It sucks like nothing else ever sucked.
True, recovery is what I was aiming for all those years when I was just freewheeling down depression/disorder hill, but like children, you’re never quite prepared for the reality.
I found depression comfortable in many ways, albeit horrible. I never expected too much from myself, and that in itself lends life a certain comfort level. Obviously I exaggerate for poetic license, but anyone who is in recovery probably understands. Recovery is tiring. You start to expect things, to be upset when your moods crash and burn, if things go downhill. I’d pretty much grown to accept that I was a bit fucked up, and it never really bothered me when I veered into a banking of depression, or tripped over an anxiety molehill and transformed it into a mountain. Yes, these things were horrible, but I was used to it, it was my life. I didn’t expect anything more, so I was never really disappointed. Miserable but not disappointed.
I have longer stable periods now. I can cope with more things. Its difficult, but I can at least tolerate certain things that would not have been possible two years ago. I have begun to expect a certain level of stability from myself, and when it all goes to shit, it really really messes me up, because it’s like a right hook from nowhere. I’m not expecting it. Sucker punched by my own mood disorders. Bastard.
I’ve pushed myself a lot in the last year, to keep a full time job, to keep a relationship, to maintain stability. I want to make the effort, to try and recover. It isn’t just about meds. Its a lot of hard work, determination and many days, just plain old stubborness. It makes quitting smoking look like a sunny day in the park. Trust me, I know.
Some days, my alarm goes off at some ungodly hour of the morning (I spent the previous 6 years getting up whenever I could muster the energy, or not as the case may be) and I just want to cry. I want to know when life will stop being so hard. I want to bounce out of bed with vigour and enthusiasm. Or at the very least, not feel like everything is a huge waste of time, because it’s going to get me in the end. Its the mindweasels talking, yes, but when you’re in their grip, it doesn’t matter. Much of the time I feel like I’m going through the motions of recovery, but I want to believe that thats what I have to do. I have to reprogram my mind, to accept routine, to accept different patterns, to understand that I can do it and that it’s not too hard.
Most of the time I can do that, but come the end of the week, after dragging my mind through 5 days of doing things I don’t have the inclination or energy to do most of the time, I am literally exhausted, and ready to drop. I don’t know where it’s leading to. Is recovery just going to be one long slog until I drop dead? Doesn’t sound a lot like recovery, it sounds like hell.
The other problem with recovery is that now I have expectations, now I can function like a human being, or at least perform a vague simulacrum of such, people close to me get upset when I fail. When I revert to what I see as my normal patterns. Overly emotional, stressed, anxious, depressed, irrational.
Now I am aware of what I’m capable of I’ve introduced a new concept into my life – failure. I have a position to fall from now. I didn’t have anything to feel guilty about before, because I had one mode, awful. Now I have coping, and awful, and not coping and upsetting those close to me introduces, yes, worse than awful.
So along with the general tiredness merely trying to exist in the world causes, I have the constant miserable reminders that I am going to fuck up, and fuck up, until everyone around me tires of me fucking up, and walks away. I wouldn’t blame them. It’s just tiring, the cycle. I feel ok, I feel like I’m making progress, I might even feel a little optimistic. Bam. Oh I fucked up. Shit, well, maybe I thought too soon. Maybe I won’t ever reach a point where I’m not constantly disappointing everyone. Maybe I should just give in and accept that I am going to keep fucking up, because I have these mood problems, and whatever else the hell is wrong with me. Trying to not be a mess is more tiring than being a mess. I hate disappointing people. I can’t even toleratre myself most of the time. Upsetting someone else because I don’t know how to behave appropriately just drives me over the edge into self-hatred. I managed to avoid that previously, because I just didn’t care enough. If I didn’t care about me, I couldn’t care about anyone else. It avoided a lot of trauma.
Now I care.
I am tired of caring.
Apologies for the diatribe. Very dramatic I’m sure. It’s not a new feeling though. I just haven’t been able to express it previously. Suprise.