“I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.”… words posted on Facebook today. Knowing the person who posted it I would be willing to bet they are song lyrics, but for me it is reality. And I am so tired of pushing them under the water only to have them pop to the surface again and again and again… Perhaps today I can write a few of them away. Expose their evil to the world leaving them a little weaker. Giving me more strength to hide behind the mask one more day. Maybe leaving a small legacy behind if the demons should finally win someday…
The demons scar my mind
with thoughts of worthlessness
with feelings of abandonment
with fears of isolation.
The demons control my days
filled with tears
filled with pain
filled with exhaustion.
The demons ruin my future
taking away friends
taking away faith
taking away hope.
The demons must be stopped
before I erode
before I vanish
before I die.
(Mental illness is a serious disease. I am seeking medical help and trying new things all the time to find a brighter future for me and my family. I strongly suggest anyone who has depression to get help. NO ONE is ever alone.. call someone, talk to others, get help. There is always someone available 24/7 at the national suicide hotline and limited hours with their online chat as well. 1-800-273-8255 and www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org Don’t let the demons win.)
Some days I win, and some days I just want to gag my mind. I don’t know how else to say it. I know it is the depression coming through in brilliant Technicolor evil. I just don’t understand how I can have a manageable day or two and then SLAM back into the corners of darkness, self-hate and doubt the next. And shouldn’t a yellow warning sign pop out of my ear or something to let me know it is coming?
There is PMS to signal the start of Mother Nature’s flow. There are warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Stoke victims can even see the early warning signs to tell them it is time to call 911. I knew two people who have seizure disorders and can feel them coming on. And it is the job of service animals to sense those changes coming on in the body from many illnesses so you can get help. Why not depression?
I had coffee with a friend yesterday and honestly had a laugh or two. We talked and shared stories for over 2 hours. I had some shopping to do and was pretty tired by the time I made it home, but had wonderful sweet treats to share with my family. My amazing daughter suggested pizza for dinner so no cooking and minimal clean up sounded great to me. Then as everyone went to bed and I was wired and tired … the demon peeked around the corner looking to see if it was time to strike. And apparently it was.
She was there last night and I was able to keep most of her hateful words quiet. Sitting in the dimmed light with my laptop it was a bit hard to argue the old – “You are ALONE again” story. But I could rationally tell her others were just asleep while the pain of activity had me a little restless still. No big deal. I finally slept a little and was ready to great the new day with hope and endless potential. She was barricading the door.
Pain woke me up at least a half a dozen times. And when I knew the clock had ticked too far into the day for me to just TRY and find a more comfortable way to sleep… she was there with her evil grin to lead me into the day.
“You are worthless. You can’t even work. These pains will never leave you. You will be on medications FOREVER. Your friends never respond to you because it is all pity friendships. Oh look… another friend gone from your friends list.” And on and on she screams.
I had a brief moment or two before my daughter left for work when I almost smiled. I thought maybe the demon is losing some strength… but she is strong today. That is why I sit in front of my keyboard now. I sometimes can write her out of my head and onto the screen. Each keystroke a blow to her power and command over me. Each negative thought emptied out of my head like a poison being extracted from a bite.
She is still here. More important is that I am still here too. I am going to put on some music (not that song “Happy” though… just so overplayed it is annoying now) find my cat and shut off the rest of the world and just BREATHE. With any hope, my calm with send her chaotic madness back into the shadows… at least for a while.
I know how I want to die. I want to be like a lost balloon. I want gravity to just stop right where I am standing and let me float away in the air. Most kids when they lose a balloon will cry and maybe be devastated enough that they feel like this is the most heartbreaking thing that can happen to them. Look at them a day later or even just a few hours and it is usually the furthest thing from their mind. Sure they may look back on it with a little sadness too, but rest assured by the time they have a week or two pass, it will only be the memory of something beautiful gently leaving them.
I woke up this morning and spent more than 5 minutes staring at my wrist. I wonder why so many chose the blue-green lines that crisscross there as the point of release for life? I wondered which line would be the right one to choose? I have known people who have cut or burned themselves to release the awful pain inside. They say it is like letting the bad drain out of them when the blood drips. I just see it as evidence left behind I would have to explain over and over again for the rest of my life… however long I could survive still. I never had that as a plan though. My choice was always a tree.
I had a tree picked out just off the side of the road. It was not a deep ditch between me and the tree to stop me from making my destination. I gave it thought more than one day too. I didn’t want to hit another car or a part of a bridge, because someone innocent might end up hurt. I thought of the “safety” of a semi–truck driver behind all that metal, but feared emotional scars for them and I wouldn’t put anyone in the place of feeling blame for my decision. So the tree was it. It was big and beautiful, but life had other plans for me.
A friend intervened and I have seen a counselor for more than 4 years now. I don’t think I will ever be able to say I am not depressed, but I am trying to deal with it and treat it every day. Mornings like today remind me it will never leave. I have taken my anti-depressant now. I have written out some of the bad thoughts. But still that one image floats through my mind.
Let me be the colorful balloon soaring effortlessly through the sky. Let me be that red spot that brings smiles to the faces of innocent bystanders who watch it until it is a mere speck on the horizon. Let gravity end so I can take a peaceful flight to freedom. Just not today…