I can’t resist the urge to break. It’s almost like a need, a physical itch that demands I scratch it with a freshly sharpened pocket knife.
I hate this feeling.
I am filled up with things and stuff instead of love and warmth, and it hurts. I want to cry. Every day I want to do nothing else but cry. I scream at myself in the car until the stares from strangers drives me into a deep enough shame that I choke on my stupidity. I want to be numb, so I take these pills. I want to forget, so I do these drugs. I want to erase myself from this world, so I spend as much time as I can on my own. I want to die, so I research methods of suicide and write notes for the police, my parents, and everyone else. I want to suffer, so I make sure God can do nothing but hate me. I want…I want out of this cycle…I want to live and smile and have hope…I want to not eat until I’m sick, throwing up in the bathroom, returning from every meal with a fever…I want to stop being so lazy and tired, to find the motivation to move my stupid body, to make it react, to force it awake…I want to find love for myself, any reason to love me at all…I want to do something with the love others have given me aside from ripping it up in front of their faces…I want to be proud, to make others proud of me…I want to exist without wishing I didn’t exist…I want to exist without thinking I have to suffer for my existence…I want that, all of that…but I did it again. In the time between my millionth plan to become a better person and lunch, I’ve tossed it all away again…again and again and again…all that planning, the time and energy and effort, and all of it wasted again…once again I did nothing…once again I managed to find a new low…again and again and again…I don’t want anymore, never again…I don’t want to suffer, and I don’t want to die…and I don’t want to live…so what can I do?
I’ve spent the past 6 years trying to erase everything.
If our lives are homes that grow with time, than what I have been doing is leaving the front door unlocked, every window open, and I couldn’t even wait for the world to rip out anything of value, so I actively participated in the pillaging, until nothing of value remained.
I’m an empty house, stripped bare from 6 years of trying to erase whatever we shared, and I shared it all, so it all came down.
20 years of life that I remember, and each memory has now be drowned, and it only took 6 years to destroy whatever I used to be, so the work is done…right?
Someday you’ll come to understand how I feel. You’ll wake up, and before you even get the chance to roll out of bed, an intense self-loathing will be simmering right beneath your skin. You won’t be able to make sense of it, and with every passing second the pressure of being alive will grind your ribs into chalk, leaving your heart entirely exposed. Nothing that you are experiencing will make any sort of sense. The stale apartment air will have raked away at your arms, leaving them as withered husks, floating as useless air, unable to hold on to even the lightest trace of hope. A guilt will begin to gnaw away at stomach lining, and your hands will prove even more useless as you fail to hold back the flood of doubt, fear and rage that comes roaring through those new holes in your humanity. With everything that you once called your own breaking rank in a mad dash to get out, the unavoidable emptiness of being alone will begin to sink in, and if it wasn’t for the fact that your autonomic nervous system was a thing, you would have given up swallowing air, as every mouthful is just another tablespoon of bubble gum flavored cough syrup; another poor attempt at drowning out the pain of living without love.
I see posts like this all the time, scattered throughout Facebook and Instagram and Pintrest, and everytime I see it I just want to scream. This is some straight up bullshit, and I’m going to explain why.
First of all, if somebody is pointing out that you might have a better life than you are currently experiencing that is not an attempt to diminish how awful you feel. It could come off as condescending, but only if you have allowed your depression to give you tunnel vision. This isn’t some asshat trying to point out the obvious just so you’ll stop feeling sorry for yourself. This is a friend, a fellow human being who has dealt with their own set of struggles throughout life that you know nothing about, and this human is trying to get you to see something brighter, something better than the world currently reflected in your eyes. It’s not about making you feel bad for how bad you feel, it’s about making you see that not everything is falling apart, that you have some good in your life. How much time do you think a human can stay in the dark, alone, before they fall apart? Those circumstances alone, a dark setting, hiding yourself away and refusing to see the light, that can bring about depression within anybody, so of course someone who cares about you will try and force you out, one way or another. Personally, I would get much more aggressive and demanding, but this sort of measured action is probably more effective.
So, to sum up that first point, let’s just say this: if you’re counter argument for why something somebody else is telling you devolves into a senseless repetition of “I have been clinically diagnosed with depression, you can’t understand, blah blah blah,” then you’re friend is right, and you’re just being an asshole about it, which is fine, it happens to everybody, but depression isn’t an excuse. Clearly your friends know you have depression and are making an effort to understand you, but for some reason you think that having depression means you don’t have to make an effort to understand them? Because they don’t have it as bad? Yeah, no. You aren’t alone. You can feel alone, but that doesn’t make it true. Does that truth make it easier to deal with? Absolutely, but maybe only marginally so. Still, it’s something, and the whole point is to get you to see, to acknowledge that something.
