Welcome to Anhedonia - population: me

How do you know when you're drawing the lines between what you want and what you need? How do you know which line is which? How do you know that you're making the right decision? How do you know when you're deciding things for yourself, and when you're making decisions based on what other people will think of you? What if that decision isn't right? What if this one isn't? How long do you force yourself to stay in a position in which you're not completely comfortable, before you decide to make things change? How long do you push yourself to pretend that everything is okay? How long do you lead people on? How long do you lie? Are you lying? Because you're not happy. Okay, you're not unhappy, but you're content. Life is adequate. Things are okay. But, they're nothing more. What happens when you hit that brick wall?

My life has been full of lots of brick walls as of late. I seem to hit them head-on and without slowing down. I usually wake up with metaphorically blood-soaked clothes, dried up blood caked to my face and wondering how the hell I got where I am. I can't seem to remember making the decisions that led me to being here.

There is no fire that burns within me right now, and it's scaring the shit out of me. I know it's my depression, but that doesn't help. Will it be like this forever? Is this to be a constant struggle throughout the rest of my life? What if I never find my place?

I spent Sunday with my aunt and my cousin, at a Beth-Hallel women's retreat, at Aldridge Gardens. It forced me to come face-to-face with all the things I've been fearing and questioning, but I still have no answers. I know God is there - I just can't hear Him. I don't know what He's wanting me to do. I'm trying so hard to let go of the things in my life that have caused me to stumble and fall, but they hold on so tightly. Constantly, I find myself waking in the middle of the night, or failing to fall asleep, because of these things that torture me. My inspiration has changed - it's almost as if there is none. My words have changed - they no longer make sense. Once upon a time, I could write an eloquent paragraph, that expressed my deepest emotions. Now, I can write for hours on end, and when I get done, I delete the whole thing, because it makes no sense. I go around and around, and end up back at the beginning. My writing used to be my therapy. Now, I want to set fire to everything, because it's so simple and stupid.

I'm in this life, and I don't know what to do with it. I know God is there, but I don't know what He wants from me. I'm in love with someone, but what if it's the wrong person? Where is the rest of my life going? I thought I could do this, but I don't know that I can. I'm constantly hovering at the edge of my hole - sometimes I'm in the hole, and I can't see my hand in front my face. Sometimes there's light, but there's just no way out. Sometimes I'm standing at the very edge, peering down into the darkness. But, the hole is always there, taunting me, beckoning at me to just jump.

There are all these decisions that I need to make. What do I do with the rest of my life? What happens if I make the wrong decision? Is there really a wrong decision? Don't all choices just have consequences?

I mean, this is the rest of my life I'm being faced with. I no longer have anyone to hold my hand. This is all me. I don't really even talk to anyone about what I'm going through, because I can't even make sense of it. I feel more lost than I've ever been in all my life. I used to have goals and drive, but now, it's like there's nothing in front of me. I'm just walking through a fog, opening whatever door I come to next. There's no map, no GPS - just aimless meandering. I hate not having purpose. I feel so alone and so unsure. I don't trust ANY decision I make. I don't trust myself. Hell, I don't even like myself! And, I'm just supposed to go along with what this person decides? Right. Like THAT'S going to go over well. It's like I'm dwelling in a stranger's body, and another stranger is making all of my decisions. I'm just along for the ride. But, it's not a good ride.

There have been so many wonderful people who have influenced my life. But, I've made so many horrible choices for myself. I'm so thankful for the friends and family I have. Without them, I think my life would be a whole lot worse than it feels like it is now. And, my life isn't BAD, per se. It's my mind that's making it bad. In the place of where my heart should be, that huge sucking darkness is back. It eats my happiness. It's eating me. It makes my functioning awkward. My conversations are awkward. My feelings are alien. I feel like I'm working someone else's body, but I'm doing a really bad job. I'm in a constant foggy state of confusion. People say things, but when I say things back to them, it's like hearing someone else talk. Or I just stand there, lost.

No one understands me, but I don't expect anyone to. *I* don't understand me. I've even tried to read over things I write (which if you know me, you know I NEVER read anything I write), and I wonder, "I wrote this? Why? What the hell was I talking about?"

I'm so frustrated with myself. I can't understand any of the thoughts or feelings I'm having. I can no longer analyze anything that I go through, because I won't understand it anyway. I'm in this life that I don't know anything about. Sometimes I just stand in the middle of my apartment and think "who lives here?"

I know that I can feel. I know I can love. I know there are things that I want. I just don't know how to get to them. I reach my hand out to grab something, but I quickly lose interest. I want to love someone, but I'm so afraid to involve someone in my life, because I don't want them to get hurt. I don't need to trust in someone else to MAKE me happy, because people will always disappoint you. I'm always afraid of picking the wrong person. I'm always afraid of hurting someone. I know that what happened in my before time will never happen again - I'll never cheat on anyone. But, there are so many other things that COULD happen. I can't live my life in fear, though. What a meaningless life. A fearful life? I can't live like that.

As much as I try to push it away, I know I need the medicine. I've tried so hard to make this just be something I can overcome...but I can't. I'm just lying to myself. I still can't get past the fact that needing medicine seeming like such a weakness to me. Why am I so weak? How did I get this way? Was I always going to be this way? Why do my feelings have such dominance in my life? Is there any way I can use that to my advantage? I thought I was, but it always seems to fail me or cheat me out of happiness in some way. Or is just resultant of the decisions I make?

