You Know What Sucks? Depression.

TW: self-harm, suicide

Nope, only beds here. Your productive member of society is in another castle.

Nope, only beds here. Your productive member of society is in another castle.

Your  alarm has gone off at least five times. Maybe six, or seven, or maybe you should stop counting. You should get out of bed. You have to get up, go to class, participate, socialize, be a productive member of society. Otherwise, what’s the point of you?

But to do that, you have to get out of bed, and you’re not sure that’s possible. You feel like you’re part of the bed. Maybe you are the bed.

You aren’t the bed, but there are nasty little beasties inside you telling you otherwise. They gnaw at your muscles until you can’t move. They make you feel impossibly heavy. How can you get out of bed when you’re drawn to it by your own personal gravitational force?

They’re in your brain, too. “Worthless,” they say. “Lazy. Incompetent. Failure. You can’t even get out of bed.” They gnaw at your muscles some more.

That’s just how the beasties are when you’re in bed. They’re sleepy. If you get out of bed, well, they’ll be wide awake. They’ll start to work on your appetite. What will it be today? Will you have to force yourself to stomach some yogurt, or will you eat several pieces of leftover pizza, some Easy Mac, and three KitKats before you even start to feel like you can stop eating? They’ll keep gnawing at your muscles, of course, and make you ache. Best yet, they’ll have much more to say.

“Really? Yoga pants and a T-shirt? Did you even shower today? Ugh, slob.”

“You see those people over there, laughing? You know they’re laughing at you, right? They can see you’re worthless. They think it’s funny you even bother when you’re obviously doomed to failure.”

“You skipped your morning class. Your professor probably hates you now. Your classmates are rolling their eyes. ‘Why does she even bother trying?’ they wonder. They can see the failure all over you, too.”

“Oh, you’re thinking of actually going to your next class? Why? You’ll talk too much or too little and they’ll all hate and judge you. What’s the point? They know you aren’t cut out for this.”

“You drop a class or two every semester and you don’t even have a job. If you can’t handle college, how are you going to survive in the real world? You know the answer to that, though. You won’t survive.”

“No, don’t talk to your friends and family about it. Don’t you disappoint them enough as it is?”

“Aw, you’re taking your antidepressants? How cute.”

The voices paralyze you. Maybe you cry uncontrollably, or just stare into space, unable to move. You start thinking of ways to hurt yourself. Maybe just a few cuts would relieve the pressure inside you. Maybe you should take a dozen melatonin and sleep for the next week. Maybe you should just end it all.

“You’d still be a disappointment,” the nasty little beasties say. “Aren’t you supposed to be stronger?”

The worst part is, no one who doesn’t deal with the beasties will understand. They’ll think you’re weak and lazy. “Why don’t you just get over it? Have a more positive attitude! Stop dwelling!” There’s no physical evidence that they can see, so to them it’s not an illness. It’s not a valid reason to miss class or work or to stay in bed all day. It’s not like you’re throwing up or running a fever.

Cutting starts to seem like a good idea again. Maybe they’ll take you seriously if you’re bleeding.

Or maybe you should just stay in bed.

Disclaimer: Since I know there are people who will worry, I’m not presently in danger of harming myself. I am in a safe place. I just felt that to exclude those thoughts would be disingenuous. Mostly I am just a bed.

Writing in a Funk

This is the saddest sloth I could find. Sloths don't get gloomy. What is your secret to eternal happiness, sloths?

This is the saddest sloth I could find. Sloths don’t get gloomy. What is your secret to eternal happiness, sloths?

One of the most difficult things for me to do is write when I’m gloomy, and that’s been me this week. Maybe it’s the cold, maybe it’s because I didn’t get the job I wanted, maybe it’s because I really miss Game of Thrones. Whatever it is, it has me in a considerable funk. I can barely get myself to do homework, much less write.

This week’s writing check in proves it. I only wrote 837 words between 1/16 and 1/22, and I had five zero days. That’s worse than last week on both counts, and most of those words were written yesterday when I was trying to sleep. Not the best writing routine in the world.

I try to write in this mood, sure. I open Scrivener and stare at my chosen story, but my brain just empties out. I am inexorably drawn to iPhone games or the sweet, sweet release of the midday nap. I think that if I can just start writing, if I can just get a few words down, those words will turn into sentences and into paragraphs and pages and I’ll feel better.

This post isn’t about me having a magic answer to this problem. I’m still trying to find it. I know that I need to learn to power through these moods and write. If I want to write for a living – which I do – then I have to learn that I can’t be so prone to skipping writing for a week just because I’m blah. Writing is what I love, yes, and it can be fun and exhilarating and magical – but it’s also work. I need to be able to write even when the magic’s not quite there.