Part #2: Depression isn’t some “mood” or “phase.” Sure, why not. Depression is a complex set of physiological tendencies that drive a person to behave in a certain way, so I guess one could try to argue that it can’t be defined as a simple mood or a phase in ones life. The problem with this statement though is that it implies that, outside of a clinically diagnosed depression, any other form of depression isn’t as real. Anybody who’s lived 10 seconds can tell you this is bullshit. Depression hits everybody at some point. Depression can certainly be a “mood.” You’ve had a long week, working overtime to cover the cost of having your shitty car fixed. You cancel plans with friends, your significant other cheats on you, it’s Saturday night and you run out of hot water in the middle of your shower. Those circumstances can bring about depression within anybody. Is that depression not as real as yours? In the moment it is just as powerful, and maybe even more so. This could hit a person who is generally always upbeat, and to get beat down with so much at once, it makes them question why. Why is this happening to them? What did they do to deserve this? And after a night of drinking alone, the answer they land on might be nothing, that they did nothing to deserve this, but it happened anyway, so maybe just their existence was enough to bring about this fucked up bullshit. But that wouldn’t count as “real” depression, right?
To summarize that second point, depression can hit anybody, not just those who are diagnosed. And maybe some people are just better at hiding it than others. Maybe the person who’s trying to help you right now is suffering through something, and you have no idea, and you couldn’t have any idea, because you don’t want that to be true, and not because you don’t want them to be suffering like you, but because you are revealing in the knowledge that nobody has it as bad as you do right now. And how do I know that you don’t care? Well, that becomes clear in part 3.
Part 3 is short and simple. “I don’t expect you to understand.” That sentence is really all I needed to read to know that this entire post was fucking ugly bullshit, depression pandering asshattery. How dare you. How fucking dare you make the assumption that someone else can’t understand? Are you the first person to ever suffer like this? Is your pain that fukcing unique? Do you know every secret of the person talking to you right now, so you can say with 100% certainty, that they have no idea what you’re going through?
Depression, when expressed like this on social media, paints a picture of a lonely, cynical asshole who thinks they know everything about everybody, but nobody can know a fucking thing about them, and it’s pointless. It’s a pointless post that does nothing to help you. It doesn’t help the people they want to help you, it doesn’t help the part of you that won’t admit aloud that you actually want people to try, and it doesn’t help the stigma around depression that has evolved with the dawn of the internet, where depression is shared around message boards on tumblr and reddit as a fucking meme, so of course it’s never taken seriously, until suicide prevention month rolls around, and everybody on Facebook is sharing a post with the suicide hotline number, and some idiot plays that stupid ass Logic song (which is some of the worst mainstream pandering to suicide to make money while doing nothing of substance, fuck that song, fuck Logic and his shitty raps and his shitty fucking rap name, and fuck pop music in general for always using real fucking problems people face, then turning them into this over simplified issues that can be handled in a 4 minute shitty 4 chord formatted song to push to the masses, only to be forgotten about with a year to make room for the next batch on pandering bullshit).
Look, it’s really simple. I’m depressed. I lock myself away in my apartment for days that turn into months, only forging outside for work and a quick run to the gas station to buy chips and mountain dew. I saved money on my phone bill last month by not having a fucking cell phone the entire time. I have no social media accounts, minus this blog, my tumblr and the twitter account, all of which are under the name Taylor Finn, which, in case some people aren’t aware, is not my real name. Nobody I know in real life reads anything I write. Hell, nobody in my life even knows I like to write period. I have friends, but ignore them. I have a family, but I ignore them. I cut, I overdose on sleeping pills, I’ve been forced to stay in a hospital twice in the past 6 months for attempted suicides. I’ve been like this my entire life, but it was easier to hide when I had school. Without that structure, the depression got worse and worse, and I don’t have any answers. I don’t know how I’ll make it out. In fact, every day I grow more and more certain that I won’t ever feel okay with being alive, and I’ll be dead long before I turn 30. But even though I believe that, and I’m living like that, I still know that depression can be beaten. I know that people care. I know that people have it worse, and that knowledge does not make me feel better at all, but I know it. And I know stupid ass posts like this piss me off, because they scream of childish bullshit. They scream of somebody who wants attention, but is to embarrassed to ask. You have depression! Great! That’s not an excuse to be an asshole!
At the end of the day, this is just how depression has evolved. The internet turned it into this fucking meme of whiny bullshit. Depression isn’t fucking fun, it isn’t a fucking game, and it isn’t an excuse for anything you do or say.
How else can I describe this without being redundant? My stomach is tied in knots, spilling out through the holes in my humanity, leaving an empty pit at my center of gravity. The room isn’t spinning, but nothing is stationary. It’s all subtle shifts; light reflecting off curved surfaces, my white wallpaper peeled back to reveal another shade of egg shell, and the soft humming from my dryer that’s slowing driving me insane…
I understand that what I’m doing isn’t exactly “healthy,” okay? I can comprehend that the momentary sense of euphoria is the result of a release of endorphins in response to the pain. I could get the same effect from something like running, or fucking. Yet here I am, all alone, exhausted from doing fuck all over the past million minutes. Actually, I’m probably being a bit harsh on myself, because I have done a few things over the past week. I managed to drag my ass into work, Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM. I didn’t get all of my work finished that I should have, but I can take my work laptop home, so I can play catch up at some point in between my wild and wacky weekend antics (which is, of course, just me, sitting alone in my pitch black bedroom, with nothing but a 2 liter of Mountain Dew as sustenance and my non-work laptop as a means of feeling connected to the world, even if only through binging early 2000’s Anime and re-watching old YouTube videos). I also did some shopping this week, so my pantry is full. It is true that 99% of that pantry space is occupied by Cup Noodle, but I did get a nice variety of flavors, because I care about having a diverse and well-rounded diet. So yeah, I’m chugging along at a nice, even clip. I deserve a reward for having such a productive week, right?
