It literally feels like there are holes in my brain when I’m depressed, like whole sections just decide to stop working
I like to pretend I’m not depressed. I’ll make a joke about it. “To live is to suffer.” I’ll smile. “Don’t mind me, I’m fine.” But I don’t feel fine. But I don’t feel that actually saying I’m depressed or I’m in pain or not mentally well, will actually help. Actually verbally expressing the mental pain of depression, I feel, seems more painful than being depressed. And talking actually seems hard, if it’s about myself. Others? Sure, I’ll listen. I’ll lose myself in it for a moment. Smile and forget. In fact, I almost like it when people are so upset about something, which honestly doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, because they are almost blind to the depression that I don’t want to talk about, but is currently making it through the next hour of life, incredibly painful.
If my wife is frustrated about something when she comes home from work, this is the perfect cover for my depression. She was angry about something the other day, and as I sat listening to her, I thought, “When a person is angry, they lose all powers of empathy. She won’t notice I’m depressed.” And listening to her actually made me forget about my depressive cognition, and the anxiety regarding her reaction to my depression. And it took a while for her to get used to me being depressed. I guess I’m moody. One day I’m talking and making jokes and the other I’m hardly saying anything and have negative energy. About the 100th time I told her it had nothing to do with her, she seemed to get it. The other day, my depression was on my face and energy, and when I said I was fine and stopped talking, she looked at me and said, “Okay, if that’s how you want it.” And went in the bedroom. I went to the market and came back and made dinner, and had cleaned up after the dogs, earlier—and while in the bedroom, tidying things, she looked at me like she had no idea how to deal with me, I said, “Don’t be afraid. It’s fine.”
She was confused by this statement, but when we ate dinner 20 minutes later we talked normal and watched some TV. It can be difficult to be the spouse of a person with depression, but I am, mostly, highly functioning—and it’s one thing I hate, is the lack of function: in myself and others. When I feel so depressed I can barely function, like an hour ago, I want some sort of reset button. Like maybe electrical shock, or smashing my head against something (though I punched myself in the head twice before and it hurt, so I haven’t done that again). If I’m not working, I can have a drink or smoke some pot, which is not probably the healthy solution, but it works. Recently, I’ve been finalizing a novel to submit and have nursed a beer while doing it, more so because of crippling doubt and self-hatred, but I honestly think the novel is really good. This cold Mexican lager is not getting me buzzed, and I forget about it as I look over sentence structure and if this “then” is really needed, but just that one sip prior is enough to be like, fuck doubt, fuck life, just do this right now and fuck the rest. I don’t know if this makes sense. It’s not even about feeling a buzz because I drink it too slow, just that… It’s like a mechanism, to not feel so shitty, even while only drinking 4 ounces of beer.
My general depression strategy is to get through it because I know it won’t last and it’s just a mood. My wife, parents, and therapist have tried to get me to take antidepressants—and I tried them when I was younger and I don’t like them. I know many people who they have helped greatly. But I don’t want it. Currently, I’m on my lunch break writing this essay and my brain feels like it isn’t working right. I was trying to work and finding it impossible, so went to lunch, either to go somewhere to be alone and breathe, take a nap, or write this. I’m mostly caught up with my office work; I assist secretaries and paralegals and occasionally lawyers with document leg-work, which is easy and not overly challenging or compelling. But I like my job and my coworkers. I like having a place to live. I like being consumed by a project, or a thought, or I become consumed by something darker. Perhaps I am obsessive, and when this obsessive cognition is bad, it hurts. But being depressed at work, feels like being sick. And I guess it is a sickness. Does typing help? Does intense physical activity help? Yes, it does. It’s like I can feel it in my whole body. My brain feels like sections aren’t working. I have horrible thoughts.
It literally feels like there are holes in my brain when I’m depressed, like whole sections just decide to stop working.