baa baa black sheep



Lately I've been feeling sad/anxious again (I had a bit there when I wasn't). Blah, blah, blah, I think, but it is there and it is enough to make the days long and exhausting.

My husband and I had a good talk, Saturday night, and the talk got around to how I've been feeling lately, how I need to tell him when I feel crappy. I am a represser, about a lot of things. I will be feeling crazy, literally thinking I want to tear skin off my chest, rip my body open to let it all out, let the crazy flood away from me. My fingertips itch. There will be times I will be in the bathroom, staring blankly in the mirror, wondering why more people don't just end it all, everything is fucked, why should I even bother trying anymore? I'll start to panic, and instead of telling anyone, I leave the room and hide out for a bit--maybe only casually mentioning it when it's all over.

I think this partly stems from my built in guilt overload system, but partly because I hear on a regular basis about how selfish depression is. "It's a selfish disease," I read, and I worry about bothering the people in my life with it. I see people who are clearly depressed, who are struggling with it, who can't cope with the overwhelming anxiety and sadness. And I see their friends and loved ones snarling to each other, "They just need to shake it off. Why don't they just snap out of it? Get over it and move on!"

And this makes me reluctant to talk about it, to mention that I'm almost unbearably sad for no reason, that there are times I think it would be easier not to live, that there are times I feel so edgy and afraid of the blackness inside of me I could scream, that there are times I see Wolfdog sneak up behind someone at work and laugh over their shoulder at me.

I stay fairly quiet. I don't want to stress others out, I don't want to bother people with my own problems, I don't want to be a burden.

I don't want to be selfish.

I don't want to be selfish.

And so I just don't tell the people I love most how I am feeling, for fear of making their lives worse. Because I love them, I don't want to bring them anguish or pain. I don't want them to be angry, I don't want to know they are hissing, "Why doesn't she just snap out of it?"

But J and I talked Saturday about how I should tell him, because he cares and genuinely wants to know. We talked about how I should write the scariest darkest stuff down, when I think it, because it makes me feel better. That I should carry a journal or something for this purpose, and that even if I just write, "I feel sad. I feel crazy." it will be a relief and tangible, and that going about my day might be a little easier.

So I think I'll try that.

In pet-related news, this morning while I was putting on make-up I heard loud, loud purring behind me. Smiling, I turned around, and saw that Coltrane had made a nest out of the clothes I was prepared to wear today. Fresh from the dryer, wrinkle and pet hair free, she had pulled them into a pile and curled droolingly up in them, purring/depositing hair madly.

They bring joy to my life,
black sheeped


Blogger Tessie said...

Uch, I intensely dislike the notion that depression is "selfish". Most people I know who are depressed are that way at least in part because they DON'T want to bother other people with their problems. Or because of family history, and we all know how selfish that is!

8:05 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Marie Green said...

I also have struggled with depression and anxiety (with anxiety being my biggest symptom, but knowing that they are related). I went without help for years b/c I didn't want to burden anyone, or be labeled, or be judged.

It is very brave to claim what you need, to be vulnerable, to say "I deserve to be happy too" and then do what you need to do to get there.

That is the message we need to send people with depression- YOU ARE BRAVE TO GET HELP.

The end.

9:26 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Swistle said...

I wonder if it would work to have a sort of "public journal." A notebook that would be left somewhere obvious, like the kitchen counter, where you could write how you were feeling. And then J could read it. It would be a way to tell him without having to tell him, the times when it's hard to talk.

10:56 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Artemisia said...

Honey, the way you feel is not selfish. Wanting to be happy is NOT selfish. It is brave! It is recognizing and honoring YOUR DIGNITY and DIVINITY.

Was that hippie enough for one day? Well, I mean it will all of my heart, my dear.

You deserve to be happy and content and at peace.

J loves you so very much. He wants to help carry this burden with you. It is scary as hell -- I know -- but I think you should try to let him carry part of it. You guys will figure out what can work. Swistle made a good suggestion.

Honey - YOU taught me that I deserve to be happy. Yes, yes you did.

I miss you so much.

Marie Green - you say kind, truthful words.

11:41 AM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Shelly Overlook said...

I have nothing of substance to add b/c your readers really rock!! & your husband is a gift, truly a great man. Consider yourself lucky and NOT selfish. Frankly I think the people who claim your depression is selfish are actually being selfish themselves b/c they don't want to deal with you. But that's just my opinion.

12:26 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger heather said...

Kara Marie, I feel like I need to respond to this, but I really don't know what to say... both because I think you said everything in your post, and also your other commenters have balanced you out perfectly.

I know your feelings and it scares me how reading your writing sometimes puts my own feelings in such a clearer perspective. Thank you for your honesty. You are absolutely the furthest thing from selfish.

And J... you are so lucky to have him. He is lucky to have you too.

12:58 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Flibberty said...

Depression selfish? Hardly. What kind of a disease is selfish? YOu are strong and you are loved. Your husband sounds like he will do anything you need of him. It's the hardest thing to do to ask for the help you need (I'm usually silent on these matters myself) but you are an inspiration to those of us that feel similarly.

3:44 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Black Sheeped said...

Sometimes you guys make me get all teary-eyed. I like you a lot.

9:45 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger PixelPi said...

You deserve to be happy. You deserve to flat out ignore idiots who think depression is selfish. Don't worry about what other people think. Unless people know real depression on a personal basis they won't understand even if you try to explain. A journal is a good idea, and I liked Swistle's idea of leaving it on the kitchen counter. Here's a virtual hug.

4:55 AM, February 01, 2008  

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