My routine is pretty capital-D DEPRESSED right now:
I get woken up by my cat around 6:30 am, I get up to feed him, I struggle to get back to bed, because now that cute little motherfucker wants to hang out, I eventually get myself into the kitchen for coffee and a microwaved breakfast burrito, I put on an old season of The Great British Bake-Off and I get back in bed. I stare blankly at all my works in progress and bemoan my fate, eventually just giving up and watching more Bake-Off. I get sad at night and order delivery, because it’s something to look forward to, at least. I put on old clips of John Oliver at around 9 o’clock and try to fall asleep. My cat is usually still an asshole for a while before curling up on top of my feet.
These feelings aren’t unfamiliar to me, but I especially hate them now. Because, like, why?! Quarantine notwithstanding, I have some cool stuff going on right now. My play reading on Friday night went really well and now it’s time to get ready for a workshop of my next play. I wrote a one-person show that’s being developed. I’m going to be in a Good Omens fanzine, which makes me super delighted. So much stuff that should be making me really happy now… it’s like it can’t fit through the tiny crack in the door that Depression has allowed to keep open. I can see them all waving through the crack, but they can’t get inside. I’m so fucking mad about it.
It’s hard to accept that I’m still grieving some stuff. It’s hard to be reminded that this Depression thing might always be a part of me. It’s hard to grit my teeth and bear that artistic achievements aren’t going to magically fix my issues of self-loathing. There’s work to do that I’m not doing at present. I got tired of therapy. Got tired of listening to myself wobble on about what I judged to be my stupid problems. I stopped checking in with the psychiatrist. She wanted to add a third medication and I just wasn’t ready to accept that even two medications weren’t enough to make me feel better. I stopped running, because what’s the fucking point?
Sometimes I clock that I like having too many projects on my plate at once, because then it’s like I have an excuse to not take care of myself. “Oh, no, I’m just so BUSY, I can’t possibly make a therapy appointment or eat a vegetable!” It’s all bullshit, obviously, but I’m pretty sure it’s there. I take care of my plays and my essays and my other scribblings so that I don’t have to take care of me. I coddle myself sometimes, which is not the same thing. I talk to my inner child like a scared, sad Great Dane puppy and I let them have whatever they want, even if it’s not the most responsible choice. You want to eat Toaster Strudel for breakfast again, champ? Go right ahead.
Sometimes (always) I get caught up again in the tangled web of trying to figure out the Grand Mystery of WHY AM I LIKE THIS. I was loved, I am loved. I am surrounded by excellent people who take really excellent care of me. I can’t be that much of a piece of trash, right?
It’s hard to explain, I guess. Depression is a voice in my brain and they are LOUD. They are insistent. They do not relent, they do not take a break. Being with my friends is the best means I have found for getting them to shut up a little bit, so, in quaran-times, it’s been much harder to get a respite. I’m alone in my room most of the time and they yell at me, over and over and over again. Tell me that I am worthless, that I am lazy, that I will never amount to anything. Those aren’t things I just made up: they are things that my own brain says to me.
So, I take naps. I put on John Oliver at night so that I don’t have to fall asleep to the sound of my own head.
Sundays are always like this: I am forever optimistic. Tomorrow I’ll do all the right things and maybe it will go away. I’ll get up early and exercise and have a healthy breakfast and make the therapy appointment and and and… In exchange for conquering Depression, I’ll be overflowing with energy and ideas and work ethic. I’ll be amazing, maybe. I’ll write something brilliant. I’ll write something that makes you happy. I’ll write something that makes me believe I am good. The pain will go away.
Usually, I’m back to Toaster Strudel by Tuesday.
But it’s Sunday, so I am feeling hopeful. My room is clean and my apple cinnamon candle is lit. And I don’t know what other words to write, but I am trying to feel something like peace at the notion that they’ll show up eventually.
And I’m trying to welcome Depression like some sort of affable frenemy. I don’t think they’re trying to hurt me, you know? I think they think they’re protecting me in telling me what trash I am. They’re trying to save me from disappointment, from more pain. So, like… fine, bitch. Come on in, let me pour you a coffee.
I’m fucking tired, y’all.
But next week is always a new week.