I like including pictures with my posts. I like including pictures with my ‘feelings’ posts. Of course, usually they’re not pictures. I mean, they are, but they’re pictures of words. I guess I just like knowing that someone else once felt how I feel now. And it’s funny, because I have a folder on my laptop that has almost 2,000 images collected from every corner of the Internet and not one of them adequately represents how I feel right now. This is not a bad thing – I just think it’s interesting. Lots of the pictures stored in that folder have to do with love, especially lost love. And I guess I just don’t feel that anymore. I mean, we got closure. Four years later. It’s a wonderful feeling. But it makes my pictures folder pretty redundant. Now it looks as though I’m going to have to rely on my own words to convey what I want to say.
That was from a couple of months ago. And it’s mostly still true. I used to be on a real love vibe. If you read my blog way back when I was in Sixth Year (all those two years ago), you’ll remember that I included graphics in almost every post. I stopped when I realised that they were no longer saying what I wanted to say. So I had to use my own words. And that’s difficult sometimes. Which is why I don’t post as often – there just aren’t the words. There’s thoughts and feelings, sure, but even those I try to suppress. It’s easier to keep busy and avoid thinking. It’s easier than facing my feelings, whatever they are. I try not to pay attention to how I’m feeling. Either I’m fine or I’m miserable. On miserable days, it’s hard to get out of bed, but I am trying. I am trying, believe me.
I stopped taking my medication about a month ago. I’m pretty bad with it in general – I’m sporadic at best – but a month ago, I gave up. And then a horrible thing happened in my ‘personal life’ and I knew I should go back to taking my medication. I was upset about the thing that had happened and I was the right amount of upset, but I knew that my feelings could run away with themselves and get out of control and I’d be lucky if they didn’t hit a downward spiral. And I kept telling myself, ‘I should really start taking my tablets again.’ But I didn’t. I knew I was on thin ice – I knew it was only a matter of time or misjudged footing before I fell through the ice and hit depression. Full-blown depression. But I kept going. I kept taking the risk.
Until last week when I realised that I don’t have to be this person – I can be anyone I want to be. I can be a different Emma. I don’t have to be self-destructive and miserable Emma; I can be pro-active and motivated Emma. I don’t have to risk feeling unhappy for long periods of time. I can do something about it. I can make a conscious choice to not be unhappy. Maybe some of you don’t buy into that. But what choice do I have? I have exhausted most other options. I’m not a teenager anymore – I can’t keep accepting my sadness and wallowing in it. I have to accept it and get on with it, like every other functioning adult in the world.
I believe that depression is an illness, though my psychoanalyst disagrees. It’s all very well studying depression in a classroom and having people describe it to you in therapy, but unless you’ve lived through it, you won’t understand that it feels like a disease, never mind an illness. It feels like it’s draining your every resource. It’s very difficult to be pro-active when you’re in the depths of depression. It’s very difficult to be anything when you’re in the depths of depression. But, for now, while I’m not in the depths of depression, I’m going to be pro-active and I’m going to sort my life out. When I’m depressed, I let life pass me by. I let things slide. I don’t go to college, I don’t do assignments, I don’t do all the things I know I should do. I barely shower, I don’t eat properly, and if the mood strikes me, I’ll self-harm. Because I don’t care. How can I care about anything when I don’t feel anything? Apart from a potent sense of self-loathing, of course.
I’m trying to be a better person. I go through these phases a lot. I try to better. I try to be skinnier, funnier, cleverer. But it’s not for the right reasons. It’s so people will like me. But people already like me and me being skinnier won’t gain me any extra friends. Maybe I’d get more casual sex, but I don’t want that anyway. So now I’m choosing to be better for me, so that I don’t crumble under the weight of 8,183 assignments at the end of each semester, or binge eat myself into oblivion. Or worse. I’m trying to be the person that can cope. Not just cope, but cope well. I want to be successful. And of course ‘success’ is one of those things that nobody can really define and maybe all I want is to be able to function. Maybe that’s enough right now. I’m taking my tablets most days (when my memory allows) and I’m making lists. I’m doing college work. I’m smiling. I’m try to enjoy being me.