8 Ridiculous Things Depression Is Making Me Do
As a self-proclaimed workaholic, signing off work for my chronic depression in order to get used to my increase in medication has left a huge void in my life. In just three weeks I’ve morphed from a Superhuman Multi-tasker with a successful career in mental health and a thriving social life, to a filthy slug with some bizarre paranoia and an addiction to avocados. I’ve been assured that what I’m experiencing is normal while my mind tries to repair itself, and subsequently my body will follow. So I’m allowing myself to laugh at the weird things depression is making me to do, and of course share it with you, in the hope that if you find yourself in a similar position, you’ll know this is apparently normal.
Here’s what my depression is making me do:
1. Buy really weird things on Groupon.
I feel as though those going through a period of mental illness should have their online shopping accounts at least partially suspended until you are well, because being able to one-click your way through new material goods to ease your depression will never go well, no matter how much Groupon tells you this deal is amazing. So far, I have a new BlueTooth Fitness Tracker, which is hilarious as I haven’t walked further than to the bathroom in two and a half weeks. I have a new curling wand for my hair (which was an obvious must-have, considering I have a really short bob right now), an exercise bike which has definitely not been used but was a bastard to put together (and subsequently made me feel like a DIY Failure) and £42 left to pay my rent this month. Today, I embargoed by account when I almost bought a set of outdoor furniture (despite only having a tiny balcony for outdoor space) and an Indian cookery class. I just can’t help myself, my mind is saying no, but the depression is yelling, “Hey, but how much better would you feel if you were sitting on your outdoor furniture in your living room eating Indian food you’d cooked with curly hair?”
2. Wake my boyfriend up in the middle of the night terrified I’d forgotten where China was.
I had. I don’t even know if I ever knew, or if this was something I’d forgotten, but I just didn’t know where it was in the world. He got up a world map on his phone and proceeded to show me. Mind blown. Since when was it that big? And where is Japan though? Was Japan always that small? Woah wait. China borders f*cking Russia? I actually asked the question, “How well do the Chinese and the Russians get along?” and “Why do we never hear about any nice things that happen between them? I’ve never seen a Russian person and a Chinese person be neighborly or unneighborly, so like, what happens? Do they like each other?” These questions went on for hours. I couldn’t sleep that night knowing my world has either grown or shrunk. I couldn’t work out which was worse.
3. Watch too many True Crime shows and apply to be an investigator.
Yep. If anyone watches TruTV or CBS Reality then you will know about the absolute gold mine of TV shows on there that can satisfy your need to solve mysteries and watch murder reconstructions. They are channels made for my mind right now. After watching so much TV, I decided I was skilled enough to be an investigator. I’m a genius, says 2 a.m. I, I could do this for a living.
4. Watch every 9/11 conspiracy video I can find.
For about two days, I became really passionate about 9/11 and working out what really happened. I’m not going to write down my thoughts because I’ve read that people have been killed for sharing their views on 9/11 (yeah, I really believe this). So I’m not going to indulge you, but, if you want to have a few sleepless nights, increase your psychiatric medications and indulge yourself in some good conspiracy videos. Absolute banter.
5. Make my body have a period for 12 days straight.
My depression has apparently picked up the phone to Mother Nature and said “Oh hey, you know what would be hilarious? Let’s give her a period now, too. For ages, like, a no-end-in-sight kinda thing.” And Mother f*cking Nature said, “Alright babe. LOL.” And that was it. Seriously Mother Nature, stop kicking me in the ovaries when I’m down.
6. Become obsessed with Kylie Jenner and hate myself for it.
That Coachella hair tho. Seriously. Hair goals. I want her lip kit, even though she literally has no right bringing out a lip kit when she’s only had lips for one year. And I hate myself again.
7. Read over 200 reviews about Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cook book with no intention of buying it.
I just really needed to know about what people really thought of it. Apparently. Definitely mixed reviews, is my definitive outcome from my investigative work. Most comments say you need a Spiralizer. Some people say it is definitely better than her older one as recipes only take around 30 minutes to prepare but the cost of ingredients is still quite high… What am I doing?
8. Actually have a really nice time with my friends.
Surprise! It’s not all doom and bloody gloom. I hosted my own engagement party on Saturday — we’d had it booked for weeks before I fell ill, paid for all the food and people had planned their whole weekend around it, so despite my inability to be a real human, I still pulled myself out of bed and decided I would push myself no matter what. And it was really nice. I was surrounded by such incredible people who knew what I was going through, we had some drinks, laughs, we danced, I sang “Proud Mary” on karaoke so loud I lost my voice the next day and got really lovey with everyone. And yes, I had some wobbles, and did end up falling to sleep on the floor spooning my wardrobe because I was too anxious to ask people to leave my bedroom so I could sleep but it made me realize that although my depression can make me bleed, can make me paranoid and make me believe things are hopeless, it can also learn when it’s time to leave you be, just for a little bit while your friends try and heal you.
I think the one thing that’s been really tough is the guilt, which has been constant and relentless. I am constantly thinking, “What could I have actually achieved in these three weeks?” and I become so upset at the lack of achievements I’ve made (apart from the fact I could now win a pub quiz solely based on Kylie Jenner’s life). And that’s always going to be a struggle. We’re constantly bombarded with messages we only have one life and we’ve got to make every day count blah blah blah — we know. We really know. I’m really aware of this. Too aware of it, that it’s actually making me anxious about sitting still and looking after myself. I need to constantly be on my phone reading things to the point of obsession. I need to be working, I need to be applying for things that will make my life worthwhile and buying things that will make me happy and I need to be exercising, meditating, learning a language, see all my friends, visit my family, hold down a nine-to-five, chase my dreams, buy a house, have some babies, write a book, keep things clean, eat good food and for f*ck’s sake please stop it’s all too much.
I just need to breathe. And so do you. And that’s what this past three weeks have shown me. So what I didn’t get out of bed today? I actually really needed to sleep while my body adjusts to life again. Sometimes a bubble bath and a cup of chamomile tea isn’t enough — sometimes you just need to dance until you can’t move and laugh until you can’t breathe just to remind yourself you’re still human deep down and this depression can suck it. Maybe I don’t want to meditate today? Maybe I want to walk to Starbucks and eat a cake and listen to Fall Out Boy and remind myself that life is tasty and can be as good as I was when I was 16 and “Sugar, We’re Going Down.”
It was Depression Awareness Week last week, which my mind has so perfectly synced up to. I really encourage you to talk about it, take the pressure off yourself and know that it’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to lay in bed for days sometimes and just be. It’s OK to laugh at it, because it’s healing. And it’s OK to take all the advice you are given, and it’s perfectly OK to put two fingers up to the advice you’re given if you know that it will be better for you. Whatever works, just don’t feel guilty. You got this, there’s so many people rooting for you and if I can make it to the end of this, so can you.
Follow this journey on Life on Laura Lane.
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