Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Enigmatic Normal

Mercifully, the anti-depressants are doing their job and I feel infinitely better than I did when I first started this blog. The program I am currently attending has been helpful twofold: I am now cognizant and implementing coping skills (something I had previous regarded as useless psychobabble) and giving me a schedule and structure especially when I was doing rather terribly mentally.

Now, this is where the coping skills and changes must occur, because I am where I was before mentally but I still have all of the bad habits that I had previously accumulated (terrible patience, overeating, and general sense of being lazy to which I had grown accustomed). The medication does help some but when you don't do anything positive when you have the capability of doing so, there's a lot of wasted time that could have been used doing something productive or taking the steps to break said habits.

So yes, I guess this normal for me, but what I have considered normal for a long time has been vastly unhealthy and skewed by cynicism. I live a life dominated by what food I am going to eat and most joy has been sucked from it. It truly is astonishing to look back at these past six years or so and so how I have allowed myself to get out of control, albeit with brief intervals of good care and health.

When I went in for treatment, I said I was "all in" for anything and that I truly want to get better. I was just unaware of how much needs to change, as in a fundamental life transformation. My finances, my academics, and my life depend on it. I have sauntered through personal Hell so many times yet I always find a way to make a return journey to the inferno. A one-way trip from the smoldering is what I need, and bright times compounded by good habits is what I truly deserve.

So this week begins an erosion of all the misery I have accrued in my life, be it the shame I feel for being 23 and lacking the level of education of my friends, the food I ate to cope for so long (and the induced vomiting which some ran subsequent), or the inability to relax because I fashioned myself to be a garden-variety fuck-up. I have positive things in my life, it is just about damn time I embraced them.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

There is a Light

My head feels exceedingly foggy, and the process is anything but rapid, yet there is a level of hope after a long spell of despair and hopelessness. The medications are doing their job (I repeat, they work in a gradual manner) and my catastrophic thinking has subsided for the most part.

A sincere mea culpa for not being able to post more often to this blog, the intensive outpatient program in which I am currently enrolled is quite time-consuming albeit in a good way. It takes about ten weeks, and the level of care I have found there has been nothing short of stellar. So yes, even on this rainy, no good, shitty day, there is hope to be found if you're willing to look.

Until the next time I post, please take care.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Nerve to Change

As I write this, I am going through anti-depressant Hell. For those familiar with these demons, they also know that the medications work slowly but powerfully and that you feel better gradually, but for someone  such as myself with East Coast patience, each second can be excruciating.

Why did I do this? Because I wanted my life back. The posts will occur more sparingly on here but know that I am on the road to recovery and snatching a beautiful life back from the jaws of soul-crushing depression. God bless you all, and thank you for any well-wishes; not to mention if you know someone in your life battling depression, ask them if they want to talk. You could save a life by doing it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

From Darkness Comes Light

This weekend was possibly the toughest mental challenge I have had in a very long time. When you go back on anti-depressant medication, the first week or so is the worst week of your life. Imagine someone going through heroin withdrawal and place all the twitching, retching, and physical illness into your brain and be in a persistently manic state for 48 hours. Were there suicidal thoughts? Absolutely. It's as if the Zoloft were saying, "Hey dipshit, this is what you feel like when you stop taking me. Trust me and you will get out of this hole." 

However, I thank God every day for the support and love of my parents, who never waver in their efforts to bring joy to a seemingly terminal depressed 23-year old.  Through the Seton Hall meltdown to far too many surly days, they are my rock and my light. I shudder at the thought of where I would be without them. When many would have given up on a wayward, ill soul as myself, they never did.     

I'm feeling better and getting better. Onward and forward. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Pain and The Neuroticism

"You know that pain and guilt cannot be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away! I need my pain!"  

My pain is a part of me and has been since I was a child. If you know me, regardless of the context in which you do, you have seen a pained version of me. When at my worst, I turn into an introverted vessel of a human with my brain plagued by the next seemingly unbearable challenge. However, that pain has positive traits that seem to manifest into my life at various intervals. Empathy is something I have in abundance because when you're so personally imbued with pain, you become a master at recognizing it in other people and attempting to divert those attitudes. While there is a component of wanting to avoid pain when you have a brief day of happiness, my intentions are usually pure. 

Nothing I ever do seems to fulfill me or give me joy. Most days I go to bed feeling like a bastard who let others down, even though my work is exceedingly tough and I do the best with what I have. I am not an oracle or a deity that can cure autism with a wave of a limb or some sort of telekinesis, yet each day I come home feeling like I failed somebody. I can have the best day of my life but if some mistake occurs during the day, I dwell on it like that defines my whole being as a person. This bit of self-flagellation is what makes time by myself torturous since the inner monologue that has been dominating my life is composed of all the critiques I have received, and when combined with a photographic memory, I have an entire mental rolodex of stinging harangues and gripes that play interminably and a skewed view of reality that makes the most callous dystopian fantasy seem humane. 

