I’m going a bit off topic from my blog here, but last night I found myself sitting in my car in a random local car park, feeling sick to the pit of my stomach and wanting to ram my car into the nearest lamppost or brick wall. For no real apparent reason. It made me think today, when I pass people in the office and they ask how I am, and my answer is “yeah, im good”, with a big smile. I hide it well, but I’m sick of hiding it, and sick of HAVING to be so strong. I am naturally a strong person, I’ve been through so much and I’ve been brought up to be a strong, independent woman. That part comes from my mum, who raised me and my brother on her own, since I was ten years old. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, as it creates an independence that’s scary to the opposite sex, and a strength in myself that makes people think I can withstand anything. Not so. Inside, im a soft piece of mush. I hurt. I feel pain. Just as much, if not more, as those not so strong people.
“You’ve done so much with your life” I hear people say. “You’ve come so far from the small fishing town you grew up in” to “You’re a strong independent woman, I admire that in you” to the belittling “You’re as cold as ice, an Ice Queen”. I feel fake. I have no idea whatsoever what people really think or see in me. I can only see what I see in myself. Yes, I’ve done a lot with my life: I have two degrees, I won the highest award in my work industry, I’ve lived oversees in New York, I’ve travelled around the world on my own. But.. I’ve also had a physically and mentally abusive marriage which ended in divorce, a dad who legally disowned me at the age of 15, very rebellious teenage years, lost two babies, been sacked from two jobs, had two long term partners lie and cheat on me multiple times, amongst a whole ton of other things on that list. My rational brain knows the good things I’ve acomplished in my life, and the good things I do for others, but my unrational brain has me sitting contemplating ending it all in a random car park in the dark. And it makes no sense. It’s called depression.
It feels like I’ve gone through an extended period of it this time. Previous episodes I would attribute to what I call “Situational Depression” , where it’s a situation you’re in thats causing it, not any chemical imbalance in the brain or such like. For example when I was married and my now ex-husband would not only physically hit and kick me (that was the easy part to get over believe it or not), he would mentally abuse me. “You’re not good enough for anyone or anything”; “You’re the scum of the earth” even down to criticising my clothes, my words to other people; “Why did you say that, you should have used these words instead”; “You used the wrong tone of voice”, he would dissect my conversations, to the point I gave up talking to people when he was around. When you hear those personal criticisms day in, day out, you start believing them. It’s a form of brainwashing. If I wasnt in that situation, I wouldnt have felt depressed / sad, so that’s why I call it Situational Depression.
Situational Depression has happened to me a few times throughout life, and thankfully Ive been lucid enough to get help when I needed it. Counselling worked for me. Someone professional who had no opinions of me, no back story to my life. It made me rationalise my brain and see things for what they were, far from the fuzzled mistiness that my mind had become. It took a long time. I still struggle with it sometimes, I hear the words “You’re not good enough” and I believe them. In friendships, in relationships, at work, in general. When i go to the gym, when I’m with interesting people, when I’m on my own. I’m my own worst enemy I guess. I’m determined. I’m determined to be the person that is good enough. I’ve worked my arse off for that. But its never enough. And its exhausting. I know i will never attain that “good enough” status.
On a positive note though, living in the US changed me. It changed me to the core. I became me, for the first time in my life. I had a good social life, good friends, I did what I wanted, when I wanted and with who I wanted. I got more ink on my skin, in places where they’d be shown off rather than hidden, my hair is blue and green. And I dont give a fuck what people think. I’m me. I started saying yes to doing things I would never have done before, because why not? I found my lust for life and I love it. So, why was I sitting in a car park last night in the dark, thinking about not carrying on? That is depression, not situational depression. Depression, a black dog that comes out of nowhere and you have no idea why you are sitting there crying your heart out. You have people who love you, you have a good job, good friends, good opportunities, yet you feel lost and alone. And no-one understands. How can they, when you dont even understand yourself? You cant explain what’s in your head. It doesnt make sense but at the same time it makes perfect sense.
I have no idea where i’m going with all this.
I just felt i needed to type it out. Im a fighter and I’ll keep fighting day in day out, to keep going. To keep those voices away that say I’m worth jack shit. Sometimes people make me feel like I’m worth next to nothing. I won’t do anything stupid. I have the strength to fight it 🙂 Just remember, the strong ones are still human, still feel pain, still hurt, still take words to heart, they just don’t show it outwardly. Be kind to them, and be there for them, you never know what they’re going through.