Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years are over. And weâ€™ve moved into our house. There are no big events looming, nothing I need to focus on at the moment. Iâ€™ve been so busy packing up the house and getting ready for the holidays, I havenâ€™t had time to think about much else.
Now that Iâ€™m not in overdrive (as much as a girl with no serotonin can be in), my brain idles and I feel it â€” old, familiar pain. Itâ€™s like a TV show on repeat, constantly playing in the background, grating my nerves and triggering bad habits. I canâ€™t turn it off, I donâ€™t even know how.
Emotional pain is more painful than anything Iâ€™ve ever felt, and in my case, I donâ€™t even know how it got there. I donâ€™t know if that even matters.
For all I know, itâ€™s been lodged deep inside me for decades, manifesting as anxiety, depression, irritability and loneliness. Just to name a few.
Iâ€™ve tried a number of ways to distract myself â€” piercings, tattoos, binge eating, dieting, writing and compulsive shopping. Just a name a few. You would think that I would turn to other methods, as those have clearly not worked. But I donâ€™t.
Itâ€™s like my brain shouts, â€œThis is painful! I must feel something else!â€ Then remembers that one time two years ago that eating a package of candy tasted so good and made me feel better. Then I proceed to binge on that candy, hoping to recreate that happy feeling but I donâ€™t ever find it.
And I will keep eating it until I am literally sick. Itâ€™s no different with pills. If I take a pill and feel sedated or loopy, Iâ€™ll continue taking the pill. Iâ€™ll abuse that medication, taking more to chase that initial feeling to the point where Iâ€™m dangerously close to taking too much.
Thatâ€™s the thing about compulsions â€” you just canâ€™t stop. My therapist constantly tells me Iâ€™d be a fantastic drug addict. And sheâ€™s not wrong.
I wonder if I squandered my time at The Menninger Clinic. Shouldnâ€™t I have learned to curtail these bad habits and compulsions? I am much better than I was, so Iâ€™m not sure. I bought three books on dealing with emotional pain today. Will they work? Can I afford not to read them?
At my last therapy appointment, my therapist read me her notes from our very first session eight years ago. In it she quoted me saying, â€œI have everything Iâ€™ve ever wanted. And have it so good. Why am I so sad?â€
Today I asked myself the same question, and it makes me feel worse that Iâ€™m no closer to the answer than I was almost a decade earlier.
Iâ€™m grateful for what I am. I appreciate both the big and small in my life. I thank God everyday. Itâ€™s almost like Iâ€™m embarrassed for feeling depression and anxiety because I have so much. But being grateful wonâ€™t prevent me from being depressed and anxious. Not much does.
Tears are threatening because I just canâ€™t stand the thought of being stuck with my defective, asshole brain for the rest of my life. I donâ€™t want to binge or abuse medication. I just want to feel good because I feel good, not because Iâ€™m chasing a high.
Iâ€™m hopeful that Iâ€™ll find the answers, eventually. Thatâ€™s one thing my brain canâ€™t take from me â€” my hope.
Edit: Please note that this blog was written at an earlier date, while I was feeling blue. Even though I’m feeling better, I think it’s important to document all the moods and feelings that go along with major depression and anxiety — because there are a lot.