Fake It Till You Make It

It’s a curiously well-known fact that the act of making yourself smile will cause your body to release endorphins and serotonin, even if you aren’t feeling happy at that moment. Because of this, it’s been speculated that if you smile when you feel stressed you can minimize the toll that stress takes on your body. The official jury is still out on how strong this reaction is and if it’s effected by whether you’re forcing a smile or genuinely smiling (called a Duchenne smile, which involves muscles from around the eyes), but nonetheless studies show that it seems to have an impact.

Shrinks will tell you think of thing, too. If you’re depressed and nothing makes you happy anymore, make yourself do things that used to make you happy until they make you happy again. Pretend you’re still happy. Make yourself do things happy you did. Eventually you’ll feel better again, they say.

It sounds so easy, like when I mine information and develop new interests in things when I meet new people… but it’s not that easy. I sit down to draw and can’t think of anything to draw, or worse, I think of something to draw and ruin it. I try to play a video game, and I can’t even get the game basics right. I go out to a show and end up sipping vodka in the back of the room alone instead of talking to anyone, and end up leaving feeling worse than when I dragged myself out.

Recently, D2 had a friend who was really tail spinning. Long story short, a girl fell for her best friend. He didn’t feel the same. So she was devastated, and he was angry. Her behavior spiraled out to the point she cut herself and contemplated suicide. So D2 went to her house and held her, called her parents, and I guess she’s doing better now. He also planted in her head that she might be bipolar, like he is.

Here’s why that all bothers me.

A, not everyone is a fucking bipolar. D2 is diagnosed. I am diagnosed. It does not mean that everyone who tries to kill themselves is bipolar. It means a lot of people can’t deal with life. For a number of reasons.

2, I, personally, wouldn’t have time for this bullshit… Spiraling out in to overwhelming depression because someone doesn’t love you back romantically is a dumbass reason to be suicidal. It’s mellow dramatic. It’s attention-seeking. It’s stupid. Being angry at someone for having feelings for you is a dumbass reaction. It just invalidates that person and leaves them open to some dumbass emotional response that will distance both you, and turn into some superfluous bullshit.

D, D2 tells me all of this, about people I barely know, who have pretty much replaced me and my function in his life… and meanwhile I’m at home looking at hoarded bottles of Xanax, Temazapam, and antipsychotics wondering if I have to put me to asleep forever.

D2 thinks he knows what suicide looks like. He’s been there, tried that, and recovered. He knows what a spiral looks like. It’s big, it’s in your face, it’s trying to get people to hurt you, and getting blackout drunk, and causing a scene at work. It’s crying in public, and looking distraught, and not being able to keep it together. It’s cutting yourself, and screaming at your friends, and suddenly cancelling all your plans with people, and putting yourself in dangerous situations. Anyone can spot a spiral. Those are the people that end up getting help. Those are the people whose parents worry about them, and whose friends ask if they’re okay, and who end up in a shrink’s office on a script of Prozac. What D2 doesn’t know is what giving up looks like.

Giving up is a process. It’s quiet and gradual. It’s always cancelling plans last minute because you feel “sick,” but promising that you guys will do something together soon. It’s giving up your hobbies because you’re too tired after work, but promising yourself that you’ll get back to them. It’s not taking a shower for a week, because you wake up late every single day and don’t have time. It’s staring at a bottle of vodka in your freezer, and being too depressed to even drink your sorrows away. It’s coming home to people and pets that are super excited to see you, but being too tired to deal with their energy, so you yell at them or close yourself off in your room. It’s buying things you don’t need just because you think it might fill the hole in your life where your friends used to be. It’s eating too much. It’s not eating enough. It’s sitting in your car for an hour after you get home because you know that when you walk through the door your spouse/kids/pets will want attention, and you really should mop and vacuum and clean the bathroom and put your laundry away… and all you’re going to be able to do is sit down and waste the evening until it’s late enough to go to bed… and it all starts over in the morning. It’s the fakers, who still get up, and go to work, and smile when you see them who give up.

So I’m waiting for my dresses: bright colors and happiness. I’m working on perfecting that Duchenne smile: how to smile with your eyes. I stopped buying books so I can read what I have. I’m monitoring what I eat and when, trying to stick to lean meats, veg, and some chocolate. I’m trying not to look into mirrors too long, so I can’t see the cracks in the facade. I’m distracting myself with educational youtube channels and staring at blank paper until I decide I can try again the next day when it’s finally time to go to bed.

