This post was drafted about four days ago. It was suggested to me by someone to go ahead and post what I wrote, so that’s what I am doing. The three bad days have since stretched into, I don’t know, a week or more? But here I am. Thank you for reading.
The last three days or so have been a little rough. I’ve been feeling worn down, distracted, and otherwise useless. I’m writing this in the hope to remind myself somehow that this is probably just a dip. I felt noticeably more positive last week, and most likely will land back thereabouts eventually.
So I will persist. Which is one of the shitty parts about having depression this long (for fuck’s sake, it’s been over twenty years since my first symptoms. I mean I know plenty of people have been dealing with the same things for longer than I have and I shouldn’t complain). I’m just supposed to . . . keep going? Keep trying, I guess? There’s this all-consuming weight that has been looming over me for damn near as long as I can remember and my only option right now aside from The Bad Thing is to continue to exist, no matter how exhausting it is. Because it will get better? Because I will get better? I am aware that whatever I am searching for (contentment, I suppose) does not happen with any accidental, sudden fix. It takes work and mindfulness and all that. I know that. The problem lies in that I can only muster the motivation to move ‘forward’ (maybe ‘expand’ would be a better word) in minuscule bursts; then I go right back to remembering that I am not worth any time or effort and the more I move the more otherwise-precious time and space I am taking up. When that line of thought gets louder and louder until it becomes physically oppressive, those are the days when I don’t get out of bed; when I can’t even play video games or watch a show that cheers me up; when I am reduced to powering down my phone because I cannot bare to either reply to or read the reply to a given text message; when I delete online pictures or posts or entire blogs; when I burn my journals (a ritual of release, in circumstances, but I use it as a form of, for lack of more accurate illustration, self-harm).
I guess I am just trying here to express that this is hard. I am inescapably self-destructive and the idea that I just have to keep making better choices, when all I want to do is anything other than things that are good for me . . . is tiring. I am continually disheartened when the short glimpses of hope that all-too-soon are eclipsed by another, seemingly longer and drudgier than the last, dive back into the mud. I am still here, trying. But I am not all that pleased by it right now.
Some unnecessary backstory of that night: I needed to call a particular government agency. They sent me a letter, and I can only respond to the letter over the phone. Nothing inherently major, as I understand, just some verification. Now, I don’t know if anyone reading this in the US has tried in the last few months to get on the phone with a person representing any government or social service office, but in my experience during this pandemic it has been an absolute shit show. To have any hope of actually talking to someone to get an issue resolved before the end of operating hours, one has to call the agency more-or-less the exact minute the phone lines open. ‘We’re sorry, but due to extremely high call volumes experienced at this time, we may be unable to answer your call’ is a line I can now recite in my head with crystal clarity. Calls drop regularly. Everything is overloaded, understaffed, or otherwise unprepared for the aforementioned ‘high call volumes’ that are clogging up the phone lines in lieu of clogging up in-person offices.
Some background on the background: As I may have mentioned in a previous post, my sleep schedule is roughly one-hundred shades of twisted right now. My husband and I stay up so late that it is not unusual for me to not wake up for the day until three, four, even five o’clock p.m.. Not very conducive to getting on the phone at seven, eight, or nine a.m., as one could imagine. Because of this clashing of rhythms, I had the bright idea to just . . . not go to bed one night. In my mind, this idea for a plan solidified into an idea for a good plan after reading a Reddit thread about other people’s experiences getting someone from the office I needed on the phone; I understood one particular comment to suggest that my best bet was to call at four a.m. my time, which equates to seven a.m. on the other side of the country where I assumed their main offices were. I thought, awesome! If they open at four a.m. my time then all I have to do is stay up until a time I end up getting to bed at on the regular anyhow! Easy peasy.
Well the big night came. Staying up until four wasn’t even a thing; I’d had a couple shots throughout the night, was starting to wind down, and my husband and I had our phones at the ready. Four a.m. rolls around, and . . . customer service is still closed. Four-o-one, four-o-five, four-fifteen–same deal. I read through the letter I was attempting to respond to, again, and see these three damn letters next to their listed hours of operation: PST.
For those not familiar, that is west coast time. West coast. The coast on which I live. Meaning that the offices opening at seven a.m. PST equals seven a.m. for me, too. Not, in fact, seven a.m. east coast time as I had the impression. I couldn’t believe it.
Well, I could believe it, but I did feel like an absolute idiot. I had seen PST as the timezone the first time I read the letter, but let it get wiped from my memory the second I read that comment on Reddit. (Please don’t judge me too harshly: I usually vet info I find online a bit more thoroughly, by at least cross-checking it with what I already know; but I had such a good experience with similar how-to-get-a-damn-person-on-the-phone threads from my local subreddit with a lot of helpful info that did in fact assist me with said getting-a-damn-person-on-the-phone a few months back when I was trying to get someone in the unemployment office.) Anyway. I had done goofed.
I did end up staying up until the office opened up for real. It basically sucked, though I did eventually get someone on the phone to resolve the thing and now it is taken care of. My sleep schedule, which was just starting to level out into something a little more manageable, went even further off the rails. I’m chipping away at it. I don’t think only an hours-worth of daytime is great for me right now.