Quiet, Muted Despair

The depression is ingrained after so many years – there almost every day – but every day seems to have it’s own manifestation. I almost wish I was at my worst so I could hospitalize and be cared for.

I wish I was dead but am not suicidal, the ideation is there but not the plan. There’s this Marilyn Manson song from the 90’s from the record Mechanical Animals, the lyrics go:

 They’ll never be

Good for you

Bad for you

They’ll never be

Anything at all

If things felt good, well they’d be good and I’d feel content, I have those days occasionally. Mostly in the summer. If things were bad I could react to them, rage against them, wallow in self pity, criticize them, something at least. But things are nothing at all. I can’t identify anything that is making me wish I was dead. Every moment of my life seems so pointless, so mundane and meaningless.

Mundane

Here’s my daily roster of activities:

  1. Get up with the kids.
  2. Get breakfast for the kids.
  3. Get my 6 year old ready for school.
  4. Put my six year old on the bus (this one fills me with such anxiety I feel intense but momentary relief after putting her on the bus – I don’t have to step out of the house again for four and a half hours).
  5. Watch the Today Show for three hours while my 4 and 5 year olds have “creative play” – the show is mind numbing after the 1st 15 minutes of real news and creative play often involves spilled food and drink with cereal crunching under my feet, fighting over toys, begging to play with the tablet, running, making unholy levels of noise, stripping themselves naked and cracking themselves up – I just sit there and wonder what the hell is the point of any of this.
  6. Get the 4 year old ready for preschool and stress about having to leave the house to put him on the bus. Put him on the bus and feel relief at not having to leave the house again until 3pm.
  7. Hang out with my 5 year old. This has been an incredibly long winter in New England – it is snowing now, a week into spring. Normally we can go for a walk or to the park or for lunch, but with the bitterness of this winter we have been housebound. The alone time with Sofia is admittedly rewarding during the year but the crazy weather patterns have forced us into watching the same show on NetFlix over and over and I’ve lost all interest in it and this time is now relegated to “what’s the point” time.
  8. Get the kids off the bus, give them snacks, go through their schoolbags. The house becomes Crazyland, with me asking “What would you like for a snack” while they throw their coats on the floor and jockey for the tablet. I am starting to think I should get another two tablets but this would be enabling young children in this age of technology and electronic distraction at the expense of creativity. Finally I mete out the snacks but they just want to watch Disney Jr. I acquiesce. I have no energy to force them to play with their legos, their medieval castle with it’s knights and dragons, their coloring books. And god forbid I sit down and engage them in a board game or the dollhouse that I spent 4 hours assembling with my 20 year old one Christmas Eve. I just have no energy for it, the idea fills me with dread, I can’t think, my palms sweat at the thought of it. So they watch Doc McStuffins and play math or word games on the tablet.
  9. Maybe I prepare dinner, maybe I wait for my husband to do it. I cook real food – so only my husband and I eat it, he typically takes care of the limited taste of our children – chicken nuggets, mac ‘n cheese, spaghetti, raviolis. So we eat in our tiny kitchen while the kids eat at their table in the dining room – we converted it into a playroom for them so there is no big dining room table for us all to sit at). I enjoy the cooking and eating part with my husband. Somehow he is the only thing I am not detached from.
  10. I read for 20 minutes to the kids and we go through their bedtime routines – counting and jumping, kisses and hugs, lullabies from the 1950’s. I perform it all with animation and smiles but really I’m relieved when I can slink up to my husband and gently suggest that I’m gonna head to bed. It’s only 8 o’clock and the first moment he’s had to himself all day, and I’m deserting him. He understands and reads after I take my meds, pull up my blankets, plant the cat beside my pillow and promptly pass out.

The weekends are worse. I get up early with the kids while he sleeps – I have therapy at 11 every Saturday and then I run all of the weekly errands because I’m too afraid to leave the house during the week. I get home in the afternoon and he goes out and does the grocery shopping. I wait for him to return but the kids have a monopoly on the tv in the living room on the weekends and I can’t even turn on a hockey game so we sit in our uncomfortable, small kitchen and maybe play some music, watch comic videos on YouTube. Mostly we drink and don’t have too much too say.

