I know that there plenty of real reasons for people to have a hard time over the holidays, emotionally speaking — thinking of those who aren’t here to celebrate, dealing with family that doesn’t feel so much like family, having all the memories of holidays past plastered in your mind as points of comparison to make your current circumstances seem a hollow echo of better times. I am well aware that my involvement in this conversation might seem like an ignorant exercise in self pity. I’m still going to speak on it because, well, if you are out there right now feeling the way I feel, then I want you to know that you’re not alone.
For the past month or so, I’ve been struggling with an intensely depressive slump. I’ve spent most nights crying from the fetal position on my couch, wishing that things simply weren’t as they are. I’ve felt useless, worthless, and, worst of all, hopeless. I’ve been unable to tend to my studies, and I am sure it is only a matter of time before I disappoint everyone close to me.
I have always been proud of my abilities as a student; scholarship has always been my passion and my wheelhouse. I’ve fallen so far out of myself, however, that even memories of my academic successes seem to fade more and more by the day. It doesn’t feel sad, or even like a loss. It feels like a natural evolution of my person. I believe that I will lose everything that made me unique, that made me vital, that made me myself. I don’t think a mind can take this much battering and remain competent. I’m losing it, for lack of a better phrase. I’m losing it.
I have learned through years of therapy and psychiatric treatment that the sick mind lies to you; it tells you dark stories with just enough truth in them for you to believe it. It’s gotten to the point, however, where I can no longer distinguish my healthy mind from the one cast in shadow.
Words like “daughter” and “student” and even my own name make me feel physically pained when I hear them. It’s like I’m a bug sprayed with poison that will fill up my eyes and ears just before it takes away my ability to breathe.
I try to tell myself to reach out for help, to remember what I’ve been told, but each time I act on any of those impulses I immediately feel even more worthless. I feel stupid and ashamed that I have allowed my mental health to get to this point, and then for me to make it somebody else’s problem? That’s ridiculous and selfish of me.
So why am I writing this? Why put out some banner over the trenches of my mental illness, calling out to no one? Well, I’m writing this because, if one thing could make me feel like my life isn’t a complete waste, it would be that I might help someone else having a blue Christmas. You’re not alone. I might not be the most fun person to know or to be around at the moment, but I am able to at least type words. If you are looking for a companion in the darkness, I could be that.
I hope this post finds you better than I find myself.