I Just Know That I Am Not Okay

Every now and then I feel so alone I can honestly feel my heart breaking.

My throat starts to ache and tears well in my eyes and I feel empty inside.

I know that I am not alone. I have family and friends, and I am thankful for that. I don’t always feel it.

There are moments, like this one, where I don’t feel like I have family or friends. They might be there but they aren’t really there. Not really. They have their own lives and their own issues that they have to deal with. That’s just the way it goes. I get that. Life can be crazy and people can’t always be there when you need them.

I hope that I matter but I’m not sure that I do. In a more lucid moment I would say that’s the trauma from my childhood but this isn’t a lucid moment. This is a moment of darkness where I feel alone.

I feel totally alone. There is no one I can turn to and have them there. Right there. In that moment. When I need them.

I don’t know why someone can’t be there. I don’t know if they want to or not. I don’t know if they even try. I’m not them, so I don’t know.

I just know that I am not okay and it sucks to be alone.

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Change: Those Who Do and Those Who Don’t

Why do I keep trying? Time after time, year after year, I keep trying. Why? What for? What am I really getting out of it? Anything? Change is hard. Really, really, really, super hard. It’s almost near impossible at times. And despite how hard it is to change, I still try. Why? This got me thinking about why I keep trying for something that is so hard and has no guarantee of success. It also got me thinking about why some people don’t change, or even try.

I can only speculate why others don’t change, or try. So speaking for myself, the simplest answer I can give as to why I keep trying to change myself is, I am not okay with the alternative.

The alternative, if I don’t make changes and everything stays the same, means I stay miserable and in pain and in some very dark places. It means having dark, disordered thoughts. It means having my emotions overwhelm me. It means having no energy and no motivation. It means feeling alone and terrified. It means feeling trapped and paralyzed. It means keeping toxic people in my life. It means hating myself. It means being completely closed off from everything. And it means sometimes wanting to take my own life.

And for me, that is not okay. Frankly, it’s unacceptable. I don’t want any part of that. It’s an awful place to be and an awful feeling to have. It’s barely an existence let alone a life, and I want more. I want better. I want to be okay. And unfortunately, the only way to get there is to change.

It’s not always a noble cause. Sometimes I try to change because I think it’s what I should do. Sometimes I try to change because I think it’s what others want. Sometimes I even try to change because I just don’t know what else to do. Mostly though, I do it for me, because like I said, the alternative, to me, is much, much worse than what goes into changing.

Change isn’t for everybody. Some people are so afraid of it that they don’t even consider it. It’s just too much. I can appreciate that fear. Change can mean losing your home, your family, your friends, and everything you’ve known. How can that not scare a person? We’re often blindsided by big changes that we have no control over, and they can be overwhelming and painful. Real change is super hard. Especially when it involves thoughts and behaviours that are so ingrained in us they feel as though they are permanent. It takes loads of time and a lot of effort to change.

Which leads me to why I think some people don’t change. Or try. They just live in their darkness and struggle trying to make it through the day. They live with their disordered thinking and false beliefs without trying to learn their truth. And I have to admit, this baffles me. Why would people want to live like this? Why would anyone want to stay like this? Why wouldn’t people want to change? Why would anyone want to stay in such a miserable, awful, painful place of mental illness? It doesn’t make sense to me.

And therein lies the first problem to this judgmental thinking. Trying to make sense of it. Trying to apply any logic to ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions, or our behaviours, especially when they are disordered and dysfunctional, can be a frustrating and fruitless endeavour, and it may or may not help. The second problem is, just because someone lives day-to-day just trying to make it through, doesn’t mean they want to live like this. And the last problem is, a lot of people do want to change, but it’s scary and hard to change, and that can definitely be enough to stay our hand.

The days when I find change is just as hard as you think it is, and efforts that I have made to change are playing hide and seek with me, I am reminded of why someone might not want to change. When I think of the resistance, and in some cases the avoidance, of wanting to change, I think of my mom. The queen of no change. As far as I’m concerned anyway.

She not only didn’t try to change, she never gave an inkling of indication that she ever wanted to. Here’s where a lot of my judgment comes in. Because I believe she had to know things weren’t right. She was smarter than she gave herself credit for, she had to feel that something wasn’t right. Why on earth would she want to stay in her mind as it is? Swarming with low self-esteem, horrific lies about her worth, and trauma that she never was able to process, and she chooses to stay there? Why?

