Feel free to skip this post, I’m going a bit personal here.

I’m not well.

As a lot of you know, I have multiple diagnosed mental illnesses, such as severe depression and multiple anxiety disorders, along with a variety of not-officially-diagnosed ones. Unfortunately, this also means that I tend to react to situations in ways that neurotypical folk don’t.
I’m also an extrovert. The way I typically deal with bad days or high stress situations is by being in close physical proximity to my friends, or even just random people enjoying themselves. With the current pandemic, that’s not possible. I had wondered at the start of my social isolation how long it would take for me to break.

It was three days, for reference. It has been fourteen days since I was around people that don’t live in my house, not counting the one vet appointment that I had for Zoan. This is the longest I’ve been by myself since I started working twenty two years ago. This means that I’m not recovering my mental fortitude (for lack of a better word) on a daily basis.

Which makes the rest of this so much worse.

The way my brain works, it has times where things are fine, and times where things are Not Fine. This is, as far as I’ve been able to tell, a normal cyclical pattern. There isn’t anything I can do about this*, or even generally predict it. When it does start though, I recognize it happening and I make sure I have my coping measures in place – usually organizing additional board game / roleplaying nights, or visiting friends for a bit. This gives me enough mental fortitude to deal with the depression and not be a completely useless wreck of a human being.

That cycle started in early November. I received the phone call in mid-November that my mother had cancer, and she passed mid-December. This pushed me to try and force away those depressive thoughts, as I needed to “Adult Up” and actually operate. My mother needed me to do all sorts of things before she passed, and I needed me to do a bunch of them after. I know I can push things a bit, but I pay things back with interest – the longer I push, the deeper the depression gets after I’m done pushing.

I started with the deeper depression in January, around the time my partner arrived. It was rough, but I was starting to work through it. I took a trip to Indiana and we spent time with friends at the end of February. That’s, of course, when the proverbial excrement hit the ventilation system. The pandemic isn’t something I was prepared for, and even before things started getting locked down it started impacting my mental health.

Add in working from home. Add in my four-month-long migraine. Add in the social isolation. Add in deal with the battle report of the world. Add in the intense disappointment in how people are handling things. Add in my partner’s utter nightmare of a travel situation. Add in having to do a lot more work at home. Add in having routines disrupted. Add in losing food stability or the ability to even get food in less than five days. Add in losing an appointment I’ve been on a waiting list for for over six months (time to start back over on the list!).

I’m a walking disaster. I had to take time off of work Friday because I had been crying for about three hours straight. My head hurts so much that I’ve been trying to take 2-3 hot showers a day directly pointed at my neck to relax some of my tense muscles. I’m seeing the telltale signs of my body breaking down over long-term stress. I’m seeing stress-based illnesses in my cats even, as they take my stress on themselves. My temper is much shorter than normal and I’m just so aggravated by All The Things that I want to just scream.

This isn’t going to end anytime soon. I don’t have an end in sight, I don’t know how much longer I’ll have to do this. I still need to help my partner contact people regarding trying to extend something that isn’t supposed to be extendable. I still need to work (which, at least I’m still being paid?), and everything is just So Much.

I’m broken. I don’t know how to function long-term, or even how to keep things up short-term.

* – Other people in my situation take anti-depressants. There is nothing wrong with this – if you don’t have home made neurotransmitters, store-bought ones are fine. Problem being, I side-react to anti-depressants, making things about a hundred times worse. For those that knew me in high school, any of you ever notice me just staring at a wall for two days? Yeah, I don’t remember that because those were the side effects of my meds; I lost two days of my memory.

I talk at length about my stint in the hospital and the impacts of someone who has diagnosed severe depression.

TW: Depression, Medical/Hospital, Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, Blood.

Outside of the first two of those triggers, I mostly only make brief mentions of the rest. For those of you that might want to avoid that, there is a stop sign symbol that appears on the right side of the video a bit before each of those parts – simply mute the video and wait until the stop sign goes away, then unmute. Or, if you wish, do not watch the video until you’re in a better place – that’s the whole point.

First real meal I've booked for myself in months.

First real meal I’ve booked for myself in months. by Shivers

Via Flickr:

As a lot of people know, I was diagnosed with severe depression years ago. The past several months have been really rough on me, to the point where I stopped cooking entirely a few months ago. I’ve slowly been working my way back up – first going back to making sandwiches, then cooking pre-prepared meals..

Today I cooked my first meal from might-as-well-be-scratch in over three (might even be four) months. Sure, it is a meal I’ve cooked many times before (although with some minor changes – quesadilla instead of cheddar cheese – A+, will do again), but still – I cooked a meal for over an hour and it is relatively healthy (other than the egg noodle base, but it is more broccoli than noodle). I didn’t have to do this, nothing was about to go bad, but… I did it.

I’m proud of myself. Allow me to show you my dinner.


If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), and anti-convulsant drugs.

“The more of these medications you’re taking, the more likely you are to report depression,” says study author Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

1 In 3 Adults In The U.S. Takes Medications Linked To Depression

Photo: Glasshouse Images/Getty Images

Oh hey look, it me.

I think it actually started this morning shortly after I arrived at work, but it mostly hit its prime during my company’s staff meeting.

Meaning I had an anxiety attack in a room of 9200 of my coworkers.

I’m… not doing well, mentally. I feel like the past two years have been the least mentally-stable years of my life, and it scares me. That’s not too surprising, given that the leader of my country is basically my worst nightmare come to life and I’m dealing with some crushing depression thanks to my brain not braining right.

