Once I’ve gone to the market, put stuff away, showered, done the dishes, and messed around on the Internet for awhile, my favorite thing to do when I have Sundays to myself is sit on the couch in some fat pants and watch Netflix. And when this happens, my favorite things to watch on Netflix are good documentaries and bad horror movies.
How bad? Give me any celebrity who was maybe considered A-list for like 8 months at any point between 1998 and today and I will probably watch their horror movie (except for Hilary Swank…I cannot stand to look at Hilary Swank). Not because I like that celebrity or anything. I don’t much care about them. It’s just that I’ve already seen the slasher bonkers shit from the ‘80s and the bulk of the ‘90s was either boobs or Scream, and also, I kind of like the supernatural/demonic genre where some lady walks all herky-jerky and probably a kid is an agent of the Antichrist. It’s not that these movies scare me or are even very good, but they hold my attention much longer than everything that’s supposed to be quality cinema but for some reason I just can’t get into like I should.
In one of the bad horror movies I watched this past weekend, a little girl in the beginning stages of being possessed by a demon mumbled “I don’t feel like myself.” And while I hate to turn everything into a Satanic analogy, ever since then, I can’t stop thinking that this is how it feels to be depressed.
Which I’m allowed to write about because I haven’t really since I said that one thing that one time, and besides, it’s my fucking blog so if I want to write about feeling like a miserable piece of garbage then I fucking will.
So, I feel like a miserable piece of garbage. That’s not really different from the last time I said as much, but since I still haven’t found anyone to talk to for insurance reasons (because part of being poor is having the “character” to just deal with being depressed, I suppose), it feels like my duty to myself to perform a mental checkup to see if things are better or worse than before. Nothing’s better, that’s for damn sure, but at least nothing’s worse. Everything is the same, and what I find to be the most maddeningly absurd part of being depressed is that I know I’m depressed. Like, I know that something is wrong and it needs to be fixed but my brain does not allow me to do that. I imagine that it’s like a person in the beginning stages of dementia. These people are usually very upset and irritable and can even be mean or violent, but it’s because they know something’s not right. Maybe they can’t pinpoint or articulate it, but their situations have gone beyond “haha, I guess it just slipped my mind” to “how did I motherfucking forget how to get home and what fucking day is it, anyway?” And for a person who’s probably supported themselves as well as others for most of their life, how does that compute? Who do you blame? And why can’t you just fix yourself?
Being depressed feels like I’m not myself. Not like there’s a demon inside me – I’m not schizophrenic, you know – but like there’s this other version of me floating just outside of myself, and that version is aware that certain connections aren’t being made or that having a series of small anxiety attacks for no reason doesn’t make sense, but there’s nothing that can be done about any of it. There is no fix. Reason doesn’t work. Sleep doesn’t work. Doing the things I enjoy distract for awhile, but they don’t really work. It all seems so unfair and bullshitty and kind of like how infertile women look at pregnant ladies on the street and rail desperately at why they can’t conceive, I hang out with seemingly normal people (although what’s really normal, so how do I even know?) and just stare at them thinking “why can’t I be like you?”
It’s so goddamn ridiculous that I’ve been treating it as a sort of science experiment. How I feel on this day compared to this day, and these are the factors that contributed, etc. If I knew anything about math, I’ve have actual charts to show everyone. As it stands, I have the IKEA catalog and the newest issue of Food & Wine arriving on the same day, and while this does make me a version of ecstatic, I’m fully aware of how pathetic that is.
I went through a similar phase of deep depression when I was around 30, and I remember trying to articulate it to my boyfriend at that time. In retrospect, I can tell you that it had to do with unexpressed creative talents and sensing I just wasn’t living a life that harmonized with my true self. Oh, yeah, and living with the wrong guy in a bad relationship only made everything worse.