I wake up every morning, wondering who the hell is driving this bus. I have no idea what I want out of my life anymore. I used to want to help people. Now, I just want someone to help me. I don't WANT help, but I want to feel better. I want to be okay with myself. I want this self-hatred and self-loathing to go away. I want to destroy the confusion. How in the hell does the medicine stifle all this? It seems so vast, like I've just been dropped in the middle of the ocean, and I have to DECIDE which way to go. There are no birds to lead me in a direction, there is no wind to help me along. I'm a tiny satellite adrift in the middle of the universe and all I know is I have to get somewhere - I'm just not sure where.

I've been thinking a lot about my future, and I realize now that just having a degree of some kind is no good. You have to have at least a bachelor's degree to be of any use to anyone. I wish someone would have told me that, when I was in school to get my associate's. Used to, a degree was appropriate. Well, they keep changing the rules, and it's always after I've done what I thought I had to do. My life used to be about what I wanted, what I had to do that would make me happy. Now, it's just about fulfilling the minimal requirements. But, even those aren't good enough. They have to be the RIGHT minimal requirements.

It scares the shit out of me to think about going back to school in this state. Everything is so half-assed to me right now. I'm afraid with the way I feel now, there's no way I can make it. I'm afraid I won't even get part of the way in, and I'll just fizzle out completely. That's how it's been with everything lately. This anhedonic feeling rules my life. I watch tv and sleep all the time now, because I can't stand to hear my own thoughts. They just don't make any sense!

My dishes sit unwashed, my recycling sits unsorted, my laundry sits undone, my dog sits unbathed, my cats sit unplayed with, my house sits uncleaned - THIS is not me. Once upon a time, I had drive. I had vision. I had feelings. I had love. I had desires. I had meaning.

Now, I just am. I'm another version of me - a dead one, a shell. I used to love to laugh, to play, to hug, to love - now, all I feel like doing is sitting and staring. Not even at tv. Just into the air. I thought I was stronger than this, but in reality, I'm not. There's really not even any fear. It's like I'm just existing. I'm just here until I'm gone. But, this can't be all there is to it. Open-ended nothingness. My mind is just a vacant space, waiting for a spark of something - inspiration, insanity, anything.

I'm so lost. I can't even hear anyone anymore. I can see people talking, but I don't even know what they're saying, even when they're talking TO me. They're saying things, and I know most of the time, they even mean well. But, I just don't understand what they're saying. Language makes no sense to me anymore. I don't know that there's anything I understand. I thought I understood myself, but I don't.

I'm sorry, self, that I can't take better care of you right now. I want to have some sort of something to look forward to, but I don't. I'm so detached. I feel like someone could take out my brain and my heart, and I'd be the exact same as I am right now, that it wouldn't even make a difference. Obviously, I have feelings, or I wouldn't cry as much as I do. But, even right now, I don't feel anything, except a swell in my chest. I don't even know what it is, but it constantly takes my breath away. I react how you're supposed to react to different things, but there's nothing behind it.

I just want to wake up one day and say, "Hey, I want to do this," or "I'd like to accomplish this." But, every morning, I just wake up. The most of any feeling I've had is needing to go to the bathroom. That's just sad. My bladder gets more feeling than my mind or my heart.

I think I'm in love with someone. I assume it's love, because I don't want to be without him (even though I am). He loves me, too, but I don't know what to do about it. I don't feel like I can make an appropriate decision, with the state I'm currently in. Every decision I've made has been like a reaction. There's been no thought behind anything I've done. I'm trying to find a job, just because that's what you do, when you don't have a job. I don't even care what kind of job I get. Just so long as I don't have to spend this time inside my own dead mind, I'll be content. And, I'll talk to people, because it's what you do, when you're around them. And, we'll make conversation, because it's what people do, when they talk. And, I'll laugh at funny things they say, because it's what you do, when people say funny things.

But, what does it all mean? Where is my life going now? Who even cares?

And, how can I ever be with someone, if I know this is what they're going to get? It's like handing someone a gift-wrapped box that turns out to be completely empty. Or, not even empty, but with a surprise black hole inside. How unfair is that?

I used to be a person, just like you. I used to have emotions and feelings, and I used to laugh and cry and have opinions. Now, I'm just here, waiting to be reprogrammed. And, I don't even have an opinion on who I'd like to be. Well, I'd LIKE to be myself again, but I don't even know who that's supposed to be. I used to be an okay person. I used to be fun-loving and full of smiles and hugs - now, I'm just awkward, strange and empty.

Welcome to Anhedonia. It's not a nice place to visit, and you definitely don't want to live here. You'll get very lost all the time. There are no maps. There are no roads. There's nothing to look at. You're not even wandering through beautiful woods. You're just here. You never know which way to turn or which way you're walking. You can ask someone directions, but they don't know where you are or where you're going, either. If you ask a question, the only response you'll ever get is "I don't know," and people shrug their shoulders a lot. There's a lot of aimless pointing and quizzical stares. No one thinks you're weird here - they just don't think at all.

I don't know how I got here, but I'm really ready to leave.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Girl, I have read this post with a heart so full for you. I am praying for you.