I was doing a bit of a thread on Twitter (which I spectacularly goofed, because I am great at technology and social media!) and I realised this topic totally deserved a longer post, so here y'all go.
I don't talk about my emotions much on here; I have my personal diary for that. I've considered making this more of a journal-esque site before, but with the amount of book reviews and music stuff that I'm juggling it felt unnecessary to pile even more onto my already over-flowing plate. Apparently drinking a mixture of different alcoholic beverages while in a melancholy state was all the persuasion I required...
I have depression, and I am struggling.
I have been suffering with depression for as long as I can remember.
It's mostly due to the knowledge that I'll never contribute anything to the world: I'm remarkably average. I'm not a genius and I don't have a great memory - I was never going to be good enough to be a doctor or a surgeon - but I'm not even creative enough to excel in the literary or journalistic fields where my interest lies.
I constantly feel like I'm taking up space that could be better used by somebody else. Somebody friendlier, more considerate, funny, pretty, witty, clever... Somebody better than me in every way. It's one of the reasons I struggle to assert myself: I don't contact authors to see if I can work with them, because the likelihood is they've already got something lined up with a blogger who has more followers and more experience. The same can be said with bands: there are so many new, local bands that I would love the chance to interview, but there's no point in messaging them because I'll mess it up and they deserve coverage from someone competent, someone who knows what they're doing.
Currently, my depression is impacting EVERYTHING. I've never experienced it like this before.
This blog gets an average number of pageviews and it has taken up more of my time in the past three years than I care to admit. I love supporting other people and finding new blogs to follow, but when I have to watch so many of them experience that stratospheric rise that I thought was just an urban legend, I feel majorly disheartened. I don't know what I'm doing wrong; I don't know what more I can do. I want to take a break, but that's counter-intuitive: if I take a break it'll fail for sure!
It means I'm struggling to motivate myself. I'm reading, but I'm not enjoying the books as much; I'm just speeding through and wanting them to hurry up and finish (even the ones that I think I really like!). I'm missing deadlines like nobody's business, and the review copies I'm receiving are piling up, so the guilt is getting bigger too. I'm churning out the same weekly features every week - sometimes begrudgingly, sometimes more optimistically - but I'm never having fun. I can't think of any new ideas, so there's nothing that makes this site unique. I know that means I should work harder and come up with something, but I'm just grasping at straws and I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do it.
I stopped taking some medication back in January, and for the last three months I've felt better than I have in years. It's making this crash even harder to deal with. I'm a kite with no string, a sail with no mast, completely disconnected from the world around me.
Everything is difficult.
I can't remember what I did last week, I can't remember the simplest things, my brain is allowing everything to go down the drain and it's frustrating me so much. Do you know what it's like to be looking at a window and to have no idea what word you're looking for?
I'm supposed to be studying English at university in September, and I can't even remember what a fucking window is! How much use am I going to be when I'm expected to use specific terminology and reference excerpts and remember reading I've done around the topic?
I don't even know if I should go to uni, because I'm so sure I'm going to mess it up. If they find out how much of a mess I am, there's no way they're going to want to have someone like me on their course. Sometimes I find it so hard to get out of bed in the morning, and on those days I can't even feed myself, let alone work hard and deserve a place on a course. They should have given my spot to someone else, and I feel so guilty that I'm not good enough and they're going to know they made a mistake.
Then there's my boyfriend. I'm distancing myself from him, and I can feel it. There's only so much affection that you can fake, and I don't know what's genuine and what's me putting on an act anymore. Just last month I was so happy and I was certain that we were going to be together for the long haul, and now I struggle to pay attention when I'm with him and I get a basketball of anxiety in my chest every time I see him (and I get extremely worried when I don't see him... So THAT'S convenient). I was going to break up with him last night because it's not fair for me to expect him to deal with all of my issues, but it's also not fair of me to hurt him - he might understand and be perfectly happy to help me through everything, but it's almost impossible for me to talk to him about it without sounding like an idiot.
I have no reason to be depressed, so I don't really know why I am: how am I supposed to explain that to someone else? I'm not even really explaining it here, I'm just rambling and making myself feel even more stupid (oh, and having a bit of a cry, so that's good!).
I'm just worried that I'm going to do something stupid. I've self-harmed in the past and I'm getting such strong cravings to do it again... I'm trying my hardest not to, but I'm scared that it's just a matter of time until I crack and do something I regret.
I've always been a big advocate for being vocal about your mental health. If you speak up it makes it easier for people to understand and potentially help you, and it also gives comfort to those who think they're alone in what they're feeling.
This post is my way of saying you are not alone, and if you ever need someone to talk to you can come to me. My inbox is always open, and I'm happy to listen and try to help in any way I can.