These are all assumptions on my part. Only my mom knows what she knows. Maybe she did know she could change, maybe she didn’t. Maybe she was too afraid of it, or maybe she felt she didn’t deserve it. I can certainly relate to either of those beliefs.

In my moments of compassion, empathy and understanding I am able to realize that change is terrifying and change is hard and no matter what some might say, wanting to change is not enough. Efforts to change can go on for years and even then there is no guarantee that things will get better. Change can mean digging very deep into memories and emotions that can be extremely painful.

Digging deep can mean seeing things in a harsh perspective that we might not be ready for or want to see. There may be some truths that we don’t want to know. There may be some lies we that don’t want to challenge. Digging deep can change how we see people and question our relationship with them. Digging deep can even change how we see ourselves. And this can mean making changes to our life that scare us and we might not be ready for it because it may mean leaving someone or removing them from our life, and this can be very hard. It can even feel like we can’t. We may not even be sure if we want to. It’s a tough situation. And to everyone it’s personal.

Despite how awful and painful mental illness can be it’s familiar. And we take comfort in the familiar. We like routine even if the routine is hurting us. It’s just something we do. You can try to pick apart why but I don’t recommend it.

For some people change is just not in the cards. For some, they will choose willingly not to change. They just don’t, or won’t, want to go there. It’s just too scary. For some, they may want to change, badly, but the fear is just too great. For some, change is the only way, no matter how much it may hurt.

I try to remember that change isn’t for everybody and what someone else is willing to face is really up to them. For me I keep trying and hope like hell it happens. To be honest, I have come a long way from where I was, and some things have changed so it makes me want to keep trying and keep changing. It tells me that more change, and for the better, is possible.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why some people don’t even try to make things better. I guess that’s not really my call. I can only take care of me and hope for the best even if it means making changes that hurt. And I will try to keep having patience and understanding for those who don’t, or won’t, and hope for the best for them as well. It’s really all I can do.

The Trend Known as Trauma

The word trauma seems to be tossed around a lot these days. Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, being one of the leading reasons. And it seems like everywhere and everyone has PTSD or some other form of trauma. It can be overwhelming to hear about it and even harder to talk about it. Trauma is scary and can be so devastating to so many.

Unfortunately with widespread coverage there often comes a feeling of desensitization to the words and their meaning. The more you hear about trauma and PTSD, the more it seems to become this catch-all trend, and slowly people start to become complacent to what it means and what it does, and even feeling bored of hearing about it all the time.

But trauma is not some trend we can all forget about when the next thing comes along. Suffering trauma is serious and can be life-altering, even life-ending.

Trauma is typically associated with war and violence. And as we are now learning it affects our first-responders -firefighters, paramedics, and police- who so heroically run towards the disasters that the rest of us run away from. And the trauma that these dedicated, brave people fight, day-in and day-out, is nothing to be dismissed. They are witness to some unspeakable tragedies that we can’t even imagine. And the doctors and nurses who care for the victims of these tragedies, and so many others, are also heroes in everything they face and contend with, day-in and day-out. It is truly astounding what they endure.

The trauma that all of these professionals suffer is without question horrible and devastating. Theirs is a unique experience that the vast majority of us will never have. Whereas their traumas may include blood and guts, broken limbs and broken families, and life and death, they aren’t the only ones to suffer trauma.

One of the hardest things about trauma is that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. And what is a passing event for one, may become a trauma for another. It is totally subjective. Trauma can be a one-time event, or it can be repetitive exposure, or chronic to the point of becoming a part of your daily life, with the trauma occurring over and over and over again.

What’s important to remember is that trauma isn’t just about car accidents, war, and violence. It isn’t necessarily explosive or graphic. Trauma can be in someone’s words or behaviours as they speak down to you or insult you or intimidate you. It can be a threat or a near-miss. It can be in the illness that takes down you or your friend, or it can be alone in a quiet room as someone you love passes on. It can be with our families or friends, or it can be with total strangers. It can be something we saw coming or something we didn’t. It can be something that marks the world or it can be something that marks only us. And it can be something that can be seen or it can be something we will never see. Trauma can be so insidious that it isn’t until months or years later that you even are aware you have been traumatized.

