But sometimes they happen when you need to express something but you can’t articulate.
So what’s happened is this: depression got rough. And I should be clear, I have severe clinical depression. Which means it’s not episodic or mild depression or seasonal affective disorder or the effect of some external cause. It’s a chemical imbalance that’s shaped the very neural pathways in my brain. I will never think like a “normal” person because my mind developed within a box of negative thought. Understanding it doesn’t solve it. It can’t be fixed. No matter how I concieve of it, it’s a metaphorical wolf at the door. It’s always there, waiting. You can chase it away or ignore it through distraction, but you can’t kill it and you can’t forget it’s there.
It’s been quietly eroding all the walls for years. Meds lost their effectiveness over time. I stopped regular doctor visits. I let my support system slip away to almost nothing. I couldn’t find work and slowly just gave up. Those aren’t things you always notice at the time. And suddenly I hit a bunch of triggers in a row, and realized that I didn’t have anything to fall back on and the person I depended on wasn’t around or available. I’m working on it, but it’s miserably slow and difficult. Some days I have trouble leaving the apartment, or even eating. Some days I think I’m fine and I go out to get some coffee and draw and I get down to the corner and I get too anxious to do any of that. And those things are so simple. I need a job, but the process of finding one- going to places and asking for applications and calling- it’s paralyzing. And that’s not even counting the interviewing process, or any of that mess. The simple process of talking to people is an alien thing anymore.
It’s frustrating enough to exist in a haze of doubt and fear, and even more knowing that I used to be able to do these things and can’t logically fathom why I can’t now. Even at the moment, when I’m lucid and “okay” enough to analyze things, I still have those voices, “Why can’t you just do that? You’re a goddamn college graduate, look at all the things you’ve done, why can’t you just ____?” And I’ve done all this before. It’s been 12 years since I got out of the hospital, and it took years after that to remember how to smile, how to have a conversation. People used to tell me I laughed like an old lady, because I literally forgot how; I had to relearn something babies know by instinct. I don’t have the strength or the will to do that again.