This is What Depression Looks Like

This is what depression looks like. I’m not crying, I’m not cutting myself, I’m not suicidal, hell I’m not even drinking myself into a stupor anymore. What I’m saying here is you don’t have to be a cliché to have depression. My depression has expressed itself differently throughout the years and in fact came across an old screenshot an Aunt had sent me after one of my many previous blog posts where I discussed what high school was like for me. She responded with,

“Zak you’re definitely in my thoughts right here and now, what you don’t know is you chase life so gracefully!! On the outside, it’s all good looks, sarcasm, and humor! You don’t sound suicidal but certainly crying for help and understanding! That is something I can do for you. I cannot stand the fact that you were treated that way in English class, I know for a fact karma will hit them hard.”

The English class is another long story I’ll have to tell you later. Her words resonated with me because you don’t know what’s going on inside someone’s head, just what they want you to see. If you ACTUALLY know me then you know the real Zak, the depressed, ass hole, eternal pessimist. But if I keep everyone at arm’s length no one knows who that guy is and as my aunt pointed out I’m all good looks, sarcasm, and humor.

I’m sure I might make it look easy online but I actually had a period 2 weeks ago where I had depressive episodes where I just couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t care about anything. Showering, work, eating, my dog. I just wanted to lay there and not exist anymore.

This was a Snapchat I took when I had to go home from my office because I couldn’t function anymore, I told everyone I was working from home that day to hide the truth that I actually came home and laid in bed until the next morning.

It’s that time of year where seasonal depression springs up but my depressive episodes have never been like this. Previously when I was younger it came out as a control issue, insomnia, cutting, and withdrawing from my friends and family. As I got older, I found Ambien which became my new release. It made me feel so good and happy all the time, when you take it every day and get high, you lose track of your depression.

When I was in my early 20’s I repressed all my feelings and never showed my depression because I would binge drink and meticulously clean my car and my room. I would disassociate from my life for a night or an hour while I mindlessly would clean and I would party on the weekends (who are we kidding? Weekdays too…) with my friends and so when there was any depression it was blamed on the hangover. I’d often suffer from insomnia which is why I chose to drink because it made falling asleep easier.

At one point the mail order pharmacy screwed up my prescription and I went off of my antidepressant cold turkey (not good) and it fucked with head pretty hard. 2 and a half weeks later when I got my 90 pill supply I decide I was going to take all of them washed down with a bottle of vodka. I got as far as laying the pills outs (in piles of 20 because OCD tendencies) and the vodka out. I was writing my suicide letter when my boyfriend at the time came over unexpectedly (he was supposed to be out with friends bowling) and found my spare key and let himself in while I sat quietly pretending to be out. Obviously, he stopped everything and I got weened off all medication once again.

My mid-20s depression was expressed very negatively by me. Everything was shit and that was just life.  It was like I was angry at the world and wanted it to be angry too. Flat tire? Well, might as well because it’s me and my life just fucking sucks. I lost interest in the things I used to love like yoga and running, couldn’t get a good nights rest ever. Withdrew from what friends I had and clung to my new boyfriend pressuring him to fix me and make me happy (although not as direct as that). I continued to drink to try and repress and hide my feelings when I was perpetually let down and I still felt broken. But I maintained my facade continuing to retain my image of calm, cool, and collected.

All my poor ex-boyfriends had to endure so much craziness from me and I’m truly sorry to them. I did warn them I was crazy to be fair though. My Montana ex and I broke up and got back together so many times I lost count and I remember one time, in particular, we were broken up and I got hammered before 11 pm and our friends tried to take me home and I refused to go anywhere but my ex’s house and they showed up with me and he took me in and took care of me every time while I would pass out in his bathroom half naked or in his bed.

Now in my late 20’s my depression is sooo much different. Those sad feelings and suicidal tenancies have turned to indifference and the inability to put forth the effort to even think about killing myself because even that takes too much energy. I just feel continually exhausted all the time and have completely lost my OCD cleaning tendencies and things I once was passionate about.

My cars and room that used to be meticulously maintained and cleaned weekly have now turned to utter chaos and disarray. I have washed my car 3 times in the 2 years I’ve leased it and I’m still living out of a box in my closet because I can’t be bothered with exerting the energy to look for a bureau and try to find someone to help move it and lug it home.

I do things to distract myself like binge-watch Netflix, I try to go to yoga 3 times a week, and I write countless pages for my blog; when I publish maybe a story a week? I don’t feel sad, I don’t feel much of anything. In fact, a friend told me he can sense when I’m in one of my ‘moods’.

He said some days I’m just like Eeyore (which I TOTALLY relate to Eeyore, too!) I feel numb. I blamed it on burnout from working 40 hours and going to school full-time, but now that I’m graduated, I can see now, no matter what lies I tell myself, it’s still depression.  I can pretend to be good looking, sarcastic and poised all I want but regardless, it’s still there hanging over my head like the dark cloud it is.

