Living with depression: When you want to do things, but just can’t

It’s going on 7pm – I just got out of bed to feed my cats that had been meowing incessantly and pawing at me for about 2 hours. (The one thing I actually don’t neglect due to depression is my cats, so don’t worry. They eat at the same time every day. They’re just annoying and probably thought I was dead.) As I was lying in bed, I was googling things like “I want to be productive but I can’t” because I had the hope (for the millionth time) that maybe, just maybe, someone out there felt like this as much as I do, found a solution, and wrote about it. Not only did my results come up empty, I found that there are close to no personal accounts from people who feel this way. I don’t have a solution, not even close – but maybe my personal accounts can at least offer comfort to someone else in knowing that they aren’t alone. Maybe, together, some of us can find solutions that work for us.

My stomach has been my enemy all weekend (which sucks even more because I was out of town celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday with his family), so a kind coworker covered my shift for today. I slept late, made an iced latte, and curled up on the couch to catch up on The Bold Type. I told myself that after the episode, my coffee would be kicked in and I would spend the day doing cleaning and laundry. The episode ended, but I was comfy, so I thought I’d play Candy Crush for a couple minutes; well, I ended up getting unlimited lives, so you just can’t stop playing and waste that, right? An hour later, I decided to finally get up and eat some cereal, so I sat back down on the couch with my Honey Bunches of Oats and American Pickers was on. It was a cool episode, so I continued sitting there to watch it. Then, I decided that I was tired and so I went back to bed, played on my phone, and napped. I got up and was contemplating which chore to focus on first, but ended up so overwhelmed at everything that needed to be done that I ended up back in the bed. This is when I was trying to find something online that at least made me feel a little better. To no avail, I ended up looking at school supplies, oxfords, and I believe in Bigfoot t-shirts on Amazon. Since I’m broke and can’t afford anything that I added to my wish list, I thought I’d just go back to sleep. Why bother doing anything? I’m depressed, everything is stupid, and the house will just get dirty again anyway. Tomorrow will be better. Fast forward to my cats telling me that they are literally starving to death – I feed them, make an iced matcha latte, grab my laptop, and go sit outside.

So if by some off chance that you’re still reading, maybe you’ve had many similar days. Maybe you’ve also googled different phrases to no avail. Maybe you’re sick of seeing titles like “When You Want to be Productive, But Lack Motivation,” “How to Conquer Depression” or “10 Tips and Tricks to Overcome Laziness and Get Motivated.” Maybe you also want scream I HAVE MOTIVATION, BUT IT ISN’T ENOUGH!  I’M NOT LAZY, BUT I AM DEPRESSED AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE MYSELF DO THINGS!  DOES NO ONE ELSE FEEL THIS WAY?  “JUST DO IT” ISN’T HELPFUL ADVICE!

Maybe I’ll try to make writing this a more regular thing.

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Before She Found Herself

Sometime before she fully reached adulthood, she traded in her Dr. Pepper for a whiskey and Coke and sweet tea for a shot of whatever was being offered. She was lost in a whirlwind of emotions and the alcohol made her feel numb- a pleasant state of laughter and what she thought was happiness. The happiness later turned into numerous one night stands (well, sometimes she would go back to the same person), drunk driving, and breakdowns in bathrooms where she vomited and cried by the bathtub of a stranger. None of her questions about life were answered the way she wanted, so she drank more and more until she eventually did not know who she was. She went through the motions, either drunk, hungover, or trying to get through work until she could start the cycle all over again. The panic attacks were getting worse and more frequent, and she could say the same about her depression. The alcohol numbed these and the numerous boys made her feel wanted and beautiful. She felt whole. The problem was that when she woke at 4:36am, she was naked, dehydrated, had a migraine, and was next to someone that did not care about her deeper than what he saw- anxiety and negative emotions flooded her as she gathered her things, got in her car still a little drunk, and drove away.

Empty.

I look for you in everyone I meet. I search for pieces of you every place I go. You are a puzzle that has been undone, spending your life scattered across numerous floors. Certain pieces of you hold the beauty of a thousand suns, while others are nothing but a beige blur. I am unable to find the parts of you that I seek the most; maybe the wind knows, and blows you away from me. I spend my life searching for you; you are always just out of my reach. I look for you in every corner, as I stumble to my knees. I spend my whole life searching only to end up empty.

