What Do You Do When There Is No Light?

Last night my closest friend B and I got into a somewhat-deep conversation through text and as we were talking, she threw in this quote that goes something like this: “In the darkest of tunnels, even the dimmest of lights is helpful.” This was after she was saying how it’s “fine” to feel like you can’t go on another day, and to just let yourself go with those feelings.

I don’t know, man.

Now, this friend of mine has had her fair share of hardships and emotional issues (I think she has depression but she’s not really into the whole medication thing and can’t afford proper therapy, so that’s a dead end, at least for now), however, I still had to disagree for myself personally. Especially now, I don’t think it’s “okay” or “fine” for me to feel so consistently suicidal – it’s a terrible feeling, and waking up every day with those toxic thoughts is really dark and overwhelming. “What is enough, though?” B asked, more rhetorical than directly, but I still answered, “Mental stability would be enough.”

The thing is, my mental illness isn’t just a funk I’ll get out of one day. And that’s the worst part. It will always be there. Even when I get better, I know there’s a steep valley that I’m heading toward. The goal right now is to not feel as terrible as I do now, and I feel guilty for feeling the way I do. Depressed people aren’t fun to be around, I know that. I also know my friends love me no matter what. At the same time, I’m sure it’s draining for them, which is why I’m selective with what I tell them.

Last week I was very upset one night and B was kind enough to meet up with me and just sit in my car with me. As I was silently crying, she said, “I know you hate hearing this, but…everything will be okay.” I told her that’s all well and good, but the fact of the matter is that I am not okay right now, and I need to be.

I’m not sure what to do at the moment. I’ve already been feeling very depressed/anxious/poorly for months, and the extraneous events that have recently occurred only dug my hole deeper. This sounds extremely morbid but sometimes the biggest thing keeping me from acting on those toxic thoughts is the fact that I don’t really have a sure way out. And once I realize that, reason and logic intervene as well. I have a family that loves me (despite my issues with them/resentment toward them), friends who love me, and I should be happier.

But I’m mentally ill, so I’m not.

– Z


Current Jams I

I thought I’d make a more positive post and share some songs I’ve been enjoying lately in that hopes that you lovely beings might check them out and find something you like

  • “Still Want You” – Brandon Flowers. This is from his newest album, The Desired Effect. This song is guaranteed to make you want to dance a little and make you smile. I recommend listening to the entire album.
  • “Why Won’t They Talk To me?” – Tame Impala. The album, Lonerism, speaks directly to this single. I really dig the lyrics, they’re sadly very relatable, but I think they’re relatable to anyone who’s ever experienced feeling outcasted/social anxiety/loneliness.
  • “Happy” – Marina & The Diamonds. This whole album blew me away, actually. The simplicity of this song is beautiful – lovely vocals accompanied only by soft piano. It has a sad melody but I like that this song is about finding inner strength and faith and overcoming obstacles.
  • “Save Me From What I Want” – St. Vincent. Although this song comes from St. Vincent’s second album (2009), I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. Annie Clark is a master of both music and lyrics, and this song is no exception. I love how it seems to speak about the struggle between society’s expectation of women and what some women might truly want.
  • “Lazarus” – David Byrne & St. Vincent. The collaborative album between Annie Clark & David Byrne is something I highly advise listening to. It’s a wonderful cornucopia of brass instruments, dynamic vocals, and thought-provoking lyrics. “Lazarus” has to be my favorite song off the album. I love the way Annie and David take turns with their verses and the Biblical-derived lyrics really get me.
  • “Russian Farmer’s Song” – Keane. Taken from the deluxe edition of the 2013 album The Best Of Keane, this song is truly beautiful. I’ve been listening to Keane for almost ten years now and they never fail to woo me. The guys do a great job of writing fantastic songs that are from another perspective – I mean, this song is about working in a field, and it’s so fucking gorgeous.
  • “Ode To Viceroy” – Mac DeMarco. As a cigarette smoker, I can appreciate this song for exactly what it’s called; an ode. I think all other nicotine-addicts can agree. Mac’s music is low-key, mellow, but also contains some interesting musical dynamics combined with simple yet well-said words. This song makes me want to light up and lean back in the sun and close my eyes as the world passes by.
  • “Take Courage” – Andrew Bird. If you haven’t already listened to Andrew Bird, you need to right now. He creates some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard, and this song is one of my absolute favorites. Like the title implies, it’s about being brave, and no, you’re not alone.
  • “Videotape” – Radiohead. In Rainbows is probably my favorite Radiohead album and this song is one of the saddest songs I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Need to wallow in some deep depression? Play this on repeat.
  • “Big Decisions” – My Morning Jacket. This band always makes me want to go deep into the woods and forget about everything that worries me. Their sound is so unique and each song is a new experience. I’m so excited for this new album, The Waterfall, and this single is absolutely gorgeous and feels like a comforting arm around your shoulder.

The Void

Today has been nothing but…hopelessness.

I went to see my psychiatrist (our first meeting since May, I believe). Nowadays, I tend to cry during each appointment, though I really try not to. I expressed my high levels of anxiety and derealization and the constant weight of that, as well as the persistent depression and suicidal thoughts. I expressed my worries about being unemployed and the change of starting at a new university, completely away from my friends and family.