I’m taking steps to fix my depression, my psychiatrist has me trying a new pill and If you’re following my FB page you might have seen some videos of me actually doing stuff like fixing my toilet tank and taking the glass doors out of my shower. Which these may not be big accomplishments but they’re accomplishments that would not have happened 6 months ago.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please don’t silently suffer.  Nobody wants to take pills every day or be depressed but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still there.  There are lots of options so I encourage you to seek help because I know how low- low can feel.

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The Full Moon Brings All the Boys to the Yard?

Well, well, well….Look’s like I have at least a few fans I wasn’t aware of <3 A few were asking when I was going to give you more writing. I am honestly flattered anyone wants to read my stories because the reason I quit writing as frequently is because I hit a very hard story in my life to talk about from when I was 21 right after having come out and it’s incredibly embarrassing to me and I became incredibly self-conscious of my writing and putting my life on display as an open book. I don’t know who does or doesn’t read my blog and so I started feeling like everyone was secretly judging me. Sure maybe that’s being a little paranoid but I have my reasons. So anyway, that’s why I haven’t really posted anything new. BUT! Back by a few peoples request! I’M BACK…. At least until a cute boy distracts me and I lose interest in writing again.

I really had such a crazy month…and by that I mean I watched WAYYY too much Netflix, didn’t leave my house except when I was forced to (Like to walk my dog), and to go to work. I did take a little mini vacation from my life in there too and ran away to Rehobeth Beach for a night. Yes, I could have probably written new stuff, but I was dealing with some major miscommunication between my roommate and me that took a lot of energy and mental power to try and understand his point of view. It’s like we speak two different languages but we’ve resolved a lot of our issues and things are going well.

During August you may remember a little thing like a solar eclipse happening. That’s when all the trouble with my roommate started. After several disagreements and arguments and fights, we came to a lull and he kind of realized how crazy we were being and according to him I was acting different (I could say the same for about him). He asked me a funny question; he asked if I knew anything about the moon phases. Now, clearly I’m not astronomer, astrologer, or astronaut, so what I’m about to tell you is strictly an observation that could really be happening or my brain might be trying to trick itself into seeing evidence that isn’t there for the sake of a concept to grasp to make sense of this crazy thing we call life.

Now, you need some background info here about some of my beliefs, One of the most hippy-ish things you will hear me say is if you listen to what your body is trying to tell you through yoga or meditation you can fix or eliminate a lot of your negative habits and stresses. If my ex is reading this right now he probably laughed out loud at the thought of me saying something like that. You see, I suffer from depression and so I used to be a very negative person. He tried to help me every way he could but in the end, I couldn’t grasp any of the things he was trying to tell me. I had pretty much given up trying to do the work to get better on my own and relied solely on the prescriptions the doctors kept changing up trying to reduce side effects and elevate the mood levels. Finally, in a desperate last attempt, I got a therapist that I specifically sought out because he is also gay and just gets it. He knew how to talk to and handle the emotional basket case I was just 2 short years ago and when to be stern and when to be compassionate.

So now that you have a bit of the back story, let’s continue, I try to vaguely track my depression cycles so I can bring them up at the next session. So in my tracking, I noticed that around the week before the full moon my moods dip to either lower moods or depression. I noticed it dipped because I felt like people were avoiding me or blowing me off, someone might ‘ghost’ me, which means if you’re messaging with someone and they just all of a sudden quit replying for no reason and leave you hanging. Or maybe I get forgot on an email list for a company happy hour. Something happens that makes me feel rejected or alone and forgotten and whether that’s actually true or just the way I react to the situation that week isn’t quite clear in my observation.

It seems like after going to bed a couple days before a 100% full luminosity moon it just seems like a light switch has been flicked on (pun semi-intended) and everything is better. In fact, it’s like I’m irresistible and then everyone that I couldn’t get to talk to me the week before or whoever disappeared for months on end would choose those days leading up to the full moon to contact me all while my normal friends contact me to hang out and go do things. The week of the full moon seems to be my most active social week of the month.

Is this hard documented evidence? No. Does it happen with the same people all the time? No. It’s merely speculation and keeping half an eye on my depression cycles and noticing when I said obscure things like, “What the hell is *Fill-in-Blank* doing texting me? Must be a full moon..” (Said mockingly…cuz…you know…a full moon brings all the weirdo’s out). But then I actually started checking. First just if I happened to be out at night or thinking how bright it is at night while taking Bosley to the bathroom and looking up and noticing it.

That was when I noticed the coincidences and watching them. I’m in my third month of actually tracking the phases and it’s pretty predictable. What’s not predictable is what person (romantic or otherwise) it will affect or who is going to decide to randomly get back in contact with me. When I see my love interests start to pull away instead of trying harder like I did before, I let them go because I’m like, “Bitch, you’ll be back…they always come back.” (Sometimes it’s because they tell me I need to get checked. But coming back is coming back, why we splitting hairs, Susan?!)

Again, take it for what it is. A personal observation about my life that I may possibly be hallucinating. Does anyone else notice weird things happen with a Full moon? Just me? Maybe I am just finding more meaning in things that aren’t there. I’m just saying that our bodies consist of between 50-65% of water and if the moon can affect things such as high and low tides…come on people connect the dots here…

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