Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.
#depression #depressed #suicidalideation #bipolar #loneliness
This is the post that I’ve avoided submitting since the beginning. I’ve written this post, or fragments of it, many times now. I’ve watched this post through cloudy lenses as it has vanished beneath the tide when I’ve held down [BACKSPACE]. Time and time again it has been washed away by self consciousness and totally eroded by embarrassment. I’ve come to realise that, even though my mind tells me the opposite, this post survives not as a monument to self indulgence on my part but as evidence of a force of will. It is easier to not communicate when feeling this way than to reach out. I’ve read your posts about having bad days and I said that I wouldn’t make similar submissions. Here I break another promise to myself. This post is more difficult to write than to avoid writing. That is simple truth. I am fighting against what I know to be a broken mind urging me to seclusion.
It has become almost ritual that while waiting to trick sleep into climbing into bed with me I cry. Right now I’m mourning my ‘old life’. With each successive episode of depression I notice the island of the life I thought I was going to have is further away. A wave rises, falls and I’m further adrift. I attempt to put plans and schemes into effect in order that I’ll have less reason to feel badly. To follow the metaphor through these plans are like having seeds on my raft and expecting to be able to start farming out at sea. “Those days are gone.” – my dear friend would say. He’s right. Here I am still making plans all shaped to fit into a slot of a life I don’t have, like an idiot. I’m destined to have the unusual life of someone insane and incapable of prolonged happiness – of this much I’m sure. The thought that punctuates my plans, hopes and aspirations is: “Who are you kidding?”
It is impossible to avoid suicidal ideation when you’re made to feel powerless in determining your outlook on life, let alone determining the things that happen in your life. I live in a tropical paradise right now. Nearby is a city full of revelry and optimism. I go to the city occasionally and see a strobe-lit succession of all the bright young things at the outset of their adult lives. How distant and alien I feel stood close-by to these people. I have no good reason to not be overjoyed, carefree and optimistic. I have finally come to a point where I have to admit to myself that ‘good reasoning’ doesn’t and hasn’t ever had a part to play in the landscape of my emotions.
One of the most painful elements to my depression right now is that I feel as though I am trapped in a soundproof, one-way-glass box looking outwards as the last of my youth deserts me. Young and healthy, I spend my time feeling as though my life has already passed me by. Why can’t I just be happy? Why do I have to think and feel the way I do? I can’t kill myself nor can I lead a fulfilling life with a strong narrative. I collapse inwards periodically and I know I always will. It will mean the absence of any real progress in ANYTHING I do just like it always has. This place is wasted on me and I’m wasting my time being in it. I don’t want to be here and I don’t want to be ‘home’. Truthfully right now I just don’t want to be. Financially, romantically, professionally and personally I am a self-saboteur – same as it ever was.
I don’t even know what I want as a response to this, if anything, or if I’m putting this here for posterity. I’m not fishing for sympathy, indeed I don’t want it. I feel that writing this is in some small way a resistance against the urge to just do and be nothing. It is much easier to delete these posts and go sit in bed, gulping back tears and hoping that none of my friends try to contact me.