TW: Mentions of depression and suicidal thoughts.
This may be the hardest post I’ve ever tried to write. I did seriously consider abandoning it but something in me kept me from doing that; I don’t know what or why. Everything I feel at the moment, and for the last year, (even when I’m feeling nothing) is so overwhelming that it’s very hard to see straight, to think straight. But I do know, without a shred of doubt, that this has been the worst year of my life, my depression as devastating as a drought. It sounds dramatic but the metaphor feels accurate. It’s hard to write about but, for some reason, I’m still trying. Here’s my best attempt to sum up 2022.
In the past, I’ve separated the year into chapters of sorts but that’s hard to do with this year. For the first half of the year, I was on medication (first ADHD meds – which fucked up my relationships with food and sleep in a way that I’m still struggling with – and then antidepressants) but I was so depressed and suicidal that I had to come off them. But things haven’t improved since then. I’m still depressed and consistently suicidal, overwhelmed by anxiety; it’s beyond miserable. (This is partly why I dislike – and therefore haven’t been – writing about it, because I just feel like I’m complaining, even when I’m simply stating facts.) On the worst days, I feel like there is no joy to be found in the world, and on the best days, the joy to be found can’t possibly outweigh the bad. And there’s just so much bad. I miss feeling safe. I feel like, somewhere along the way, something in me was irreparably broken and there’s no coming back from that, not properly. I miss who I used to be. I miss who I thought I would be. And I’m just so tired: tired of feeling this way, tired of trying so hard, tired of not knowing what to do, tired of tearing open my chest multiple times a week at therapy and feeling like I’m only making things worse. Like they’ll never get better. Like there’s no point trying to get better because there’s nothing worth getting better for. I feel like as deep as I reach for the words to describe how I feel, they’re never enough; that agony that comes with feeling like the world is just too difficult and painful to live in, I’m not sure that that’s something you can truly understand if you haven’t experienced it. I’m not sure you can understand it unless you’re in it, and maybe not even then. This year has been a war, and one I didn’t sign up for.
Looking back through my photos, I can see that, objectively speaking, good things did happen: I got to spend time with people I love, I saw beautiful art and music, I cuddled with my cats…
I don’t want to diminish those moments but they very much feel like the odd, precarious stepping stones across an ocean (I know, my metaphors are all over the place in this post). They were good things but they were fighting to be heard through all the noise of the bad. It’s like what I said in my Grateful post this year: I can know that they were good even if I can’t feel them in a way I could eighteen months ago. And it’s hard and messy because the good also reminds me of the bad, of the feeling broken, of the things that feel impossible, of the ever-present presence that is my depression. It’s also hard to talk about – the good things existing amongst the suicidal thoughts – because for each understanding response, there are so many negative, judgemental ones.
I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know what I want it to. I didn’t want this year. I didn’t expect to still be here and I’m not happy or pleased or grateful for that. I feel pathetic and stupid and cowardly; I feel broken beyond repair. I feel frozen, overwhelmed by all of these big feelings. If feelings could kill you, I think these would have.
I really have no idea if I’ve managed to accurately capture my feelings about this year; all of these feelings are so big and overwhelming that it’s hard to really know anything. It’s like trying to find your way home in a blizzard. I don’t have a neat and tidy end to this post either. This is just how things are.