Believe it or not, I try to be rather hopeful when I express things on this blog. It is my better self. It is my desire and wants and needs expressed in words. But you know I struggle. I do mention that. The pain. Fatigue. Cognitive impairments. With work. And with depression.
Depression is something that has haunted me since I really manifested fibromyalgia. Whenever I really have to cope with the impact of pain it rears its head. So when I was younger I went through a pretty bad bout of it when it came to coping with FM. And it seemed to diminish. Only to raise up again with chronic daily migraines. And it hasn’t subsided since, since neither has the pain or my struggles to cope with this additional pain.
When I am optimistic this is what I think to do about depression: Things to consider for depression
And this is the reasons I hid my depression for as long as I did, for really, as long as I possibly could: 6 reasons I masked my depression for years
Two suicide attempts in I can hardly deny it to anyone, least of all myself. I am on Abilify now which takes away my sudden abrupt plummets in mood that generally lead to suicidal intent. Yet there is still suicidal ideation. Still thoughts of worthlessness. Still hopelessness. Still this idea everything would be resolved neatly with my demise. Still this overwhelming feeling I get sometimes when I think I just can’t handle things like working. All the pain and suffering it causes. It gives me anxiety in the morning just knowing about the pain I will endure. Never had anxiety until now and I do not enjoy the experience.
The fatigue is something rarely talked about. We talk about the sadness. The numbness. The disinterest in things we enjoyed. The isolation and distance we feel. The thoughts and longing for death. But this immense fatigue that grips you isn’t much talked about. Like your body weighs a ton and it takes too much effort to move. I already have fatigue from chronic migraines and FM and this addition is profound. I feel so tired all the time. I have to crash every day on the couch from just… existing. I am exhausted every moment of the day.
The lack of motivation is another. Because of the fatigue and the disinterest in activities, there is this lack of drive to do things and this lack of pleasure in having done them. Like the reward is gone, whatever reward is gained from doing said activity well is poofed out. It is do it, because you should, because you must. And you just lack the energy to do it so you procrastinate, push it off, sleep instead.
It isn’t fair that I feel cognitively not there was well. I have cognitive issues with migraines and FM… I hardly need this foggy mental fatigue settling in as well.
Then you wonder, what does it matter? Nothing really matters anymore.
But I have good days and bad days. Bad weeks and good weeks. On good weeks I just think I can get through the other side by doing the work and seeing my psychologist, and staying on my med obviously. On bad weeks the physical pain drives me to distraction pushing my depression more and more and I have to fight my brain every damn day.
Pain is the most tangible part of my reality. It is as real to me as my five senses. There at every moment of existence. There to be thought through, around, over… but always a distinct presence. And how can one not suffer from that? How can one not want to suffer less? And how can my mind not by twisted by it? The pain is more real to me than people telling me it might end one day. I have no concept of what that means. Tell me I will suffer less. Tell me I can do that and I will want to believe you. But don’t tell me something my reality doesn’t even understand.
And on a good day, I believe I can decrease my suffering. And on a bad day, I believe it is hopeless and always has been because society doesn’t care about my suffering. And never will. On a good day, I believe if I suffer less I can cope better. On a bad day, I believe people just want me to pretend I am suffering less so they can force me to endure the pain more. Be more ‘functional’. And on bad days I think they are so blind to suffering they simply do not care and will try to force me to be functional. As it always is. And I get hopeless. And suicidal intent is my depressions answer to being forced to being functional.
I am in a pattern on repeat and I know how to stop it and manage my depression and pain better, but it requires other people. Other people that understand I cannot work. Otherwise, this pattern of going on leave, returning to work, being non-functional, getting severely stressed by the pain, and then depressed with the failure to manage the pain and work and then the depression becoming severe and dangerous… with repeat, until it doesn’t. I am depressed and I am in pain, you add in work and I cannot manage either. It increases suffering and pain exponentially. Until I mentally just give up. Each time I push myself to succeed, each time I fail and each time I feel worse as a person. I know what I need but… life isn’t about what you need, it is about what others think you need and about their bottom line and about sufficient evidence.
I am glad I am on the Abilify. I fear what the case would be without it. Work has been difficult lately, to say the least. But I am appealing my long-term leave. And I hope people will understand mental illness is a significant factor in chronic illness and managing chronic pain. Untreated pain is dangerous all by itself, add in depression and that is some significant risk factors there.
And I am not ashamed to say I have a mental illness now. Not when I am here and I could easily not have been here. Depression is a thought away from one action that can’t be taken back. And it isn’t to say I don’t fight this and treat this and do all I can about living with this illness. Because I do. However, I struggle a lot sometimes. And this is one of those sometimes. I hold on for as long as I can when I am working but the pain gets the best of me and the depression gets out of control. It peaks. I admit it at least, this time and that is at least a step in the right direction.