We do for others because we don't know how to do for ourselves. We do for others because we feel it is the only way to make up for the damage we feel our craziness is doing to society. We do for others because it makes us feel good when nothing else in the whole world does, not even pills. We stay quiet and sit in the corner because others seem so much more needy. We require so little, you and I. A fact which does not sit well with others who would label us as too much to handle. When in truth, all those such as us really need is a bit of understanding, a bit of reciprocation, maybe a touch on the cheek once in a while and a sly wink. The rest of the world is needy. I'd rather be crazy. ~~Aimee

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Reflections Noon Day Demons pt 1

So as I mentioned earlier, I have been reading/listening to this book Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon. You can visit his website here. So far I am really enjoying the book. I often find it difficult to express what I am feeling and there are a few ways he describes his depression that just nails it. That is why I thought I would share them here, but mostly I want to write about them just so I have  a permanent record of them. I only have the audio book so by blogging about what I am reading/listening to then I can easily come back and re-read it so that I can get my head around it. The highlighted quotes below are taken from the audio book and while I have tried my best to write verbatim what he was reading, there are a few places I sort of paraphrased. Mostly because I didn't want the whole quote just the idea of it. Then my comments/thoughts are below it. So enjoy!! 

The book is available on Amazon. If you're interested in it, then here's the link to purchase it:

Depression not only destroys connection to others but also the ability to be peacefully alone with one's self. 

He says this almost at the beginning of the book and it really just summed up depression for me. I can't stand myself when I am depressed. I get offended even at the sight of myself. I can't be bothered to do anything. I have noticed the last couple weeks that I have had days where I can't be bothered to cook for myself. I go days without eating because I don't have the energy or desire to do something especially for myself. I have had days lately where I so desperately wished that I could somehow escape my own brain. Just run away from the constant bombardment of thoughts that continually run through it.

Depression cannot be wiped out. At best it can be contained. Containing is all current treatment for depression aims to do. 

I cannot repeat this statement enough. I am continually saying this about bipolar because I don't think doctors really explain this concept properly to people and I also don't think family members truly understand this as well. People seem to think that a person with depression/PD can just "take a pill and get over it", but it doesn't work that way. Yes, there are times when I might be "better" than others but there will always be a relapse. I must always be aware of my moods and triggers. I must always be vigilant in my treatment and in improving my life because there will never come a day when I will exist without bipolar. Bipolar is a part of me. Nothing I can do will ever change that. All I can do is try to be the best person I can be which in reality is all any one can do. Regardless if they have PD/depression or not.

Depression had a life of its own that asphyxiated my life out of me. 

Absolutely. I could not agree with this more. There are times when I feel like I am trapped inside someone else's body especially when I am manic. I feel like I am trapped and being forced to watch someone else live my life in a way that I don't want to live it. It's like I am being held hostage by the bipolar. As if it were an actual physical being that has somehow taken me hostage and is now pretending to be me, forcing me to live the life it wants me to instead of the one I should be living. When it has been held hostage, I feel so helpless. That there is nothing that I can do to overcome it. All I can do is let it have its way with me and pray there is still a part of me left that is recognizable once it is through with me.  

You smell sour even to yourself (this is during what he terms as "major depression" I will post about his definitions of major and mild depression later)

Yes. Yes. and Yes. Not only do you smell sour to yourself, but you can't stand the sight of yourself or the sound of your voice. You want to disappear from yourself, and when you can't stand to look at you, how is it possible that others can? This is the thoughts that go through my head when I am depressed. I mean if I can't stand me, then there is no way anyone else can, right? I think this is one of the hardest things for me to overcome. It is what keeps me in the grip of depression for extended periods of time. Even the other day, when SD and DEM were complimenting me I freaked out because it literally 'hurt" to have them say the nice things they were saying. I just couldn't accept it and did not want to hear it. It caused me actual physical pain to hear what they were saying. Luckily they understand and didn't get upset with me. Especially DEM when I told her to shut the fuck up and stop it. She's awesome like that.

You lose the ability to trust anyone, to touch, to grieve. Eventually you're simply absent from yourself. 

The end part of this just astounds me. I think I feel this way quite often. As a young child, I learned that in order to survive I had to "be absent" from my body. As an adult now, I find that I can't always seem to connect with myself. At times I am not even aware that I am absent. It is something I do without thinking. I am just empty. No feeling. No presence. Just a shell taking up space. Don't even get me started on trust. To say I trust no one is an understatement. Even as much as I love DEM, I don't trust her. It is impossible for me to entirely believe that she is my friend. It has nothing to do with her. It is entirely in my head and is entirely within myself. There really is nothing she can do to make me 100% trust her. Mostly whenever I meet people I feel I am always just waiting for the "shit". Waiting for that day when they hurt me because everyone always hurts me. I know that part of this is due to my poor choices in choosing people for my friends and part is that I tend to be my own self-fulfilling prophecy. Regardless of the reason why I don't ever truly trust people, under it all the simple truth is I just can't. In this world, your parents are the two people you're suppose to be able to trust to protect you from the big bad world and when they turn out to be the monsters, it makes it difficult to believe that not everyone else is a monster as well. When that trust is broken, especially at an early age, it can never be repaired. I fake "trust", but I don't actually feel it.There is nothing anyone can do to change that.

Well, I think that is enough therapy for one day. I won't post about this everyday, but I will be posting frequently about it until I get through the entire book.


Lance said...

I realize our crazies are different - anxiety v. depression, the fallout is the same.

When my kids are being, well, you know, kids, and my wife is having an off day from her usual awesome, I feel lost. I have a decent relationship w my parents, but they don't get me, so I don't trust them.

The key is believing in yourself even when you are feeling your worst. Im struggling with that right now...having some bad days. Thanks for the book recommendation and your great writing.

Maasiyat said...

If you find the key, please make me a copy and send my way. I would so appreciate it. I know what you mean about feeling lost. Jigger has had a cold the last few days and I have been freaking out as to all the different possible meanings of why he has been going to bed early and not as talkative. of course none of the meanings I come up with in my head have anything to do with the cold.

Haven said...

I relate to this so much it's scary. Especially that disgust at who I can be, not being able stand being around who I am, stuck inside of me... that absolute belief that if I can't like myself, how could anyone else. It's so true that inability to trust. When it was broken from the one place it absolutely should be present; it's devestating.

All we can do is be mindful of our lives. Some things help, some things hurt, but we still go on. Always hope that tomorrow will be better even when it seems like it can't possibly be.

Maasiyat said...

I know what you mean. There are places where it's like he is reading my mind. Some days are good some days are bad. All we can do is try to hope they are at least equal. Maybe a few more good wouldn't hurt but I would settle for equal at this point.

hed said...

I'm SO SORRY I haven't replied to your (or anyone's) blog in over two weeks!

I love that you are making posts about parts of the book you liked. I wish I had the drive to do that right now.



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