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Another udpate

I got home from work and got everything in order to check myself into a hospoital if need be and then I crashed.  I napped for an hour at work and woke up feeling like I could finally sleep.  Boy, could I ever.  I got over three hours of sleep and am about to go get some more.  I never thought sleep could feel so good.

Upon waking up I called a counseling hotline and talked to a counselor for a while, had myself a good cry, railed about the perceived injustices in my life, and now I’m just hanging out until I go to sleep again – which will be damn soon.  I’m now feeling much less depressed and a lot more angry.  Not just my usual justifiable and well-managed anger at all the shit in the world I don’t care for, but intense, reason-destroying anger at lots of things.  At least I can acknowledge it and realize it’s probably best that I sit in my room and read, write, and don’t do shit else.

There are a lot of things in my life right now that make me feel trapped.  As you’ll learn in your first five minutes studying depression, that’s not a good thing.  When you admit to yourself that you’re sick, one of the first things you learn to do is control your environment.  You learn things or situations that are a danger to you and you keep them out of your life.  I’ve recently had a bunch of new triggers added and avoiding them is all-but-impossible.  But I’m taking steps.  It’s a long process, but I’m taking steps.

There’s no amount of knowledge and preparation that doesn’t make this scary.  I think it’s not having control that is most frightening.  If you have cancer, all you can do is hope for the best.  There’s very little you can actually do, and having what happens in your life taken out of your hands is scary as hell.  It feels helpless.

This feels very much the same.  It feels very dualistic, because I know the same brain that constitutes me, and is trying with everything I am to get through this, is also trying to harm me.  I can literally feel it telling me to do things that other parts of my brain are telling me would be terrible (I’ve written about the feeling of keeping the monster in your head restrained before).

If you bump into someone who wants to do you harm, usually you can run away.  But when someone with my affliction is in the middle of an episode, there’s nowhere you can escape.  It’s with you everywhere, wearing you down until you’re just so mentally exhausted (also physically exhausted if you’re not sleeping) that you lose it and break down and/or do something you’ll regret.  You can’t actively make it go away.  There’s very little you can do but depend on others to make decisions for you and hope.

Knowing what can potentially happen if I get to the point where I really can’t take it is what has had me considering self-admitting myself to a hospital.  I’ve been here before, and my experience tells me to get ahead of it.

For the time being, I’ve elected not to admit myself.  After getting some rest and seeing the shift in my mood, it’s clear to me that carrying a pretty hefty sleep debt was part of the problem.  I suspect I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

Lastly, reading the supporting comments and seeing people willing to take care of me, I’m honestly tearing up just writing this sentence.  Thank you.  It means the world to me.  When I’m at the bottom of an episode, it’s very tempting to think all kinds of horrible things, like everybody, even those close to me, are shaking their heads when I’m not looking.  I know it’s not true, but mental illness fucks with your ability to see things as they are.  Reading those comments helps so much.  I can’t thank you guys enough.


Also, give me something to focus on. See any lousy arguments from believers on facebook? Get an email from a religious friend telling you how good the lord is or how evil atheists are? Email it to me. Meticulously going through something like that might just perk me up.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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