Sometimes, I wonder if there’s a point in trying to recover. I’ve been struggling for so long that somewhere along the way, I lost the part of myself that enjoyed being alive, happy and laughing.
Twice a week, though, I get to walk into the room of a therapist, who, in a very genuine way, keeps the dark parts of me at bay and makes me feel safe, strong and hopeful. At times, I even laugh. The issues come when the 50 minutes are up. I start feeling lost again, wishing those 50 minutes could last longer.
Still, it seems as though any time I feel happy, my symptoms come crashing down on me to take that away. At this point, I don’t even allow myself happiness anymore. If I can’t even function normally enough to work like I once used to, then what’s it all for?
This is where things take a turn: I found some clarity, yet became more confused at the same time.
I watched a documentary the other day where Jim Carrey said something along the lines of: Depression is your body saying ‘(bleep) you, I don’t want to be this character anymore.’ You should think of the word depressed as deep rest. Your body needs deep rest, to be depressed, and a break from the character you’ve been trying to play.”
It gave me a lot to think about, as someone who struggles with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, and many other things.
There are days where I want to close my eyes and pretend that the rest of the world doesn’t exist. It doesn’t take long for me to remember that you won’t get anywhere with your eyes closed. That’s the thing about life, as well as darkness. It’s journey, not a light switch. After all, it’s not about playing it safe, it’s about taking risks. If you’re not afraid, you’re not really trying.
The holidays are a tough time for almost everyone, so maybe it’s not so surprising that I hate celebrating any holiday. After all, holidays with the nurse were especially violent.
For most of my life, in different ways, I’ve had to second-guess the intentions of people. To quote a former therapist after a suicide attempt: “You’re not my problem after you leave my room.” She says to me. “Find a therapist who would care if you died.” She continued, hanging up. The most important part of this story isn’t that she eventually got fired or that she told me that I was probably just as awful as the nurse, making me repeat that out loud to her. It was that it was Thanksgiving, and I’d spent half the night in the E.R. and the other half strolling the city streets, falling asleep on a park bench. Perhaps that’s where my surprise and curiosity came from when Chloe told me that she was concerned about me after my most recent attempt.
In an effort to understand myself, what I’ve observed in the last few days is that the reason I write on my blog isn’t only because I want to conjure up someone stronger than I am in real life because I hate myself. It’s also because I think my PTSD or mental health in general is something I can turn into a puzzle that I can solve instead of dealing with my emotions, especially after the finding out about the nurse’s death a few days ago, as I recently wrote about. I do my best to avoid the intense amount of anger, sadness and self-blame I feel about what happened to him. So much so, that I no longer recognize myself because I either scare myself or confuse myself.
PuzzlesIn his own way, Jim Carrey is right. Maybe I do need deep rest from the person I am. Maybe I need to officially dedicate one of my multiple therapy sessions per week to lighthearted conversation and let go a little. In the end, remember: it doesn’t even matter. You can be anyone. Just don’t forget that “the people of tomorrow are forged by the battles of today” and “the biggest sin of age is forgetting the trials of youth.” Maybe what I need to do is reinvent myself.