Daily Reminders

A small step in the right direction is still a step in the right direction. I have to keep reminding myself of that, every day. I am enough. I don’t owe anyone anything. The only opinion that matters is my own. Loving myself is more than enough. Sleeping alone isn’t so bad. Always look at things from different perspectives. A day without talking is okay. Not knowing every single detail is perfectly acceptable. It’s okay to trust. It’s okay not to trust. Never apologize for sharing your feelings, even if they are irrational. Always be honest. Don’t apologize for being who you are; instead, learn to love who you are. Have control over your thoughts. Be playful. Accept that some people won’t like you. Worrying is normal. Accept that you won’t like some people. Your feelings are valid. If you care for someone, let them know. If you aren’t happy, then make yourself happy. Be open minded. Do things that make you happy on a daily basis. Saying no is okay; saying no without an explanation is okay. Know what your morals are, and don’t break them. Have hope. Never allow yourself to put in all the effort with nothing in return. Don’t be judgmental. Practice being compassionate. Expectations lead to disappointments; life is short and unpredictable, so avoid being disappointed. Be nice to people. Give yourself compliments. Know that nothing is concrete. If you are hurt, no one else can tell you that you aren’t. Find some sort of beauty in every one and every thing. Look to the past for advice. Say please and thank you. Mental illnesses aren’t anything to be ashamed of. Learn to listen to others and understand their feelings. Know that it’s okay to be depressed sometimes, as long as you pick yourself back up. Things can, and often do, change. Learn to communicate your feelings in a healthy way. Be faithful to yourself. Realize that everything isn’t as it seems. Don’t regret anything. Sometimes things fall apart, and that’s okay; pick yourself back up and try again. Know what triggers your anxiety. Treat life as if it is a magnificent journey. Know that arguments aren’t the end of the world. Sometimes, being selfish is necessary. Stop being so reliant on social media and text messaging. Know when to let go; know when to hold on. If you’re lonely, talk to God. Instagram likes shouldn’t give you a sense of self worth. Avoid going to sleep angry. Occasionally being lazy is alright. Have fun without spending money. Keep a journal throughout your lifetime. Use your talents. Yell when it’s necessary. Be charitable. Don’t put yourself down. Learn to truly laugh and find yourself being caught in a moment where you are overcome with happiness. Crying does not make you weak. Be selfless when you can. Don’t hold grudges. Smile. Have faith in something bigger than yourself. Don’t bottle up your emotions. Be environmentally friendly. Set goals for yourself that are attainable. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Only surround yourself with people who appreciate who you truly are and uplift you. Dress up for yourself. Be considerate. Enjoy nature. Create intimate and special relationships with as many people as you can. Talk to strangers; smile at strangers. Making someone else happy will make you happy in return. Most importantly, always be yourself. Spend each day learning who you are.

I once told a friend years ago that if there are two pieces of pizza left, I’ll take the smaller one. She said, “Misty, no one is going to get mad at you for taking the damn larger piece of pizza.” It’s okay to take the larger slice of pizza.

Vol. 1

I latch onto things. I cling to people. I hold people too close to my heart without their permission. I care too much, and I feel too deeply. After all of the pain I have endured, you think I’d be able to detach, but that isn’t the case. There has never been a point in my life that I haven’t latched onto another human being. There has never been a time where I go to sleep without someone on my mind. There is never a time when I look at my phone without hoping I have a message from a certain someone.

I’m a hopeless romantic, as much as it pains me to admit that. When I’m sad, I dream of my prince charming showing up at my door to comfort me. When I hear a car, I hope it’s him surprising me just because he wanted to see me. I wish for flowers just because. I anxiously await a sweet good morning text message. Each person I meet, I dream of these things that I know I’ll never get.

While I’m falling asleep thinking of you, I’m not on your mind at all. While I’m dreaming of sleeping beside you, you’re probably sleeping beside someone else. When I wake up and text you that I hope you have a wonderful day, you’ve probably just sent that same text to another. I think of you throughout the day and hope you’re well, meanwhile, I’m still not anywhere on your mind. As I’m writing this, alone and rather sad, you’re happy. You’re happy without me or anyone else, and I’m angry. I’m angry because I’m not only bad at being alone, I just don’t know how.

Who am I?

I’m at a crossroads between who I am and who I want to be; I see everything I want, and I also see everything that I’ve been molded to be. I like certain things from both of the roads; can I pick and choose? Can I take the best of both routes and make a new road? That is, if I’m even strong enough to abandon the road I know so well..the me that I’ve grown up knowing. My habits, fears, desires, obsessions, anxieties, dreams.. are those things concrete? At this point, am I able to change some of the strongest qualities about myself? I aspire to be happy, but maybe that isn’t a part of who I am. Sadness and exhaustion seem like a standard part of my personality. I’d like to have a loving, honest, and faithful marriage one day, but can I? Can I be faithful to someone for a lifetime? Can I love the same person endlessly? I want to be religious, but will a religion ever actually make sense to me? I want a career, but I struggle to finish school. I want to run away for a while, to someplace unknown to me, but I am chained; I am chained to where I’ve grown up. I need to love myself and be okay on my own, but I constantly cling to a romantic partner; if I don’t feel wanted, then I feel nothing except for incompleteness. I need my father, but he is gone; no matter how hard I cry, he isn’t coming back. I need to know that he can see me and hear me when I speak to him, but I can’t. I need to know I’ll see him again, but how can I know that? Faith isn’t enough when it comes to family. So, for now, I stand at this crossroads and take time to examine where I need to go.