Category Archives: Mental Illness

Disjointed Rant in F Major

Poor Apple is all Alone

The over-diagnosis of depression, and people using the term to describe how they feel when they brake their fucking fingernail is a slap in the face to people who live with the disease.

Here are some of the things depression does to me:

I take a drink of something and a full 60 seconds later, I realize the drink is still in my mouth. I completely forget to swallow it. 95% of the time, I swallow it as soon as I realize it’s still in my mouth, but other times I can’t. It’s not painful, or unpleasant in any way when I swallow, but sometimes I just can’t do it.

I often sit and stare for hours at a time. I become so wrapped up in my thoughts that when I finally come back to reality, I realize my mouth was hanging open for an hour or more. This happens a lot.

Sometimes, I am completely unable to move. It’s like the scene in Kill Bill when Uma Thurman says, “Wiggle your big toe.” I come out of one of my previously mentioned staring fits, and I want to change positions, or go to the bathroom, or whatever, but I don’t move. I think, “Lift your hand off the desk,” but my arm is just like, “Nope.” It usually takes a full 3-5 minutes before I convince my arm to move, but sometimes I slip back into another staring fit.

There are strange moments when I start to groan. It happened last week while I was in the middle of reaching for my toolbox. I lost the ability to move, becoming a rag doll draped over the left side of my chair. I stayed like that for 30 minutes, mind blank, groaning repeatedly, completely unaware of my body. I felt like an injured animal, so hurt and scared that all I could do was make this pitiful noise.

Depression also gives me constant thoughts of suicide and anhedonia. Both make it nigh on impossible to feel any pleasure. Experiencing pleasure is necessary to human functioning. Without positive reinforcement, there is no motivation. No happiness at a job well done, no feeling of accomplishment, no desire to watch TV, play games, engage in hobbies, develop friendships, sustain relationships. Nothing.

That is depression, and living with it’s effects makes it beyond infuriating to hear people talk about how depressed they are that their car broke down, or their damn dishwasher is broken. And, the diagnoses of depression and prescribing Prozac and Ativan because someone’s pet hamster died, or because they have inoperable armpit sweat is not helping matters. This careless and flippant attitude is damaging and insulting to the people that really are depressed, the people that have demonstrably impaired brain functioning.

I understand situational depression happens, and it can be just as debilitating as chronic depression, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the, “OMG im so totally depressed bcuz I cant hang out wit mah gurl friend 2 nite,” crowd. Yeah, stop using that word, you sniveling little shit. You are not depressed. You are upset.

This is why people scoff at depression. They don’t recognize it as a debilitating condition. They see it as a joke. A weakness. A character flaw. A condition that can be cured by a happy song and a new sweater. And, if a person stays depressed, well, that person is just lazy. They’re “…using depression as an excuse to be a worthless piece of shit,” as one fine gentlemen said to me recently. Thank’s buddy. You really made a point there.

Yes, This is a Thing that Happens

Where the Hell is the Key to This Thing

Just last year, after fighting for an associate’s degree and then fighting the job market, I landed a job with insurance. It was the first time I had insurance in 16 years. My various illnesses then became so bad that I could no longer work. I lost the job and the insurance that came with it.

I tried to collect the private disability insurance that I had paid for every week, but because I had signed the policy in December of 2013, before the new healthcare laws went into effect, the pre-existing clause was still legal. After months of going back and forth with the insurance company. Running around getting medical records, sending them papers from my former employer, after signing a piece of paper that gave them access to any and all medical records that have ever been collected on me, they told me they came to the conclusion that I was indeed disabled, but they wouldn’t pay because of a technicality. Essentially, they made me run around and wait five months to tell me something that they should have said in five seconds.

After my disability was denied, I tried to apply for insurance through the exchange, but because I qualified for Medicaid, they would not let me buy a policy. Apparently, if a person qualifies for Medicaid, they have to apply for and then be denied it before they can buy an insurance policy on the exchange. It can take up to six months to get a decision from Medicaid. Also, and here’s the really fun part, in my case the Medicaid decision is attached to my Social Security Disability claim, which could take a year and a half before it’s settled. I am suicidal and physically ill, and I can’t get insurance, for up to a year and a half. It doesn’t matter that I’m willing to pay for a private policy. It doesn’t matter that my conditions can not wait for a year and a half.