Trauma doesn’t care if you’re young or old, what religion you follow, or where you work. It doesn’t care if you’ve had a good childhood or if you’ve never known your parents. It doesn’t care where you live or who your friends are. It doesn’t care if you’ve had other traumas or if this is your first. Trauma either happens or it doesn’t. Period. And it can be something big and loud, or it can be something small and quiet.

I get this can mean that trauma paints a very broad stroke, colouring almost everything, because it kind of does and that can be scary. No one wants to suffer trauma. It’s a devastating thing that can tear you apart. And as much as the trauma has ravaged your insides, it’s possible that it can be healed. And it starts with recognizing you’ve been traumatized in the first place.

For some, this first step may never be taken. It may just be too much. Everyone is different, and so is how they cope. For some, this step may be the only one they take. And for some, this may be the first step of many. It’s up to you how you proceed, or if you choose not to. Trauma is painful and talking about it can be just as painful. Be patient with yourself, whether you talk about it or not.

You don’t have to tell everyone, you just have to start with yourself, and then you can work your way out as needed. Talking about it is probably the biggest step, and most likely will be the one that will bring the most healing. It’s hard and painful and it is the only way to heal.

Keeping it to yourself will only make things worse. And if you don’t believe me, consider your own trauma that you suffer with, every day, sometimes all day, and even at night while you’re asleep. Whether you call it trauma or not. Whether you admit it out loud or not. Think of the flashbacks and difficult emotions that plague you. Think of the nightmares and dreams that haunt your sleep causing you to wake up terrified and convince you that you will never sleep soundly again. Think of the moments that fear grips you and it feels like you most certainly will have the life squeezed from your lungs. Think of the days you can’t stop thinking about it and how dark and scary all those swirling thoughts are. Think of the way your body reacts and freezes into positions so tight that your muscles ache. And then think of keeping all of that inside your one body and mind and how it is all being torn apart.

Talking to someone can help to relieve that pressure. It may not fix everything right away but it is a start. Most likely you might need to recruit some professional help, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help, from professionals and from loved ones. Whatever you need to do. It’s your life at stake and that is worth fighting for.

The only thing worse than suffering a trauma is suffering alone. Seek support and help. And if this one person can’t help you or won’t support you then keep looking. If this one doctor isn’t listening or that doctor doesn’t believe you then find another doctor. And don’t stop until you get what you need. There is support and help out there. And you deserve to get it.

You deserve to be healed. You deserve to have your traumas healed. No matter how dark and deep they are. No matter what. You don’t need any reason or permission. You are you and you deserve to be healed. Trauma can break you, and it often does, and healing can be hard and painful, and it is possible.

To all those who have endured trauma and to all those who will, I sincerely hope you find your way to healing.

Between a Revelation and a Panic Attack

I am tired. Bone-tired. Physically, emotionally and mentally tired. Just everything tired.

I have spent years struggling with mental illness, with and without diagnosis, misdiagnoses, and varying degrees of treatment that were and weren’t effective. I’ve tried to hold myself together to keep a job and friends and I mostly managed to do it for a while. Until the bottom fell out and I broke.

The times where I’ve been able to hold it together get shorter and shorter and farther and farther apart. I’ve mostly come to accept that. Although at times that acceptance is nowhere to be found. It’s a work in progress.

With each time I have fallen down the dark hole I have done whatever I can to try and get better. There is only so long that I can tolerate feeling so miserable before I have to do something about it. I think this is the only good time my inability to tolerate uncomfortable feelings has worked in my favour. It has pushed me to look for solutions and work my way back.

The downside to this is that it has been tiring. And frustrating. And fruitless. A lot. Struggling with any mental illness is hard, and it’s made even harder when treatment is either nowhere to be found, or it’s found and it isn’t working. When there are multiple disorders battling it out inside me it means having to find multiple solutions. And finding multiple solutions is even harder than finding just one solution.

The disorders not only compete to take me down, they also compete to keep me there, so finding solutions that will silence all of the monsters is near impossible. It gets confusing and frustrating when I try to treat all of my disorders at once. I’ve tried treating them separately, and one at a time, and it was kind of a mess. Stuff would overlap or cancel other stuff out and at times I lost track of what I was trying to treat.

The good news is it isn’t always a lost cause. Of the many solutions and ways to recover I’ve found over the years, a number of them have actually helped. I’ve even had several major insights, epiphanies if you will, that have definitely been worth the wait. So it’s not all bad. I’ve found that treating the disorders in clusters has been most helpful and some of the gems I found, I’ve actually managed to retain and still use today.

