Oh, goody. A depression post.
My depression posts are always the bomb.
But seriously, I’d like to think that they are at least educational. See, people always say that you can’t understand how someone else feels unless you are in their shoes. I’ve dealt with depression long enough to have heard all the reactions. Depression is met with frustration, resentment, disbelief, skepticism, pity, anger, disgust, and well-meaning but often hurtful and/or useless advice.
The truth is, I don’t know what to do anymore. You want to know why people commit suicide? Because they don’t know what else to do anymore — nothing seems to work, there are no answers, and the depression is only exacerbating an already difficult situation. I am admittedly suicidal right now, and have been for a couple of weeks. There. That’s out in the open now.
I started a new job a month ago, which is, in and of itself, a stressful situation. New environment, new people, being the new person trying to fit in and learn the job — these are all things that pretty much everyone would have a hard time with. These are called ‘stressful life events’ by psychiatrists. Marriage, divorce, death, moving, new job, new child — these are things that cause everyone stress. So in that, I’m like everyone else. But because of my depression and anxiety, these things are ramped up 1000%.
Let me tell you. If you think that anxiety is just excessive worrying or nervousness, then let me tell you exactly what I’m going through and you tell me if this is just normal anxiety.
I hate my job. Not the work, mind you — the work is work is work is work and whatever — I can do the work. But I work in a very small office — just me and three other guys. Primarily I work with two of them, and they could not be more different from each other, and me. One is a life-long sales guy, 40 years in the business and a nervous wreck. It takes him an hour (not exaggerating) to tell you something, and he gets frustrated when you ask questions, yelling at me to just “do what I fucking tell you to do! Don’t question me, just do what I ask!” The other runs around like the proverbial headless chicken and when things go wrong, looks for somewhere to lay the blame and finds me 10 times out of 10. When the fault is proven to not be mine, no apology is given. I am stuck between these two — let me give you a scenario:
“Ken,” the boss guy, let’s call him William, says, “I want you to enter this order EXACTLY as I have it on this page. EXACTLY.”
“Okay,” I say, “No problem.”
So, I go, and I enter the order EXACTLY as he says. And then I hand it to the other guy, let’s call him Bob.
“Jesus fucking Christ, Ken, you’re killing me!” Bob yells. “This is all fucked up. All this is wrong, and you’re screwing up my inventory!”
“But…” I stammer, frustration rising, eyes pooling with tears (I’ll get back to that in a minute) “William told me to…”
“You’ve got to check these in the system,” Bob explains. “These are all wrong, bro. You’re fucking killing me. If you don’t know something, ask me.”
“But I’m just doing what William told me to do,” I explain.
“Just fucking give it here, I’ll do it myself.”
This happens roughly five or six times a day. If I question William, he yells at me, thinking I’m being insubordinate. If I hand something to Bob that is wrong, he yells at me like I’m a dog that just shit on the carpet. I am wrong no matter what I do, and like I said, this happens several times a day.
Oh, and did I mention that Bob mutters misogynist shit at the computer screen all day?
“You stupid cunt, you’re killing me! You fucking bitch, you’re killing me! You fucking whore, you’re killing me!”
All day. Every day. This place is toxic.
Back to the teary eyes.
What is my anxiety like? I get headaches. Every day. I have had a headache nearly every day for a month or more. I literally tremble. My hands shake. My mouth dries up. I can hardly look at people. When I do try to talk to people, my eyes well up with tears. I can’t control it; it just happens.
How well do you think that goes over in a toxic machismo environment?
So quit, right? I mean, it’s not like it didn’t take me three months to find this job, and it’s not like I’m still two pay cheques away from being even close to caught up.
So, talk to them about it.
They made fun of me.
I’m not kidding.
So, suck it up, keep your head down, and something better will come along.
Sure. That’s the plan. It’s not like I have a choice. Meanwhile, I cry on my drive home, and try to push away the barrage of suicidal thoughts that are wearing me down with every day. I try to count all the wonderful things in my life (and there are many).
But the fear of losing all those wonderful things is enough to make me want to end things pre-emptively. On my terms.
I’m 42 years old. It won’t be long before I am unemployable. People talk about alternate sources of income like I could just start writing for a living. But I’m so depressed, I don’t even want to write. (And any long time readers of this blog can testify that my output has SEVERELY reduced. I used to write EVERY DAY.)
Depression is being 2 seconds away from bawling my eyes out all day every day.
Depression is not being able to smile — and people notice.
Depression is headaches and exhaustion and not being able to focus on anything. If I turn the TV on to watch something, I usually watch something for five minutes and then shut it off and try to find something else.
