Dark Doors

Ask. I will tell you a story.

Tag: Depression

B*st*rd Demons (contains swearies)

I’ve been putting off writing this post for so many reasons: I’m seeking attention; I’m jumping on the bandwagon with others in a similar situation; I won’t be able to express what I’m going through clearly; I’m looking for cheap publicity (the timing of this sucks); I’m suffering from first world problems and I should just man up and be grateful for what I’ve got.

None of these reasons are good. By any stretch of the imagination.

It’s a swan situation. I look great on the surface, gracefully drifting along. But the truth is hidden below the waterline, as I paddle like fuck to stay above the darkness.

I have anxiety and depression.

There. I said it.

I hate them both. These two bastard demons that follow me around – some days closer than others – and drip their poisons straight into my soul.

John Kenn – Stressmonster http://johnkenn.blogspot.co.uk/

Some days, I can outrun them, or confront them, or write them into oblivion. I have a specific file on my computer, called ‘Dealing with Demons’, and I write every shitty thing I feel when the bastard demons have me in their clutches. More often than not, this works. Especially on the really bad days.

Some days, though, they wear me down. No outright frontal attack when I’m reduced to a crying mess of tears and snot. Sometimes they play guerrilla tactics; strike and hide, strike and hide. That wears me down, reducing my strength and stamina to survive the full-blown attacks.

Sometimes, they don’t do anything but hover behind me. The knowledge that they’re there makes me doubt and question and dread and feel terrible and feel nauseated and feel worthless, and dammit!

I just did their job for them. All off my own nut.

No amount of praise or compliments or hugs or cups of coffee can diminish them, especially when they’re in guerrilla-mode. Because with every hug, with every compliment, their little bastard demon voices are whispering:

‘You don’t deserve that.’

Some days, I believe them.

Some days, I can’t fight them.

I’ve been struggling with them for a while, not very successfully. It’s been worse with the changes in the seasons and the weather – less sunlit hours, and the past several days have been completely overcast and foggy. So, they’ve been having a right old party at my expense, flinging fears like faeces into my face, and making me dread what should be an exciting celebration. Because tonight is the launch party for Dark Doors, my debut publication.

[A&D say: your ONLY publication]

SEE?! Bastard demons.

I’ve got to keep remembering that I’m a dab-hand at demon hunting. I must tell myself that they shouldn’t be allowed this much of my strength. I’ve got to remind myself to turn around, look those bastard demons in their beady little flaming eyes and say: ‘Fuck you. I worked for this. I worked hard for this. Now, piss off.’

Fingers crossed, folks, that today is that day.

Grey Dog Day – 22 Feb

Day 22  and here’s an offering of creative non-fiction. Today’s piece is less of me chipping off a piece of my heart and giving it to you. Today, I have shredded open everything, and I show you my whole mind and soul in this piece.

Like  many authors before me, I write about something I don’t understand so I can pin it down and make some sense of it. And grey dog days are the worst for finding meaning in living. I thought pinning words to it would help. I’ll let you know.

Today is a grey dog day. Not full black, because I can still get up and function and do laundry and interact and appear happy. But today the happiness is an act. Because the grey dog has decided to tag along.

Grey dog tells me horrible things. What does he say? I’ll see if I can translate. It’s mostly flashes of images that are gone before I can focus on them, but mostly the grey dog works with emotions. He’s cunning bastard too, using the smallest things to grind me down, until the tears threaten to fall while I’m standing in the line at Asda. I am almost ready to believe him and everything he says, but I’m not quite ready to sit and roll over and weep. Yet. But it is a very close thing. I’ll let the grey dog have the keyboard.

