just lose yourself in your own mind, then go numb. then, let it all out.
– slime princess, adventure time s05e35
oddly enough, adventure time has been speaking to me lately. a lot of the thoughts finn and other characters have are surprisingly deep – and have a lot of meaning if taken in the right context. though what doesn’t, i suppose?
as previously talked about here, i struggle with some serious depression. it tends to come and go; i’ll have manic, or “normal” happy periods for anywhere from a few hours to a few months, followed by a span of time in which everything – and I mean everything – is a bottomless pit of despair. it’s hellish, and annoying beyond words. the only thing that helps is talking about it. it doesn’t matter to whom or what i talk to.. a blog, a dog, a stuffed animal, myself, Aki, my therapist; talking it out always seems to make things better. i think it helps me gain new perspective on what is troubling me, allowing me to show myself how much i blow things out of proportion, or see things in the wrong light. so, i’m starting on a mini-journey to document and work through my depression. i suppose this will count as the first post. (side note – i haven’t decided whether or not i will make a new blog for this – i don’t want to bog this blog down with sad stuff. more to come on that.)
at first i wasn’t sure if i wanted to do this publicly, and honestly, i’m still not. there’s a large stigma surrounding mental illness, and let’s face it – depression is mental illness, in its truest form. believe me when i say that these diaries, these entries, are not meant to grab for attention – they merely serve as an outlet for what i am feeling, and perhaps something i can look back on. something to remind myself how to defeat what plagues me when i’m at my darkest moment. i want to shed my fear of the stigma, and be able to cope effectively with my depression.
that being said, i’m writing this first entry because i can’t sleep. i can’t sleep, because my dreams have nothing to offer me but pain. dramatic, sure – but up until recently, my dreams were an escape. in my dreams, i didn’t have to worry about life, or anything. no stressing about my job, no stressing about my relationships, no stress. just fun! i could be playful, dreaming up whatever i wanted.
but running away from the problem never solves anything for anyone, and it appears my subconscious is well aware of that fact. instead of my usual happy, worry-free dreams, my problems have found a way to manifest themselves in my head. i wake up stressed, tired, irritable. i move through the day grumpy, on autopilot. snapping at people, losing control of my emotions. my mind is racing, sustained by coffee, tea, and a scarce amount of food – thinking about what makes me sad, what makes me upset, what evokes these ugly emotions in me. jealousy. envy. rage. abandonment. loneliness. emptiness. emotions that leave no room for what i should be focusing on. my life, my career, my relationships. maintaining my house. maintaining myself – my hygiene, my health. i forget to eat. i refuse to eat. i think about how badly i need to do laundry when i get home tonight, only to wither away on the couch after stepping through the door. i feel entirely unmotivated in everything i do. i can’t motivate myself to cook, to clean, to read, to write, to work, to play. i won’t. something in me refuses to take part in being.
and none of this is anyone else’s fault.
..which takes a lot out of me to say. i find myself blaming others, unable to see that i’m causing this for myself. it’s easy to blame others for your plight; it takes a lot to realize you are your own worst enemy. it takes even more to destroy that part of you, before you destroy yourself.
i find myself mostly blaming others for my relationship woes. being in a polyamorous relationship is not easy. seeing your partner with someone else takes a lot of trust, communication, and ability to resolve jealousy. that last one is really key – working through your jealousy is do or die in a poly situation. if you can’t find the source and reason for your jealousy, you are bound to be consumed by it. the same goes for envy. if not dealt with properly, it can be fatal to a poly relationship. i don’t know this first hand, but i am constantly in fear that i may – soon – if i can’t resolve what is troubling me.
my relationship with Aki is about two years young. we met back in oct ’11 through a mutual friend. we started “dating” shortly after.. and i basically became glued to her. i think it was about two months in when i was pretty much at her house constantly – cleaning, playing games, cooking dinner, whatever. i would make almost any excuse to be with her, to spend every ounce of my free time with her. in a word, i was clingy. well, honestly, i still am. our relationship has taken many forms since then – at least 3, i’d say. i was/am still young, still figuring out what works for me – plus, at that time i was literally just out of the closet to the whole world. everything was exciting.. and confusing.