Depression is not wanting to be around anyone, even those you love. A couple of nights ago, I came home so upset and so at the end of my rope that I could hardly look Sarah in the face. I felt so close to death, that I feared looking at her and falling apart. I was ashamed at the thoughts going through my head.
It’s not just my job.
I’ve become increasingly isolated and misanthropic. Every time I leave the house these days, it seems I encounter the utter worst in humanity. People being cruel and mean to each other, people bullying each other, people taking advantage of one another. And that’s not even touching on the hideousness that is social media. If there is a supreme being, or if we were visited by a superior race, and they were to judge the human race by Facebook, I think they’d judge us as absolutely despicable creatures who deserve to be wiped out. We are a plague of locusts. We are a chamber of horrors. If I were a gun-toting American, I think I might just shoot up a shopping mall or something.
To steal a phrase, “If I had a rocket launcher, some son of a bitch would die.”
And sure, I guess everyone else out there encounters this. But I am so sensitive to it, already being in a state where I’d say at least 30% of the time, I want to kill myself because I don’t know how to live in this world. So for me, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t go on social media, because every time I come across some story about a woman being harassed on a subway, or some man being treated like a rapist simply because he’s got a Y chromosome, or someone being called a homophobe or a transphobe or a racist because they say something critical but intelligent that contradicts the status quo, I react. It makes me irrationally angry, because I can’t believe how bad this world, and humanity, fucking suck. We suck.
I mean, do I really need to paint a picture of how history is repeating itself vis a vis Nazi America?
Do I really need to paint a picture of how the radical left is adopting Orwellian techniques of thought control?
Do I really need to paint a picture of how people — individual people who you’ll come across every day — treat each other like shit, call each other names, throw tantrums, scream at their children, lie to each other and cheat each other?
People are rude and ignorant and mean-spirited, and I don’t understand it.
Every time I step out my door these days, I do so with great trepidation.
I don’t know how to explain to my daughter why she is being bullied at school. She’s only six years old. I’d like to tell her it gets better, but I don’t want to lie to her.
And so, every day — every day — I consider killing myself. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s a purely passing thought, no different than “I wonder what I should make for dinner tonight?”
Other times it plagues me all day, and those are the days when I have to fight back the tears so hard that I give myself a headache.
This is my life. Every day.
I’m not kidding. I am not exaggerating. I am not being melodramatic.
I grit my teeth all day, with a sick feeling in my stomach. I hate my job, but when I start to think of how I am going to extradite myself from this bad situation, that only gives me another thing to worry about.
So then suicide seems like a fine alternative.
I am filled with the regrets of a life full of mistakes, and when I think about how I can never fix them, I am slapped in the face with hopelessness and despair, and I think about killing myself.
This is not normal. This is not just being sad. This is not something I can get over. This is a plague, and it is not going away.
You want to know why people kill themselves?
Because the thoughts, the despair, the hopelessness plague them every day, until they just can’t fight it anymore.
I am exhausted.
Although I’d like my story to end happily ever after (after all, I have finally found true love, and isn’t that something worth living for?) I fear that one day, sooner or later, my cause of death will be self-inflicted.
Ask anyone I went to school with — I’m sure that I would have been voted Most Likely to Kill Himself.
I’m so tired. I just want to crawl in bed and never get up again.
If you think this is just about being sad, or angry, or socially awkward, then you aren’t listening. I feel like I am being haunted.
I need help.
No, really, I do. I need to be locked up on a Thorazine drip for my own safety, but then, who would pay the rent, the child support, buy groceries?
I need a vacation from life. I think mainly that is what suicide victims really want. They just want ALL THIS TO STOP.
We fantasize about a reality that can never be, and that realization that it can never be is so heartbreaking, so devastating, that we cannot go on. People talk about how they go through a loss — a death or other equally great loss — and they “can’t go on living.” That’s how it feels to be suicidal. You look at the world through shit-stained glasses, and you want it to be so much better — but it will never be, and so what’s the point?
I recently had a conversation with a friend about misanthropy. Misanthropists don’t really hate people, per se — they hate reality. They actually love people — they are just constantly disappointed by people. Ani Difranco said it best:
“You know you always disappoint me.
It’s kinda like our running joke & it’s really not funny.
I just want you to live up to the image of you I create.
I see you & I’m so unsatisfied.”
I look at the world and I am SO unsatisfied that it makes me weep.
This is my life. And it’s ending one moment at a time.
I am so fucking tired.
Here, have some Ani Difanco.