I’m faking it… and I don’t know that I feel better at all, but it’s pretty evident that no one is the wiser to what’s going on beneath the surface. No one’s come knocking on my door to check on me. No one blinks an eye when I cancel plans at the last second, no matter how many times in a row it happens. No one thinks twice about my overuse of the 😛 emoji, or how they haven’t seen me in real life in a while.

Sometimes, when I feel real low, I wonder what people would think if I were to kill myself. I mean, all the signs are there. It’s not like I’ve put real effort into hiding it. Just put on that fake smile and talk when you’re supposed to, and everything else can be ignored. Everyone always says they never see it coming when people kill themselves… but it’s because no one is looking, and even if they are, it’s easier to convince themselves that it’s not their business.

It’ lucky, or unlucky depending on how you look at it, that I have so many pets… I’m sad, yes. I think about killing myself a lot, yes. I am overwhelmingly responsible, though. I would never leave my pets, or my mom like that. Especially since my mother would just kill HERself, and we’d both be dead, and ten animals would end up in a shelter without us. It’s just a series of events that wouldn’t help anyone.

Still, sometimes I wish someone would ask if I’m okay and demand to just be there. What a hypocritical statement… it’s not like I bother checking on anyone… but they say suicide is selfish, so maybe that comes with the territory.

Update: I reached out to check on Bird. She’s been sad, and I wish someone would check on me, so I checked on her. And told her a cool Zelda hack about chickens. So… at least I did that.

Dresses

Oh look. Pictures of me being depressed.

I have developed this habit of buying clothes ONLY for work, so I have nothing to wear when I go out anymore. That doesn’t sound like it would be a really real problem, but it is. You never consider how much what you wear reveals about yourself. My wardrobe being catered exclusively around work and nothing being something that I’d wear to a social event really shows how much I’ve forsaken social life. (Imma totally derail now… enjoy or skip down to ANYWAYS…)

I try to be social, but it ends up so disappointing.

For example, this past Friday I tried to hook up with Bird. She’d had a terrifying experience on the highway and wanted to go out and celebrate being alive… She turned down all my suggestions for actual fun things to do, and we ended up just getting a drink at a bar we don’t go to much “for something different.” I suggested everything from a local goth night, to crashing a senior citizen prom, to just trying a new venue with some different kind of music… but as much as she says she’d like to do more than the rest of our friends, who LIVE at karaoke and do literally nothing else, she doesn’t really want to try anything new either. On top of that, I tried to plan for her being late, because she’s always fucking late, and I was still there for about an hour alone before she showed up. So… all together I call the night a bust. We didn’t even really have anything to talk about since neither of us seem to do much at this point. I think we are both horrifically depressed… and depressed people do not lift each other up, but rather we drag each other down.

I was supposed to go to a birthday party Saturday night, but hurt my back doing yard work and backed out. I made sure to make it to a move with Bird on Sunday morning. She wanted to see Annabelle: Creation, and I was down. SO… I get her to confirm movie time and location, but just as I’m leaving my house she’s like…

“Are we still doing this?”
“Unless you suddenly changed your mind.”
“No, I’m just double-checking.”

::15 mins goes by and I’m outside the theater::

“But what about your back?”
“It hurts but all we’re going to do is sit.”
“Okay.”

And then she showed up like 20 mins later, right when the movie was starting.

I try really hard not to take shit personally, but if you wanna bail, just fucking bail. I hate people who vacillate way more than people who bail. At least I know when someone bails that I suddenly have free time. It’s still a little inconvenient, but at least it’s definitive so I can plan something else. Toss always being late into that mix and I’m just a weird mixture of hurt and angry that you’re wasting my time.

I was trying to wait for her in the parking lot, but I ended up just telling her where I was sitting and going into the theater because I stopped caring if she even showed up. I was there. I was irritable. I was seeing the movie with or without her… just cuz I was there.

I love Bird to death. She’s a great person, and I know she’s got her own shit she’s dealing with, but I just hate trying to do stuff with her. I just end up feeling bad because she vacillates on plans and then shows up late. So me, miss prompt-and-requiring-validation, feels like I’m not worth hammering down plans with, and that she’s not valuing my time… and she’s not valuing my time… and I find that mean… and the fact she’s one of two friends I legit see regularly really just compounds how meaningless I perceive that I must be to her, whether it’s true or not.

