Hello again. It’s been a while since my last post, but by now that should be nothing new to anyone following my posts… which I’m pretty sure is no one. Whatever.
Well about a week ago I was planning on writing a lovely blog about what I’ve been doing, lots of fun things with my older sister Sally. But in the week since my mood has taken a significant swing in the other direction, and that’s going to reflect in my post, for which I apologise.
But it’s time to get serious, and really kind of personal. I’ve a little announcement to make: I have depression. Now actually that’s not an enormous deal. A large portion of the population suffers depression to some degree or another. Not everyone will be diagnosed with it. Some people will just write it off as being sad. But it remains a fact of my life.
Depression can often be hereditary. My father has depression, my mother has anxiety and my sister has anxiety. It’s not really surprising that I have depression. But it isn’t necessarily because of hereditary reasons. As a matter of fact, a lot of it is to do with my father, who is a very difficult man to live with. It isn’t his fault, not at all, but it makes life incredibly difficult for me, where I am so similar to him in many ways.
Our similarities have led to regular conflict between us, a great number of arguments. A part of me is quite frightened of my father, although I doubt he would ever physically hurt me, and he loves me, so I doubt he’s aware of how much emotional trauma he causes me.
Recently my father lost his job. As a matter of fact, he lost a job he’d had for a little over thirty years a couple of years ago, and being in his fifties with no other job experience, and no skills to offer, he found it extremely difficult to get another job. Eventually he succeeded in getting a job in security after doing a short course, but he was only casual, and his employers decided to cut back to two guards. So my father was laid off. As a result, he is now in kind of a rut, stuck at home. I am unfortunately in a similar state, because I don’t really have a purpose to my life at the moment, and my only job is casual as a cleaner, where for the past two weeks there has been no work for me.
It’s driving us both a little crazy.
No, a lot crazy.
We’re fighting a lot more. And I spend half the day asleep, and the other half crawling around the floor for lack of anything better to do, and getting called ‘Bridget’ by my mother in reference to ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ which is a movie I happen to despise, actually, so it only increases my ire.
Last night I had a bit of a panic attack at the idea of being cooped up. It was too late to go outside for a long walk, which was what I abruptly wanted to do – and I wanted to do it at night too, but I’d never have been allowed. I felt so frustrated and restless and I had the increasing need to scream, but I couldn’t, and there isn’t anywhere you can go to scream without attracting attention, and screaming into my pillow has never helped me. So in a fit of panic, I realised I was hyperventilating. In an effort to stop, I wound up holding my breath, letting a little out and sucking it back in – it took me choking to realise I was suffocating myself. Obviously I felt even more panicked, and wound up going into the bathroom, locking the door, crawling into the empty tub, and sitting in the dark for a good long hour trying to breathe and not think about anything.
The worst thing, I think, is that it all happened right under my parents’ noses. They didn’t even notice me. I was sitting behind my mother at the kitchen table when I was having trouble breathing, and she didn’t even realise. My legs were shaking, and I was dizzy. The thing is, I know it’s not that they don’t care, or that they wouldn’t notice if I were gone; one of the few things that has ever kept me from ending it all is the knowledge of how much I would hurt the people I love. But I realised that last night I could easily have slipped out of the house and wandered around outside for hours before they would have realised I was gone; if they even would have. That is a little frightening.
It’s scary when I get really upset. I frighten myself. Sometimes I disgust myself with the things I think. I catch myself thinking about how I could kill myself, and then think about the fact that I’m being dramatic, that maybe that’s the only reason I really want to do it. Maybe I don’t want to get better because having depression in some twisted way makes me feel special. Different. Gives me something to blame my moods on. Gives me a reason for why I feel like a freak – no, I can tell myself, I’m not a freak, I just have depression. And I think I sicken myself, a little, and I think about how messed up the world is and how so many have it worse than me… which inevitably leads me back to wishing I lived anywhere else, and wondering why I’m alive at all. And it’s a nasty cycle I fall into until I force myself not to think at all.
When I get unhappy, my method is escapism. I get sucked right into fandom, ignore the world around me, because it makes me happy. I can forget myself for a little while. Fandom literally keeps me breathing, and it’s shocking how important it is to me. I don’t think anyone in my life realises that as much as it damages my life in places, it gives me a great deal more. The only problem is of course when I can’t find anything to distract myself, and that’s when I get like I did last night. That’s how I’ve been all week.
If I don’t find something to occupy myself very soon, I am very scared of what might happen to me. My life needs direction, I have always, always craved it, even as I’ve always used escapism. The trouble is simply that I don’t know what to do, and that I’ve felt so incredibly lost for so long now that I don’t know how, don’t have the motivation to press on and find my way.
I don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m very scared and very alone.
And with that in mind, I really, really want to thank fandom. The people in these fandoms, the creators of the shows, the books, the movies, the creators of music, the writers of fan fiction, the vidders on YouTube, you all have no idea how valuable you are to someone like me, how kind and welcoming you are, how accepting of someone who has very rarely felt accepted. You are an anchor for me and I am so very, very grateful. Thank you.