This week fellow author Skyla Dawn Cameron released this blog post, which goes into her ordeal with bipolar disorder, specifically over the last year.
I read it and wept. Silently. Alone. So no one would know just how much it affected me to see someone rising out of the depression.
And I’m starting to think my silence is part of my problem. Everyone knows I have a problem, I’m not exactly quiet in the phases where everything is too intense to cope and I snap. The rages I fly into over seemingly stupid, petty things are a huge, glaring warning sign for me. Unfortunately, they’re the sign that’s been misplaced on top of the black ice instead of a quarter-mile ahead. Once I hit the blind rage, there’s no going back. I have to ride this shit out like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. And, yes, I do end up in hell. When everything crashes down on my head. When the emotions warring in my head become too much. When the idea of hurting myself seems preferable to the pain in my head. That’s hell, guys.
I’m not the only one dealing with this. A lot of other authors are opening up about bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, and other mental hiccups (that sounds so innocent, but when you suffer from it, you really want any other word than disorder tacked above your head) affecting our daily lives.
It is a daily fight to get out of bed and be productive. I’ve gone days without remembering to eat or drink water because I can’t see through the noise in my head to make it to the kitchen. It is blinding. At the bottom of the well, there is nothing else. Only the darkness.
And that’s where I’ve been since about June. Down in the muck, scrambling at the mile-deep walls of the depression well to find a way out. I haven’t yet. Every time I think, “Today is better.” Something hits a trigger and I’m down again. I hate it. I don’t want to be this sad, angry person any more. But, guys, there’s no off switch. This is something I inherited from my father. I can’t scrub my genes of this one fault which makes life seem Too Hard. It whispers, If I just . . . don’t get up one day. If I stop eating for good, then maybe life wouldn’t be so hard. It is a lie. I know it is, and that is the only reason I’m still here. Fighting.
But I’m tired. Tired of the solitude this disorder brings into my life because I’m terrified of falling into a rage around people who might actually care for me. What would they think? I’ve pushed away everyone in my life dealing with this–to spare them. Or to spare myself? That line got blurred so long ago, I’m not even sure. All I know is I’ve been alone with the ugliest part of my mind for far too long, and I can’t see the end to it. That might be a good thing–I haven’t planned an end for myself. It’s a small step.
I don’t know what I’m going to do. Guess all I can do is wake up tomorrow and take another stumble forward, hoping it is enough to begin the long climb out of the well.
Wish I had better news. Wish I didn’t feel compelled to burden anyone with this. But maybe the other writers have it right. Maybe we need to own our faults, drag them kicking and screaming into the light. And if that doesn’t work, at least there’s the chance that what we have to say about our experiences–good and bad–will be the step stool someone else needs to begin their own climb out of depression.
If you have someone with depression in your life, be patient with them. Be understanding. None of us chose this life.