crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology

Coping with Depression

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Hey depression. Here you are again, take your time since you are back. I can’t be present for you now since I gotta run errands.

It took some time for me to get to this point, to the point where I realized that fighting with myself makes no sense, so I started taking the depressive mood with a grain of salt.

First, I felt desperate opening my eyes in the morning feeling stuck in the stinky mud of hopelessness, worthlessness, and the entire loss of energy. My days would start with the gloomy “No, no, no, I can’t live like this, this crap will never end”. Here I was, unable to get out of bed, wanting nothing but to hide all day in the bedroom behind the drawn curtains. Daylight with people’ voices and kids’ laughter outside got me irritable, triggering the pain that everyone is happy, while I am doomed to live in the inescapable pit of despair and view the reality through the filthy lens of my messed-up mind.

Then I became resistant. I started a long fight with my helplessness, believing that I can beat the gloom and doom and change. My family got happy seeing me getting out of bed, eating, exercising, putting my make up on, and going to a psychiatrist for a scheduled visit. The guy kept putting me on something that was supposed to fix me. “It will normalize your chemical balance and improve the daily functioning, honey.”

I would nod, I would smile, I was very polite and always paid the bills they sent me from that clinic – I liked him calling me “honey”, or “dear”, or “sweetheart”. I kept picking up his prescription from a local pharmacy and flushing the pills down the toilet. Being drugged was never a way-out, but I would come back for his sweet-talks and brief hugs until this started draining my wallet.

The next step was therapy. A young lady was sincere in her efforts to help. She was fresh from her grad school and eager to make a difference in this world. I liked her, I tried to give tips after our sessions; she always refused referring to her code of ethics, boundaries, and other nonsense. I knew she was struggling financially as a single mom, overworked and underpaid. After two months of our therapy sessions, I cancelled all subsequent appointments and mailed to your home address a check with a thank you note and a request to spend the money on a newer vehicle. The check was never cashed, she was very descent and honest, I liked her even more after that.

Therapy got me into watching my thoughts, questioning my hopelessness, and disputing negativity. I did mood charts, took warm baths with sea-salt and lavender oil, and meditated with incense prior going to bed. The following morning would start with the same depressive crap, but I would know how to make it through the day.

Finally, I got bored, simply bored of following or resisting the mind farts, knowing that the mind will always be there, telling me whatever, and there is no possible way of turning it off. The realization got me shocked, then sad, then blah. Finally, I got entirely unconcerned, I had the life to live and things to do even with a broken tape-recorder in the head.

The alarm-clock rang to start the day, I opened my eyes and yawned, the gloom combined with exhaustion and nagging irritation was there. I got up and went into the bathroom. I wanted to get ready, I had things on my agenda: to drink water, to clean my fish tanks, to get roses for my girlfriend’s birthday party, to drive to the airport, to finally see the mountains. The depression was there, I shrugged my shoulders, letting the mind do whatever, I did not care, I really wanted to start my day with drinking some water.

crazy, health, life, love, mind, psychology, relationships

Falling for an Addict

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 – Wrong guys are after me, they keep breaking my heart, I do not know what to do.

 – No honey, you fall for messed up people.

 – You can’t say that, Vixen. You are my friend. – My girlfriend had that enticingly-vulnerable look; huge deer eyes, pale skin, and alluring gestures.

 – You love suffering my dear. Attracting alcoholics, drug addicts, liars, and other mentally sick dudes and losers is your passion. – I had no time for her tearful helplessness that morning. I was busy and ready to go.

 – What shall I do?

 – Go back to work, unless you want to get fired and share the misery of your unemployed dates.

 – I was hoping for your support

 – I love you dear. But I am not supporting your love for freaks and losers.

 – You are cruel, Vixen.

 – Go back to work, honey.

Her mannerism was hypnotic, her appearance was anorexically sex-appealing. She was the magnet for troubled guys, and she enjoyed them. Her classically messed up boyfriends knew how to hug, how to kiss, how to fuck, and how to empathize. Each relationship started with expensive presents, mind-blowing sex, and endless horrid stories of their heart-breaking childhood experiences. Her each date had a perfect excuse for being miserable, misunderstood, discriminated against, unaccepted by the society, and exceptionally vulnerable. She kept being dragged into the bullshit of her boyfriends’ uniqueness, swamped by myriads of reasons for losing money and for their inability to stop mixing anti-depressants with liquor and get their lazy asses back to work.

She loved the feeling of euphoria coming home and seeing her partner sober on the couch watching old French movies or analyzing stock markets. All her dates were intelligent and highly educated. Adding lofty attitudes, alcohol, and psych medications to their ivy-league diplomas and family possessions was very charming to her. She felt mesmerized and ready to fall in love ardently defending the guys’ instability and furiously denying any attempts to get her to common sense.

