dark night of the soul

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?

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21 thoughts on “dark night of the soul

  1. i think that many people deal with the same things you are dealing with. more people than you realize because people don’t like to talk about depression. i don’t know why. you are brave to talk about it… you are not weak! sharing this with others makes you strong and will help make you stronger. also, i am crazy ocd about things. i check to make sure the stove and oven are off, hair straightener, check to make sure my alarm is set. like to an excess!!! maybe it runs in the fam?

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  2. Thank you for having the guts to admit you are sometimes depressed and for posting this. You are not alone. Pls take care of yourself. I’m going to check in on you throughout the winter, okay? (((hugs)))

    @indigomuse

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    1. Thank you. I am up and can’t sleep. I was laying in bed wondering if it was too late to delete this post. I don’t know why I’m afraid to show this part of myself to the world. But I really do feel like I need to just fucking face this demon once an for all and writing about it is part of that, I think.

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  3. I think you’re brave and cool too! Plus you have a lot of healthy coping strategies, including reaching out to other people. And yeah, checking things left on – its not a pathology. I once didn’t go back to check the stove, and the house burned. (I don’t know if it was the stove or not, I only know I hadn’t checked it.) Its not a sickness, its being careful. Trust yourself. You’re brave and cool.

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    1. Emilie, you are the best. I’m so glad you are my friend. You always know what to say. I didn’t know that is why your house burned down. I feel way less ridiculous now.

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  4. Thanks for posting this, Moni. I’ve been battling with depression myself and somedays it seems unbearable. But I too decided that no matter how sucky life can be at times, it always beats death. (I actually posted something like that last week.) It helps to know that I’m not alone, and I hope it helps you to know that you aren’t alone in this either. I think you are awesome and we are so lucky to have you in our world. 🙂

    Love ya,
    Rachel

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    1. Rachel, I’m sorry you are going through it too. It’s horrible. I think that, after taking all of these scary thoughts to their conclusion, I realize deep inside I believe suicide is morally wrong. I would never do it and I really, really know that now. But, damn, that temptation can be very strong sometimes. It sucks. I’m glad I’m not alone. I think you are awesome, too and I feel lucky to have you as a friend. 🙂

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  5. It sounds like most or all of the people who have commented so far know you personally, so let me comment from the perspective of one who does not. First, I want to say how touched I am by your willingness to share something like this with the world at large. To share it with friends or family is one thing, but to share it–potentially–with anyone who has an internet connection is the definition of courage. I am not a counselor, but I would say (in apparent agreement with Emilie) that the act of posting this is itself a powerful coping mechanism. I agree too that there were probably thousands–maybe hundreds of thousands–of people who felt the same way you did Saturday night. Some were able to cope and some were not. You did. You came out the other side and you are seemingly stronger for it today. Keep facing it the way you did. At the end of the day, that is all you can do. Face it and stare it down and keep moving. May you happy from here on out; may you be at peace!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. as I said, I was hesitant but now I’m really glad that I posted it. I can’t even tell you how much better it makes me feel, knowing that others can commiserate. thank you. May you be at peace, too.

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  6. Dude. When I had to move back from Ohio to California in a week (yes 7 full days to get the house packed and out) I had a complete breakdown. I cried at work in the middle of the day for weeks. Thank god for zoloft. It got to the point where I was sitting with my husband at a typical California beach pull off and I wondered if the fall from the cliff would just maime me or kill me. Depression is nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s a chemical reaction in the brain no different than anything else. Except that we can fix it. Don’t live in misery 😦

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    1. I have thoughts about getting on medication. It definitely comes up whenever I go through this. I probably should. I think I’ll be o.k. without it. I’ll see how it goes. But your right, I need to probably consider going that route. I am also very familiar with the death fantasies. I’ve had moments where I’m walking down the street and wish that the car driving by would screech into me. Things like that. I think I’ve even had the cliff thought, too. (god, maybe I do need medication).

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    1. writing has saved my sanity many times. It really helps so much. Thanks Sara. I really do feel like I’ll be alright. I’m just going through some shit right now.

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