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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