I was trying to stop crying. But that just made it all worse. God, trying to cry quietly just sucks.
Even when I’m doing things I like (theatre, voice acting), there’s still biding shadows in the back of my mind. I can rather forget that they’re there. I can even get so that I forget what it’s like and end up criticizing other anxiety-ridden depressives like a normal, non-messed up person. The thing I can’t forget, ever, is that stress really brings on the bad brain.
When I’m okay it just pisses me off because it kills so much of my time and energy. On an okay bout like this one, I lose maybe a day. But I’ve lost months if not years barely able to get out of bed.
I’ve got *so much* that I want and need to get done that laying about, staring off into space ends up feeling like a cosmic insult I’m giving myself, after all the other abuse I’ve already laid on me.
Everything I’m good at, everything I want more of, is totally crippled – I can’t think creatively, I can’t tune into good art or other people’s feelings. Every effort feels hobbled; productivity slows way down, assuming I can get anything done at all. And I feel like every single thought has a giant boulder that it has to go around in order to come together in the real world.
There’s no real reason to tread all this ground – Allie Brosh already did the job spot on. I mean, the line “No, see, I don’t necessarily want to KILL myself…I just want to become dead somehow” is perfect (and in context, hugely funny). But maybe only folks who know what depression is like can get that, and everyone who doesn’t know it should count their damned blessings.
What’s on my mind is two things: The difficulty of trying to build a life at the same time that stress triggers anxiety and depression. As well as the frustration and pain that comes when a bad episode gets written off as angst, to say nothing of being accused of attention whoring while getting slapped around by self-hatred.
Whatever I do with my life, no matter where I go or what company I keep, this disorder hangs around. If I’ve got an episode going then all of my measurements for situations between people are completely distorted. Clear thoughts are almost impossible, and even when I think I’ve got one, I rarely actually do.
After decades of measuring myself and whatever I create, all I can say is… I dunno. Am I good at anything? I dunno. Am I smart? I dunno. Am I talented? I dunno. Is what I made any good? I don’t know. I can only go by what other people say because when I rely on my native judgment, folks and I regularly part ways.
Can there be more frustrating conditions for trying to make a go at creating art for a living?
But like I said, that’s all a part of my life. I make art because I have to. I’m to the theatre like the ocean is to water. And I’ve found voice acting spurs everything I like bringing into the world. It’s stressful making these happen as my body of work. And of course all the rest of life – sharing living space and getting dinner on the table and finding the time to be alone and paying bills and dodging debt and just trying to keep even more things from breaking… All of it piles on the stress until something finally breaks my last resolve to push on and all I can do is choke and gulp and wipe my face before anyone notices I’ve been crying.
I’m not sure what the hell else I’m supposed to say for myself when these are the circumstances through which I view the world. But… I think… I think, I’m a pretty good actor. Maybe.
Title was taken from one of the poems in Birthday Letters, written by Ted Hughes, better known as Mr Sylvia Plath (to whom the poem was addressed).
“Nobody wanted your dance,
Nobody wanted your strange glitter, your floundering
Drowning life and your effort to save yourself,
Treading water, dancing the dark turmoil,
Looking for something to give.”
Rough to read, but you know who really doesn’t want that “strange glitter?” The person who’s too fucking depressed to swim to shore.