I woke up a few days ago, and for the first time in months, I wanted to write. I was desperate to write. I was like Lindsay Lohan in a jewelry store: I couldn’t help myself. I just had to do it. It was all I could think about.
(Except for the fact that on Sunday when the mood hit me, it was my 22nd birthday. I’m an old fart, you guys)
But anyway. I wanted to write. I also wanted to write a copious amount and get out everything I have been holding in for goodness knows how long. So here it is.
I realized on Saturday that I am about 90% sure I am over my depression. It happened like this:
I was bar-tending in a suite at a football game, and I noticed that the majority of my clients that game were men. And then I noticed that they were attractive men. And then I imagined unrealistic and inappropriate things happening.
At the precise moment my mind returned to the gutter, I laughed. I guffawed. The clients probably thought I was suffering from some sort of mental breakdown, and they would have been mostly right. Except I wasn’t suffering; rather, I was experiencing the liberating moment of Holy-shit-I-think-my-depression-is-over. And I was laughing because–of course–my realization came when I was thinking dirty thoughts about Liam Neeson look-alikes.
I haven’t really been attracted to anyone (at least consistently–don’t ask me to define what that means) in months. And there I was, blushing like an idiot, talking to men who aren’t nearly as attractive as some of the people I have been spending time with.
I began noticing changes a few days earlier. This is not a melodramatic recounting, but fact: things got brighter. Smiles suddenly were welcoming, instead of challenges to my dominance with teeth bared. The crinkles in the corners of my friends’ eyes were laugh-lines, not knife scars. My proverbial sun was literally shining (and that sentence makes me laugh). I felt like I hadn’t seen daylight in months. It was incredible.
I have been working out at least three times a week. My teaching gig runs anywhere from 40-60 hours per week depending on how much effort I put in lesson planning or if it’s my partner’s turn to plan. I also work weekends, so I’m constantly interacting with people and being active. And I can tell you that those things made a world of a difference.
I have an “aha!” moment in my depressions: the moment when I realize I can’t sink any lower and I need to reach up for help and climb out of whatever hole I’ve been cowering in. That moment came over a week ago. And, like all the other times I’ve been so depressed that I’ve lived off of chocolate chips and shitty television, the moment drove me up and out of my depression and into Candyland (Where there is more than just chocolate. Shocking, I know. But things don’t always have to be so dark… see what I did there?).
A friend was mad at me for something I said about him that wasn’t true. Understandably, he went off on me. And thanks to technology, he did it via text while I was attempting to enjoy The Book of Mormon (best musical ever, by the way). I sat in the theatre, with my dress and heels on, trying to focus on the show. I constantly looked down at my phone and wiped away tears. I hate when I’m an asshole. My biggest pet peeve about myself is, on occasion, I will say things without thinking about them. Shocker, I know. But when it bothers me is when I literally have verbal diarrhea and can’t stop the bullshit from pooting out. You’re welcome for that image.
Historically speaking, whenever someone is really angry at me for a good reason, or just an angry authority figure, I get angry at myself. And when those things combine with my anxiety and my depression, I self-harm.
I’m not proud of it, nor do I encourage it. I have spent years not harming myself and finding proper ways to get my emotions out (my favorite is coloring my Disney Princess books), but when I am trapped, it’s what I do. I haven’t quite learned what to do with myself when I’m cornered by another person’s anger and my own disappointment. But I’m working on it.
For the remainder of the show, I scratched “BITCH” into my hand and ankle. I scabbed over, and now I have two additional scars to remind me of who I don’t want to be. I’m not that girl. I don’t need to do that, even when I feel trapped. There is always a better way to calm myself down than get out my anxiety by hurting myself.
It is not the fault of my friend who was angry with me. He had all the right in the world to be angry, and it was my fault for engaging in that anger at that moment. I should have kept my phone off the entire show and dealt with the consequences later.
That same friend came over after I told him what I did. Brows furrowed, he sat on my bed with his hand holding my leg–I wouldn’t let him hold my hand. My sobs wracked my body, the fetal position and shakes reminding me of my own weakness. I was disgusted with myself, ashamed for letting everyone I knew down, and angry that I had hurt my friend in the first place.
When I could finally stop sobbing and had the wherewithal to make eye contact with him, I noticed that he was looking at me with such sad eyes–tilted downwards, he was feeling the pain I felt. He winced as I cried. He looked as upset at my scratched hand as I was. And I realized then that I didn’t want to, didn’t have to, and wasn’t going to do any of this anymore.
That was my lowest point. Over a week ago, I did something I haven’t done in almost four years, and it got me moving up and out of my depression.
I do not encourage, promote, approve of, or like self-harm. I did it on impulse, and now I’m working on myself again. But I’m happy now. And I want to write. I’m thankful to have hit rock bottom because I’m just starting to see all the amazing things around me.
And I’m going to share them with you.