I looked for something I could do in the meantime, but there was nothing. There is no coverage available for people stuck between Medicaid and the exchange. This is the system that is supposed to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens? This is what we came up with? And people wonder why I feel hopeless all the time.

Sweet Potatoes Really Are Disgusting

What's Behind Door Number One

I don’t want this. I don’t want any of this. I didn’t ask for this. I don’t want to eat, but I don’t want to not eat. I don’t want to exercise, but I don’t want to sit on my ass all day. I don’t want to go outside, but I don’t want to stay inside. I don’t want to play any games, but I don’t want to be bored. I don’t want to be miserable, but I don’t want to be happy either.

This is all the illness talking, of course. At least, that’s what they tell me. I’m afraid I might get to a point where I’m no longer mentally ill, but still take no pleasure in the world. I mean, what if I just don’t like being alive? Some people don’t like carrots, and some people don’t like life. Is that a thing? Does that happen? In addition to my aversion to sweet potatoes, do I also have a general loathing for  life?

Get Back Down There, Worm!

Less Than a Worm

I’m at the bottom, and I’m afraid I always will be. It doesn’t matter how hard I work to climb up, I’m always forced back down. I fall, I get up, I climb. I fall, I get up, I climb. A rising and falling tide, a perfect cycle of failure. It’s happened a hundred times too many, I’m afraid. Cynicism and suicidal ideation are my reaction to everything now. I will lay  in this filth until I break, and when that happens I will kill myself.

I’m making excuses for my personal failure in life, yes? I have a defeatist attitude, yes? I deserve everything I get, or don’t get, yes? I’m weak, yes? I’m stupid, yes? I’m worthless. Yes. I believe I am.

Pills Aren’t Popcorn

Light Goes On Light Goes Off

My mom took epic amounts of pills. A few here, a few there, and sometimes great handfuls at once. Empty pill bottles rolled across the floor like tumbleweeds. Little orange bottles with little white lids and little white labels hid in every space of the house.

When she took her heaping handfuls of pills, she left reality behind. She spoke gibberish while stumbling around the house like a drunk three year old. She put food on the stove and forgot about it. She swallowed a quarter. She spoke to things only she could see. She got lost in her own house. When she came to the next day, she would laugh and laugh as my brother and I recounted the tales of her drugged up antics. She was a barrel of laughs, my mom.

Nail Polish Remover Kills

Fingernails Are Pretty

The screaming and boxing matches between my parents were too much for me. I was scared and sad all the time, and I had no means of escape. When I stumbled on a chance to end it, I took it.

“This stuff is poisonous, so go wash your hands,” my mother said, twisting the cap onto the bottle of nail polish remover.

Poisonous? Really?

I walked down the hallway and slowly entered the bathroom. I turned on the water, and pretended to wash my hands as I stared into the mirror. I said goodbye to my tiny reflection, and walked to my bedroom. I said long, tearful goodbyes my stuffed animals, and somberly knelt down in front of the window. I put my fingers in my mouth, and waited to die.

I was very upset when the poison failed to kill me. Taking more of it, or finding some other poison never crossed my tiny, little mind. Kindergartners just aren’t that smart.

The Cat Pee Sauna

What Smells Like Windex

The smell of cat piss was awe-inspiring. It wasn’t just a hint of ammonia in the air. It wasn’t just a smell coming from the litter box. No, this was a smell that made you question reality. It was a living smell, a sticky ooze moving over your skin. It greeted you the second you walked within five feet of the house. If you ventured inside, it jumped on you like an excited puppy. It licked your face and rubbed against your clothes, leaving its scent behind.

When the weather turned hot and humid, the house became a piss fueled sauna. The only escape was my mom’s bedroom, where a small air conditioner sat in the window. It supplied us with fresh, cool air while we slept and ate. It was an oasis where we hid ourselves away from the foul world we lived in.