ways to let go because it is not working!!!!!! Nothing has worked. I can’t let go because I feel like I have no other option. I can’t let go because I feel like a slut and whore. I can’t let go I just can’t do it I can’t. I just want to stand back now and watch my life fall apart from afar. I just want to do anything please anything to make this stop. It is so difficult to keep going. I can’t do it. I can’t stop thinking about him. Every thought consumed by you. I have no free will. I am codependent. At this point I don’t even think I love you yet I can’t even still let go–I won’t let myself let go!!!! How ridiculous is that? I won’t let myself let go. I will forgive and forgive and jump right back in if given the opportunity. I will give up everything I have to have him back. I surrender. I surrender even my religion.

This pain is so breathtakingly overwhelming. I am so angry and I want so badly to set the world on fire.

Essay: African American Gap in Agriculture

Earlier I wrote a post about the African American gap in agriculture. Why are they so underrepresented and why were they pushed out? You can find that post here. Here is an essay I wrote following that  for a class I took this summer 2015. 

African American Gap in Agriculture: When Did it Happen, Why Do We Care, Can We Fix It?

            Here is an embarrassing fact: I didn’t really understand what 4-H was until a few months ago. Growing up in a semi-rural town in Indiana, the participants in the annual fair consisted of white, Christian youth. Consequently, I thought 4H was a conservative, religious organization where children of rural “folks” were taught about animals and patriotism. I felt like an outsider to this part of American culture. I always wished there was a club for minority kids such as myself, when indeed I could have been a part of the same organization. If I had looked harder, I would have realized no one had ever been explicitly trying to exclude me. Another group of people may have had similar feelings growing up, however they are much more American than I can ever consider myself to be, and they actually were previously excluded from many agricultural opportunities. African Americans have deep historical roots in agriculture. In 1910, nearly one million black farmers in the US owned a total of 15 million acres (Homecoming, 2001). Over time, this number drastically decreased. By 1969 they held only 6 million acres. Today, black farmers represent less than 1% of all farms (Homecoming). How did this happen, is it even important anymore, and if so, can this gap ever be mended? Through research, education, community leadership, and acceptance, we can find answers to these questions. Those in the extension field are most equipped to use these methods effectively. Simply due to their color, white leaders and racist policies systematically pushed black people out of agriculture; however, we have the power to improve the reputation of American agriculturalists by re-including African Americans.

In the documentary Homecoming, the narrator, Charlene Gilbert, notes that the African slaves who first arrived to the new world were put to work mostly on farms and in fields, “tilling first the new American soil” (2001). After their emancipation, many Africans continued to work on farms—owning their own land or becoming sharecroppers (Homecoming, 2001). Despite prejudice, blacks were able to acquire land and were more likely to find work in agriculture (Homecoming). As time went on, extension agents worked to educate farmers on new techniques—but those at the top did not share knowledge equally. Samuel Knapp, who is considered the father of extension, believed that African Americans were “unsuited for either progressive agriculture or intellectual pursuits” (Harris, 2008, p. 196). More blatantly, southern congressmen tried to exude black farmers from the benefits of the Smith Lever act with long winded debates and campaigns (p. 197). The conditions for blacks within extension did not improve as the USDA used loans, labels, and legislation to push them out. Loan applications were delayed, bluntly denied, or even just thrown away if the farmer was black (Homecoming, 2001). Black extension agents were called “negro agents” doing “negro work,” and received less prestige than white agents (Harris, 2008, p. 206). Under New Deal programs, black farmers were forced to leave under tax sale or eminent domain (Schneider, 2011). By 1992, the amount of black farmers had declined by 98% (Kelley, 1999). Whether examining individuals or government, history paints a bad picture of the treatment of African Americans in agriculture.

