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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Depression Hurts - Especially the Self-Inflicted Kind

April 17, 2014

Hey, everybody.  I know that this is the time of week that I am supposed to be filming a video blog, but for some reason, I just don't feel like doing one today. 

Truth be told...these past few days, I haven't really had the energy to do much of anything.  And, this in itself kind of makes me feel very disappointed in myself because it's been a really long time since I felt this way.

However, I suppose that every single one of us in the world is entitled to a rough spell every now and then.  I suppose today just happens to be mine.  And, well, I decided that for this week's diary entry, I would talk a little bit about what's been bothering me without going into a whole lot of detail.

Well, actually, scratch that.  I did say that this would be the most honest blog entry that I have ever written because of the title of it.  And sometimes, honesty can be brutal.  Trust me, I've been on the giving end as well as the receiving end of it all.  I know all about honesty.

And, because I know about honesty...I have to come clean about a couple of things.

You know, when I first started this blog, I started off talking about good things.  And for the most part I really do want to continue talking about good things.

I don't know whether it's the wacky weather we've had lately, or the migraine headaches that I have had off and on for the past few months, or the fact that I've been trying to do too much at one time, but whatever the reason, I've found it difficult to try and stay positive about things.

Whenever people meet me, and get to know me, they always say that they are impressed by my sharp memory.  I'll readily admit that I do remember most things that other people have forgotten, but that's more along the lines of long-term memory...not short-term.  I joke that I can remember what I did 20 years ago, but not 20 minutes ago. 

Now, in many ways, I can see how that memory can be a blessing.  It certainly helped me craft over 1,000 different entries in this very blog.  But having a good memory has also been a very big curse, because as one remembers the good, one can also remember the bad. 

For whatever reason, I can't seem to stop thinking about the bad...and how most of those bad memories come from the depression and social anxiety that I have faced practically my whole life and still face today. 

Undiagnosed depression and social anxiety, might I add.

Of course, if I've never been diagnosed as having either one, how is it that I can jump to the conclusion that I have either one?  Well, I always say that we know ourselves better than anyone else could.  And, trust me...when one feels that something isn't right, they know.

It's been a while since I have had feelings like this...but lately I've been feeling exactly that.  And, for the life of me, I don't know why.

I guess the reason why I'm feeling this way is because of a few things that have been happening lately...and how separately they mean no big deal, but together cause me to really reflect on who I really am as a person and make me wonder if I'm somehow doing something wrong.

Now, I have no idea if this event is even going to go on as planned (I haven't heard anything about it in recent weeks), but as it stands, there's supposedly some reunion of our elementary school classmates that is set to take place this summer.  And admittedly, I was of the mindset that it would be a lot of fun, and that I would have a good time at the reunion.  I've said before that I would NEVER want to attend a high school reunion (and I still maintain that point of view), but I would be willing to give my elementary school classmates a chance.

But as we get closer to the day, I'm beginning to have a change of heart. 

Not that it really has anything to do with likes or dislikes - at least not on my end.  So much time has passed since we graduated elementary school that I would hope most of us are willing to wipe the slate clean. 

But I don't know if it's insecurity or what have you, but I'm a little bit apprehensive about seeing some of these people feeling as though that I don't measure up to them, and that no matter how hard I try, I still won't.

It is absolutely ridiculous for me to feel this way about myself (and believe me, my brain has told me this many times).  Unfortunately, my heart seems to have full control over my whole body...and my heart kind of tells me to proceed with caution in everything I do.  I tell you, some days, I wish I could just tell my heart to shut up, but it's a double edged sword because if I do tell my heart to stop, well...I end up dead.  Oh the conundrum!

I mean, don't get me wrong.  I love the fact that my friends and classmates have mostly found love with someone else, have settled down in a place they love, have their dream jobs, and have little ones of their own.  I really am very happy for them, and I'm sure that if this reunion goes off without a hitch, I'm sure that I'll see lots of pictures and hear lots of stories about their lives.

I guess the only thing that bothers me is the fact that I feel as though I have nothing to share with them in return (though at the very least, I'll own up to the fact that this is largely my own doing).

I don't have a family of my own.  I haven't even really had much of a significant relationship with anybody for more than a few months at a time.  Any time things have gotten to the serious point, I was always the one to run away (one confession that I'm making for the first time ever).  I'm currently living with family members - and that's something else that I've never revealed on this blog until now because of the fact that I was (and am to some extent) ashamed of it.  Before you make judgments though, I am definitely not a freeloader.  I pay my way in a variety of different ways.  I just happen to live in a place where affordable rent is almost as hard to find as a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow.  That's no excuse either.  It's the way of the world these days.  I honestly don't know how some people do it.

(Seriously, any of you single people who are living alone...please, let me know how you do it!  I'm clueless!)

And, I mean, yeah...I guess I do have a full-time job (something that is also extremely hard to find but I somehow managed to get one), but is it something that I really get a whole lot of personal satisfaction in?  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  It really all depends on when you ask me.

I can only speculate that the reason why I am feeling so down on myself when all arguments state that I really shouldn't is probably attributed to the one thing that I am about to reveal that is the most honest (much to my chagrin) statement about myself that I will ever make.

I tend to beat myself up.  A lot.  And while I hate doing it, I don't know how to stop.

I think it all stemmed back to those days in which I was in elementary school and how some of the more jerky kids (and that evil, crazy bully of a first grade teacher) in my class kept teasing me, making fun of me, humiliating me, and essentially squeezing out any positive thoughts still inside of me.  I guess somewhere along the line, I came to the conclusion that if I somehow managed to insult myself before the other kids could get a chance to, that it wouldn't hurt as much.  Whenever people tried to give me positive reinforcement, I would always reject it because I always doubted their sincerity.

Even now, I really have an extremely difficult time accepting compliments and kudos.  At best, I act humble about it.  At worst, I think they're being sarcastic and that they're actually poking fun at my achievement.

Again, not the most normal reaction...but for someone who knowingly went through symptoms of depression and social anxiety, it kind of makes sense.  At least those of you who may have had symptoms of those can understand what I am trying to say here.

I will say that when I was a child, this defense mechanism worked for a little while.  It got me through some of the worst moments that I experienced as a child.  Problem is that I never stopped.  Whenever I goof up at work, or whenever I say something I shouldn't, or do something that I wish I hadn't, I am always taking it out on myself way more than anyone else I know. 

I want to change that.  But again, when one is used to that type of reaction for so long, how does one deprogram a brain to take an entirely different set of commands whatsoever?  And, I honestly believe that this has been one of the big factors behind why I have struggled (and still struggle) with figuring out who I am, and more importantly, why I seem to be in some form of arrested development.  It also doesn't make it any easier when people who don't understand depression tell you things like "CHEER UP" in a misguided effort to make you feel better.

News flash.  It very seldom works - if ever.

But when so many things go through your mind at once, you sometimes lose your sense of who you really are.  For instance, if I'm sitting at a lunchroom table, and people actually grab chairs from your table to sit with their friends, the logical side of me says that it's nothing personal, but the illogical side wonders if I did anything to alienate these people.  It's a horrible feeling to have, and again, I wish I didn't have these feelings. 

I just haven't figured out how to turn them off.

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