Dec. 18, 2022

Demystification

So, hi.

I have completely forgotten about the online diary, I think it will do me good to write a little bit about the last few days. Or just more in general.

So, a couple of days ago, I felt really really really bad. I had a random fight with my girlfriend, we usually fight about the little annoying stuff since we generally get along really well. Before that I had a fight with my best friend, who has already before made it clear to me that it's very painful when I just "disappear". I have my periods of disappearing, when my focus goes elsewhere (usually another person) and I am not as present as I usually am, so the difference is obvious and painful for her. And not only for her, but this other friend I have, who I met at university. And she hasn't been answering my message for a while, our deal was, or I thought it was, that she calls when she feels like she can. She is depressed and anxious and there's been something wrong happening with our relationship for years but she hasn't mentioned it once during that time. She just kept to herself until the relationship fell apart. I never thought we were so deep in it, I thought it salvageable. By this point she was convinced I did not care about her, because of my disappearing periods.

Anyway, there was this day, I had my list of things to do, it was raining. I usually just postpone if I encounter a circumstance that is not really comfortable, for example, I would say: recycling isn't really that necessary in this moment, I can leave the bottles in the car and I can do it tomorrow. In my country there aren't a lot of like bins for recycling paper, cans, plastic, glass, whatevers, so you have to do it very purposefully. And I did that. I was like, it is something I planned, I don't want to leave it for tomorrow, like, clear tomorrow. Let tomorrow be free. So I also went grocery shopping even though it could be postponed for tomorrow morning, I did that too, even though I was wet by this point. I was kinda proud of myself for sticking through it, not doing the easy giving-up thing.

That night I got into a fight, and I cried so much because all of these things with my girlfriend, with my best friend, the depressed friend who means a lot to me, it all came together and I basically snapped. It was too much for me. I had a feeling like I was giving it all to them, trying to show them love, and care and appreciation, and courage and give them my time, energy, love, and somehow all of them felt lacking. Mostly friends. I talked with them so much, I got sick of talking, of admitting my faults, my errors, proving that I care, that I love, being put in the interrogation seat it sometimes felt like, all of it. Fuck you I thought. You'll see what it's like when I'm really not present. When I really don't care about you.

I can't even begin to describe how I felt. This dynamic has been present in all of my important relationships since I started having important relationships. It's all I've known.

When I was depressed sometimes the only thing I did for the whole day was to be present for some of them. It was my one motivation. I would be lying around, trying to force myself to do something, then I would get a message — someone needed me. And I was off. I felt energetic, like my presence had meaning. It would mostly end up being too time-consuming, since I never learned to say no, since I really did care, since I was doing it to prove my worth to myself. Soon, even if I wanted to start doing something for myself, like dedicate my time toward breaking my career blocks, art blocks, any kinds of blocks, I would end up trying to be there for others instead. And I started resenting myself, resenting them. Of course there was enough time for everything, objectively. Subjectively, most of my time went on others. It's how it felt. I had many useless hours, meaning many wasted hours when I was trying to force myself to do things. I failed consistently. The only motivation strong enough was to be there for others. So I ended up doing mostly that, during my active hours.

So it was devastating for me, baffling, annoying, hurting, that everyone felt like I am withholding my time and presence from them, when it's not how I felt. Everyone was so busy with their real life problems, no one seemed to have enough time, or understanding for me. Sometimes I feel it is difficult to offer understanding to depressed people. I honestly admire people who can do that. It feels so easy — and kind of justified — to just judge them. Say, why don't you want to do this? Why don't you want to do that? And put the blame on people who have already overburdened themselves with blame, self-hate, shame, guilt, all of it in abundance. The irony is that, this blame really does belong somewhat to the depressed person. It's the most difficult thing to fully accept and after accepting it to be ready to pick yourself up and go on — the fact that your life is your responsibility.

Anyway. This is going nowhere.

I will go to therapy tomorrow to talk about my depressed friend. I have no idea how to approach her. We did have a long conversation, talking about our relationship and I'm grateful for it, no matter how much energy and time and patience it consumed. We're in the middle ground now. She said that, even though the conversation worsened her state a bit for a while, because it was painful, she said it also helped her to think. I feel like this conversation was a step out of her comfort zone, meaning it was painful for her and yet she did it. She stuck through it. And I am proud of her for that, I am proud of myself because it wasn't easy for me either. That night I cried for hours I felt sick of it all so much so, that I didn't even know why I bother. For a moment I regretted my time and energy spent on this conversation. But I don't want to think like that. It is difficult, yes, but it's worth it, no matter the outcome. I felt like she stepped out of her comfort zone, and I respect that. Because I know how small and suffocating the comfort zone can get. It's like depression brings you to a low level of being able to handle difficult emotions, so you end up escaping them. Not getting into situations that may bring you pain. You just avoid everything altogether, you end up avoiding life. The same when anxiousness brings you to avoiding any possible stress.

I know this is simplified. I know it doesn't sound respectful of all the pain the experience entails. I don't even know all of it. There are so many different experiences of it, every one difficult in its own way.

But I know this, I know that at one point, when I was ready, the simplification, the demystification of my "problems" was as refreshing as it was painful. Before it seemed rude, heartless, I felt misunderstood and awful, it always pushed me deeper within when I was met with simplifications of my condition. But at this point it was like, tell me more, it just might start to seem like it can be handled.

When it is mystified — you can't handle it.

Where can one find a sword that cuts down fog?

So — demystify. It's the best thing I've learnt. It will mean pain, and a lot of it, it will mean facing your responsibility, realizing where your errors are, where you can do more for yourself. You'll be forced to admit that, yes, my body does feel bad because I am not sleeping well, and I am not sleeping well because I am not eating well, and I am not moving or exercising. And me not caring about my body, me putting it in this awful condition of course makes me not feel well too emotionally. If I drink water I do feel better. Can I handle the implications? Demystify has become my key word.

It's what makes me ask dozens of questions to people, so that we're clear and "on the same page". So that we can feel understood. I used to not ask questions I anticipated would make others feel bad or weird. But no. It's better to know, or get close to getting a sense, than to mystify.

So yes. Anyway. I wish me luck with my therapist and my friend.

Written by Joy

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