I think I’m a mean person, and it’s incredibly discouraging

Hoo, boy, this one’s gonna be a doozy…

I’ve said many times over that I believe in the inherent good of all people, myself included. Regardless of our individual approaches, we’re all working towards some sort of happiness. It’s a whole ‘nother conversation about what methods are “acceptable” and whatnot, but I digress…

Inherently, I’m good, like I believe everyone on this earth is. As I’ve gone through these past few weeks, though, I’ve gotten to wondering: “is my inherent good making me outwardly good?” I’ve had proof the last few weeks to argue against that point. And I hate it. I’m sorry, but I do. There’s no getting around that fact.

I have clinical depression and anxiety, which means my mind and the conclusions it comes to are a bit different from those people who don’t have either illness. Long ago I accepted the fact that these mental illnesses will not only change the way I view myself, but also change the way I view others and their actions and words towards me. I dwell on things, I take things personally, I analyze every little detail of every little action, and, nine times out of 10, I come to bad conclusions. Whether they’re simply flawed in logic or straight-up insane conclusions to jump to, my mind tells me to, regardless.

So, in response to these terrible things my mind is telling me might happen, or in response to things I take personally and then WAY out of proportion, my wonky mind, despite being the reason I reached these conclusions in the first place, tries to pat me on the back and say “Don’t worry, Ryan, I’ll help you deal with this!”

“No!” my logical mind says. “Absolutely not, your ridiculous overthinking and fear-mongering is what got me to this mental state in the first place! I’ll deal with this logically, calmly, and with a level-head.”

Then my emotionally-overridden mind takes over. It pins me to a wall with nails. “I don’t think so, logic. We’re dealing with this MY way. Over-emotionally, overthinking, fearfully dealing with it.” And so it begins.

I’m mean to people.

I snap at them, I ignore them out of spite, I assume every little action is something in spite against me, I try to make my problems their problems, I scowl at them behind their backs, cut and dry, I’m a straight-up jerk to them, all to cope with my own messed-up way of thinking. So, I suppose that makes me selfish, as well. Great.

I won’t hide behind my depression and anxiety for all of this here – maybe this is just part of my personality, as well. I’d like to think not, because before either one of these illnesses manifested itself in me, I was actually a very pleasant person to be around. Regardless, even if I can attribute all of my “meanness” to my depression and anxiety, that isn’t an excuse.

I’m being 100% honest when I say it feels like these illnesses are pinning me against a wall with nails, telling my to deal with personal problems in unsavory ways. There are things I could do to deal with that, but even if there weren’t, what does it matter? I can certainly talk the talk –  I can tell you to be good to others, love yourself, understand you’re only human. But if I can’t walk the walk, what really matters, what good is it? I’ll say you should to be nice to an individual, and maybe the next day I go and snap at someone else for something that isn’t even their fault. I’ll say you should always be accepting of someone regardless of personal differences, but then later on put down someone’s viewpoint simply because it doesn’t line up with my own.

My point is this – I don’t think I’m a nice person. I can spout nice things left and right, and I can passionately believe them in my head and heart, but if I can’t apply what I “passionately believe” to my actions and attitude towards others, what good is it? It isn’t any good, I’ve found.

Maybe I’m inherently good. But I’m not good. I’m not sure I can convince myself otherwise.

– Ryan

 

“Why are you so sad?”

Spoiler alert: I’m depressed, and probably for no reason.

One seemingly surefire way of determining whether or not someone suffers from depression is to figure out the root of the depressive thoughts. While depression can most certainly be amplified in times of distress, very rarely does it come about solely from outside factors, like events or people. So, if you’re a psychiatrist who has someone walk up to you and say, “My wife of 17 years left me,” or “I didn’t get the position I interviewed for that I really wanted,” they’re probably down in the dumps (understandably). However, if they follow that up with, “I think I have depression,” that’s where the scrutiny comes in.

Again, when bad things happen, we oftentimes feel bad. It’s simply human nature to react accordingly to things that happen to or around us. But clinical depression doesn’t rely on outside events to rear its ugly head – it’s going to make itself known at even good points in your life.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was having a decent week, and that wasn’t a lie. It still isn’t – nothing traumatic or ridiculously bad has happened to me lately. But this past week, my depression has been overwhelming me to no end. I’m mopey, I’m pushy, I’m antisocial and bitter and honestly, straight up pissed sometimes. What am I pissed at? Nothing. Nothing at all. There’s just some seething rage permeating a hundred of my thoughts, but for no reason.

I was raised to never say “I hate [this],” unless I truly meant it. To this day, I still scarcely use the phrase, but I can say with full certainty that I hate this. I hate feeling this way, I hate that other people also feel this way, I hate that depressive thinking is brought on by absolutely nothing at all, with next to no warning signs as to when it’s going to strike.

I understand what it’s like when other people suffer from this, so I try to encourage people in their own battles against depression where and when I can. But even so, there are times when I break, and discouragement clouds my every thought.

I feel like breaking. And I feel like breaking only because my depression says I should, regardless of who’s out there looking out for me.

Try and stay strong.

