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Depression Is - Andres Ruiz

A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear, A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, In word, or sigh, or tear.  — Samuel Coleridge

Depression is waking up, oh my god why are my eyelids glued shut?

Five more minutes. Ten more minutes. Half an hour more please?

Maybe if I don’t take a lunch I can go in an hour late.

Try to go back to sleep, how can I tell my boss I need a sick day?

A mental health day? Nothing’s wrong though. Everything’s wrong. What the fuck is wrong?

I spin all the possible text combinations in my head. Shit, there went fifteen minutes I could have used for sleep.

I’m trapped in bed. How does anyone ever get up? It’s been half an hour. Am I even resting? I lay there, eyes closed, everything’s a fog, and yet my head wont shut the fuck up.

It’s been an hour.

I’ve got an idea for my next post.

I haven’t finished the last four.

Maybe if I don’t take a lunch break tomorrow I can sleep an extra two hours today.

I pass out. I wake up in a panic. How long have I been out?!

Phone tells me twenty minutes. Fuck you phone.

If I stay here I’ll spend half the day dreaming up excuses to stay in bed. If I miraculously fall asleep my body yells at me, twenty minutes is all you get.

I might as well get up. I’m gonna be late anyway, no lunch today. I need more sleep.

Get up. Five minutes. Get up. Ten minutes. Get up. Twenty Minutes. Get. Up.

I’m used to this routine. It’s the same command I utter on nights my body missed the memo. Numb limbs. Mind alert.

Sleep paralysis. There are two strategies for this. Yell loud enough inside your head and hope your body will respond, or try your best to fall asleep and hope to god your body decides to work next time you find yourself awake.

Have you ever tried to calm your mind while physically unable to move?

Move. Arm still frozen. I said move. Barely a twitch. Fucking move.

Cursing at your body isn’t more likely to make it listen. You give up. You try not to panic. Count your breaths. I should have learned to fucking meditate.

Depression is the same routine. Get up. Get up. Get. Up.

It’s easy to convince yourself you’re lazy. Add that to my unenviable collection of vices. Sloth. Take that depression. I’m not sick. I’m lazy.

Depression is hoping a morning shower+two shots of espresso+sugar free redbull+two 20mg of adderall+whatever nicotine you have lying around will help you stay awake until 5pm. It’s 9am.

It’s noon. Adderall is wearing off. Here comes the crash. I could steal one from tomorrow’s dose. Fuck my tolerance. I take another.

I’m tired still. Two yawns per minute? I don’t want to know. The more I track them the more I seem to yawn. 10 hours of sleep is never enough.

I’m home from work. I want to sleep. I shouldn’t sleep. I’ve got four hours of me time. Start writing. Read more. Create something. Prove you were alive today.

I settle into the hammock with the laptop on my thigh. I write ten words. Open Reddit. I just looked at these ten minutes ago. What’s up on Facebook? Everyone’s doing cool things with their lives.

Oh, they’re getting married. This dude just got published. She’s traveling the world. This guy wrote some songs. She bought a house. Donald Trump said something stupid. I’m glad to know these people. I hate these people.

I look at this worthless draft. Add this one to my never ending pile of things I start and lost all interest in.

Fuck intellectual OCD. Every day obsessing over something new. Dive into the depths. Maybe this hobby will stick.

Philosophy. Psychiatry. Psychology. Drugs. Watches. Clothes. Richard Simmons podcast. I should read more. I should write more. This is probably why people have kids.

If I sleep 12 hours I might have more energy tomorrow.

Phone’s alarm goes off. I need to change that goddamn morning ringtone. I’ve been meaning to for months. Fucking birds.

Why does it hurt to wake up? No lunch today. I curse yesterday me for sabotaging myself today. Fucking prick. Also took one of my adderalls meant for today. No lunch. Half my dose. How am I supposed to stay awake?

I still owe $900 in medical bills for that sleep study last year. I wish it’d have been sleep apnea. At least I’d know why I’m always so goddamn tired. Two sleep studies. 20lbs lighter. Still no closer to knowing why my body always screams at me to sleep.

Depression is not knowing if the bleakness of my worldview is caused by grief, or if the never-ending existential blues are the product of the shittiness of the world. Who cares?

I helped some people at work today. I’m good at this. I’m working on a second master’s degree. I’ll be a therapist some day. Life goals help. Psychotherapy is pretty cool. Why do I think it’s bullshit? Anyone can sit there, half listening, jotting notes they’ll never read. How shameful is it that we have to fork over $60 for 55 minutes of some stranger to sit and listen to us? Have we all become that fucking isolated? Last therapist I saw was alright. I’m not sure why I ghosted him.

Go for more nature walks. Oh right. That’s why. 60 bucks a session to receive some common fucking sense advice.

He can’t even prescribe any meds.

Oh the meds. Fuck the meds. Why did I get sucked into that world? They’re placebo. Everyone should know. I regret knowing. Why do I still take them?

Fuck Prozac. I’m convinced it almost made me an alcoholic. And the fucking hand tremors. Good thing I’m not in law enforcement anymore, how would I ever be able to hold that damn gun? I felt numb though. Numbness is great. If it’s a placebo how could I feel so numb? I don’t fucking know. But I’ll take numbness over whatever this is any day.

Why does everyone complain about the numbness of these meds? Aren’t they in pain? When everything feels like a punch in the gut why would anyone ever complain of fucking numbness?

Numbness is invincibility. Immovability. I feel nothing. It feels great. I flush the Prozac. 27 is too young to drink myself to death.

Cymbalta. What poison. Night terrors. As if my relationship to sleep weren’t precarious enough. I wake up screaming. What was I dreaming? I don’t know. I never know.

Hand tremors still there. I’m ashamed to hold a cup of coffee in public. My hand is shaking. Always shaking. Can anyone tell?

I wake up screaming again. My eyes open to find my arms wrapped around this pillow’s nonexistent neck. A rear-naked choke. Who the fuck was I fighting?

I miss jiu-jitsu. I think it helped. But now all I use it for is shrimping in my bed and guillotining an oversized pillow while I scream GET THE FUCK OFF ME.

And the dreams. Those horrid vivid dreams. Who needs acid when you’ve got front row seats to the horror show? And it’s always a horror show. Is it against the rules to have vivid dreams that are ever, you know, pleasant?

I read up on Cymbalta. Oh my god the horror stories. How is this legal? And the tapering is even worse? I’m getting off this poison. Flush.

Here comes the withdrawal. Head lightning. Night terrors persist. Sex drive gone. This is medicine?

Zoloft. I feel nothing. That’s good I guess. Hand tremors still there. That’s okay though, I quit that awful job. Maybe that’s why I feel better? I don’t know what caused it, but now I’m afraid to get off these pills, just in case.

Some days I forget to take them. No lightning bolts in the head, but holy shit the dizziness. I’ll keep taking them.

I slept ten hours again. I’ve been up for an hour. I need a nap. Things are okay. I love my new job. So why am I still sad?

I should socialize more. I’m too tired to chat though. I’m also feeling bloated. I should talk to my family more, I really am a bad son. My phone rings, it’s my dad. So much of my sadness has to do with him, my childhood, I should fix things. I’m too tired and sad to talk. I hate small talk.

It’s not true what they say by the way. That tracing your pain back to its source gives you the tools to move on. What’s the difference between not knowing why you’re hurt all the time and finding yourself paralyzed, unable to do anything about the roots of your despair?

Depression is more than sadness. Depression is manufactured. Depression is not a chemical imbalance.

To be frank, I don’t give a fuck. I just wish it weighed less.


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