I suffer from depression, anxiety, and a great deal of self-doubt. I’ve mentioned this before, albeit offhandedly – I make light of the situation by speaking of my crazy pills and giving cute nicknames to my afflictions. It doesn’t really change things for me, but it’s easy to forget that I am, by textbook definition, mentally ill.
My own special brand of crazy manifests itself in a number of different ways. The self-doubt, while pretty much a constant little voice in my head, becomes louder and more insistent. This leads to paranoia, which then breeds cattiness. This rapidly becomes bitterness and a blanketing sense of unhappiness. I try very hard to work past it and can be quite successful, but it’s not always evident. No one is around me 24/7; all people see are the fleeting glimpses of the crazy and form opinions about me that, while not wholly incorrect, are skewed and not entirely accurate.
I wish it was easier to explain my brain sometimes. It isn’t quite right in here, and sometimes I don’t see that my crazy has gotten stronger until something bad happens. I need some sort of Outlook plug in that will know when things are getting worse for me and pop up a little paperclip telling me “It looks like you’ve gone off the deep end! You should get help!” As far as I know, this software isn’t even at the alpha stage, so everyone – including myself – forgets about that whole depression thing, and suddenly my irrational behaviour isn’t a chemical imbalance, it’s obviously just me being a bad person. Not even Ed really knows when things are getting bad for me again; he just sees the storm and is bewildered as to why I don’t seek shelter instead of screaming incoherently at the stop sign.
Things are bad again. I realize this now, and suddenly a lot of things are making more sense. My reactions to perceived slights, my paranoia, my frustrations and twisted logic – I know why, now. It’s time to re-evaluate.
Unfortunately, this realization – as it always does – came a heavy cost. I lost two friends tonight. I am not blameless, but I wish it wasn’t easier to simply label someone as “not worth the effort” and “without quality” rather than taking the time to realize that this isn’t the same person you were talking to a month ago and maybe saying “hey, is everything okay? You aren’t yourself. Are your brain pills placebos or something?”
It’s a strange thing, having someone confirm that all the horrible things you tell yourself late at night are actually true. I’m glad I caught the edge of this vicious circle before it spiralled me into a much worse place. It’s just easier to hate on people, I guess. I just need to remind myself that suffering from worsening depression and mental illness does not equate a lack of quality.