Honesty Hour - Part 1
Category: Real Life
This is likely going to be a very long post, and it is likely not going to be very happy at all. I know I could possibly lose some friends over this but honestly, I don't care at this point. I respect you all enough to let you know just what you're getting into with me… The thoughts that run through my head and things I feel in my heart, things that trouble or upset me, things I enjoy or used to enjoy… You all deserve to know the truth. Am I scared to tell you? Absolutely. I'm terrified I'll lose people. I'm terrified that my friends are going to leave me, but you know what? I need to get this out in the open, I need to be completely honest with all of you. I have done a post like this once before but I have since deleted it, as I felt rather bad about posting it. This one will not be going anywhere. I will post it as both a bulletin and a blog so that I can always repost it whenever I feel the need. I’ve been thinking about doing this a lot in recent days and I finally decided to just do it. Some of you may remember the post I posted a while back, where I talked about a thought I had in the shower and mentioned possibly having undiagnosed depression. This post will go more in-depth than that one did, as that is still something that seems to really be bothering me. One more thing before we begin… This post will probably skip around at times, bounce from subject to subject to subject before somehow going back to the original subject. I’m sorry if it does, I will try to keep things organized… But if it does bounce around like that just know it’s not intentional, that’s literally how my brain works at times and I have a hard time controlling it.
Jumping right into the deep-end. First off, I have never been to a doctor or therapist about this so I can’t say for sure if it’s something I suffer from. The only thing I can do is take quizzes and discuss things with a friend of mine, someone who was clinically diagnosed with severe depression at just thirteen years old. Believe me, we have had many MANY talks about it. We used to stay up late talking whenever she was going through a particularly nasty spell, so I remember it all clearly. When I first began feeling like I do, she was the first person I talked to about it. She sent me an online test and said she would take it as well and we could compare scores… Mind you, she’s in Austin, Texas and I live a good 3.5-4 hours away from her. There is no way we can see each other’s computer screens to copy answers, and I don’t have her personal number so I can’t call her. Yet on this test… We ended up with the EXACT same score. The more we discussed things and went through possible signs of depression, the more confident I felt that I do suffer (at least in some way) from depression. I’m not saying this as a plea for attention, because I don’t want that. I don’t want sympathy or pity, condolence or consoling… I don’t need any of that. I’m saying all of this so that you people, the people I care for, understand why I do or say certain things or why I sometimes disappear without warning for days at a time. I’m going to list some of the signs we discussed or that I have found through other means and may mention how they affect me, if I really feel like it.
- Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions.
Concentrating - I’ve found myself zoning off while playing video games before, and have had to restart countless levels because of it. I even zone off while on the phone and actively talking to my friends. Remembering details - I have to keep lists constantly at work or I’ll forget what I’m doing or what I need. Making decisions - I consciously have to remind myself to shower or brush my teeth, otherwise I’ll forget and just spend hours staring at the computer screen until I eventually pass out.
I can sleep for 9+ hours, wake up a good ten minutes before my alarm goes off, and I’ll still feel tired. I just feel drained from the moment my feet hit the floor and will want to crawl back into bed even though I have work. I can’t seem to wake up at all and don’t want to do anything but sleep all day long, yet when I finally get home I end up just messing around on my computer until 10pm or later, when I finally let myself go back to sleep. I’ve had people ask why I’m so tired all the time when I sleep almost 10 / 11 hours a night… I have no explanation other than “I just am.”
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness.
Guilt - I blame myself when people fight, even though I had nothing to do with it and wasn’t even in the general area at the time. I blame myself whenever the weather changes. I blame myself for things that I literally have NO control over. I even blamed myself for my dog's death (even though he was almost 20 years old and died of natural causes in his sleep). Worthlessness - Totally. I mean, there are times where I find myself thinking about how I’m in my thirties and have done literally nothing and will leave nothing behind when I die except physical possessions. I won’t have a book beloved by many that will carry my memory, I won’t have songs sung daily by fans, I won’t have literally anything except a memory in the hearts of my family that will fade when the last person who knows me personally is gone. I have nothing of value, and have done nothing of value, to offer the world or those in it. Helplessness - I can’t fight, can’t shoot… If I get attacked when I’m alone, I’m certainly probably going to die. I don’t have the money to learn these skills and videos online can only teach you so much.
- Pessimism and hopelessness.
These two… Not so much, if ever.
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much.