The thing is though, I am really tired. I’m tired of trying. It’s so hard to try and find ways to manage or recover from mental illness. And the days when nothing works I can’t help but feel that things will never get better. Trying to find a solution and treatment takes a lot of time and effort, and then actually getting the treatment usually means months-long waitlists that more often than not have been anti-climactic and leave me back at square one.

When, and if, the treatment seems promising then there is the issue of maintaining it. By me and by the doctor or program. With the doctor, I am subject to how often they can see me and whether or not anything actually comes out of the appointments besides a prescription. With a program, I stand a better chance of learning skills that I can actually apply in daily life, that is if I get into the program (I’m currently still on two wait lists for two programs, hopefully I’ll hear about one of them soon). And then there’s me, I get easily discouraged, and whether it’s a bad day or several appointments that don’t immediately show me results, I lose interest and hope and therefore my effort goes down, fast.

I try to keep hopeful for as long as I can and mostly I succeed. I just feel so frustrated. The hours and days and weeks and months and years of waiting and hoping and trying and failing and trying and succeeding and trying and finding nothing and trying and making enough progress to keep me trying is so hard. Especially when the bad days sometimes slap me right in the face. Is it all for nothing? Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? Or is it just the start of a whole new tunnel?

Who knows. So far I haven’t given up, at least not for good. Yet. So I guess I’ll just keep trying and keep hoping and maybe one day I’ll be okay.

Lacking Sleep

I’m blaming my mind for the lack of sleep problem I’ve been having for the last few weeks.

I’ve been going to bed at a reasonable time in the hopes that my mind will get the message. So far my mind is either ignoring me or it doesn’t care.

Lack of sleep is a real problem for me. Not just because I’ll be tired and need to get rest, also because when I don’t get enough rest my anxiety levels skyrocket. If I was only mildly anxious before then without proper rest it will be high anxiety now. If I was high anxiety before then without proper rest I will be thisclose to panic attacks, if not full-blown, hours-long panic attacks now. It’s a brutal, brutal day when I don’t get proper rest.

My anxiety is why I’ve made a concerted effort to get to bed at a decent hour and get proper rest. No matter how many hours I need. If it’s six hours I need, then I get it. If it’s nine hours I need, then I get it. I pay the price dearly otherwise.

I try to avoid sleeping meds if I can because I know they can become a crutch and also their residual effects-feeling dopey or dizzy-the next day are not always worth it. Especially if I want to go out or have things to do. I’ll take them if the insomnia persists for a while and I really need to get some sleep. They are usually a last resort for me.

Until I get to that point I try other things first. I try to do some self-care, maybe some mindfulness or meditation. I try instrumental music or a podcast. When it seems like the external stuff isn’t working, and before I turn to the meds, I will try to just lay there and wait it out. And I gotta say, the waiting it out is torturous. Staring at the ceiling for hours on end is awful. I don’t know how else to describe it besides long and awful.

I think of hundreds of topics; from the mundane like a grocery shopping list, to global affairs like recent conflict in the Middle East. And absolutely everything else in between. A lot of these thoughts tempt me to go online and google the answer. I don’t because I know that’s a slippery slope that will only keep me awake even longer. And will probably lead to more thinking and more questions and more googling. I try to persevere.

And so my mind goes…

…will I be able to fix my TV? Or will I have to buy a new one? Where will I get the money for a new TV? I’ll have to wait to get it and hope for a good sale. What’s a good sale though? I haven’t had to buy a new TV in a long time, what’s a good price? Should I get the same size? Should I go for a bigger model? I guess it will depend on the price. I’ve read about TVs that have updates as if they have an OS. Do TVs now have OS? What in hell is that for? What do they need an OS for? What difference does it make? Do all TVs have them now? Can I get a TV without an OS? I don’t want one. I just want a regular TV. I guess I’ll have to decide when that time comes. Hopefully that won’t be soon. It’s hanging in there so it could last for months. Or it could crash tomorrow. Oh no. What if the TV totally breaks down? And I don’t have the money for it. What will I do then? What will I do with the time? That scares me. I have no idea what to do with my time now. How in hell will I figure out what to do with additional time? I already have some bills that are behind, how will I catch up now? I am so bad with money. I wish I were better with money. I wish someone had taught me how to handle money. I wish I had been taught to properly handle money. I wish I could win the lottery. The lottery would be great. It would solve a lot of problems. It wouldn’t solve everything. It would help though. I could travel. Oh I miss traveling. Like going back to Paris would be great. I loved Paris. So beautiful. I’d go for a whole week or two and just visit The Louvre every day. Just to see it proper. Bring a lunch every day and see the beautiful Louvre, at my leisure, as much as I want. Oh, how I would love to do that! Although I would eat at the cafes too because their cafes are so comfortable and great for people-watching. I like people watching when I travel. Of course I should probably play the lottery in order to win it. That would probably help…

…I’m gonna stop there because it goes on. And on. And on. And on. And on. For. Hours.