The damage done is so vast that is seems impossible to reverse and not much worth trying when so many other issues call for attention. Nowadays it is difficult to get people interested in farming at all, let alone blacks. However, there are many good reasons for having African Americans once again become involved, and produce black leaders in agriculture. In fact, one in particular makes their re-involvement crucial: they can give agricultural leaders a renewed voice—which is needed in today’s world of food shortage, climate change, and ecological unrest. The historical exclusion of blacks makes the present credibility of agricultural leaders unreliable. Early unions and agricultural societies sought to “[make] every farmer in the district…respectable and independent,” “encourage education among the people,” “garner [the hardworking farmers] as the brightest jewels known,” and were dedicated to the ideal that “life in touch with the earth is the natural life of man” (Hillison, 2001 and Carrier, 1937) Although these goals may have been achieved for a white man, the idea that “every farmer” was treated fairly is mistaken. The black farmer was given little respect, denied education, labeled as ignorant, and given treatment that was definitely contrary to a “natural life.” Organizations today still reference the language of these early societies. Since there is no definitive proof that their language now extends to all people and that this past attitude is no longer the case anymore, the credibility of present agriculturalists is threatened by the past. This can be fixed if the African American population rises and blacks take important, visible leadership roles within agriculture. Acknowledgement of it’s dark past and direct action to fix it will bring new respect to the agricultural field.

There are several ways in which the race gap can be narrowed. First, the image of extension could be rebranded. What was it that caused me to think 4H was a white, Christian organization, rather than a diverse, flourishing club that I could be a part of? Why does a Google Image search of the phrase “american farmer” give pages of old white men? little has been done to promote multiculturalism within agriculture despite it’s well-known benefits (Ewert, 1994). On the other hand, blacks are also plagued by unreasonable stereotypes and are often only represented as troubled singers, dancers, or drug dealers (Mooney, 2014). Blacks must be able to see themselves as agricultural leaders, and current leaders in the field must be able to see blacks as a part of their group. Tackling this “image” part of the issue requires the help of society at large. However, every cause needs a champion that can turn abstract problems into concrete ideas. Agricultural extension has the unique ability to do this. Extension has always stressed research, education, and a connection to the community (Irani, p.2). These methods don’t need to change for them to be at the forefront of this issue. More research can be done to understand the challenges faced by black farmers. Very few organizations and individuals are looking into the distinctive problems faced by blacks and other minorities (Krebs, 2005 and Brannon, 1989). As well, it is difficult to access reliable statistics relating to agricultural multiculturalism because little study exists. Using concrete research to guide rather than blindly jumping into the issue will be beneficial. This research can then translate into education. Education can inspire a new generation of leaders willing to invest in change (Kelsey, 2003). Vocational agricultural programs should be accessible to black youth. 4H programs must be willing to teach about these issues and actively recruit minorities. Within universities, students can learn to be tolerant and inclusive leaders through agricultural leadership programs. At the community level, much progress can be made because of the ability of extension to unite and recruit groups of people (Irani). Agents can redirect some of their resources toward helping black farmers. Neighbors can recruit neighbors. Within communities, the conversation about race and agriculture can begin. Finally, it should be noted that extension agents have influence on their government. It must be made clear that the USDA and other organizations regret the actions of the past, and extension leaders can voice these statements. Some legislation and statements have been made on admitting past wrongdoing, but much more needs to be done. Extension leaders can advocate for new legislation. Despite the long, complex process that will be needed, it is probably most important that agriculturalists acknowledge the past without shame. Only then can a path be extended forward for black leaders, and extension is in a unique position to help.

It is no secret that African Americans have received unfair treatment throughout the history of agriculture and extension. Due to white leadership and biased legislation, the population of black farmers and the prominence of black leaders decreased dramatically. Credibility is required to build trust, persuade, and solve today’s present agricultural issues. Actions from the past question this needed credibility and something must be done to show that those past actions are regrettable and unrepeatable. Solving this complex issue requires the help of larger society, but extension workers are in the unique position to champion this cause. African Americans may never totally regain or reconnect to their agricultural roots, however work can be done to help narrow the gap. Today’s pressing problems in agriculture do not discriminate. A united group of diverse people with different thoughts and roots are needed for things to get better. At the very least, I hope my descendants will not have to wonder why there are no African Americans farmers, and can join a 4H club without the hesitations that I had.

————–

References

Brannon, Tony & Key, J.P. (1989). Impact of vocational agriculture / FFA on community leadership. Journal of Agricultural Education, 30(3), p. 37-45.

Carrier, L. (1937). The United States Agricultural Society: 1852-1860 (4th ed., Vol. 11, pp. 278-288). Washington, D.C.: Agricultural History Society.

