Depression and leaving me home with the dog

Content Note: depression, bipolar disorder, trauma

The past few days have been rough as I struggle through this depression. Very tough, painful and scary tough. The sort of symptoms where other people walk away because my pain and anguish are so big. And I can’t blame them.

It is like these intense feelings are pounding to be free, but also looping through my body preventing me from actually feelings things. I just feel sad. No anger, no peace of mind, no nothing. Just sadness with bouts of despair. I have my rule of thumb in place not to make big decisions because I am not thinking clearly. So this creates too much room to think about big decisions and feel awful.

Last night, I was sitting in bed and for the first time connected depression to trauma. I’ve had these bouts since I was a young teen and most of the time, I was shamed and chastised. Obviously the time I wept about going out to dinner and leaving the dog at home was ridiculous,  but leaving me home alone with the dog was not the appropriate adulting response. I was hurting and my mind was expressing the years of neglect and abuse in a way that I guess felt safe. It ended up leaving me feeling ashamed of my sadness and determined to hide it, a cycle of self-destruction as I stuffed trauma further inside and beat the crap out of myself for when I didn’t pull it off.

Depression is like recreating that wheel. My thought processes don’t have to make sense to you in order to be acknowledged as real for me. You can acknowledge my feelings without having to say that I’m right. And you can offer comfort. You don’t have to leave me home alone with the dog while you go out to dinner.

Today has been slightly different. I woke up and in between the really big hard emotions, I felt some curiosity about the PA Primary election results. Obviously, that’s a convoluted mess but the emotional sense of hope is important to note. Concentrating is still very hard and feeling connected to other people is impossible. Or it feels that way. I’m not hungry and haven’t had a proper meal in many days. I’ve just tried to keep myself safe and waiting for the little moments of hope like this one.

Then I just cling to them. Because I know it isn’t over. It is just different. I keep thinking about that experience with our childhood dog. She was treated so badly. I didn’t say or do anything except for ill-fated moments like this.And while I know the incident should center the neglect I experienced, I just feel guilt and self-loathing.

Imagine how I feel about projects failing human beings? It can feel hard to live with that.

So today I tried a few new things. I ate something for breakfast. I didn’t sever relationships or connections with people whom I don’t find trustworthy because I don’t know if that’s accurate. Just because they don’t know what to do doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to figure it out. Or have their own shit.  And sometimes they are just assholes.

I have zero idea what the coming days will look like.  Other than my therapy, I have no commitments or plans or social contacts scheduled. There’s no magical mental health casserole. The layer of coronavirus compounds isolation. So I’ll just worry about what I can control.

Perhaps blogging is about it?



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