It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog.
I wish I could say I’ve been busy.
I wish I could say it’s because of all the “things” I’ve got going on, all the Zoom meetings and phone calls. I want to tell you I haven’t written because I’ve been meeting my friends for “social distance” wine dates or safely traveling to exotic and exciting places. Or my boyfriend has tied me up and is holding me hostage as his sex-slave. Ha.
I wish I could, but I can’t.
The truth is I have nothing going on except depression.
As if depression is “nothing.” It’s something alright. It’s the biggest “something” ever…don’t think I’m minimizing mental illness, cause I’m not. In fact, that’s why I’m writing now; I think it’s important to share because even the “happy people” (smoke and mirrors) can be depressed. The happiest ones are usually the peeps you should worry about the most, we are the best at putting on a show and acting “OK” when our worlds are closing around us.
Check-in on us and know we will probably respond and act fine. Yup! We will say we’re OK to most of you. And to the special, select few that we actually share our truth with, hang on, please. We need you.
I need you. Even though I am mean or distant. I might tell you I’m “exhausted,” but I don’t really mean I’m tired; I mean, I’m EXHAUSTED. Like emotionally exhausted–I can’t catch my breath, and I’m drowning, ya know? No, you don’t know. Most of you have no idea which is why I’m writing this. Why I’m trying to explain and help. I hope by sharing, I can save someone that needs saving.
We aren’t crazy or nuts…and you can’t fix us.
I know you want to fix me because seeing me like this makes YOU uncomfortable and nervous.
But you can’t fix depression.
Even though I know you wish so badly you could because you are a fixer. Most guys are and think they can “fix-away” depressed women like you fix a broken sink. It doesn’t just “go away” by waving a happy wand or saying shit like, “get up, and let’s do something fun” or “snap out of it, Jen.” My depression isn’t constant, which makes it even worse, really. It’s situational, so it comes and goes depending on the well, the situation. And let’s be honest, the last six months have been pretty dang crappy for me–For all of us.
But here this: It is OK to be not OK! And I’m finally OK enough to share it with the world after a long, long summer of Sad Jen. Almost a year of Sad Jen since my AS diagnosis. This also has much to do with my anxiety, and increased depression…both are side effects of this miserable autoimmune disease. Grrr.
So yes! I also have anxiety.
Depression and anxiety mixed with a dash of anger, which makes a sexy little cocktail called “The Miserable Bitch”. Want one? You don’t, trust me… it’s fucking awful feeling this way. And I’m only making light of my current situation because I’m nervous talking about it. Being vulnerable is a scary thing. Sharing this part of me is not easy, and so I joke. I laugh and use self-deprecation, which is my favorite form of humor. When I get nervous, I laugh. I swear—at funerals, I laugh. At the weirdest most inopportune times, I chuckle. In doctor’s offices, at interviews…high-stress, high-anxiety situations! Not because I think they’re funny! It’s not my fault, it just happens as a nervous reaction!
Honest, it’s a real thing.
It’s also a real thing to be so hopped up on “The Miserable Bitch Cocktail” that I hurt the people I love. Often times, I forget that my relationships are not unconditional and that they can be broken. People will only stick around for so long. And I’ve destroyed people (and relationships) by pushing them away and saying mean and hurtful things when I’ve been at my lowest of lows. My Wasbund used to say I saved the “Nice Jen” for strangers and people that I don’t even care about, and the “Horrible Jennifer” came out only for him.
He wasn’t wrong.
But it’s because it takes so much of my energy to be kind to the outside world that when I get to a safe place with someone I love and trust…I can let go and let my guard down. And sometimes, when I’m in the throes of depression, the “real” is not pretty. When I feel comfortable enough, to be honest, and let the full Jennifer show it comes with such a price, it’s a scary place. Make sense? I really want to say, “I am so comfortable with you, please take it as a compliment that I’m showing you this side of me!”
But it doesn’t ever look that way when I’m rolled up in a ball, sobbing or spewing out hateful, hurtful things because I’m in a dark place.
And it never feels like a compliment when I’m apologizing for my behavior and begging for forgiveness after the dust settles from the destruction I’ve caused for the hundredth time.
I never feel good about myself explaining again how I will be better next month, and it’s “just the pandemic” that’s making me so miserable. The guilt is overwhelming, and I wish it could stop.
Depression is destroying my life. My relationships. My self-esteem. And taking away my smile. I blame the pandemic and AS because it’s never been this bad. I feel good when I’m with my boys and better when talking to my Mom and Sister. Netflix makes me happy, and I find that when things are right, I am good. I’m sharing this because I want to help others, not because I need help if that makes sense. I’m doing OK. (Really, I promise!) I’m taking medication, and hopefully, things will continue to get better…but if you know someone alone right now, reach out to them. And hang on to the rope if they share…it’s a compliment that they trust you, I promise. xo j