Ewert, D., & King, J. (1994). Managing diversity within cooperative extension (2nd ed., Vol. 32). Ithaca, New York: Journal of Extension.

Homecoming: Sometimes I am haunted by dreams of Red Dirt and Clay [Motion picture]. (2001). United States: California Newsreel.

Harris, C. (2008). “The Extensions Service is not an Integration Agency”: The Idea of Race in the Cooperative Extension Service. Agricultural History, 193-219.

Hillison, J., & Bryant, B. (2001). Agricultural Societies as Antecedents of the FFA. Journal of Southern Agricultural Education Research, 51(1), 102-113.

Irani, T., & Doerfert, D. (n.d.). Preparing for the Next 150 Years of Agricultural Communications. Journal of Applied Communications, 97(2).

Kelley, C. (1999). Notes on African American Farmers. Agricultural Law Update, 16(9), 4-7. Retrieved July 27, 2015.

Kelsey, Kathleen D. & Wall, L.J. (2003). Do agricultural leadership programs produce community leaders? A case study of the impacts of an agricultural leadership program on participants’ community involvement. Journal of Agricultural Education, 44(4), p. 35-46.

Krebs, A. (Ed.). (2005, June 14). American Black Farmers: An Endangered Species. The Agribusiness Examiner.

Mooney, C. (2014, December 1). The Science of Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men. Mother Jones. Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/science-of-racism-prejudice

Schneider, S. (2011). Food, farming, and sustainability: Readings in agricultural law. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press.

I Vow To Make Memories

I’ve been having adventures alone.

I go to a college filled with people who care a lot about football. It’s not that I don’t care about football, but I don’t care. Not like that. Every game day the streets are filled with these obnoxious people and for the first few times you see it, it’s mesmerizing. Look at all this sea of people wearing the same colored shirts, high five-ing each other, acting like such a happy family even though they’ve never seen each other. The energy is amazing! But after a while the tailgates, the screaming, the same pep songs, and the smell of whiskey gets old. How do you even remember the score when you’re so drunk?

So it was another game day. I woke up and I looked outside, and I knew I had to leave there as soon as I possibly could and go far away for the day.

I don’t have a lot of friends here. Well, I do have friends, I am just bad at being friends with them, simply because nobody has really taught me how to do things properly and I’m afraid I’m doing it incorrectly. How do I propose an idea? How do I make plans? What do I say? Besides, those people might ruin my day anyway. What if they complain? Or have another idea of fun? Or don’t want to be so spontaneous? Or simply talk too much rather than enjoy every second?

So, I come to this irrational conclusion that I will enjoy myself more on my own, and so I go alone. And I explore.

I’ve explored crevices of this campus that people who have been at this school for years can’t recognize. I’ve found the very best rocks to sit on next to the river and I’ve been to graveyards that are filled with headstones much older than this city and with grand stories to tell. I’ve explored wetlands and  shopping malls and I can tell you where every Kroger is. I’ve been to pocket parks and different library branches of this city, whereas most people haven’t even been to one.

So, I go out and I go exploring. It’s kind of brave of me. No one would do these things alone. Even to go to the movies or a show alone is frowned upon. So, if you don’t have someone to go with, or if you’re somewhat phobic of asking people like me, you just don’t go. Not me. I go anyway.

It’s weird to go alone but even weirder at certain events than at others. I’ll go to improv shows and free concerts and grand pep rallies or watch parties and I even once went to an all night Dance a thon knowing no one. I’ve seen celebrities come on campus but I don’t whisper next to a friend because I’m there alone. For those things, people always say you’ll make a friend there, but honestly, you don’t really. Not unless you know you’ll bump into someone you know or at least are aquatinted with. No one goes alone. If you don’t have someone to go with, you don’t go. Not me. I’ve forced myself to go.