That little blurb there was about two minutes worth of thinking, if that. So imagine between two and five hours of rambling thoughts just like it. At least thankfully the thoughts mostly stay fairly neutral. When it gets really tricky is if the thoughts are disordered and start triggering me. Then the rambling thinking goes dark. Really dark. And as the minutes tick by, they get darker and darker and darker.

With every dark thought my body responds in kind. I start to feel afraid and my body follows suit with my heart racing, my stomach churning, my limbs tingling, and my head spinning. It comes very close to causing a panic attack. Very close. And if it doesn’t cause a panic attack, it causes my body to become fully tense and on edge as if it could, at any minute. So now my night is not only dealing with my rambling thoughts, it’s now having to deal with dark, rambling thoughts, and a body that’s now so tense it makes my muscles ache.

If I wasn’t tired before, which I was, I am definitely tired now. Holding panic and tension is exhausting. I hold it all day and now I’m holding it all night too. It feels like I can’t catch a break.

The good news though, I’m getting better at intervening and stopping the thinking from getting too dark. Some of the time. It’s hard though because it still takes me a while before I become aware enough to intervene. Considering that I used to intervene in zero of my thinking pursuits, I think any intervention above zero is a win. The hope is that one day I’ll have more interventions than I don’t. Until then I’m going with whatever I can get.

But I digress…

When I am able to intervene and change the script, or at least stop the script from running, I usually start with focusing on my breathing. I do a body scan and see what’s going on. If I’m having trouble focusing to do a body scan, I use a guided meditation of a body scan to help. I might do this once or twice, or a couple different guided meditations, if I find the first time I listen to it sort of helping, I listen for a second, or even a third time, to help even more. I use as many as I need. This is usually enough to switch my thinking to more neutral topics. At least until I can fall asleep.

Even with these efforts, the last few nights, I am still having a hard time falling asleep. Some nights it’s a three-hour mind tour and some nights it’s longer. For now, it has yet to be less than a two-hour tour. I’m not giving up though. I’ll get my cycle back. I just have to keep trying. That’s the thing that as really sunk in for me of late, that I have to work at it.

I have to make the effort and work at it for it to happen. If I wait for it to just happen organically then it probably won’t ever happen. At least that’s what the past decades have taught me. And now I’m listening.

Here’s hoping for a good nights rest. At some point.

Dark Thoughts

Sometimes I have very dark thoughts. I don’t know how to explain them and out of sheer embarrassment I won’t go into details of them here. All I will say is that they are dark and they are scary.

I don’t know what makes them happen so I don’t know how to stop them or cope with them once they are there.

I worry about them and what they may become. I don’t dare talk about them for fear that I will be seen as a freak. Or worse.

I don’t know if they happen because of the BPD or if they are from depression or maybe I’m just so disordered that all my thoughts are just naturally messed up.

I am glad that they don’t happen often, and when they do they don’t last long. For the time they are here though, they terrify me.

My only wish is that if they are going to stick around, they never become more than a thought.

I hate them. I fear them. I pray they never become more.

The Pain of Depression

Every day I wake up there are about three seconds of time where I am completely detached from everything. I don’t think. I don’t speak. I don’t hear. I don’t feel anything. I don’t worry. I don’t have anxiety. I don’t anything. I just am. It’s a pretty nice time.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t last. Once those few seconds are done and I start waking up and the day sort of creeps over me, I am already sore and exhausted before I even get out of bed.

For me, the pain of depression starts in my mind; weaving its way into everything, from getting out of bed and getting dressed to getting to work or going out with friends, from how and what I think to how and what I feel, to how I perceive everything including myself to what I will or will not do. It sucks the life out of absolutely everything. The days become greyer. The nights become darker. It feels like a fog has taken over my mind until the day I can’t get out of bed and I no longer want to.

