Sunday, July 4, 2010

It Only (Mostly) Comes Out At Night

I've suffered from depression on and off since 7th or 8th grade. I suppose the fact that it keeps coming back means that it's always been there. It just goes through cycles. I've gone to see counselors several times, and as a psych major I know that that's the best thing to do, but I can't seem to connect with them. I can't bring myself to be honest, I hide things from them, I don't expect them to genuinely care. They're being paid to listen to me whine about crap that most normal people don't have problems with.

I don't trust them.

I don't trust a lot of people, and it all boils down to the fact that I don't trust them to care. I don't trust that they have my best interest at heart, or that I'm not bugging them by asking them for what I need. I don't trust them, even my family and loved ones, to love me unconditionally. I can't seem to believe that they can do what I find easily - loving someone, giving, caring about their day-to-day wellbeing without resenting it.

Sometimes I come closer to believing it, but I always shy away from talking about the hard stuff because I feel like it's asking too much of them. I don't want to dump on them, and confrontation makes me puke. (Literally, sometimes.) I don't know how to talk to people about problems when I feel ignored or less important than I'd like. I hate making people feel bad, so how am I supposed to tell them that I'm dissatisfied with the way things are at the moment?

The depression and dark thoughts are always at their worst at night, when things are quiet except inside my head. Then the screaming starts - when I'm so tired of things being the same day in and day out, when I'm tired of not having any excitement, when I'm tired of feeling like capable wallpaper, when I'm so very tired of feeling like I'm stagnating. It usually goes away in the morning, but nights like tonight I flash back to when I would deal with this overwhelming barrage of emotions by cutting myself. I don't do that anymore, haven't in about a year or more. It was a way of releasing the pressure. But now I have writing and games and so many other things that help a bit to distract that banshee bit of my brain. I've made progress...I think.

Tonight it's just hard to see it.


  1. Oh Sweetie, my youngest daughter deals with this same issue. She just turned 21 and is doing much better these days, but wow, it was so difficult for so many years. Just know that on nights like this, there are people out here who care, and who understand. Counseling hasn't helped because you haven't found the right person yet. You will. Or maybe you will begin to heal yourself. Ask for all the assistance you can, from many sources. It's worth it. And there are more folks willing to help you than you even know right now.

  2. Sierra, it sounds like you have made wonderful progress. I hope you will find the path to healing that is right and best for you very soon.

  3. I stopped going to counseling in college because I didn't like the voice of the counselor they gave me junior year (my counselor from the previous year had graduated). Just something in her voice made me not want to talk about Things. In this latest stint, I tried the three counselors my insurance covered who work within walking distance (no car and didn't trust myself to metro to appointments) and it was the last one who I finally connected with (not that 3 is a lot). The first one made me so angry and upset that she wasn't seeming to listen to me or believe me that I downed an entire large diner milkshake afterward to keep from screaming. I also bought Toby a harness and leash on the way home because I needed to buy something for him (most of my shopping urges are for him).

    It sucks finding the right counselor. I'm glad that you've got games and writing now. My first great counselor had me read Viktor Frankl and talk about finding meaning. He knew that I loved to write and suggested that the crappy experiences in my life, the things I struggled with (regardless of whether the majority of neuronormal people struggled with them) would help me write and realize better characters and that was their possible meaning.

    Night time can suck. I always go pet Toby when I get like that.

  4. You are making progress because you can identify with it. Try a new counselor. Or a few. When talking about personall stuff it takes a lot to confide in someone else. And it may take a few that you may meet until you find one to connect with. And in all honesty there are some people out there that just should be in a different profession. So don't be afraid to try different ones.

    Hope today was better and maybe try to write about how you are feeling. In a journal or here. No one is here to judge you.

  5. Oh, honey... First of all, *hugs*!

    Finding a counselor that you connect with is important. I agree with the urgings to shop around. I'd urge you to take advantage of any student mental health services your school offers, too; I believe they're usually free to students. (Well, already covered as part of your tuition, anyway, so you might as well use them if you need them!)

    I don't know if this is helpful or potentially counterproductive, but another way to look at the commercial aspect of the relationship between you and a therapist might be that since you're paying for their services, you can be assured that they're not going to drive you away for anything that you might say. That could give you more freedom, in a way...

    (But it's important to note that if you really connect with a counselor, I think the commercial aspect of the relationship won't feel as obtrusive.)

    I don't know that "most normal people don't have problems with" the things that upset you... Just because it looks like rainbows and lollipops on the outside doesn't mean it's like that at all on the inside. (As you are surely aware!) And lots of the things you've told me about in the past--it's not "abnormal" to be upset by them. It's actually quite natural. I wish you would go easier on yourself this way, but that is probably part of the root problem...

    Please remember that your friends never feel like you're "dumping on us." Hell, I've called you guys in tears after midnight--did you resent me for that?

    Finally, Bing Crosby wants to help:

    Love you, dear.

  6. >Please remember that your friends never feel like you're "dumping on us." Hell, I've called you guys in tears after midnight--did you resent me for that?

    I understand that's pretty much exactly what you're saying when you write, "I can't seem to believe that they can do what I find easy - loving someone, giving, caring about their day-to-day wellbeing without resenting it."

    But there's nothing else I can think of to do, to try to help, but to remind you of that.