Resounding and heavy to the heart. That is how I always feel whenever I listen to beginning guitar wails of Always in My Head. It’s a song I don’t choose to listen to, but whenever it comes playing on my long saved playlist on Spotify, I can’t help but feel an ache tug me from within no matter how you tell yourself to stay still. Memories come flashing like tides—Pulling, pushing and making you crash midway. I’ve always been a fan of Coldplay, but I only remember listening to this song for the first time when I was on the verge of a heartbreak. I guess I’ve heard it before but didn’t put that much attention to it as I did in the past. It’s one of those songs that when it plays on a certain occasion, it marks you and becomes somewhat an anthem of that “feeling”. Unfortunately, like the song, the memories and feelings attached to it are painful, yearning and as haunting as the inaudible choir of words in the beginning.
“I think of you.”
Yes. True. Until now.
I cannot remember the last day I stepped on my old self. More than a year ago, I began being vocal about how different I was beginning to feel. I spoke to my dermatologist, who I began feeling comfortable talking about my life, and my ex boyfriend about it and began expressing how I felt. I thought that it might be something hormonal to which I also thought contributed to my growing skin problem during that time. I had so many questions inside my head and I wanted answers to the growing uncertainties. I asked about the possible effects of suddenly going on a halt on the pills I was taking during that time. I was self-diagnosing. I contemplated about the possibility of any possible medical explanation that might have contributed to what I felt, leaving mental illness at the end of the long line of things I would consider.
I knew I was “sad” but I wouldn’t really want to label it as being “depressed”. I constantly cried each night, barely had the energy to sleep or feel wake. To best describe it, I was keeping myself at auto-pilot or feeling like a zombie most of the days. I felt like that for quite sometime even before I was diagnosed. I can’t seem to trace the last day I felt “something” for my life. I was full of life but the next day I wasn’t. Everything was in grey scale. For me, it was worse than black and white. Dark shades with no hope of light. I wanted to go back to who I was but the slope was the depth of grand canyon in proportions, steep–but without the beauty and the grandeur. The space inside one’s head, majestic but lifeless. You start questioning all the “freeness” inside your head. Your thoughts race. Your life seems purposeless no matter how much effort you dig the word “sense” and “self”, “faith” and “hope”. You “try” to win your battles everyday and hold on to every triumph but every slip of FAILURE becomes a landslide that buries you deeper to a landfill. There is no climbing up once you fall to the pit. The word failure sits like a period at the end of each racing thought. FAILURE. FAILURE. FAILURE even when there is nothing to fail about. Then comes constant Fear and the Anxieties of Failure and Depression (To which I admit I still feel most of the time). FAILURE, FEAR, ANXIETIES, DEPRESSION.
Depression is a senseless pit of pain. It is a parasite that lives through the vitality of life. A crab that pulls you down just when you’re about to successfully go out the bucket. It is a blackhole that sucks you for no apparent reason. The day I started slipping was the day I realised I might never gain back what I did, the things I loved and who I was. It was painful to think but it was only then that I realised too that I need to accept where I am in. Maybe some people grow gracefully knowing where the lines on the palms of their hands will take them, while some not. Perhaps the lines mean nothing and here I am deciphering through thin air, pushing myself too hard to deliver or prove something to no one. Perhaps I need to lean how to accept my life’s uncertainties, embrace the lessons and let go of the failures.
Take what you need. Do what you can to be better each day. Take your medication, go to your therapies, turn to your faith. There is no shame in needing help and in seeking treatments. You cannot achieve happiness by waiting for it. Happiness itself can be a grand labor you have to continously work for.
3 ways in which I learned to cope up with my depression:
1) Proactive – Everyone is different from one another. Know yourself. Know your symptoms. Know what triggers you. Develop your own ways to cope up with your depression.
2) Urgency – Delegate tasks. Know which one should be done first before depression hits you (because we all know depression stops you from accomplishing things even when we need to). Do what needs to be done before you do what you want. Know what is urgent. Avoid stress because stress leads to depressive cycles.
3) Difficulty – List down tasks from easy, medium and difficult. Make yourself feel accomplished and ready to take more difficult tasks ahead. Tell depression “You don’t have me. I got this.”
(things I tell myself on good days)
I’ve been under medication for the past few months for depression and anxiety. The thing about depression is that you worry so much about the past, while in anxiety, you worry much about the future. This happens often both in excess to the point that worry becomes unnecessary and that it hinders your from living to the present (or that’s how I see it). I remember watching “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” a couple of years back and think now that the concept of “forgetting” to manage pain from a failed relationship to a humiliating experience through a procedure is not as far fetched from what is happening in real life. Coming from a failed relationship that triggered my recent episode of depression and anxiety, I remember drinking medication to manage the pain that I felt to be “functional”. There are also other ways in which people find ways or treatments to depression such as Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in which one can probably parallel it to the film. I guess this was what Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was really all about. It was about people managing the pain or loss that paved way their depression. It was unfortunate though, whether it be science fiction or in real life that we find forgetting as the only way to manage these feelings.
There are good days and not so good days but today’s not good. A definite negative answer to a supposedly good day. I am overwhelmed by feelings, emotions, thoughts, worries, practically anything I can think of. I can probably make a list of the things that I worry about.
- What do I have to do to sustain my needs. I need something to help myself. I need to find a way to support myself financially.
- I think stopping my therapy, medication and trip to my psychiatrist will lessen my worries financially.
- But what if I stop going to the doctor and I end up, “giving up”. What if I won’t be able to hit the breaks before I finally crash?
- I feel ashamed for not being able to make something of myself.
- I need to find a way out of this.
- I don’t know if I’ll be able to push through my graduate studies.
- What if I stop my graduate studies and just work to live and pay for my medication.
- What if I do that and I end up not being happy.
- I wish I could help the family like I used to.
- I feel like a failure right now.
- I terribly don’t know what to do.
- I don’t know who to run to.
- I’m so tired of feeling too many things. I just want to stop.
I want to run away from myself. I wish there was a better way to be myself. I wish I could just skip days like these and move forward to better days.