to finish and to start

all of my words until now are important background i guess.

but this is all you need to know to understand this blog.

  • i have terrible refractory depression and sometimes it is basically unbearable but i'm on my way to feeling better.
  • this blog won't be about my sadness.  i've already gone through that, and i can't really think of any real reason to keep churning out metaphors for misery.
  • this is about the little pieces of wisdom that make sadness easier, and trying to love everyone.
  • i promised my friends i would try to make it back to myself and the person i used to be.  for the past year i've been using all of my cognitive resources to get myself out of bed, or to leave the house, or something which is finewhatever considering circumstances, but now i need to get it together. 
depression acts like it is this impenetrable darkness and it feels like that too, and so the words that people spend hours stringing together to make someone feel better often don't work and from then on there is this horrible billowing idea that nothing helps and you will never be able to reach this person you love so much who is so far away -

there are things that help.  there are lots of things that don't.  
there are small little wisps of wisdom or love or light that somehow seem to make their way to me some times.  
they don't make depression or despair go away or light forever. they don't pull anyone out of their darkest selves, but they are little flares to remind you there is something else somewhere, something to hold on to.  and so i'mma start keeping track of what these things are.
i just want my friends to know that i love them and everything they are and everything they do.  and this is mostly just for me; so i can keep track and keep trying and keep going to trying to wander my way back to being some kind of wonderful person.

i also really don't expect people to read these things.  mostly because blogs are boring.  but that doesn't really matter to me.  this is the tree that falls in the forest with no one around, and there is a sound.

things i don't necessarily remember

This blog was never really about redemption and recovery or anything, but I guess it has to be when you recover?

Most of my posts are from 3+ years ago and are about what it is like to be depressed.  This post is what it is like to not be depressed.

Also I use capital letters now.  It's a gift to my brother, who cares about things like capitalizing letters.

Anyways, I had deleted (read: made private) almost everything I have written because it all felt a bit performative, y'know? I don't really know why, but it was important for me to be quiet for a bit. I think it helped.  But then I posted it again, for no real reason except having some sort of accessible history of my life seemed kinda... nice.

I've probably learned a lot, but there are a lot of things about life that I need to master.  Lifelong learning and all that.  But writing is still an important outlet for me: I have to be careful with it (which is not really something anyone tells you when they pat you on the back for being open), but sometimes it really can help.  Not because I'm being brave or vulnerable or anything (maybe I am, but I've never really felt that way) - if anything, writing before now exacerbated a lot of my insecurities.  But it is a good record to have.  It's good to write these things mostly because I can then read these things and look for patterns, and look for places where I haven't really been myself.

I think the best things I write are my poems, not because they are good but because I think they are good and it doesn't really matter to me if anyone else thinks that.  That sounds untrue but it actually is true.  I like writing poems that I fall in love with, and other people usually don't like those ones, and that's pretty okay.

Anyways.  I feel so much better now.  Clinically, medically, socially, academically, everythingly.
So much so that there are things I don't even remember.  Like these.

  • I do not remember what it feels like to be depressed. 
                  People say sometimes I will be a good clinical psychologist because I know how it feels. I don't really.  The only think I know is just how much I don't know?  For one thing, depression/mental illness is a pretty substantially different experience for everyone.  There are different, sometimes opposite, symptoms - some people can't sleep and some people can't stop sleeping.  Not to mention every symptom is this strange living relationship between you and your body and also the world (?) that everyone handles and manages differently.  

                I imagine there are things that I know that other people might not.  But those are not secrets, really? They are just tiny facts that bring enormous relief when they are articulated.  But really, I don't remember the feeling? I can read about it in my dark little poems, but I don't remember why I felt like that, or how heavy it felt - it is something I can't reach because it's so far away.  I am very grateful for this.  It might bring hope to the people who think having refractory (treatment resistant) depression means they will never be okay.  It also might not.  If I was depressed, I probably wouldn't be reading blogs about people who aren't depressed.  etc. 
  • I do not remember how to cry when a toothpick breaks or I can't find my hairbrush.
                This is... also probably a good thing?

  • I do not remember how to think about suicide.
                Thinking about death used to come pretty automatically to me.  I would get little flashes of suicidal ideas, even for years after I started to feel better.  Every visit to a subway station would have a brief flicker of darkness, no matter how happy I was feeling? That was strange.  It can happen with automatic thoughts too - things like 'ugh I hate myself' or 'fuckkkkkk' every time I remember a time when I was a terrible embarrassment.  These still happen sometimes, when I'm not doing well - they kind of ding and dong like steely alarm bells that jerk me into realizing I gotta step up my self-care game.  

                (This is one of those things where therapy really helps.  I had to retrain my brain.  I had to do a mindfulness exercise every time this happened.  After a few months it went away.  I still find that hard to believe.)

I do remember the friends.

Look at that smile! Look how happy I am capable of being!

I remember the friends.  Holy hell I have good friends.  My 23rd year of life is entirely thanks to Liz, who lived with me in Ottawa and is the only reason I got a job, started getting out of bed, and got my life together.  Melissa was my entire social life in Toronto.  Lauren had the unique capacity to make me laugh even when I was depressed. Shauna was/is always there.  Erin was/is always there.  Evan was/is always there. Kevin has my back.  Rebstu is a go girl.  Al Stenty is a go girl.  Mitchell is the reason I have confidence.  Rachael was critical to Corner Brook survival.  Aria is a go girl.  My brother and sister mean so much to me.  Andrew would rescue me in Toronto.  David will always call and always check in.  Also... Nessie.

Really, my friends are just a bunch of people who care, and that is very much the reason I am alive a
nd able to leave my bed and live a normal life.  That is something I very much remember.

Anyways, I don't know anything and will continue to not know anything and still write about it, if that's okay.

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