Message from the bottom.

You’ve probably noticed, but ever since going into my latest downturn mental illness-wise, I’ve been unable to write anything of substance.  Even the post about separation of church and state was cobbled together from where I’d written about it elsewhere.  I can’t seem to conjure up any eloquence.  It feels like I’m trying to communicate as a caveman.  And what’s the point of writing if you can’t make people think?

So, instead of trying to put any salient thoughts together, I’m just going to keep track of some thoughts today that might help to show what life is like in the state I’m in.

Right now I’m taking increased dosages of my meds, which makes me very fuzzy.  I have to read a paragraph 3-4 times to retain it, and even then it’s mostly gone by the end of the page.  I’m thinking in vague generalities, not specifics, and can’t seem to make my brain do otherwise.  I’m also sleeping at least 12 hours/day, probably due to my body adjusting to new med levels.  I’m combating that by drinking energy drinks like mad, which gives me an enormous headache from all the caffeine, but it keeps me awake and helps me focus a bit.

I thought I was doing better in my “clean room,” but I had to leave it today and…honestly, I’m not ready.  Didn’t really realize that until I left.

Then I spent the day trying to focus at work.  The day was an absolute wreck.  It feels like trying to run a race on crutches, but with everybody in the stands expecting me to somehow run.  I don’t want to drag others down, which means trying to smile and just try harder.  That even feels like trying to hide in the open, though.

Here are some of the thoughts as they came today…

I’ve had to pee for the last hour, but I dread the thought of walking past anybody.  It’s getting to the point where it hurts.


After an energy drink, my mind begins actively playing tricks on me.  I feel like everybody’s watching me and judging me for being distracted.  I keep imagining all kind of bad things happening.  And then I realize that I’ve only read or typed a sentence.  So I refocus, and literally seconds later it’s the same thing.

Without an energy drink, I feel like I’ve been driving for hours.  I don’t catch myself falling asleep, but I catch myself waking up.  It’s like thinking through cotton when I am awake.  I have to re-read everything multiple times while trying not to let my mind drift away thinking of nothing.

I feel like things might improve, like I’d be able to walk past people to the bathroom if I could just accomplish something: write something good or come up with a good idea, but I just can’t do it.  Everything is laborious and the end results deeply inadequate.  It’s exhausting with little return.


I’m constantly on the verge of tears (except for the times when I do cry briefly).  The only thing worse than trying to deal with all of this is the constant worry that it’s about to get worse somehow.

This increases my near-psychotic desire to not want to be around other people.


Re: running a race on crutches.

I can’t tell if it’s me expecting myself to run as fast as when healthy or everybody else.

I’m just not sure about anything right now, which makes me worry.  Not knowing is terrible, but I can’t bring myself to go be around anyone because I’m afraid it’s going to be as bad as I think.


I keep screaming in silence at my brain to focus.  It gets to nearly a panic, and a part of me keeps hoping my brain will have pity on me, even though I know such pleading is like appealing to the compassion of cancer.

It doesn’t get better.  I just feel more helpless.


One of my co-workers just stuck their head into my office to say hi.  I managed to say hi, converse for about thirty seconds, and then ask them to close my door with a straight face before breaking down into tears.  I’m not sure why.

It feels like torture.  I don’t want it to stop, I need it to stop and I don’t know what to do.  It’s becoming increasingly apparent that there is nothing to be done.

And bear in mind, this is with increased meds and speaking to a counselor every day.  This would be much, much worse otherwise.  The sad thing is that most people who suffer from a similar condition haven’t admitted it to themselves and gotten help.

You want to know what hell is like?  That’s it.

Additionally, I’m informed enough to deal with any ignorance about my condition from others.  Most aren’t.  This is why this subject is fucking important.  You think the ignorance that elevates homeopathy creates suffering?  Compare it to the ignorance of mental illness and it’s not even a blip on the radar.

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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.