Her pain of discovering her dates passed out due to overdosing on benzos or alcohol blackouts was very real. She would call 911 and spend sleepless nights in a local emergency room blaming herself for everything. Deep in her heart she would crave for the moment of their hospital discharge. She knew they would come back with buckets of roses, diamond necklaces, and heart-warming words of gratitude: “you are exceptional honey, I feel so lucky I have you, I would have died without you, you have saved my life again”. She loved that, enabling their addiction and the unwillingness to seek professional help.

She suffered a lot blaming them for being unable to keep the job, to maintain sobriety, and to stabilize their manic and depressive episodes. But the pleasures from the “I neither do drugs nor drink, I am way too spiritual/educated/intelligent, blah-blah-blah” lies were much more gratifying than the reality check. Their pretended empathy and awesome sex kept her around adding spice to the toxicity of the relationships.

Once one dude passed away, the other one would show up with a big cock, fake promises, claimed bankruptcies, and fancy gifts.

Being up and down was her way of living. I did not have much patience or compassion for it.

 – Have a good day, honey, – I gave her a hug and left the diner feeling the sadness of her almond-shaped eyes on my back.

 

crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology, relationships

Problems versus Common Sense

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I was having fun coloring dragons with fluorescent pencils when Greg came into the room. He looked stressed.

 – My sister is disputing my mom’s will, – there was bitterness in his voice

 – What are you gonna do?

 – I will give her what she wants and will never talk to her again.

 – Talk to your lawyer

 – No, Vixen.

 – Really? – I put the pencils aside and raised my head from the coloring book.

 – I am not going to court, hon.

 – Court is not be necessary, there are ways out. You may settle it through mediation. Have your lawyer deal with it.

 – I said, NO.

 – And you are ready to cut ties with your only sibling without even trying to negotiate?

 – Absolutely, – Greg was mercilessly rigid. Talking to him felt like talking to a wall.

 – I will fix you dinner, – his attitude caught me off guard. My motivation to proceed with coloring was gone.

I went into the kitchen and stood frozen in front of the refrigerator trying to gather my thoughts and figure out ingredients for potato salad.

Clearly, we all act weird, we make irrational decisions, and run away trying to escape problems.

We are just people who do everything possible and impossible to save the pride at any cost.

Criticized at work? – Quitting

Caught your partner with someone else? – Permanent separation or divorce

Struggles at school? – Immediate withdrawal

Facing own problems with the bitter understanding that we are powerless to fix them is sometimes harder than surviving a hurricane. The pain from the hurt ego is thousand times worse than passing kidney stones. Those who decide to fight own demons lose themselves in the endless battle with personal fears, phobias, and traumas.

You can rarely see someone that quietly accepts this life without hysterical fight or flight attempts. Someone who does nothing about life kicks, allowing chaos to settle and conflicts to resolve. Someone who turns the mind off and floats through the reality curiously observing emerging and disappearing events, people, and problems.

Most people think that going with a flow is passive and lazy. They would rather fear or suffer than let things take care of themselves. People are used to acting, resisting, and escaping. People are used to perceiving life as the never-ending struggle with pain, winners, and victims. Living in the permanent hysteria of moving, searching, and burning bridges is the only way for most of us to exist. Common sense is not that common.

I suddenly felt Greg was standing behind me and turned around.

 – Don’t bother, luv. I’ve ordered Chinese food and talked to my attorney. He will contact my sister on Monday about the will.

 I gave him a smile. I felt relieved from cooking and cleaning and ready to resume coloring my dragons.      

 

crazy, happiness, health, life, love, mind, psychology, relationships, sex

Power of Physical Attraction

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I never liked the way he looked, he talked, he acted. His smiles were fake, his demeanor was offensive. I simply tolerated his condescending attitude and lack of compassion since the physical aspect was awesome.

Don’t you like anything about me at all?  –  I felt irritation in his voice when he confronted me with this question and did not respond. Sex with him was magical, he was hot and cold, strong and weak, passionate and negligently cruel all at the same time. Outside the bedroom there was no connection, no mutual interests, nothing. He seemed to hate everything about me. I was too skinny, too hysterical, too talkative, too worldly, too emotional.

Why are you with me? – I was really curious what kept him near me; he had no answer.

I made the decision to stop the relationship and texted him “bye now” and immediately received “You are trash, you do not deserve me”. He seemed to be pissed, I was tired and ready to go to bed.

My withdrawal started a week after. The desire to be close grew from strong to mind-blowing. The pain was very real and very physical. Our relations were purely sexual. I allowed him to crawl into my body, to germinate, to root. Breaking the connection felt worse than extracting wisdom teeth without anesthesia.

Three weeks after he gave me a call and asked to meet.

I entered a cheap Asian diner and saw him immediately; cold eyes, expensive suit, and pragmatic mercilessness. Our eyes met, the wave of pain and desire literally blinded me for a moment.

He gestured to sit down and moved to me his bowl of rice. – You are too thin. You gotta eat.