See those jeans? The style you like, but none in your size. Those ones? Right size but hideous design. You’ll look like a deformed Barbie from the 70s if you tried to wear those. The stretchy ones? Forget it. You’ll either looked like over-stuffed sausage or you’ll rip them, like you did those other ones. Doesn’t matter that those jeans were almost ten years old and wearing thin. You still ripped the butt out of them, bending over with your fat ass. Can you write? Are you sure you’re a writer? Are you sure you’re good at it? You deserve to never know, to never be certain. You’re not even good enough to win tiny little contests in a restricted pool. You must suck. People don’t like you much, because they avoid you and others bully you and others pick at you and how do you know for certain that the people you think are your friends are really your friends? What if they’re just complaining about you once you’re gone? What if they’re just putting up with you because they need to do penance for something, and they figure spending a couple of hours with you and your mess is enough to wipe them clean of their own sins? They don’t really like you – they’re probably complaining about you behind your back, and you can’t really trust anyone. You’re awful. You tried to say something nice to another blogger, and somebody gave you a thumbs-down. Because you’re an insensitive bitch and you shouldn’t be inflicted upon humanity. You haven’t a hope in hell of succeeding and being happy. That day when you were happy and couldn’t stop smiling? Remember that day? When you realised that everything you were working towards has finally fallen into place and you’re on your way to achieving your dream? Guess what? You’re probably bipolar. You already have me to trigger your depression, and those days of elation are just the other side of it. You’re probably bipolar, and you don’t really know what that means because you’re stupid, and lazy and won’t go look it up and you’re too much of a coward to ask the doctor because of that one that laughed at you twelve years ago when you asked about the recurring dizziness and told you to live with it. You deserve to feel like this. You deserve to believe that no one loves you. You deserve to believe that you’re a talentless hack with no taste and you definitely deserve to believe that you’ll never be good at what you love. You deserve every horrible thing that you’ve ever thought about yourself because it’s true. You’re a moron.

So. That’s grey dog. And he’s not the full-on black dog. But he’s still a right c**t.

Some people who follow this blog know me, and I’ve told them before that most of these entries aren’t me in the leading role. This one still isn’t, really. But I’m the ‘you’ in this narrative. These days don’t happen very often but when they do…

I hope this gives some insight into what it’s like to live with mental illness – because that’s what I have. I have anxiety and depression, and most days, I can live with it and not notice it. Other days, not so much. Mainly because of grey dog days. They suck.

Dog Slobber and Pool Water: part two

Big brother was eventually spotted, as were the bags soon after. A long drive through the gloaming darkness… What? Hell, I’m not even sure what that means, and without my usual dictionary to hand and only a dodgy wifi connection available, I shall change that to… A long drive as the darkness slunk to surround us, and with only a headache privy to my mental landscape, big brother pointed out various landmarks, hiding in the rapidly dwindling light. Finally, he pulled into a narrow drive more appropriate for a British home than for the States.

Mind swirling, headache throbbing, he led us through sprawling rooms and quirky hallways; whatever sense of direction I still had fled, sobbing in dismay. I could barely tell which way was up, let alone left and right.

Thankfully, I was allowed outside with a small dish for an ashtray, banished to the front porch. There I reacquainted myself with nicotine, and began to weep for a variety of reasons: exhaustion, pain, and jealousy. Yes, jealousy. While I love my little semi-detached with all its dustbunnies, this house was so much… better, bigger, quirkier, unusual, more interesting. And the uncertainty of being unemployed, of claiming to be “a writer” (complete with scare quotes, because I haven’t been published or paid… yet), the looming sense of complete and utter failure could no longer be contained. It leaked out.

Thankfully, no one looked out to see how I was doing, for I had become entirely unhinged. Like one of those string toys on a pedestal: depress the bottom and watch the entire animal collapse on itself, no tension in its joints to hold it up. That was me, on big brother’s front porch.

Eventually, I pulled myself together, released the depression from the bottom of my pedestal, and returned to the curried warmth of the kitchen. I watched as the others ate; I couldn’t even attempt thinking about food without an answering lurch from my gorge. Sleep was a welcome escape from the travails of the day’s travels, and I looked forward to the illumination that dawn would bring.

Because everything is worse at night.

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