Depression Pool

I felt very tired and sad all day today; it took all my energy to do anything. I felt like I was trying to interact with the world from the bottom of a pool.

We went to talk to the representative at the venue where we’re having our wedding celebration; I felt like he was being very curt, talking down to us, lecturing us, and trying to get us out of there as quickly as possible. It had to be at least partially depression goggles; I can’t imagine he would still have a job if he treated everyone the way I felt like he was treating us. We accomplished most of what we wanted while we were there – I think, the whole thing felt very disorganized – but I left feeling as dissatisfied as if we’d missed our appointment or something.

We went grocery shopping on the way home. We kept to the list, found everything we needed, and headed home tired but satisfied. At one point I even found myself dancing to the music playing in the store. When we got home I just sat in the car for a couple of minutes, then got stuck holding the same weird position for a while as I was trying to get out of the car. I was sitting sideways in the seat, one or both of my feet on the ground, leaning against the door frame and staring at a spot about 5 feet away. My limbs felt too heavy to move.

I’m kind of amazed that I managed to stay awake for about 13 hours today. If my body had its way, I think I would’ve spent the whole time drifting in and out of sleep. Should I be proud that I accomplished things even though I was feeling so miserable?

I’m moving ahead with wedding planning and the summer course I signed up for begins on Monday and I have a job interview over the phone tomorrow morning (which I already postponed twice because I was sick). Maybe this lethargy is a sign that I’m not ready to pick up my life again just yet… or at least that I’m trying to do too much at once.

Oh No! Interview?!

Applying for a job at the tea shop near Wakana’s office had an unexpected consequence: I was called to schedule an interview. I didn’t recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail, then panicked when I heard said voicemail. They actually want me to come in for an interview?! To be honest, I hadn’t really been expecting anything to come of this.

The rational part of my mind is saying I should do the interview for practice. If I’m offered the job, I’ll then have a choice as to whether to accept – in other words, I can still say “no.” If not – well, I went into it not really caring about the job anyway. That actually frees me to just use this as a practice interview. An opportunity to learn.

But the rest of me is having a mild panic attack. I can feel my chest constricting; it’s harder to breathe. There was some pain a little while ago. I feel dizzy, almost faint, and/or like I might be ill. There’s no way I can make a phone call under these conditions, it will have to wait.

The Critic is berating me. I should have thought this through before applying. I don’t really want this job, do I? I’ll never get a job! I thought I didn’t want to be helping other people, but that will be all I do all day if I get this job. I’ll spend most of my waking hours serving tea – is that what I really want? It will eat my life! It will be harder to schedule gatherings with friends and other fun activities – especially with Banji. How will I be able to stand for so many hours at a time? My feet will be killing me! I won’t make enough money to justify the resources I’ll have to put in. Do I really think I could enjoy it enough to justify the sacrifices?

I can hear the panic in the Critic’s voice. Ze’s terrified.

And then there’s the interview itself. I can go in and be professional enough and otherwise be myself and do well enough. Maybe not fantastic, maybe not impress them enough to get the job, but okay. As long as I’m not too anxious … the point is, I won’t spontaneously combust!

But I need something nice to wear. I made the mistake of letting my mind run through all these things in the shower; I wouldn’t even know where to begin trying to stop them. Everything came crashing down on me afterward, when it was time to get dressed. I don’t remember the last time I went clothes shopping, and a lot of the clothes I have don’t fit me anymore; mostly I’ve been getting by with comfortable items appropriate to lounging around the house. On rare occasions I can and will dress up a bit. But I don’t think I have anything clean right now that would be appropriate for an interview.

That was the final straw. I felt ready to fall apart.

I thought I would cry or something, but instead I feel incredibly tired. I’m having trouble staying awake to write this post. Granted, I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I’ve been tired all day; I even tried to take a nap and was mostly plagued by anxiety-filled dreams that weren’t restful at all.

But it feels like there’s some kind of alien force that really doesn’t want me to proceed with confidence in pursuing this or any job, or doing anything that might draw attention to myself. If it can’t distract me with video games and other forms of entertainment, if it can’t make me feel too horrible about myself to apply for a job, if it can’t squash any motivation I do manage to muster with overwhelming anxiety, then it will simply put me to sleep. I’ll admit it’s very tempting; the rats and Fox are snoozing, so why shouldn’t I join them?

The answer is: Because I don’t want to. I want to do something interesting, even if it isn’t particularly working toward my goals. I want to use what energy I do have. I want to go to bed at a decent time tonight and wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed.  I want to live my life. I just need … something … to get me started.

Bad Day Blues

Thursday was just a Bad Day. A prime example: I accidentally spilled crumbs on my laptop keyboard when I was initially getting ready to write this post, and even hours later my keys keep sticking. I have to press very hard, often multiple times, to get certain keystrokes to register. It makes every word I type painful.

I woke up – or so I keep telling myself, maybe I didn’t really – feeling tired and completely unmotivated to do anything. I was sad for most of the day. I didn’t have fun playing a game I usually enjoy. I wanted to do something, but nothing seemed appealing enough to be worth the effort it would take. I kept falling asleep, having weird vivid dreams, and waking up feeling disoriented. I felt frozen with fear and stayed very still for what felt like long periods of time. I didn’t want anyone to see me, so I hid in my room and stayed as quiet as possible. My thoughts wouldn’t organize themselves.

I realized human interaction might help, but I didn’t feel comfortable reaching out to anyone. Quite the opposite: I wanted to withdraw from everything and everyone. I wanted to die. When I’m at my most vulnerable, interacting with others is like walking into battle without armor. Even the most well-meaning people want something from me, and in those moments I have absolutely nothing to give. I need a hug and permission to be miserable.

I scratched myself, leaving a solitary long thin red line down my left forearm. I tried really hard not to do it, to use non-harmful pressure and rubbing instead, but those sensations couldn’t cut through the depression fog. The pain did, at least partially. At least temporarily. Everything became clearer; I was in the world again.

None of the strategies I’ve developed or had suggested to me were even relevant. How can I refute harsh thoughts when they won’t form themselves into words? All I had was feeling sad and lifeless. How can I direct anger outward when it’s barely glowing ashes that refuse to form a flame? All they do is gnaw at me and hurt. How can I use tools when I don’t even have the strength to lift them? What good is it to think about what I can do, if I lack the energy and motivation to get out of bed? All those choices just overwhelm me and I end up doing nothing – and feeling worse.

All I could do was give myself permission to be a bum all day. To feel miserable. And if I did manage to get myself to do something, I picked an activity that would get my mind off my emotions. It sucked.

But at the end of the day I’m still here. I’ll be really impressed if Friday manages to be worse. It’s a lot more likely to be at least a little bit better. That gives me some hope.