In my last blog post ‘A Day in the Life of Hypomania,’ I posted a journal entry highlighting what it’s like to be hypomanic. In contrast, this blog post is a journal entry I wrote following that episode when I was moderately depressed.
I wake up late and groggy from the extra sedatives I took the night before. I took them not to sleep – I’m getting way too much of that at the moment (not that I’m complaining), but I took them to escape. I wanted to escape the constant suffocating grips of this depression. I look at my clock and it’s 2pm. Great, it’s not worth getting up, so I stay in bed, vacantly staring at the ceiling.
I feel as though there are no thoughts in my head. I picture the inside of my skull to be empty; not even tumbleweed is drifting around – it’s abandoned me just like every other thing that used to belong in my skull. In my weekly counsellor appointments I sit in her office, my eyes burning holes in her carpet and I have nothing to say. “There’s nothing going on up top,” I mumble every once in awhile just to break the silence. I feel bad. It’s not that I don’t want to talk, (well sometimes I don’t) but I am incapable of talking; topics escape me and nothing comes to mind. My brain is only able to count the patterns on the carpet, and it’s on repeat. The lights are on, but nobody’s home.
I feel that this numbness is rotting my brain. No one would understand the numbness that severe depression can bring unless you’ve experienced it first hand. To an outsider I suppose it wouldn’t sound so bad – better than feeling sad or crying. I would give anything to feel something, even if it is extreme sadness. To go around not feeling, not thinking, not caring, and not loving takes away the human part of you.
I wish I could cry. I can feel it sitting on my chest; if only I could cry to find relief. It’s almost as if crying will validate my depression. In other episodes of depression I would be completely engrossed by misery and wouldn’t be able to stop crying, which was terrible, but it is this numbness that will kill me. It’s already killing my brain cells, I can feel it.
I eventually get out of bed and migrate to the couch, not bothering to shower and find myself staring at a different ceiling. I ignore a shift request to work – that would take a herculean effort and it’s something I don’t have in me. It’s getting late and my family will be home soon so I drag myself off the couch and try to tidy up a bit and hide the fact I’ve been a sloth all day so they won’t worry. When I’m alone I’m lonely and want company; when I have company I feel socially inept and the effort of being with people makes me want to be alone. I am never happy, never content.
It was during that episode of depression that we discovered a very effective antidepressant for me and I continue to it take today. I am glad to say that that episode didn’t last long and I avoided hospital or having another course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).