OH boy. Let’s talk about this one. Insomnia, or the inability to sleep, is definitely something I suffer. Despite the fatigue, there are still times where I will lay in bed for HOURS just staring at the wall and praying that Mr. Sandman hurries up. I have gone a full 76 hours of no sleep before and only managed to pass out after the 76 hour mark due to a boring movie on tv. Early-morning wakefulness - I’m usually waking up between 2:30 - 3am every morning. Most times it’s just to use the bathroom or get a drink, but it’s unprompted and unwanted. There are times where I wake up before 3am and don’t want a drink or have to use the bathroom, yet I’m unable to sleep so I’m awake almost 4 hours before my alarm goes off for work. Sometimes I just randomly wake up at 6am, just an hour before my alarm, and sometimes I wake up only three minutes before the alarm goes off. Rarely ever can I sleep soundly right up to the alarm or be woken by the alarm itself. Sleeping too much - Yeah, this doesn’t happen at all… Even on my days off.
Yep. Sometimes I can play it off as “I haven’t eaten yet” or something simple like that, but there are times where I literally snap at anyone over anything and I just want to be left alone. Sometimes when I’m just sittin in my room and someone comes in, interrupting whatever I’m doing to ask a question, I get annoyed and give short answers.
Usually only when anxiety rears its ugly head. Sometimes I can be completely calm yet I don’t feel relaxed and the silence ends up annoying me. For whatever reason I just cannot completely relax. I can’t even relax in a hot bath or shower, or laying under the summer sun. The only time I am able to fully relax is when I’m asleep.
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex.
Used to thoroughly enjoy video games - rarely play anymore (haven’t played one in almost four months). Used to watch movies almost every night, not anymore. The only thing I still do that I enjoy is listening to music. I cannot go one day without music. I listen to music in the shower, I listen while cleaning the house, I listen at work, I listen in the car, I even play music while I’m walking around the yard or checking the mail. If my music is ever off for more than a day, that’s when you worry.
- Overeating, or appetite loss.
I remember in high school I would eat three meals a day, then snacks when I got home. Sometimes I’d eat snacks between meals or just literally snack all day long until dinner, then eat ice cream after… Not anymore. Now I can still eat three meals a day, but I rarely snack. Most of the time I won’t eat dinner, unless it’s something I absolutely love. Some days I’ll skip breakfast or lunch. There have been very rare days where I’ve gone literally all day without eating anything… But those only happen once in a blue moon.
- Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won't go away.
I have had headaches for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember a day when my head didn’t hurt… Most of the time it’s a very dull ache that is easy to ignore, but some days it gets so bad that I just have to close my eyes and put my head under a pillow. My back hurts all the time, though people tell me it’s just because of my job… Yeah that may be a part of it, but it’s not the full story. My neck hurts all the time, even after I get it popped/adjusted. Cramps… Not so much. I rarely even have cramps during “That time of the month”.
- Digestive problems that don't get better, even with treatment.
Not so much, if ever.
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings.
I cry without reason. I cry when people say they’re proud of me or how happy they are for me. I cry whenever someone gives me a compliment. I cry at movies when there’s nothing to cry over. I can even make myself cry with just a thought… I’m even on the verge of crying while typing this paragraph. On the flip side, there are times where I literally don’t feel anything. This one happens more often… I’ll be at work and just doing my job with the music blasting and suddenly I’ll just feel nothing. I won’t feel the joy of the music or the energy it offers, I won’t feel the joy of going home after a long day… I won’t even feel the joy of loving my dogs when I finally get changed into my pjs… I just won’t feel anything.
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
I can’t say I’ve ever attempted suicide, but the thoughts have been around since I was in middle school. I would sometimes clean dirt from under my fingernails with the blade of a small knife and I’d catch myself thinking how it’d be okay if it just slipped and went into my wrist. It was never a constant thought, though. Like it’d be there, make itself known, then disappear. Now, there are some days where I’ll be just working away at work and one minor thing could go wrong… Next thing I know I’m thinking about how the building could catch fire and I wouldn’t really care, or how it wouldn’t matter if some crazy person busted into the room I was cleaning and just took me out somehow. Again, these thoughts don’t happen a lot, but they do happen.