There’s definitely downsides to this all. You can start confidently but the loneliness will creep in on you. You’ll think people are staring at you and you have to force yourself not to play on your phone. Sure, you can introduce yourself to people but there’s always that “did she come alone” thought. You worry you’re coming on too strong sometimes (one time I said, “hey, I’m gonna sit here, do you guys want to be my best friends?) or you’re not giving the opportunity to yourself (sometimes I just nod at people and then sink in my chair). In fact, even when you don’t hide or acknowledge the fact that you’ve come alone, others seem off put by that–besides the fact that people will tell you over and over that you should go out, you’ll meet people! I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, but I’m not sure how much I care to find out what. I’m on my own schedule. I come, I enjoy myself, I leave. I’ll try momentarily, but people retreat back into the people they came with and I retreat back into myself.

Often, if I do end up talking to people, I will say something like “my friends left earlier” or “I don’t know where my friends are” or “my friends backed out” and that seems to equalize it in my head. But I never have someone to consistently talk to or point things out to or joke with or lead. And I’ll look around at others and feel deflated. Never do I regret going (only once I think I have) after it’s over, but sometimes when it’s going on I can feel kind of miserable. I may have said this but I’ll reiterate it: I know I am not the only one who has a hard time finding people to go places with. I just know that I’m very rare in the fact that I go anyway.

Back to gameday: I went to Yelp and looked up some good coffee shops and ended up in a nice one 15 minutes off campus and in a different section of town. The city is divided into many districts, such as the University District or Downtown, and those districts are even divided further into different communities with distinct names–Hilltop, Linden, etc. You can watch the income levels change as you cross lines.

The coffee shop was nice, but I made a mistake by ordering coffee. I don’t like coffee. So there I was, with coffee, not having eaten lunch, and just looking around at the other people. It wasn’t a big deal to be alone there at all. I thought I would spend the day there studying but I couldn’t stand it and left. With my backpack on I went around the neighborhood. I stopped in the elementary school and played on their playground and took a nap and felt alone. Then I kept walking somberly–this time through streets and drives and houses with such unique character. People were walking dogs or working outside and I imagined myself in those houses but saw nothing on sale to fulfill that fantasy. I pretended my sisters were walking with me or (of course) my ex. I really wished I had a dog and that made me sad because I couldn’t get one. That made me hate my apartment. Then I came to a beautiful church and I couldn’t get inside the chapel but I sat on the wooden bench outside next to it’s flower bed, and listened to the bells chime different tunes. Finally I found Kroger and I knew where I was again. I walked inside Kroger and then I thought I’d find the library but instead I went into local shops. One craft store I spent way too much time in. Another was a bookstore that was truly magical. There were very high shelves and just stacks and stacks and stacks of books. The floors were wooden and an older lady sat at a desk and later on one elderly man appeared, virtually out of no where, and began to talk to me. I really thought the place belonged in the world of Harry Potter, and I could see the walls being cleaned and books being stacked only with wands. I found so many things I wanted to show people but I didn’t get anything because they only accepted cash and I had only $2–which I used on laundry later that evening.

I had to be kicked out of the bookstore because it was closing and by that time I finally went back, and there were still too many people, but I was pleased–really I was. I want everyday to have these adventures. Maybe I won’t have stories of goofing around in college with friends to tell my children about, but I can take them anywhere and show them things not many others have bothered to discover.

I still feel very, very much alone, but I am working on it, and that’s all I can say. I feel myself to be terrified of the idea of it getting cold outside, because that means that I won’t be able to be outside as much.

But until then, I vow to make memories, to go on adventures even if I can’t find someone to explore with me. To walk until I get lost or find another Kroger. To talk to strangers and waste time and spend frugally. To go to places I needn’t go to without purpose and leave my shadow at each place, leave a little bit of myself that I can come back for one other day.

Depression News: There is no such thing as good news

Here are a couple days ramblings:

9/8 

Update on my depression: Things are going badly.

I found out that my ex is dating another girl. No matter how much I thought I had moved forward, everything came crashing down in a seconds notice.