Soon it will be warm and the Red Sox will be on almost every night and we can take the kids out on the weekends for our “adventures”. I’ll take them to summer camp in the morning for the weeks we can afford, take them to the beach, to our local wonderland Winter Island, or to the Science Museum during the week, the park when it’s not too hot, or set them up in the backyard with a sprinkler and watch them from the deck, cocktail in hand.

Kids 1

I hospitalize a lot the first week of June – I didn’t last year until August – but that’s a trigger time for me and 4 of the last 5 years I’ve become suicidal and hospitalized. I am currently operating from a serious position of weakness and I’m terrified that when the spring really arrives and the snow in my backyard melts I won’t be ready, I’ll still be stuck in this state of fear of leaving the house, fear of days without apparent purpose, fear of June 1st. In the meantime I’ll hope for that day that feels purposeful. The snow doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. And neither does this stupid, meaningless depression.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your day, Jill. There is something “comforting” about reading the details of someone else’s day. It makes the reader feel like they are not the only ones in the world. Or that they are not experiencing their world in solace or alone. There are others out there who go through the same things they do. It gives a sort of hope and I would like to experiment with this type of writing. I pray for your peace with the arrival of spring. Do you have any preventive measures in place?

    -C

    • Thanks for the comments Chris. My only safety plan is to recognize when I’m “in the zone” and to hospitalize” but aside from actually planning an attempt I am in the zone, when I feel completely detached from everything and could care less whether I ever see or experience anything again. I’m also afraid that I am stirring myself into such a froth that I’m MAKING myself sicker before my June 1 date artificially. It’s quite absurd! I’m good at hospitalizing though, go to one of the best in the world here in metro-Boston, and have a good support system for the kids when I’m in.

      I’m glad the post makes you feel less alone. We’re out here, kiddo! I’ll keep them coming, lol!

      • I think your measure to hospitalize shows your wisdom, as well as the ability to “track” and “predict” when you are in and out of the zone. I listened to the Marilyn Manson song you mentioned (he’s playing here May 5th) and will have to listen to it more when I get home. Also going to try to look at more of your posts today and write one similar to your, “Emptiness and Isolation…”

      • Did anyone ever tell you you’re a great listener, Chris? 🙂 I look forward to your post & do let me know what you think of the MM song, it’s my favorite. I’m not the biggest fan but some of his stuff is catchy 🙂

      • Lol, thank you. Just using my ears twice as much as I use my mouth (guess that’s why we have two ears, lol), which leads me to another post idea for later on today. You’ll have to check out Five Finger Death Punch. “Coming Down” is the song I referenced in “My Story” and is the one I had on repeat when I made my suicide attempt. It’s such a powerful video I made it a post on my blog as well. Thank you for your compliments. I know you’d do the same.

      • Will check out the song hon. Your attempt was just last year right?

      • Yes it was.

      • It must still feel very raw. I have had several different unsuccessful attempts, if you’re gonna check out my posts anyway try “Suicidal Ideation” and “How I found Out the Verrazzano Bridge Wasn’t for Pedestrians”. There’s one more but I forget the name of it, it was an overdose attempt, something like “Successful Suicide, Except Interrupted”. I never got to the one where I ended up declared dead. Too big to tackle I think. Have you posted yours straight up or do you plan to? God it almost seems like mental case porn but it’s so meaningful to those of us in the zone, we can bond through it. We know that other people get it in a world where most people do not, where most people think we’re idiots for trying. Especially if we’re parents, I’ve found.

        I just listened to that band’s most popular song, are you a vet? It was very powerful and sad and in line with my politics. XO

      • Yes I’m a vet. What was the name of the song? I will look at those posts, too. Thank you for mentioning them 🙂

  2. Hiya,
    Just to let you know I’ve nominated you for the ‘Creative Blogger’ Award:
    http://wp.me/p2Bwoz-kg
    Charlotte 🙂

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