  • Ryan

P.S. I know this post was a massive downer, and I’m sorry for that, it’s just that….bleeerrrggh. -_-

Anxiety over everything

Anxiety takes what good there is in life and overrules it. It is a breath never released, a clenching feeling in the deepest pits of your stomach. It takes a match and lights fire to your insides, a raging fire that, when quenched, will leave nothing but ash and the memory of what tortured you so.

Anxiety is the buckle in your knees at any given moment, the rug that threatens to be swept out from underneath your feet. The unlocked front door, your safe that should be locked, swung open for all to take as they please. All that you value, all that you love, out in the open, vulnerable. The butterflies in your stomach, the shivers down your spine, the cat who has your tongue.

Anxiety is the splinter in your finger, a source of pain that so many say is easy to remove, but the tweezers are nowhere to be found. Anxiety is a fire fed by fuel, all we need to do is stop feeding it to stop it. But that fuel is fear and desperation, that which we have in abundance, and into the fire it goes.

Anxiety is the bully at school we avoid – if we don’t acknowledge him, he can’t hurt us. But others see our so-called cowardice, instead of facing our fears, we run from them. Other people have fears too, we’re told. Ours aren’t any worse than theirs, we’re told. Shame on us for worrying about these mundane things, we’re told. More fuel for the fire.
Anxiety is the ghost of the dark room, the unknown spirit that could lurk around the next corner. Anxiety’s favorite words. Could. Might. Possibly. Probably. Definitely. It’s almost always definitely.

Anxiety is the worst outcome of any possible situation; whatever parallel universe exists to bring us the most pain and despair. It is the pickpocket of your happiness, your contentment, threatening to strike even as you walk through wonderland.

Anxiety has no method to its madness – it runs rampant through our consciousness, no end goal in mind, but causing destruction nonetheless. It is a boulder rolling down a hill – no set path, but crushing whatever lies in front of it.

Anxiety wants us to hate ourselves for existing. It wants us to feel like we shouldn’t exist. But we do exist, and for that reason, we’re already one step ahead of it.

Stay strong.

  • Ryan

 

 

 

A Day with Depression

Morning. Alarm goes off. Hit the snooze button – 30 more minutes won’t kill me.

Alarm goes off again. I should probably get up now if I want to be productive today, actually do something other than the bare minimum: shower, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. I should get up.

Hit the snooze button – 30 more minutes won’t kill me.

Repeat 3-4 times per day. Finally get up, just in time to get ready for work and make it there on time. Take longer than I should in the shower because I’m too busy worrying about anything that could go wrong today. Or already has gone wrong. Have I already screwed up something? “Yes,” my mind says. “Probably.”

Get dressed, drive to work. Radio is on, but it doesn’t matter. My own thoughts are much louder. My boss will probably get mad at me for that thing I did yesterday. My hair looks stupid. Did I take out my trash? Work is going to drag on today. I need more coffee. No, coffee won’t fix this.

Walk into work. My co-workers probably don’t want me here. They’d prefer working with someone “happier.” More talkative. Energetic. Outgoing. I’m none of those things. I smile and say hello, they smile and say hello back. Friendly greetings, bright smiles. How nice of them to put on a show for my sake.

Start working. Work sometimes distracts me long enough that I forget how miserable I am at points. It’s not the job making me miserable – I like the job. It’s the person performing it. I make myself miserable, because what reason do I have to let myself be happy? What have I done to earn that?

A customer is a jerk. Don’t take it personally, Ryan, they would have gotten mad at anyone, you just happened to be there. They probably just had a bad day. Don’t take it personally. Don’t take it personally.

Dwell on it. Make the situation worse by wondering what I could have done to prevent it. Probably nothing – I’m not skillful or smart enough to make good decisions. Somebody else would have handled that better. I screwed up, didn’t I? Yeah, I must have screwed up.

Get through the rest of work. Drive home, mind slightly calmed because I have a whole (at least) 12 hours before I have to deal with life again. But not fully calmed. Never fully calmed.

Get home. Eat. Man, I wish I knew how to cook. I can’t make anything but the bare essentials when it comes to food – no woman is going to find that attractive. No woman would find me attractive anyway. I’m probably going to eat and just get fat. No, I’m probably already fat.

Change into comfier clothes. Headphones in, music up. Music way, way up. If I can’t get these thoughts out of my head, then I’ll flush them out with music. It even works for a bit. A bit.

Depressing song comes on. I could skip it, but I don’t. I listen to it. People have it so much worse than me, yet here I am sulking in my room. I should be ashamed of myself. I already am ashamed of myself. “Not ashamed enough,” my mind says.

It’s getting late. I should go to bed if I want to get up at a reasonable time tomorrow. But. The sooner I go to bed, the sooner my mind will reach tomorrow. The dreaded tomorrrow, with all of its worries and fears and insecurities. 30 more minutes awake won’t kill me. Or an hour more. Or two. I’ll keep distracting myself from my own mind that way. That’s good, right?

Late night, definitely A.M. I suppose I should get to bed.

Morning. Alarm goes off. Hit the snooze button – 30 more minutes won’t kill me.
——-

Just one of those days. One of those many days. But I stay strong and soldier on. Depression is a plague, a virus, an intruder, a locust, a storm, a dictator. All of these things inside my own mind. But I don’t let it define me.

Don’t let it define you either. You are so much more than that. You have so much to offer. Remember that, like I do, even on the hard days.

– Ryan