Oh my God. But I knew this was coming, that he would date her right? That’s why he treated me like nothing, why he acted like a cold wall, afraid I would say something or he would say something wrong–but mostly just me. Like I would say “I miss you” or “I love you” or something equally terrible and he would say okay great and think in his mind that he was with someone else and glad that this was all in the past. Their faces rip my heart apart. How come we never got to take pictures together like that? Because it was miserable. This will be his first happy relationship since me, won’t it? They are so happy and beautiful together. Oh my God I am breaking, I am loosing control, what is this? I shouldn’t do this, I should call someone. I need help. Ouch, ouch, ow, my stomach, oh no. I’m dizzy I’m dizzy–I’m crying. I can’t control this I should just let myself cry but I want to not cry over this because I wanted to feel like I was getting better. I mean just the other day I was thinking about going on a date—OW! My stomach! I love him. Oh my I think I could throw up. Ah, why is everything spinning? How did I get on my hands and knees in the closet? All of this is my fault. I drove him away and he said he would never go anywhere but I drove him away. I am shivering of this crying. I can’t imagine myself stopping crying ever again in the near future–I feel like I can and will cry forever. Their faces rip my heart apart. I really, really feel my chest ripping. But I’m depressed. I need help. I need to call someone. I want to be alone. I don’t want anyone. I should text my friend Gabe. He will understand. But he won’t reply. Oh my God, help me. I’m throwing up, aren’t I? No, that’s just air. How is this possible? He’s happy I want him to be happy I want him to be happy why does his happiness make me so miserable? How can someone else’s happiness bring me pain? How is that right–how are these feelings right? I am breaking, I am loosing control. I remember once he told me he would never leave me and he was never going anywhere.They are so happy and beautiful together. I’m dizzy, I’m dizzy. I can’t imagine him having sex with her. I wonder if he’ll like having sex with her more than me. He will fuck her. I am the only girl he fucked but he will move on. He’s happy. I’m not happy. He’s happy. I’m not happy. He’s happy. I’m not happy. I need to die. I want to die. I don’t want to exist. No, don’t think like that, what about mom and dad and everything else you have? But I feel so alone I want to die. But I don’t want to give anyone the benefit of my death. But I want to die and I want him to stand at my funeral. I wish he was dead. If I saw him I would scream and cry and hit him a lot. Ouch, my stomach. I wish he was dead. I wish I could kill him. Ow, what is that in my stomach, I can’t sit up. I can’t see, my eyes hurt. Oh my God, help me. I’m throwing up, aren’t I? No, that’s just air. I am breaking, I am loosing control, I want to die so so much. 

I made it out alive from that. I truly thought I would die then.

This depression is so painful beyond concept. It is taking all of my might to walk and move and just generally, not be dead.

Have you ever lifted weights, Reader? What do you think about when you lift weights? The sandwich you will have for lunch? You have to concentrate in some way. Maybe you have an image in your mind. Some weightlifters do that. Or you imagine your muscles expanding. There’s science that says that actually will cause you to bulk up faster.  Have you ever done a deadlift where you hold it for a moment? At that moment you don’t think much. This time, you are really concentrated, to keep it up. And what if you thought, while you held that bar up for those extra five seconds, God, this thing weighs 180 lbs, how the hell am I lifting this? I shouldn’t be able to lift this, I can’t. See, what would happen, and I’m sure you know, is that you would drop the weight. Onto yourself.

What happens then? A friend may come and pick it up and help you. Sometimes they are right there and other times they aren’t quick. You have to wait for them to notice that you are being crushed by this bar, or worse, call their name. Speaking is so hard when you have that bar on your chest. You have another option. Will your strength and push it off of you. Concentrate and push it off of you and hold it and feel okay. It will take a moment to catch your breath after lifting that up, and it will be very difficult to lift it at this point, but you have to have confidence or there is no way you can get out of this. Don’t be afraid–fear is why you dropped the weight in the first place. You have one more option. You can just lie there with the weight on you, pushing against your chest, pushing against your lungs–until it drives the life out of you. It won’t be a good way to go. But it won’t take long if keep lying there.

This is how I’ve been thinking about things lately–that I am holding up this weight and I must concentrate (on being positive, getting through the day), but I’m very aware that I’m holding up a weight. It can fall on me when I falter. And a friend or family can help me up, but like I said, it’s hard to call for them, not to mention the feeling of embarrassment (even though there’s not much to be embarrassed for, sensibly). Otherwise, I have to pick it up. It is much harder to pick it up on my own. But this is what I do most of the time. I almost always pick it up off my chest and keep on holding again. Yet, I still think of not doing so. I think about just leaving the bar, the depression, there. To crush me. To kill me.