ANYWAYS I BOUGHT SOME DRESSES. I was going to go to Torrid on my way home from work one night this week, but got a better deal online and picked up six dresses there… and then I got three from Maurice’s that are plainer and cheaper, but still nice looking. I tried really hard to pick things I could, and WOULD, wear somewhere that isn’t work. I tried to throw some actual personality into it. It’s hard… because I don’t even know what I’d like to wear anymore…

I just use clothes to cover this terrible body I have, and that’s not fashion. I’m not expressing myself; I’m just hiding something I refuse to embrace. It contributes to my bad feels… I would really like to like myself again. I did for a while there, and it was great. I dunno what’s changed now… but I don’t like not liking myself.

So… gonna work on that, I guess.

Lonely

I closed my dating profile again… It’s just too depressing to deal with. The people that talk to me are poor conversationalists at best, and no one is attractive. I would literally kill another human being if it meant I could find someone attractive. It’s been so long since I found anyone except like Rihanna attractive. That is problematic because she’s not a real person… Celebrity crushes mean nothing.

I don’t usually put a lot stock into whether I find someone attractive, because it’s at the bottom of my requirements list. I can list unattractive people for all kinds of reasons, but after my most recent sexual encounter (which you can read about here if you’re interested) I’d really like to have some physical interest in the next person I have sex with… and preferably sooner than over a year from now.

I’ve considered that my plan to move to Oregon means that I probably shouldn’t be looking for anyone, anyways… cuz who wants a fling with a set time limit? That’s not even fun and spontaneous. I am just so incredibly lonely all the time. I spend weekends alone or with my mom at this point… I don’t really talk to anyone… It’s sad. It’s really fucking sad.

I can hear people saying, “go do things you like and meet people!” Here’s the thing. Even when I go do things alone, which I’ve been known to do, I don’t meet anyone. I dunno if I look menacing, or like a scared animal, or if people just legit don’t talk to people they don’t know… but I never leave an event with new friends. I leave trying to smile because I did a thing, but still feeling kinda lonely. I’ve tried initiating conversations at events, and it always feels like people just run away from me.

I’ve tried MeetUp, because that’s supposed to be a social thing where you’re expected to meet new people… and I tend to fade into the background of people because I become inexplicably shy, OR in one instance I was asked not to return (introverts are mean too, apparently, and I was too social for them) OR in one instance I showed up to an event and it was all people over 50 who berated me for being there, because people under 50 apparently shouldn’t need help meeting people.

I’ve tried to arrange plans with a friend, and it just goes by the wayside. I’ve tried to find events to go to, even if I don’t meet anyone, but it’s so hard to go to things when you know you’re gonna wander around alone and not have anyone to talk to.

I could use a friend. I thought a significant other would be easier, cuz people are ALWAYS looking for one of those, but people are so incredibly boring. Myself included.

Me: Book worm, comic nerd, horror junkie that likes live music and tacos, and who games once in a while.

Everyone else: Likes hiking, biking, and camping OR Plays video games and doesn’t leave the house OR Doesn’t have a job

There’s someone for everyone if you lower your standards low enough… but I’m at the minimum here… Job, address, car, and interesting. If I get lower standards than that I could just as easily pickup a homeless guy and just bring him home (which I’ve done on accident, but never on purpose).

It’s just not fair. I don’t want happily ever after; I just want someone to go to the movies with.

Ah well.

I’m starting a new eating directive this week and I’m hoping to go home and work on purging or the backyard or something half-ass productive. Maybe clean some stuff… I’m trying to spend less time at home doing nothing… cuz the nothing gets to me.

We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

A Double Post Kinda Day – Still Blue

What am I doing?!

I don’t know, but I keep texting him anyways. It’s not like I’m in love, or even lust, but I keep texting him. I guess I’m lonely. It’s not as though I have anyone to generally talk to about being sad. A stranger can chat without prying. I can talk to a stranger without thinking about anything important. It’s a nice escape from everything, I guess.

I suppose some people talk to their friends, but even with the small group of friends I keep I can’t imagine bothering them with my emotional turmoil. I mean, what do they care?