I have let others dominate my being for far too long. When I had Facebook, I was too goddamn ashamed to post that I attended Union County College because of my K-12 pedigree and the fear that I somehow managed to fuck up. Well, now I simply do not give a shit what anyone thinks since my life has been in "Survival Mode" on and off since October 2006. Depriving yourself of any joy because of the inevitable restrictions of life is a wonderful way to commit social suicide and potentially lead to the actual act. I am not the "St. Peter's Prep grad with a finance job by 22"  mold, and in hindsight I am damn sure I never was. I did waste a lot of tears and anguish wishing I was, though, but I attribute that to having fucked-out priorities and a lack of ego. Life is far too complex to be reduced to an exact guideline as to how you are supposed to live it and I am smashing the walls in my head. 

I am who I am, and I need my pain because the enlightenment and joys can only be cherished that much more. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Food and The Rehab

Most people between the ages of 18-23 have a similar plan of what to do in their spare time and weekends be it drink, sleep, and go off on an interminable quest for sex that is less de Sade and more Sisyphus. I often chose to abuse my body and explore how truly neurotic I can be if I allowed myself. 

Now, I must clarify with regard to "abusing my body", I am far too much of a pussy to even fathom cutting and the like. What I did for five years was submerge my mind in food. While it may seem like just harmless actions combined with my desire to actually leave my house in a given day, I treated food with the slavish devotion of a junkie deep in their spiral (which is why I will use junkie jargon since I think it applies). Sometimes I would drive an hour under the guise of clearing my head, but with the ultimate goal of getting my fix. Needless to say, I was consistently in no mood to savor whatever I was eating, I just wanted a goddamned escape and a release of endorphins. 

How devoted was I to food? It would occupy my mind constantly and I would sometimes plan my entire day based upon whatever and wherever I wanted to eat. The amount of money I have blown on food pre-rehab was appalling, and bordering on sociopathic. I basically bought Enron stock ten years after the fact, knowing damn well that the returns would be non-existant and actually worse than stock since there's been nothing but negatives to go with it. But hey, I told myself constantly, "This meal will be my last, I must change," which is worth jack shit to a conniving, non-committal asshole. 

And the junky monologue would coarse through my head, especially when my parents started to notice weight gain and when I grew more brazen, just bringing food into the house. Beforehand, my adult ass was smuggling food in a backpack because I knew my parents would disapprove. Nothing quite humbles you like bold-faced lying to your parents like you're a kid because you don't have to the nerve to say what is truly on your mind, "I am so miserable I want to kill myself. However, blood scares me so I will commit suicide via coronary or heart attack."  If I had a Food Network show, it would be a cross between "Super Size Me" and a grainy Al-Qaeda beheading video (and it would still be more enjoyable than some shows on that network). 

So, like all junkies who finally reach their breaking point and have enough clarity in their head, I started to rehab myself. While it only began this past Wednesday, the amount of hope it has given me cannot be measured. I am happy, more willing to engage, and interested in things for the first time in a while. Of course, with every addiction comes the potential of relapsing, and as someone whose eating is tied to depression one false step can send me plummeting back down this mountain I am climbing. Yet I am not there, and I refuse to allow myself the opportunity to fall into large habits, but if I do, the idea that my life is over because of one bad day will be erased from my mind. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Hurt and The Apologies

With my combating of my depression, it is humbling when you look back at what you have done to those who tried their damndest to help you. I have worked consistently since August 2008, and these are the results since then: 80 pounds gained, $30,000 in money sunk (currently have $430 to my name) on food and other frivolous things, and a myriad of people whom I have hurt since that month. Looking at every single PNC statement since I was a member in August 2009, I simply stopped writing down numbers at least two times and broke down sobbing. All the purchases were associated with times when I had hope and love in my life, and it would all be ruined by a week or even a day of frivolous spending. Yes, the depression sufferer's checkbook has all the signs of instability if you extracted it from one's head and placed them on a piece of paper. 

Monetary and health issues aside, I abused too many relationships because I was too proud to get help. The vicious cycle for the past six years has been: I get so low that I need medication, life with meds becomes beautiful to the extent that I blow off my next prescription appointment out of sheer arrogance, I get so low that I blow all of my money and practically crawl hands and knees for medication. Not to mention I spit in the faces of those who actually did love me and wanted me to help in the hopes of finding salvation in mirages. For those wondering, this isn't fun to write, but I must cleanse my soul of everything that has been haunting me since I was diagnosed in November 2006. Too many days have been wasted in misery and slumber, and that goddamned adage "Wisdom is slow and comes but late" is all too true. Love has not been easy to come by, since I have been far too inconsistent and too fucking broke to even afford anything resembling a respectful date and I have hurt the foundation of my support system, my mother and father, more times than I care to remember. 

I'm not writing this blog and exposing it to people for attention or any sort of sympathy, and my previous blogs where I tried to be edgy and funny was a chore because I am not that sort of person naturally. Depression has been a part of my life for the better part of seven years and I could have never imagined applying my full name to a blog of this nature when I was 16, but I have grown during that time period and stopped treating it as some sort of sick family secret nor do I really give a shit what anyone thinks anymore. I have been walking with a mental limp for a long time now that occasionally turned me into a callous bastard who burned bridges because he couldn't cope or someone exceedingly happy and riding the endorphin rush down a cliff. I contacted those to read this blog because I simply cannot hide who I am anymore, and my life will be infinitely richer as a result. Even if you read just one or two posts, I cannot thank you enough for doing so. 

The mending process has begun, and I pray to see you all on the other side.