I feel so out of control.

9/9

The one thing that keeps reverberating through my head is this: someone else’s happiness is making you sad. Someone else’s happiness is your sadness. You are sad because someone else is happy.

That alone is enough to make me want to die. I can’t fathom the likely converse of this: that my happiness can only be brought about by the sadness or misery of someone else. I hate feelings of sadness or misery and all I wish is to be happy and escape this, and yet I feel so deeply that I could never ever inflict these feelings on even the world’s most hated man. God, this is terrible.

Before these past few days I truly had thought of recovery as a tangible thing. Now, I just can’t see it ever happening. If I felt better, it’s because of a distraction, and it’s only temporary. Even if my overall life quality improved, this depression of mine will only come back in remission later on. I really feel that I will die from this.

This is What Happened When I Messed Up My Meds

Okay, so it’s late enough and I should be asleep in two hours ago because I have to get up in the morning, but what I’m writing here is important information that needs to be recorded.

I haven’t been taking my meds really properly.

I’m on 300mg of Welbutirin (Bupoproin)–but since my official psychiatrist is in my college town, my dad wrote me a prescription when I ran out sometime this summer. The pharmacy at home only filled up to 150mg, so I was supposed to take two, but no one notified me of this, or no one noticed, and I didn’t read properly because I put my pills into another older pill bottle with the same prescription on it, but the lid is pink and it helps me tell the difference and it’s easier to open. So, all summer, I just changed my prescription without knowing.

Then, I came back here and I was supposed to get more but I couldn’t get in until, well, today, and I ran out of that one. So it’s been, what, four, five days since I’ve been off it? Once I was running low I decided to skip every other day, as if my body would still have some in the system, but at the end there I was out altogether. Well, I didn’t mention to my parents I ran out sooner than I thought because I didn’t want them to worry and I didn’t mention to the doc that I had stopped for the past few days.

I eventually called in to the office and one of the other psychiatrists wrote me a prescription that I filled that day, so I’m back on that since Thursday. BUT I take another medication–Lexapro–and I ran out of that one too, the same day I had gotten the last one filled. Since I’m filled with recklessly displaced anxiety I didn’t want to call the office again, so I thought I’d just wait until my appointment on Tuesday. So, I stopped taking that one, and stopping that one will probably have a more dramatic effect but I just didn’t consider this or just put it aside.

On top of it comes my birth control medication, which I started taking to help me manage the depression I get around my period. I was at the last few pills of the first packet and I was getting weird brown clumps and I had no idea what to do–was this my period? I was supposed to start the new pack, as I realized but I just kept going to finish that pack. Eventually I full on bled and at that point I definitely should have gone to the new pack, but I wanted to start the new one on a Sunday and not have to use the date labels. I know, I know. Stupid reason. I even missed one day of birth control last week! I dropped the pill and it rolled under the oven and I spent a good half hour trying to get it out–using all sorts of high tech tools like a wooden spoon, a knife, a tweezer, a broom, and a fan. No use. I would have to remove the oven to ever get it back–and it will be covered it dust. Yuck.

Long story short, my medicine’s been fucked up, I’ve been alone without my usual family support, and this is how I’ve felt:

Let’s start with the obvious: shitty. terrified. anxious, and suicidal. I’ve had one major breakdown–the kind that I know will traumatize me a bit for a few months with flashbacks. I had unpredictable bouts of tears. I let my bad judgement get the best of me by contacting Bo and now it’s fucking with my mind and I will be left thinking of it–I’m so ashamed that I even did it and I don’t want to talk to my therapist about it and I definitely told my doc that there was no trigger, but there were plenty, besides him too, and I wasn’t able to see clearly. I was totally clouded and forced to my knees.

I missed one class. I just slept right through it, because I was unable to get out of bed. Not the lazy kind, the one where your depression seems to physically prevent you from getting up. After I managed up I called my mom and I couldn’t stop crying, even though there was no real reason to cry. I even went out and went to the classroom but by the time I got there it was all over, and I even let myself cry when other people were present (mind you, I was on the phone and didn’t see anyone I knew).