- Social Withdrawal
Sometimes this could be called self-isolation. Whatever you want to call it, it’s where you want to completely shut out the world and fall deeper into your own hell. I have felt this every single day for the past two months. I just keep thinking how it’d be so easy to just delete every social media account I have (facebook, RPer, Discord…) and just disappear without explanation. I don’t want to be around my family and, as previously stated, get annoyed when they come within my personal space (I.E. my room / personal domain). I don’t want to talk to my friends, except for like two of them. I don’t want to be around anyone or anything except my pets. I don’t want to watch tv, see the papers, or see my computer… I just want to hide from literally everything. I know I can’t do that and that people will worry… But it’s been on my mind a LOT here lately and I feel like I’m losing the battle.
This involves dwelling and brooding about themes like loss and failure that cause you to feel worse about yourself. I briefly mentioned earlier about how I would sometimes blame myself for things I had NO control over… Those thoughts would fall under this category. When I get those thoughts, I find myself just wanting to curl up in a corner and cry, because I feel so worthless. During these episodes I usually do end up thinking about how people would be better off if they weren’t friends with me, and how I should delete them before they can delete me… There are times where I feel like people would be better off without me as a friend even without the self-blame and self-loathing.
So… Yeah. While these signs / symptoms aren’t anything to worry about on their own, when you put them all together like this… You can’t help but to wonder. I know this post is already almost six pages long and people are getting tired of reading it but I promise, it’s very important (at least to me).
I want to engage with people.
I want to talk, laugh, and interact with people.
I want friends to write with and have a good time with.
I want to participate in large group stories or in a group chat with a lot of people.
You’re probably wondering why I’m not doing these things if I want them so bad, right?
Because I can’t.
When I’m around a lot of people my anxiety kicks into overdrive and I just back down. I might be okay for a few minutes but when more and more people start becoming active, I find myself feeling very nervous / anxious and I just panic. I begin thinking “am I being too annoying?”, “what if they don’t like me?”, “how do I even respond to them?”, “they’re all so close with each other, what if I ruin something that’s a private joke between them?”... These thoughts cause me to just shut down. I think about them, watch interactions between the other members, and just feel so insecure that I actually end up crying because the anxiety gets so bad. I want to have group story lines with more people, I really do, but I just can’t because of my anxiety.
This next part is something I haven’t told a lot of people… I don’t even think I’ve mentioned it to anyone on this site. I’m not sure if I should mention it but I’ve come this far so… I might as well, right?
I love to write. I love creating scenarios, conversations, and romances all within fictional settings. I love making something that can bring someone to the edge of their seat with anticipation or grab them right in the feels. I really enjoy this and that’s one reason why I joined this site in the first place. I was so excited to create new worlds with other creative individuals and explore the depths of what was possible through imagination. But… I’m not enjoying it as much anymore. I still love to write, as is evident by how many drabbles I post. What I don’t enjoy is the bullying, fighting, harassing and other negative aspects that seem to plague this site. There were so many wonderfully creative people that I thoroughly enjoyed writing with… All of which just up and deleted for no reason just a few years ago. As little as one month ago I had a lot of people with whom I was in the process of discussing stories with and was about to work on starters for in the coming days… But each and every one of them has deleted their account since then. Guys… I don’t have any hope anymore. I don’t have hope that this site will get better. I don’t have hope that I’ll find people who won’t delete. I don’t have hope that I’ll ever have any stories going with anyone aside from the few I have right now. I just… I don’t have any hope anymore. This could be due to the depressive episodes, or it could be partially causing the depressive episodes… I’m not sure which is true at this point. All I know is this… The more people I see falling victim to the negative sides of this site, the more upset I get. The more people I see deleting their pages, the more upset I get. There have been times where I’ve come online to see someone else has deleted and I just cry… I cry for hours. It’s irrational, I know. Another thing that seems to fuel the “I wouldn’t be missed” line of thinking and self-loathing is when I spend hours, sometimes days, writing a piece and post it because I’m so happy with it...and it doesn’t get any feedback or even a share. I know people are busy and not everyone has time to read or share but my mind loves to turn these situations into hour-long “you don’t belong here anymore” conversations within my head. Again, I know it’s irrational and definitely not true… But when the negative feelings already exist within you, it’s hard to fight the mental conversations your mind has at your expense.
I’m going to stop here before it gets any longer… It’s already sitting at almost 7 pages. I may add more (or a second part) later on if I can think of anything else. For now… I know this wasn’t a happy piece but I do hope you all appreciate the honesty. I’m sorry for the length… I’m just gonna go now. I have some other things planned that I want to work on in the coming days so, yeah. Be on the lookout for those, as well as a part two of the honesty party if one comes to mind.
If you read all the way to the end... Thank you.