Monday, June 19, 2017

Brutal honesty, in one shot.

Imagine, if you will, a scene. You are ready to sit down to your work. You have all of your tools at hand. You have all of your plans ready and well documented. You literally have everything you need to engage in the task. When you move towards your work, someone puts a hand on your shoulder and tells you that your work is worthless before you even begin.

Most days, this person is just making snide comments about how you are 'pathetic' and that your past or present success is a case of 'dumb luck' and that you are not really as competent or skilled as you know you are. These comments don't just come at you when you sit down to do your work. They also arise when it comes to things as simple as personal care, doing household chores, or just paying the bills. This person never leaves your side. They never shut up. They are always there telling just how 'bad' you really are.

Now, here is your plot twist. (Because every story needs a plot twist, right?) That person lives inside your head. Go to bed, they will show up in your nightmares. You can't go away from them. You can't stick a gag in their mouth and lock them in a closet. There is simply no escape. And, as time progresses, they just get more sly and creative in their attacks on you. (And these are clearly attacks upon the person suffering from this sort of nonsense, look up gaslighting. It's a quaint term from a theoretically more civilized age, more like the time where it was acceptable to lock people in the garret and forget about them as much as possible.)

This is what I suffer with on a daily basis. When I'm in a depressive episode, that 'person' is loud and generally decries anything that makes me feel good as bullshit. When my depressive episodes get really bad, things go from that running mental commentary to I start having auditory hallucinations of someone standing at my right shoulder (because irony) saying these awful things. It wears on me. I've been told that I'm a badass because I'm battling my own mind all the time. I don't feel like one. I feel tired and a good heaping amount of despair because this isn't going away.

(Yes, I am working with my doctor. Yes, I have a psychiatrist I am working with that seems pretty competent. And I have just started working with a new therapist who seems to have a good idea about how to approach my case. And, no, I am not contemplating self-harm or anything else of that variety. I just feel awful and it is making everything harder than it really should be.)

So, please accept my apologies for not posting much of late. I am still quite unwell. I am medicated, but it is being adjusted which makes things challenging on a good day. I have plans. I have my notes. But I can't quite seem to manage the confidence or mental cohesion to put them down in something resembling the established pattern of posting. It is going to be a few more weeks before I really know if these changes in treatment are taking effect and having positive results. Please bear with me, for I am trying.

Addendum: If you are suffering from mental illness of any sort, seek help. There is no reason why you should be suffering. And there is no shame in getting help. It is one of the hardest things to do, but it is completely worth it. ♥

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