Other things were dramatic. I started to think about the way my body looks and came up with some imaginary conversation because I was thinking about how girls talk to each other, and I wasn’t even responding to anyone but my lonely self, and yet I was bawling at the cruelty and inconsideration and my insecurity about my legs–which are actually sexy, but I’m ashamed at their petiteness.

Which brings another condition I had: arrogance. Why the fuck didn’t this one guy I had a brief crush on like me back? It was a thought that came from no where and had been put aside, but I wanted to think about it. Like, I’m fucking awesome! I’m smart and intelligent and pretty. Is he an idiot? Fuck him. I don’t want to be friends with him, I thought. I start to think badly of others. What bloody twats. I don’t want to be associated with those twats. (No, I’m not British, but no other words describe it so perfectly).

My immune system has SUCKED, though I don’t know if that’s directly linked. I have had allergies and I even took standard allergy medicine but I’ve not been able to fight it, and any germs that have touched me seem to have been able to fight their way through, because I think I might even be getting fully sick.

Finally, I’ve been spazzy, and above everything, that’s the only thing I know for sure was caused by not taking my medicine routinely, and it may be the only thing I think the meds take away from me that I somewhat care for.

Often when spazzy, nerdy, autistic or whatever probably politically incorrect labelled people get excited or sad about things, their bodies will make distinct weird movements. For me, I flail my arms. I flail them a lot. Especially when I’m thinking to myself and get excited. I also do a special sort of flailing where I wave my wrists up and down like I’m trying to dry finger nail polish. I’ll keep my elbows bent, and then, I look like a chicken trying to fly. Of course, I never realized these things until people pointed them out to me when I got older, and for whatever reason, with managing my depression came an ability to better manage my thoughts and grow out of this. On top, I won’t smile to myself creepily, or make angry faces at the ground, or laugh to myself out of nowhere–which were very common traits before.

I feel the need to explain it further. These small bursts of excitement are similar to the way a toddler responds to good news. We’re going to the park tomorrow, says mom, and the child jumps up and down. I realize I have a club meeting tomorrow which I’ve been looking forward to, and I just suddenly, uncontrollably, starting jumping up and down and flailing my arms and giggling and thinking “that’s the best thing ever!” Actually, a better metaphor is the when you pet your dog and he wags his tail and jumps around like “this is the best thing ever!”

Starting tomorrow, all my medication will be in order, because I have to fill the Lexapro. Then, I will be at the right dosages and taking the right pills of each. But in these past couple weeks, I got the spazies and it wasn’t until today that I realized, fuck, that doesn’t happen that often anymore, and was able to link it to my depression treatment.

Do I miss it? I can’t say. I didn’t notice it was gone. It can be a bit distracting and is somewhat embarrassing, and is probably encouraged by thoughts that are going too fast which I definitely don’t want. But, it really is me. That spazzy way of flapping my wrists is so definitely me. There is no mask to it at all nor is it tainted by the past. One hundred percent a part of me and my personality.

I don’t think I necessarily totally lost that and I don’t want to make it sound that way. But I’m fine without it. I’d much rather be overall happy than have bouts of excitement followed by bouts of “what am I doing and why am I here?” and all the thoughts of how I want to kill myself. Depression once again becomes “humorous” and vulgar in able for me to cope with it. “So I had this idea that I would lie in the road…do you want to hear this long intricate plan that I had? Hahahahaha. I don’t want to live you say, who sent you that message? It wasn’t me. Damn, fuck that girl, really she should die, she’s annoying as fuck. You want to know what book I’m reading? I’d tell you, but just telling you the title means nothing, and then I’d have to explain it, but why would I do that, because truthfully, I know you don’t give a shit and I just want to read my goddamn book.” (That last part didn’t really have to due with much, other than the way I might respond to someone off my meds. I just am genuinely annoyed with someone asks me what I’m reading when I’m clearly in the middle of reading.)

This is another reminder to me that these things and this illness is very real. I will say, for a person who really screwed up her meds for a week or two, I did just fine. Really I did, I wrote about it yesterday too.

I don’t know a proper way to end this. It’s very hard to actually believe in recovery. So I end on this Victor Hugo quote (from Les Miserables) I’m not quite sure I think is true, but I know I will have to learn to at least have faith in.

1.11 am. wed, sept 2.