He told me, first, to work on changing my way of thinking. This is something I’ve been over time and time again with him. He even said it’s like beating a dead horse. He said to accept whatever I’m feeling but don’t think about why I’m feeling it, don’t think about the reasons behind it. Just go with the feeling, forget about the reasons. Well, I don’t know how to do that, and I told him that, and I also reminded him that much of my anxiety comes from nowhere and I truly cannot pinpoint a reason behind it so in those instances, I’m already forced to just “go with it”.

He also urged me to try to live in the moment. I told him the only times I ever feel even somewhat “in the moment” are when I am completely distracted and doing something enjoyable (and those times are rare), so with all this free time on my hands, I’m left to fester in my own anxiety and depression.

So he told me to start taking a full milligram of my Klonopin in the afternoon (when I start to get most anxious) and take the other two .5 mg pills at my regular times.

What a solution.

I was very upset, and had planned to drive out to the school to talk with someone in financial aid about my loans, or lack thereof. After half a cigarette and some more crying I finally mustered up the drive to head out there. 32 miles later I arrived, took a piss in the restroom, then went to the financial aid office, where the student behind the desk basically said what I’ve received in unsubsidized and subsidized loans is what I’ve got and that’s not changing. The other options are scholarships (many of which, through the school, are already closed for fall and I cannot find any applicable to my middle-class-white-suburban-self online), the “Parent Plus Loan” which my parents would have to apply for and it has to be paid off very quickly and the maximum amount I could hope to receive is about 12 grand. The last option is a private loan, which is what I never wanted to have to do, but it seems like my only option.

I left, very upset, and cried some more in my car. I already had been feeling like I couldn’t do this, like I couldn’t make the transition to a new school, it was already hard enough, but my worst fear has just come true – my parents make too much money for me to receive even close to adequate student loans, and they won’t help pay for any of it. I feel really discouraged, because it’s not my fault.

I feel completely void of all hope, all motivation, and my will to go on is diminishing at a rapid pace.

– Z

Help Wanted

The blue text of the endless list of Craigslist job postings burn my retinas briefly and I have to look away. A speck of dust or maybe a fleck of collagen in my eye floats past, panning its way out of my field of vision. “Do You Have A Plan B?” one of the ads asks me. I guess I need a Plan A to know for sure. Sales Lead, Sales Representative, Sales Manager, Male And Female Models, Product Promoter, Sales Associate, Now Hiring, Help Wanted, Research Studies, but none of the Research Studies ever pertain to me since I’m not Jewish and/or healthy.

It’s dawning on seven o’clock now. I want a cigarette, but I also don’t want to move. I don’t want to be alone, but there’s also no one to be with. I’m just waiting until it’s appropriate for me to go to sleep. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol and am trying to stop drinking (as much) caffeine in an effort to better myself and I am still waiting for the results.

ATTN: ENERGETIC PEOPLE: You CAN Make Your Dreams Come True. Someday I want to walk into a job interview and be completely honest. Companies don’t want honesty, despite what they say, and anyone who’s had a job interview, let alone a job, knows this. I want to tell the interviewer that I got fired from a call center because I absolutely did not try and the only decent part about that place was having my own cubicle. I want to tell them that I quit working at Panera after two shifts because 1) I hate khaki pants, 2) I was forced to wear a fucking visor, and 3) I hated everyone there and everything I was doing. I’d love to tell them that I don’t really want whatever shit job they’re interviewing me for, I only need money because I live in the world, because I exist in a capitalist society, because I’m told I have to. I’d love to tell the interviewer that the only jobs I’ve ever enjoyed were the ones I can’t even put on my resume because they’re untaxed and unofficial.

I want to get in my car and just drive somewhere, anywhere, and sit with the radio on and my window open as smoke curls outside into the breeze, but I can’t. The setting sun crashes its light against a tree outside my window, the golden hue and leaves bathed in shadow so far away from where I am.

– Z

Derealization (I)

The feelings of derealization (and also depersonalization) that I’ve experienced for a few years now have been overwhelming recently. I find myself taking more and more Clonazepam to try and cope, to no avail. I feel panicked all the time because of this – I constantly think that something, other than what I already know of, is seriously wrong. I feel like I am teetering on the edge of a cliff. I know depersonalization/derealization are part of multiple mental disorders, including bipolar disorder, I just don’t understand why right now I feel it so intensely and nothing I do helps me cope. Nothing is distracting enough.

I’m just very upset by all this, so if you have any more knowledge/advice/anything, please comment.

What If I’m Dead?

I’m not a risk taker, not in the least. If we’re dividing the world into Thinkers and Doers, I am a Thinker, but I’m okay with that, and it doesn’t mean I don’t do. I had the realization last night that maybe it is just me, maybe it is just my mind, and I will always feel like I am on the brink of a mental breakdown/panic attack/psychotic break and there’s nothing I can do about it. I actually don’t even want to talk to my psychiatrist at the moment, though I know I should, but why? I get a mere 15 minutes, how much talking can I actually do? I’m terrified of the imminent future. I can’t sleep. Why must I constantly worry about everything, and why are the worries so disillusioned? I worry my eye sight is failing, I worry about ailments I’m not truly experiencing, I worry about the deterioration of my mind, I worry about how I’m going to make it through the day, about how I can’t find pants long enough or shoes big enough, about the external world and if it’s all worth it. I’m tired of feeling invalidated, whether that be based on my feelings or who I am as a person, what I do, what I like, and what I think. I’m tired of dwelling on the past, ignoring the present, and panicking about the future. I wear sunscreen, I treat strangers kindly, I brake for squirrels, I deserve so much more than this. Time moves far too quickly and I feel so little peace. The worry, the worry, the worries.