Welcome to My Nightmare

A look into my depressive mind.

As I write this, it’s a good day. I feel clear headed, outgoing and the headaches aren’t there.

Physically, the headaches are the worse part. I can feel them forming in the morning when I wake up. The tight muscles in my shoulders. By noon it will have worked its way up my neck, over my skull and to my eyebrows. That’s where the pain will sit. In my furrowed brow for hours at a time, no matter how much ibuprofen I ingest.

I can always claim I’m angry or irritable because of the headaches. Who wouldn’t be?

I’m not sure when I started having these dark spells. My first memory of them is my freshman year of college. Away from my family and friends that I grew up with, I was living alone for most of the year. My roommates had moved out of the dorm, the first to live with a friend he knew better than I, the second the go live in a frat house.

It was there, alone in my dorm, with its bare walls and my single life that I would fall deep into a state of loneliness, listening to my neighbors through the paper thin walls either talking to each other or having fun with someone they’d brought back to the room.

I’m sure my lack of sleep didn’t help.

Over the years, the darkness has gotten deeper, the spells longer. What used to be able to shooed away with heavy music, or some exercise, that at most lasted a few days has morphed into a weight that I carry for weeks at a time.

I exercise, I play videogames, I read, I go out. It’s there. This cloud in my head. Squeezing me. When I picture myself, I imagine laying curled up in a fetal position, trying to burst out of a black cell. In my head there’s screaming. White noise. Like the static on a television. It’s always there. Making it hard to gather my thoughts.

I’ve never been drunk in my life. I didn’t start drinking until after my 21st birthday. But now, the idea of it calls to me. Wouldn’t it be nice to get away for awhile? Escape reality?

It’s tricky, my Depression. It finds me randomly. A song, a movie, a scene on TV, sometimes it’s a conversation or a post that I’ll see on social media. The darkness builds. It’s there before I even recognize it.

“You’re stuck, you realize that. You’re never going to amount to what you wish you could. You’re a failure. Look at you, 25 and what have you done with your life? You’ve already got a grey hair? A nothing, nobody who peaked in college, and you didn’t even do that well.”

It likes to criticize my job. It’s very aware that I’m not where I thought I would be at this point in my life.

I’m tired. All I want to do is sleep, but yet, I don’t want to. I can’t explain it. It’s like the two sides of my brain are arguing.

“We need sleep. The headaches will get worse. The darkness will get worse. You know that.”

“No. Sleep…sleep is giving up on the day. What have I done? Just, let me relax for a bit. To have time to myself, away from responsibility and people. Stupid people who I have to cater my movie and TV tastes to and won’t let me just relax. This is my chance to be alone.”

“It’s 2:30 in the morning. We need to be up in four hours.”

I’m irritable. Everything makes me angry. The stupid people who won’t use their turn signals. The stupid dog that won’t stop barking when I get home. The idiot who dares to drive through the back alley by my apartment that stops me from getting to my garage for 15 seconds. The bathroom door that won’t shut all the way. The idiots on the sidewalk who dare to look at me as I go past them with my dogs. The nerve of them all.

But what do I have to be upset about? What can my problems possibly compare to others? I feel sad? How would I like to be some poor child in Syria getting his house blown up while he’s off burying his parents. What do I have to complain about? I have a loving family, loving friends, a decent job doing what I went to school for. How can I be upset?

So I tell no one. How weak must I be to be feeling like this while my life is so good. My grandmother has cancer, but so do thousands of grandparents, and children. She’s dying, but then again, aren’t we all? I was let go from a job that I love, but I’m doing ok. I’m back to work and getting freelance work, though I feel like I’m going nowhere, but hey, I’m not working at McDonald’s.

There are literally billions of people with worse problems than mine. No one needs to hear about my pathetic little whimpering.

“Smile. Show the people how happy you are. They’re going to judge you. You’ve talked to sad people before. No one enjoys it. Why do you think your ‘friends’ will want to be brought down by that crap? They have their own problems to deal with.”

As I said, I have a loving family and friends, yet it’s amazing how alone I feel sometimes. Social media connects us so throughouly but I have no one to talk to, I feel like. They have their own issues to deal with, everyone does. It’s unfair to try to unburden myself on them, and besides, I don’t even know what I would say.

“I saw a sad video today and now I’m feeling down.”

How pathetic is that?

Besides, I’m the happy silly one. People expect me to be happy and make jokes. No one wants to see a sad clown.

Time passes by strangely. It seems like entire days and weeks go by in a haze. I can’t remember what I did a few days ago. Everything bleeds together. I forget things. I’m slowly becoming less organized. I know it’s going to catch up with me eventually but it hasn’t yet. I can hold out a little longer.

The day I finally decided that I should see a therapist was the day that I was waiting to pull out into traffic and thought “I should just pull out in front of this car. No, that’s selfish. I wonder how much a gun costs.”

Those thoughts are fleeting, and I don’t think for a second I would go through with them, but they scare me. I don’t know if they’re normal and I’m worried that they may get worse.

Still, it didn’t stop me from forgetting my appointment when the day came to go. I was feeling good that day. No need to go after all, but then it hit me a few days later. The darkness was back. The cycle started all over again. In the back of my mind I know it will end, but I can’t ever see it stopping. I can’t imagine not feeling this way.

Today though, that’s a good day.

I know that there are people who will read this and wonder:

“Why are you spilling this out onto Facebook and social media? Why are you telling all these people?”

I don’t know. It definitely seems to fall into the realm of cathartic. Perhaps by getting this out there, I can justify going to a therapist. Otherwise, it’s just me, telling myself that I’m taking things too seriously.

Maybe someone else is wondering what’s wrong with them, like I am, and who knows, maybe we aren’t alone. I’d have loved to have someone tell me I may be experiencing symptoms of something months ago. Because then, it’s something that can be dealt with. It isn’t just who I am.