Most don’t: that’s the short answer. Having been removed from my immediate life for long enough, I have tried reaching out to my friend in California, but unsurprisingly he’s not really interested in it. I’m not sure why it’s surprising, as I’ve always felt him a touch self-absorbed anyway, but it hurts nonetheless. I tried telling a friend in Maine, because she’s another person I needn’t look in the eye when I spout my emotionally fucked bullshit, but while she’s concerned she isn’t really sure how to handle it. She just tries to reassure me, which is about as effective as it sounds reassuring a crazy person would be. Ha.

I have not tried to talk to my local friends, or my best friend in Oregon, about my meds or how I’m feeling. At my lowest I made it known to Bird that I was struggling, but I can’t imagine actually trying to explain a bipolar thought pattern to her. I considered trying to tell my bipolar friend, but he’s also very self-absorbed. He doesn’t even really do a good job at pretending to care about others; he’s just hellbent on trying to feel like a person again. I can’t really blame him for that… it’s hard the first time you lose yourself.

I could never REALLY talk to the Mothership about my bipolar. She understands depression, but only to the point she’s managed to build her own little barricade of coping mechanisms. So if I’m too depressed to get out of bed, that’s beyond her realm of understanding… so I, too, get out of bed and trudge on into the day, knowing that as soon as I walk through my front door I’m allowed to hit the floor and not move again until the next morning if I have to… and I have. No, my darling mother has major depression, not bipolar, so she doesn’t get mania. She doesn’t have highs that come in waves of feeling powerful, vengeful, or even happy. She doesn’t know what it feels like to think yourself invincible. She just knows the blue… the malaise… the ongoing sea of endless nothing. At least she sort of gets half of it, I guess. When I want to cry but have no reasons, she gets that… and she worries about all those depression-y things that crop up from time to time.

Knowing kinda half the story isn’t enough to understand, though. I can’t explain to her why mania is a problem or the complicated dance the two weave across the dance floor of my personality. I can’t explain why I do some things, or what it’s REALLY like to hear a voice you’re aware is all in your head. I can’t explain to her everything I’ve done under the influence of one episode or another. I can’t explain why there’s so shame behind my eyes and why certain innocuous things seem to hurt me. No, it’s not enough to know the half-truth of a disease and what ways it can eat at a heart.

So I keep texting him, even though I’ve already told him we shouldn’t see each other romantically. I hold my breath each time the phone buzzes, hoping it’s the nice young man that barely knows me. We don’t talk about my bipolar, or depression, or mania, or the voices, or how sometimes I think I’d rather die than have to get out of bed. I don’t feel the urge to tell him I’m struggling, or that going home at the end of a long work day is awful because there are little living things there relying on me to care for them. I don’t feel like I have to confess. It’s just small talk… How was your day? Did you see that film? What time are you free for a drink on Saturday? It’s nothing important. It’s nothing that hurts.

I don’t love him or lust for him… I don’t ache for him, and I definitely don’t want to be in his bed or his arms… but it’s just nice to fill the time with bullshit, I guess. When real life is so hard, the meaningless becomes quite pleasant.

I’m Back To Blue

I cancelled my shrink appointment in October, so I’m definitely on my own for mood management again. I hate the med trials, and the very nonchalant way shrinks are just like,

“You have to try shit till it works… that’s all we can do.”

Why is that all they can do? If I have a lung infection they don’t give me random meds until something works. They isolated the likely cause of of lung infections and prescribe antibiotics accordingly. So if I’m having symptoms, why can’t they take those symptoms and give me the BEST option for the most likely culprit of my symptoms?

I’m sad.
You’re bipolar.

Maybe, but I’m only worried about the sad?

We’re gonna treat the mania.

I don’t care about the mania.
Nah, we’re gonna treat the mania.

Will that help the sad?

In theory it might. If not, we’ll add more meds later.

I don’t want more meds. Can we just treat the sad?

No, we’re going to treat the mania and later we can treat the sad.

BUT I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE MANIA!!! I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE SAD ANYMORE GOD DAMN IT! WHY WON’T YOU LISTEN TO ME?!

This is why we have to treat the mania… you’re irritable.

Literally my experience with the psychiatric community.

I sometimes worry about my future, as the only thing I can predict about it is that I’ll think about suicide. I already do that a lot, so it’s not a far fetched idea to think that will persist. I worry about reaching a place where I’m in between pets, mom has died, and I feel alone… cuz that’s when it could definitely happen. I don’t have a resilient force of will with suicide, it’s just always been inconvenient. If it were suddenly less inconvenient, I’m not sure what I’d do. I only tried the once as a teenager, and that was a complete failure I never tried to repeat again.