And that’s where all these scars and bruises come into the picture.
Everything else gives me nothing, no sense of accomplishment or purpose. I’m just an emotionally vacant hole, and I’m backhauling in all the bullshit I can find in a piss poor attempt to feel full. Of course, that’s not how anything works, so nothing gets better, and I’m still a husk of a human. Is it so strange that I would turn to self harm in this situation? To me it feels like the logical conclusion. I need anything to wake me up, even if only for a few moments. The edge of a knife against my wrist gives me the rush I need. It’s a sharp pain that quickly fades, but the ridges that decorate my skin will tingle for about an hour. I can extend that feeling beyond that initial hour with a little bit of pressure. A few quick punches right on top of the cuts really helps to wake up those nerve cells. If I can keep it going for a solid 5 minutes, all of the skin around the cut will become a marbled mess of black and blue, and the cut itself will widen up a few centimeters, so the blood will keep flowing and flowing and flowing. By the time the bleeding has stopped, and I’ve cleaned myself up in the shower, the sight of my fucked up body in the mirror is more than enough to draw from me some genuine, untethered laughter. I mean who wouldn’t just lose their shit if they looked like this?! Both arms, from the shoulders to my fingertips, are patchworks of bruises and bright red lines. One glance and it’s so fucking obvious how much I deserve to look like this, or even worse. And I latch onto that thought, because I could look worse, right? My hands still work, which seems sort of fucked up, considering what they just did to my arms. So I bury those smartass hands in my bedroom walls. But my legs are also working just fine, having walked me from my computer chair, into my kitchen, and back again. They are accomplices to this travesty! This crime cannot go unpunished! So I light up a few cigarettes, using my legs as ashtrays, putting out the final dot of heat on my ankles and thighs. And yet I still feel like I’m forgetting something; and that’s when it hits me! I still have lungs that keep pumping me full of life-giving oxygen, and a stomach that continues to try and break my belt with its constant need to expand! But worst of all, I still have this heart, beating away, pushing blood through my veins even as I try to force that blood down the drain! I still have this heart!!!…. This heart…. That feels like lead…. This heart that can’t seem to carry me anywhere, and so I find myself leaning on the shoulders and ideas of others to carry my things, things I should be able to carry with my own strength…. This heart that has nothing left beyond the basic, barbaric function of keeping me alive, even if the rest of me is begging for it to fucking stop….
Well, I can take some pills to turn my stomach into knots that will surely come back up my throat and all over my toilet. And those same pills will grip my muscles, drying out my mouth and making it harder to take any sort of breath, so my lungs will be screaming at me shortly. But my heart? What can I do about my heart? It’s the one responsible for this mess, more so than anything else. But what can I do? It’s getting late, and I can feel the rest of my body shutting down. At this point I can only hope this isn’t going to be me simply falling asleep. I have to hold out hope that I finally did enough, that my heart got the message loud and clear. I have to believe…I’ve finally paid enough…to earn a little bit of peace…
But this was just another normal week for me. I’ve done this for 6 years now. And yeah, I understand that what I’m doing isn’t exactly “healthy,” okay? I can comprehend that the momentary sense of euphoria is the result of a release of endorphins in response to the pain.
But I can’t stop.
I could never stop.
Until my heart can catch up to the rest of me, I’ll ever be able to stop.
When gravity fails you don’t fall, instead you drift away into the sky as the heat from the sun increases to give you the world worst case of sunburn, and so you are left waiting as you drift, waiting on anything, something, to come save you. Now, replace gravity with love and the same rules apply. So I’m just waiting, with a sunburned back, on something to save me…
It starts out so simple, just a force of nature, just the gravity that keeps us all grounded; that was his love for her. Is it stupid to have love on par with such a basic force of nature? Well, take it up with God if you’re pissed about it, cause that’s just how things are.
It ends, and so it turns bitter, and it all feels like it was for nothing, like you gave it your all while they…holy hell, why did you give them everything if they couldn’t give you a single damn thing, not even one word, you were worth one goddamn word, anything, something… it was all for something, right?
Well, they haven’t been here for awhile now, but that touch hasn’t quite faded yet; it haunts everything, every new meeting, every new experience is somehow still touched by her; she’s not there, but he still feels here memory, as fresh as a sunburn at the end of July, roasting every day throughout August to ruin a perfectly good life.
So is anything waiting for you now? Is someone waiting to save you, or is someone waiting for you on the other side? Is God waiting for you to ask for help, or waiting for you to give up? Waiting is just an excuse, like everything else, but it’s the only thing keeping you grounded – and so gravity was replaced with a tainted love that burned into a bitter something, a something so strong not even years could erase its touch, and so the burns never healed, and time stopped because you stopped it, all of it, and now you are waiting for your time to start again…