My name is Mike. I’m 43 years old and I suffer from/battle Major Depression and Anxiety. My illness started at a young age after my parents divorced and my mom became an alcoholic. I lived through years of parental neglect and physical abuse. As a result, I abused alcohol for over two decades. I stopped two and a half years ago because if the booze didn’t kill me, my depression was more than willing to tie the noose. I’ve been in and out of therapy, both inpatient and outpatient. I’ve been on various meds; I’ve gone the whole nine. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the beginning of the year after I noticed my usual aches and pains were getting worse in addition to a variety of other symptoms popping up. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Fibromyalgia, it is chronic pain illness that affects the whole body. And it’s also like steroids for preexisting conditions, including depression and anxiety. So aside from the physical pain I feel every single day, my depression and anxiety have become amplified. I had a breakdown at the end of May and I ended up in the hospital on a 72 hour hold.
I’m feeling better. But, not completely there yet. I’m currently on the expressway through Side Effect City because I started Prozac. It’s not quiet done pushing every emotion I have to the surface before it finally levels me out in the next few weeks. It’s been quite a fucking ride. I thought I was losing it for good about a week ago. Now it seems to be tapering off. So, I thought it would be a good time to share something. The below is a description what I feel and think in a typical day when all my symptoms are elevated and I’m experiencing peak physical pain. Unfortunately, this occurs way too fucking frequently as of late. The intent of the piece isn’t for empathy or sympathy, but to give those who do not deal with these issues some insight.
Hollowed out doesn’t quite cover the feeling, because inside this shell are millions of raw nerve endings feeling everything that brushes by. Everything is so raw. Between the mental and physical pain it’s incredibly hard to stay grounded. To be present. Instead I’m constantly being carried off to another place. Even when I’m in a room with my feet on the ground, I trail off.
Only it’s not an escape. It’s almost like some force with an extremely powerful grip is pulling me to that far off and dark place. I’m weak, so I follow it into the hypothetical woods. Deeper and deeper I go and the world around me grows darker. I go too far into the wood and before I realize it, it is a trap. Just like every other time.
And all that is there are negative thoughts, suicidal ideation as a means of escape, shame, and everything bad thing that’s ever happened to me and every bad thing I have ever done to the people I claim to love. The visions and memories that swirl around me start to grow in numbers. They taunt me and remind me of my weakness. They remind me of my failures, and they are loud. Louder than anything. And there’s so many of them. Swirling and swirling and telling me what an awful fucking person I am. They ask me things too, like why can’t I just be happy with what I have? Why can’t I just be fine? Why can’t I just be?
By now it’s like thousands of radios are playing different songs at the same time. I can’t even focus on the negative thoughts I’m being pummeled with anymore, just noise. I’ve now fallen in and become them. They brand themselves on my skin like a permanent reminder for all to see. In this world I am an animal, a monster. And I’ve got the labels to prove it. Labels that scare off normal people and make loved ones worried.
I walk the streets with a raging inferno surrounding me. Burning anyone who gets too close. Yet inside that fire I’m screaming for help. But the words aren’t loud enough. Or maybe people just stopped listening. Either way, the storm rages on.
If you like what you have read, have any comments, or would like to reach out to someone about your own personal struggles, please shoot me an email at [email protected]