My cats are recognizing my issues. They’ve been behaving better than they ever have in their lives, basically latching on to me at all times trying to help me. I’m glad they are helping me, as I’m having problems with maintaining my calm. I don’t really know how much longer I can deal with this; something has to change.

VEDA2018 #15

There are two parts to this video.

If you’re here for the regular vlogging updates, that’s the first part.
I had a really nasty anxiety attack Saturday night / Sunday morning. While preparing for my planned VEDA, I ended up recording some of my recovery. It is kind of painful for me to show (I ended up crying a bit remembering the feelings while editing), I think it is important to show what others are dealing with, usually in silence. Feel free to skip the last parts if you don’t want to watch that.

I used to use LJ for this type of thing. Keep it friendslocked so I wouldn’t scare away randoms. LJ is not the proper place for much of anything now, however, so I needed to find another outlet, and Tumblr has won that lottery. I apologize in advance for this, but I think I need to type this up and post it; please ignore as needed. Writing down my thoughts via pencil and paper seem to be too limiting for me. I want need and crave someone to reply or even to let me know that they’ve read this.

To let me know that I exist, that someone sees my struggle, and to empathize.

Empathy. That’s been one of my problems as of late. I feel like I can’t get a break, even though none of this is happening to me directly. I tend to react to others’ emotional turmoil, problems, and issues as though they were my own. It is very handy when trying to comfort a friend in what is happening to them, but it is very painful to experience over, and over, and over again. I’m completely drained of my emotional capacity to do, well, just about anything. My tears are on a hair trigger, my rage is being barely held back, and my focus is completely shot – and mostly about things that aren’t happening to me directly. The world is a crappy place sometimes, and I feel like it has been particularly crappy to myself and my close friends as of late.

I was diagnosed with my first anxiety disorder four years ago this month. I was later diagnosed with severe depression and I knew I needed help. I started going to therapy two years ago (also this month).  For the first one of those years, I was getting better. Therapy was helping a great deal, my daily mental state would sometimes go above a 5 (on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst day I’ve ever had). I still had some bad days, but that’s progress, right? I knew I was in a somewhat precarious state, that something major could still send me back to where I was or even worse, but I was getting better until November. Today, I’m in a worse state than I was two years ago. My daily mental state hasn’t gone above a 2 this week.

Part of my problem is that I’ve been in crisis mode for too long. I feel like I haven’t had a rest since November. I feel like I’m constantly fighting, constantly putting out fires, constantly afraid, and constantly suffering since then. I lost hope in November, my brain has been trying to catch up ever since, and I’m exhausted. Every day is another step toward something worse, every day is pacing toward an end where I can no longer exist. Each morning, I find out whether or not I will be able to receive the medical care I need to survive, and each morning I have to wrap my head around the concept that some people would wish to see me die. Some of my own family even agree with these hateful words, without realizing what effect it would have on anyone… what effect it would have on me. Most people with those viewpoints don’t care at all – basically, the “shut up snowflake and grow up!” mentality that I loathe so much. “If you don’t like it, leave!”

Leaving. That’s actually something I’ve been considering. I would need to leave the US entirely, and that’s a huge can of worms that I’m not going to go into depth here about. Suffice to say, this is another source of my current woes – the idea that I’m going to let someone else win makes me quite angry. I don’t want to leave behind others in a similar situation to myself, I want to fix the situation – to make things better. I have to accept that I’m simply not able to do that, and that hurts. I can’t make people see that caring for people and protecting their right to thrive is important. I can’t make people feel empathy.

Then there is the fact that leaving would potentially kill me.

My entire coping mechanism for, well, anything at all at this point, is being around my friends. They can smile, laugh, and for a while I feel a lot better. Lately that feeling doesn’t last beyond that night, but that’s a lot better than nothing. Leaving the US means leaving my friends behind. Leaving all semblance of comfort and protection behind. Making my situation worse in the short term for the hope of a better situation in the long term. I’m not sure which situation is worse, and I’m afraid.

I feel trapped, surrounded by negative things that I have no choice on, surrounded by things completely out of my control. One of the focuses on my therapy has been to point myself at things I actually can control and resolve them. This was one of the ways I was making things better for myself – I was able to focus on just the things I could change, improve them, make things better, then take another look at a situation. From there, I would find another thing I could change (however small), change that, and repeat. Sure, the big things weren’t going to go away on their own, but having a better grasp at the situation at hand would let me stand up against it more easily. That’s… not the situation I’m in right now. I feel as though nothing is in my control, and even the parts that really are under my control are so tied down with my anxieties that I can’t touch them anyway.

My beloved is in pain, and I cannot do anything about it. Just typing that sentence sends me into tears. I want to be the person that can make things be all better, the proverbial hero that can save the day, the person that can be helpful to everyone, even for just a little bit. It is a core part of my personality… and I can’t. I’m not even useful from a comforting perspective anymore; I’m so burnt out that I’m subconsciously avoiding conversation topics with them over the idea that it might cause one or both of us even more pain.

If that statement sounded any alarm bells, congratulations – you saw what my therapist saw this week. She brought up the idea that I have codependency issues on top of everything else now. It isn’t too surprising, given my personality type and mental state, but it is also not a formal diagnosis. I basically have a need to help others when I can, and that need can make things worse for me. Often, as of late.

I don’t know what to do. I try to put on a mask so I can interact with the world, so I can be the person that I know I should be deep down, but that mask is slipping more and more often. Close friends aren’t the only ones noticing how I’m losing it now, and I’m not even sure if putting on the mask is even with it anymore.

I’m broken.