I dunno. I just feel hopeless about everything. I wanna move us to Oregon for a change of scenery, but I have no reason to think that will improve my depression. I’ll just be depressed around a lot of trees instead of in the ‘burbs of Denver. It’s worth a shot, I guess. It’s got Mothership motivated to try and get shit done, at least. A light at the end of the tunnel… just hope it’s not a train.

Aside from being really tired and crying in the bathroom at work, I seem pretty normal, though. I’m even supposed to go see that guy again on Saturday to get my bangles back from him. He’s really nice. I’m still sad that isn’t gonna work out. I don’t really think that subjecting a normal human being to my bipolar sociopathic ass is really good for either of us, though. People like me are what Lifetime movies are trying to warn you about.

Randomly, I keep thinking about my ex… the one I’d like to drag into the street an beat to death before setting his body on fire… I’m not sure why. It’s been almost 8 years since the breakup, and I’ve ever dated since then, but I can’t let it go. I still wanna hurt him. I guess that’s from the lack of meds. All the emotions that swirl underneath my calm demeanor are bubbling over cuz they can. It’s just a random thing to feel so angry about this much time later. Some hurts never go away, I guess….

Anyways, I’m depressed…. but I think it’s okay right now.

I’m gonna try to start hitting the gym… I hate the gym, but I do sleep better if I can get all the rage out… and I’d like to lose some weight if that’s possible (like a whole person worth of weight, tbh).

I am sad. 

I was going to go to a “Halloween in July” party, because how fun does that sound? But I’m not going. Instead, I’ve been overdramatically crying in my closet floor.

How did I get here? 

It’s easy. I’m a pathetic human being. I was trying to talk to my mom on the way home from work, and she wasn’t interested, so it made me depressed. She’s been sick, so she’s tired and can’t deal with my mood swings. So, having no one else in my support system, I came home, crawled into my closet and have been crying on and off for roughly 2 hours. 

The dogs are concerned but fail to comfort me. 

Also, this is why I can’t have kids. Can you imagine being the kid whose mom comes home and locks herself in her closet to cry? That child is gonna be messed up. 

It’s not too late. I could still go to the party. 

I’m not going to. It costs money and in this mood is probably go, get depressed no one I knew would come with me, then binge drink. I really can’t afford it, and it would be irresponsible, but tomorrow I  going to regret wasting my Friday night. I’m almost done with my 20s. I should have done more with them, but I spent a lot of time crying on floors instead. 

And you know what gets me? 

No one cares. 

My mom tries to care, but my bipolar ass is hard to deal with and I get mad and snap and she stops caring cuz I’m mean. And that’s fine, and totally fair play, but no one cares. 

The dogs care. They’re very concerned. But they can’t fix anything or even really console me. 

So I curl up in a fat little ball of wasted potential and cry, and no one cares. 

I wanted to go to a party. I wanted to have fun. 

Fml.

Idk… Fuck.

I went on a date last night. Last minute thing, but I’ve been talking to a guy for like a week and he asked to buy me a drink.

He’s not a really hot guy, but he’s an interesting nerd. I’m all about interesting nerds, you know. In particular, he like to RPG. That’s cool, cuz I always wanted to learn D&D stuff. Remember the robot boy that was supposed to teach me? I’m totes down to become more nerd.

Anyways, long story short, we hung out for like three hours and than I took him back to his apt, cuz it was close by and he ubered there. I was confused because not once did he touch me. No hand shake, no attempted kiss or hug… and I wasn’t sure if he didn’t like me or if he’s just hella respectful.

So I sent him https://inspirobot.me today, because errybawdie needs that in their life, and he takes that opportunity to explain that he’s in a long distance relationship with a girl who will be moving out her to him as soon as she can, but in the meantime they have an open relationship.

I’m not devastated, but I’m mad.

I wasn’t in love or anything, but I would kind of like to have sex again before I die… I don’t do poly, so that’s not a thing that’s going to happen. At the same time, I’m trying really hard not to be TOO mad, because I could use a new friend who’s interesting… but we met under such false pretense, and now I’m mad.

I know I’m asexual and aromantic, but like… I’m lonely and I’d like to have sex. I’m getting too close to 30 to be the girl that gets wasted and goes home with a stranger… but no one really wants to date me. I’m discouraged. I’m pissed off. I’m generally unhappy about all of this.

What’s wrong with me?