i made some rookie mistakes early on in our relationship. i won’t go into detail, partly out of embarrassment, partly out of respect for privacy. i feel like the mistakes i made have been hovering over me ever since. i have tried to reconcile, to undo what had been said and the emotions i invoked; however, i feel like i have all but failed.
maybe dating girls is like riding a bicycle… like, if you mess up, you can get really hurt forever. or.. hurt someone you really care about.
– finn, adventure time s05e36
i wish that i could tell my past self how stupid i was going to be. teach myself then, what i know now. as they say, hindsight is 20/20 (which is a miracle, what with being blind in one eye. whats that, door’s over there? i’ll show myself out). while the past did not ruin our relationship, it has contributed to the ever-evolving connection between us.
the problem i find myself getting stuck on? watching someone else fill the spot i feel like i used to be in. feeling like i’m losing a connection with someone that was previously there, watching those emotions, that affection, go to someone else. but it’s not as if my world is completely devoid of affection. i know i am loved. i know that in the way that my relationship is with Aki, i am loved more than anyone else. and in the way that josh’s relationship is with Aki, he is loved more than anyone else. it’s something that has been brought up many times in fits of insecurity – who is your primary? am i? is he? the answer never changes, no matter how much i ask – both of you are. neither of us take the backseat – there’s plenty of room on all sides, especially since our relationships are of different forms that overlap in manageable ways.
all of that – all of what i just typed – is extremely hard for me to remember. no matter how many times it is reinforced, talked over, argued about – as soon as the walls go up, and the pit grows deeper, it is the first thing to leave my mind, and the hardest to get back.
and this brings us to the reason i can’t sleep. the reason my dreams betray me. i find myself consumed by the fear of loneliness. the fear of abandonment. in my dreams, i am pushed aside by Aki for josh – i am of low priority to her, seen only for hours at a time. requests for more time are merely laughed at and discarded. this, of course, is not the truth. most requests for time alone, or time as the three of us, are greeted with nothing but support. on the rare occasion that it won’t work, i can understand – not everything revolves around me, and other plans may have been made.
i still fear, though. i fear that my depression, my outbursts, and my emotions are driving her away. away from me, from spending time with me. i feel like the time spent without me is ever-increasing. every other thursday with josh. friday, saturday, sunday at josh’s. monday family night; bookended with her with josh – albeit in the same house most weeks, at least.
it’s change – that thing i’m oh-so-afraid of. this is not how things used to be, and is likely to be the way things are for the foreseeable future. i’m 22 – Aki is 30. i’m not looking to settle down, not looking to start a family, nor get married. on the other hand, these are things i feel Aki may want. maybe not immediately – but surely sooner than i will. i still have a lot of growing and learning to do before i’m ready for such commitment. i understand that she will seek out the things she wants, and she has every right to do so. perhaps she sees these things she wants in josh – who is old..er. thirty…six? (note to josh: please don’t hurt me if you’re actually younger than 36!) she may want to find that in someone who is more mature – someone who has already lived through their exploratory twenties, someone who is looking for the same commitment. he may be more willing, more able to meet her needs in ways i cannot.
i can feel the ramble coming on, so i think this may be a good place to take a break. i feel a bit better than when i started writing, which is the point of this. i’ll end with a small list of things i need to repeat to myself:
* you’re loved, no matter what
* despite what you think, you’re not being abandoned
* depression is only temporary
i look forward to writing these. whether or not i decide to seek formal treatment, i plan on writing as often as possible. maybe not 1700+ word entries like this one, but just check-ins. what i’m thinking, what i’m feeling, and how i’m coping.
i covet the day i can be rid of all this.