My thoughts become a haze of words that sometimes make sense but most of the time don’t. And when the words are coherent, they are dark, mean, insulting and dangerous. The thoughts tell me I’m nothing and nobody. They tell me that I will never be anything and I should stop trying. They tell me that I am alone and I always will be. They tell me that this dark place is where I should stay and if I ever think of leaving then I should think of death because that will be the only way out.

I become either totally numb or a waterfall of tears at the drop of a hat. There is no in-between. I have no idea what makes me cry it just happens. I no longer have a say in what I think, what I feel, and what I do. It is just darkness, every day, all the time, without fail. Everything just becomes devoid of colour and interest.

As soon as my mind has been successfully hijacked by the depression my body soon follows. With slow, lethargic movements, calculated steps just to go to the bathroom, and total exhaustion with even the slightest of tasks.

And it hurts. It hurts my whole body. There is soreness and inflammation throughout my body that makes moving slow and painful. And there is a perpetual state of tension that radiates to every muscle and bone in my body.

Starting with my head. The tension goes up my neck and into my head causing me to have headaches, sinus pressure and dizziness. It is so tense that sometimes I can’t move my head because my neck is too tight. My jaw clenches so hard that it pulls the muscles of my face as well. This often causes my face to feel numb. Even my scalp often feels numb to touch.

The tightness and tension travel down into my shoulders, down my upper arms, my forearms and my wrists, tensing each and every muscle of my arm, and stretching right out to my fingers.

It radiates downwards into my back seizing the lower muscles into a big knot that is so hard it pulls my hip and pelvic muscles with it. Making movements like getting out of bed and walking difficult and painful. To do anything more than walking causes aching pain in my muscles and my joints.

The tension spreads to my stomach, tying it into another knot, causing me to have stomachaches, digestion issues, nausea, and some muscle cramping. There are many times where I am unable to eat anything because my stomach is too upset. I often will go days without eating because my stomach is upset and I’m too sore to move to get the food in the first place.

And then finally my legs, which have somehow mostly managed to evade the pain that the rest of my body deals with, except for some tension in my thighs. Which is usually connected to the tightness and tension from my hips and pelvis.

Most of my body feels numb a lot of the time. The tightness and tension are bad enough on their own but adding numbness to it makes everything in my body feel like it’s about to stop working any minute. This often scares me, particularly when the numbness is felt in my face and arms because I fear that these are signs of either a heart attack or a stroke. It scares me so much that it has often caused me to have a panic attack. And I am convinced that I am dying. I have to remind myself that the numbness did not come on suddenly and it is not unexplained since the nerves are probably being compressed by the muscles being so tense and tight all the time.

It takes a lot for me to gain awareness of what is really happening in these instances because they don’t come with warning nor do they happen in sync with other issues. So if I feel a twinge in my neck and then I notice my face is numb I am not always aware that my face has actually been numb for days before this and is not necessarily connected to the twinge I just felt in my neck. It is a vicious cycle that terrifies me and often paralyzes me from moving at all. It takes me hours and sometimes days to remind myself it is most likely not a heart attack or stroke. This time.

When it comes to my mind, it darkens my thoughts and cognitive ability to the point of not being able to think or function at all. Thinking can actually hurt causing me to have headaches. The pain takes away the want and the ability to stand or walk, to read or talk, to smile or laugh.

Because my mind is so foggy it makes my words fuzzy too. When I speak, I trip over my words, either stuttering or repeating myself. I forget some words and sometimes I forget what I’m trying to say altogether. I frequently lose track of what I’m saying and what words I need to use. I will sometimes slur my words, as if I have been drinking, which really scares me when it happens at the same time as the numbness in my face and arms. I am absolutely terrified and certain that this time I am either having a heart attack or a stroke.

I feel like a total write-off in every aspect of my life. In my body and not being able to move without pain. In my mind and not being able to think or speak without difficulty. In my heart and not being able to feel or process emotions, if I feel them at all. And lastly, in my spirit and not being able to find the goodness in life, the interest in things I used to enjoy, and slowly losing the want to live.

The pain permeates every cell of my being.

Depression doesn’t just darken my mood. It isn’t just a few bad days or a couple of weeks of feeling down. It is an all-encompassing entity that takes over everything; sucking the life from me, and it hurting every part of me, body, mind, heart and soul.

Depression just hurts. It hurts everything.