Preamble: I was debating whether or not to post this. I don’t want people to worry about me. I also don’t want to appear weak. But the truth is that I am weak sometimes. Depression is real and it hurts. Maybe my experience will somehow help someone know that they are not alone in their suffering.
So yeah. I’ve been struggling with depression, as I mentioned in a previous post. Things got a bit better for a few days but then took a turn for the worse Saturday. I made the mistake of using alcohol to numb the pain. Obviously, that was a Very Bad Idea. I am normally a moderate drinker. I don’t drink very often, once a week usually, and know very well when to stop. But yesterday I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to drink myself into oblivion. I didn’t, but I had enough to exacerbate the depressed state I was in. I ended up crawling up to my room, laying in bed and crying myself to sleep. There was some catharsis in doing that. I think I needed a good cry. I felt better.
The following gets kind of dramatic and rather pathetic so you can stop here if you want.
I woke up a few hours later and couldn’t go back to sleep. The depression was still there and was taking me down a very scary path. I followed it in my head. I found myself tempted by thoughts of suicide. I wondered if I had something in the house I could take that would cause me to just fall asleep forever. I had this whole dramatic story in my head, how I would take pills and then write my suicide note on my blog and schedule it to post the next day. I would Live Tweet my death (I told you this was dramatic). I laid there and thought about these things and then, I swear to fucking god, I heard a gunshot from somewhere in the distance. It pulled me out of those dark thoughts quickly. Earlier in the evening Raf told me about his boss’s friend who committed suicide the day before by blowing his brains out in his bathroom. His 9-year-old son found his body. When I heard this story it made me very sad. I hate suicide and what it does to the people who are left to deal with it. It’s a horribly selfish act.
I got up and drank some tea and wrote in my journal. As I was writing my way through all of this I decided that I don’t care how fucking depressed I get, I do not want to die. I want to live. I choose life. I just have to face whatever this is I’m going through. When I’ve reached the other side I will be a stronger person.
I went back to bed a couple of hours later and laid there for about 10 minutes, feeling better, actually. Then I remembered something I forgot to do at work. It hit me like a sledgehammer. “Fuck.” I said aloud. I had forgotten to turn off the laminator. It’s one of these gadgets that you have to turn on and wait a half an hour for it to warm up before you can use it. I turned it on and forgot to actually even use it and so I didn’t turn it off. So now my weird, slightly OCD tendency to check things kicked in. There was no way I was going to go to sleep at this point having that hanging over my head. So I got up, put on my shoes and jacket, got in the car and drove to the library to shut the stupid thing off.
I have never done anything like this before in my life. There have been times when I’ve been stressed where I have this compulsion to check that things are turned off, especially when they involve things that get hot, like heaters and coffee pots. But it has never caused me to get up out of bed in the middle of the night.
So there I was at 3 in the morning at the library in my pajamas, hoping there wasn’t anyone around to see me. I unlocked the door, went to the room where the laminator is. The door was locked (I’d left it unlocked). I went in and, lo and behold, the laminator was off. My trusty coworker saved the day. I felt relieved, but also ridiculous. As I was getting in my car I realized the craziness of the situation. I was standing in front of the library in my pajamas. The city was empty. I felt like I was in a Hitchcock film. The absurdity of it all hit me and I had to laugh. At least I can still laugh. That’s something, right?