I'm struggling. Struggling. The time has come to admit it to myself. I've tried to hold it together with old super glue, but it's worn thin in recent days and needs to be reapplied. The problem is, it's in short demand.
The depression is creeping back into existence, nesting comfortably in that little part of the brain that controls serotonin or whatever. I have sensed its presence for a while, grimacing in pain and running away from it, hiding in my closet or under the covers. Now I fear it has me. The things I have done "right"--sleep, exercise, do things I love, see my friends, relax--paid off for a bit, but now all my efforts and progress threaten to be washed away in this tidal wave of anger, frustration, and loneliness. Although I surround myself with people and activities when I can, I'm still hopelessly isolated. I never allowed myself to realize that having a condition that's still taboo could build up a wall so thick and indestructable.
Meds or no meds, I will have to go through these cycles. It's very difficult to look forward even to my new job with little Rebecca, the one bright spot in my weeks of gray sludge. Volunteering at the Childrens Center for four hours just exhausts me, and the therapists I work with are awkward and strange. Yes I am doing good for others and that's my non-monetary award, but the lack of enthusiasm I have these days is eating at me.
Today I had breakfast with my friend Amelia, which started out alright, but soon became a time for her to vent continually about her boyfriend and gossip about Sarah. She then got up when her phone rang and went outside the restaurant since she wasn't getting any reception. I sat there for 15 minutes, staring at the few scraps left on my plate, wondering what the hell to do. A bunch of burly high school boys walked in and I recognized one of them, but when I caught his eye he shifted his attention conspicuously to another member of the group. One of the waiters asked, "Are you okay, miss?" I forced a smile and nodded. "She'll be back in a minute."
I drove home in silence--no Debussy in the CD player today--and contemplated the meaning of friendship. At the house I realized I had only a half hour until I had to eat with dad, so I hurried and jumped on the treadmill for 20 minutes at a very fast pace, and when I was done I remembered I had to take my lithium. I popped it in my mouth, fighting the urge not to, and guzzled down a bottle of water. Five minutes later, the nausea hit me and I was over the kitchen sink, vomitting the remains of my breakfast. What an idiot I am, running on a full stomach and then taking lithium. I surprise myself sometimes with my stupidity.
At lunch I despaired over green salad how impossible it is to do any substantial amount of schoolwork anymore. "I try, dad, I really do. Last night I sat over my reading for 45 minutes trying to make some sense out of it, but I ended up crying my eyes out."
"I don't think being in school is reasonable right now, to be honest. Give yourself a damn break!" He shook his head. "You worked your ass off in high school and have two whole years of college credit. Can't your mother see that?"
"She doesn't want to see it or hear it. She's convinced if I take just a year off I'll never go back."
"I don't understand this apocalyptic mindset she's adopted. Jesus."
We formulated a plan where he will come to my therapy session next week and try to reason with my therapist, who then might be able to reason with my mother. If not, she will just become more antagonistic about the school issue than ever and my life will be all the more enjoyable. It's not that she's a rude or inconsiderate person. She basically spends her life making other people happy and making sacrifices for my sister and me. For that, I feel guilty and ashamed when I consider throwing away this semester she helped pay for. I hate feeling guilty, and I'm guilty for feelng guilty.
I can't smile tonight at all. I have no interest in being pleasant or making other peoples' lives any less miserable. The darkness is tempting me to forgo everything and carve out a shell for myself. I wonder how long I can hold out.
mental illness is something no one understand, those you have it, those you know people who have it, or those who study it. I wish I could understand, but I don't. All I know is that I am always here, being someone who depends on you for support and depends on you needing support sometimes. Whatever you decide to do with friends, drugs, and school, it is "Amanda's choice" and therefore to me it is the "right choice of the time." Maybe it will change later, maybe it will turn out not-so-hot, but that doesn't matter, it matters that it's your decision and you are going to try it out. Don't over-analyze, leave that to me.