Depression always lies, but it always knows the very best lies to use against you.
Paul is a friend from high school, and this was his Facebook status today. I told him it was poetry. Depression uses lies so insidious that you tell yourself they must be true, and they feel true in the moment, when you can’t see what’s real around you, even though it is truly right around you.
Hold on. I need some tea for this one.
Better. I realized that the one I drug I normally have on board, caffeine, wasn’t. It helps, as does ibuprofen, when I get a headache from not taking my meds at the same time each day. Last night I treated myself to a sleeping pill and no alarm this morning. I didn’t just wake up. I eased into my day by watching television. However, this is the first time I’ve actually been out of bed all day, because going to work really takes it out of me. I leave the house two and a half hours before I need to get to work 9:00 AM), and I don’t get home until almost 8:30 PM, at which time I take a sleeping pill, watch some TV, and get ready to do it all over again. I take a sleeping pill when I get home because if I do not, I will stay up until all hours of the night, ruminating on both lies and the truth, sometimes without being able to tell which is which. Then, the next day, I can’t focus because I haven’t slept. I would rather be knocked on my ass with a sleeping pill than take a chance I won’t do well at work. I love my job, and the CEO needs me to get up to speed quickly because he wants me to fire him. 😛
In fact, he has his laptop with him on vacation in the mountains. I can see why he wants a break.
But this entry is not about work. It is about readiness to work, and my commitment to it. I don’t care that I don’t have a social life. It’s not what I want at this time. What I want is to be lost in my own little world, coding and writing and (fingers crossed) going back to school. I have given up on Howard for undergrad, because their distance learning is not up to speed and there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to be on campus and at work simultaneously. Plus, I am still enrolled (just not registered) at University of Houston. I don’t know how much they charge per online class, but I make enough that within a few months, I should have enough for at least one, possibly two…. especially if I keep living the way I’m living, which is buying enough groceries to keep me alive and leaving the rest in the bank.
I pay for everything else, like Starbucks runs, with gift cards, which I mete out judiciously by only ordering coffee or tea… for two reasons. The first is that it’s cheap, and the second is that the fancy drinks do nothing for me. They’re sweet to the point of cloying and more calories than you should have in an entire meal. More than once I have fascinated other people by them saying, “have whatever you want,” and I still just order coffee. To me, those fancy drinks can be equated to when MTV stopped playing music videos. Starbucks used to sell coffee. Now they sell candy. The coffee is just a side business.
I don’t drink coffee at home anymore because I don’t want to get up even earlier just to drink it. I can’t take my coffee on the bus, and I can’t drink it fast enough if I Uber to the train, because I can’t take coffee on the Metro, either. And if I stay home to drink coffee, I will not write. I need Starbucks to act as my personal office, because I will take up all the time allowed with getting ready if I don’t get my ass out the door. I’ll play with my hair, I’ll experiment with make-up (my face is breaking out, plus make-up keeps the looking like a 15-year-old boy at bay), I’ll pack and re-pack my backpack. In short, instead of writing, I’ll just putter around until it’s time to call for the car or walk to the bus. Writing keeps the lies at bay, therefore I would rather call for the car and get everything ready in a hurry because someone is coming to get me (in a good way ;)).
Speaking of make-up, my dad mailed me my foundation, but I had to go and buy eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick (well, tinted Burt’s Bees) when Samantha traded driving me around for a pack of cigarettes again and since I didn’t have my wallet, they wouldn’t sell to me. My inner thought process was, Jesus God, I don’t even look 18? High school was 20 years ago! I bought her a large apple juice instead, and a Cheerwine for me, which made it tolerable to both of us. It was flattering, in a weird way, but also depressing. The clerk said, well, I’m just using my own judgment, and I thought, clearly he cannot see the crow’s feet on both sides of my face and the silver hair slowly coming in at my temples and eyebrows. At the same time, I am less than two years away from 40 and I got carded for cigarettes. #winning
…And speaking of grey hair, I have been letting my hair grow out naturally without dyeing it red, and I was shocked at how much grey was cut off in the back. SHOCKED. It’s time to start dyeing it again, I just can’t decide what color. The red has looked good on me for a long time, but I’m ready for my natural color with blonde highlights, courtesy of the benzoyl peroxide in my acne cream. When I figured it out, I started putting that bitch in my bangs on purpose. I have to watch out, though. I’ve accidentally customized some of my t-shirts as well.
The point in all of this is that make-up or no, I am beautiful. The lies are when I tell myself I’m not. When I get depressed, I remember that Meetup I went to for Women in Their 30’s, and just how many women wanted to go home with me that night (I didn’t indulge, I just let my ego be stroked until I was tired and ready for bed). I wasn’t wearing anything special, as you’ll see from the picture if you click the link. I was just me.
I just read that link again and laughed when I saw the line, I’m too polite and Southern just to put it all out there, because it just illustrated to me how different my online and offline personalities truly are. Really must work on that. Either I need to be more aggressive in dating offline, or more reserved online, and perhaps both. The wall of not really knowing what’s waiting for me on the other end of an e-mail or instant message gives me a bravery I could never have face-to-face.
One woman in particular read me the riot act over it, and I’ll never forget it. She stopped being my friend immediately, just butt-quick, with no chance of reconciliation even though I meant no harm by it. I was just being snarky, outrageous me. I knew she was happily married and had no illusions about it. There was no there there. She’s just hot, and as far as I can tell, she knows it. I didn’t think I was telling her anything she hadn’t already noticed herself. 😉
I was so embarrassed that I hurt her, and that’s probably what I’ll remember the most. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t apologize enough to make things right again, and one of the reasons I’m trying so hard to live in peace now. I don’t want to be someone capable of hurting another like that. I don’t want to live my life always wishing I could take something back.
I was brave with Argo for very different reasons. Very different. She had become my soulmate, not in the classic definition, but in the Elizabeth Gilbert definition; she was someone who came into my life in order to shake me into a different reality, and those people are not always designed to be permanent. She defined I wish I could take it back, and at the same time, after Dana and I broke up, I had to know the truth. Dana told me that she thought Argo was in love with me, too, she just wouldn’t tell me because I was married. I had to know whether Dana was right or not. Her ruminations on Argo’s threat got to me, and to me, to not ask the question was foolish.
As it turns out, Argo is consistent in her heterosexuality, and that’s fine with me. I hope whomever she chooses is fantastic, and I can let go of Dana’s insistence and my own confusion because of it. Plus, if our friendship has been any indication, I have no interest in doing any worse a number on each other than we already have.
First children fight to the death in a race to be right. It would be a thermonuclear war of a relationship, and I have had enough of that to last my whole life. If Argo wants to be my friend, that is enough for me. I don’t want to ever take a chance of fucking that up again. She is so precious to me as is, and always will be, whether we are in communication or not.
I focus on the small chance that we will move onward and upward, and not the ugly fights that blew us apart, unnecessarily in my own race to be right. When I am depressed, I think to myself that there’s no way someone like that could love someone like me, and when I am not, I know for sure that I am someone worth getting to know. Depression is full of lies. Of course I am interesting and funny and clever, but I would never think that when I’m sad.
Depression lies to you by taking your own insecurities and multiplying them until you cannot move, paralyzed by analysis. Bipolar depression makes it where you feel great about yourself, and then you just wilt. It’s a never-ending cycle, but with medication, it is manageable. I am not one of those people who starts to feel better and stops taking their meds, common in bipolar patients, because I am smart enough to know that I am not miraculously cured. It’s the meds that are making me feel better.
It keeps the lies at bay.
Most of the time.