I smiled reaching out for chopsticks. I felt hungry and slightly dizzy. – How are you?  

I am good, luv. I worry about you.

 – Ok, – the rice was yummy

I can’t be with you.

 – Ok

I can’t. You know who I am, right? – He held a senior executive position in an oil and gas company, worked almost 24 hours a day and drove a luxury vehicle.

Yes, I know who you are

Honey, my friends, family, my business partners, everyone will make fun of me if we are together.

Can you order more rice, please? – I had not eaten for days, after we broke up depression hit me really hard.

Please, look in the mirror. You are drab and mousy. Did you see women I dated before?

 – Yes, – I finally looked up, tired of talking to the rice bowl and the dirty table.  

 – They are classy, well-maintained. It would take time and money to turn you into someone I could officially take out to dinner. Boob job, Botox, professional stylist, hear-dresser, everything.  It makes sense to find someone ready-made than to invest in you. You do not know how to behave, you are too short, and you are so … so anorexic.

 – I want more rice

 – I want you

– I know, buy me more rice – I was hungry and happy to see him again

–  Yes, yes, sure, – he hurried to the self-serve kiosk to place another order. Athletic, perfectly-ironed, smelling like money, almost an alien in that crappy place. He returned with a platter of veggies and water.  – I really hate this place, hon.

 – Why did you choose it?

 – Close to my office, plus none of my work team or friends come here

 – Why did you want to meet?

 – To tell you it is over

– It was over 3 weeks ago, – I was calm and curious. I knew my pain would hit me later. Days felt ok; neediness and cravings usually returned in the evening. – Bye

We met the next day, and the next day, and the next day. I loved his place, top-grade, water view, Zen style. It was absurd and stupid. We had nothing in common, we were entire strangers. I knew I needed to block his phone number and move on, but I could not. Sex was the only thing that seemed to connect us, but that connection was too tight, too strong, too painful to break. I finally gave up thinking and started laughing every time he texted the usual “how was your day luv? I will be waiting for you in that crappy diner”.

crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology

Life with a Mental Disorder

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She was sick. Most of her time was spent on seeming normal. She played tennis and attended cocktail parties. Her friends came over to hang out. They enjoyed the way she cooked pastas and cheesecakes.  She saw her in-laws on weekends and attended bible study classes every Wednesday night. She socialized outside the household and was attentive and polite within the family. The house was clean, the children did good at school, her husband was recently promoted. He attributed his success of getting the operations director position to her. “I would never have done it without you. You are everything to me, you are my angel. ” He worshipped her, she was his inspiration, his pixy.

But she was sick. No one had any idea what it took her every morning to get out of bed and function as if she were ok. Her inner world was the ongoing manic-depressive roller-coaster, and she never knew if her mind would take her on the ride of elevated mood and high self-esteem; or she would end up hand-wringing, unable to control purposelessly repetitive body movements.

Sometimes she spent nights pacing in the bathroom hyper and panicky, unable to sleep. Sometimes fatigue hit her so hard that she struggled lifting her head off the pillow. Her self-worth could elevate and drop within days or even hours resulting in tremendous energy loss and the feelings of emptiness and despair.

Hiding her sickness and faking happiness 24/7 was the worst. No one in her family was aware of what was going on, she was too scared, too proud, and too ashamed to be verbal about her condition. Her days were infused with the fear to be revealed and labelled cuckoo. She masked her panic behind the façade of smiling politeness and pleasant demeanor. Her husband finally started making six figures a year, she got accepted by his parents and became president of a local book club. She was scared to mess everything up and kept pretending and going through the emotional nightmare day and night.

It happened on Tuesday. Her husband took her out to dinner. She put on a blue cocktail dress and a perfect smile prior leaving the bathroom, the only safe place where she could be herself restlessly pulling the hair and biting the nails.

The restaurant was almost empty. Her husband had to answer the work phone and hurried outside when a middle-aged waitress approached the table.

Are you ready to order?

Of course,  – her smile faded when she raised the head from the menu. The waitress was looking straight into her as if digging deep into her soul.

You are strong, everything will fall into place.

  – I am ready to order, – She had the feeling that the lady got her, the lady saw her true messed-up self. And she felt relieved when her husband finally came back.

One her way home she kept thinking about the words of the waitress. The waitress was weird, disrespectful, and crazy, but what she said made sense. Faking health and happiness, when dealing with mania, depression, and panic attacks clearly required lots of inner power.

The next morning started with the loss of energy; her previously elevated self-esteem broke against another depressive episode. She forced herself to open the eyes and look at the clock. It was the time to get her kids and her husband ready for the new day. They wanted potatoes and eggs, he wanted cappuccino and a cream-cheese sandwich.

I am strong, I will get through this, I can’t feel low all the time, the mood will end up go up anyways” started her recovery. She knew she needed to learn about her mind to be able to foresee upcoming mania and subsequent falling into hopelessness. She started looking for help. She started asking for help. Gradually, she started living.