And not very logical. I spend the vast majority of my time bemoaning the state of my stagnant life, yet I’m unable to do a thing about it.
“If you hate our life so much, Eeyore, let’s do something about it. We’ll get a new job or go back to school or move to Mars. I hear it’s nice there in the summer,” I say to my depression, whom I call Eeyore because he never has anything positive to say.
“No, Goldfish, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to stay here in this darkened room not talking to anyone and wallowing in self-pity. That sounds better, doesn’t it?” And, with that, Eeyore wins another round, because it’s so much easier not to fight. Besides, sitting in a darkened room sounds rather nice. Hiding from everyone sounds nice. Avoiding my friends and not having a life takes so much less energy than doing stuff.
But, I do leave the darkened room. I go to work every day. I take my dog to the dog park every day, mostly out of selfish reasons. If I don’t take her, she’s a bundle of energy who will bother me while I’m attempting to sleep. I’ve never been any good at sleep and having a dog sit on you doesn’t help.
The problem is, work and dog park mean dealing with people. I’m not good at dealing with people under normal circumstances, let alone when I’m depressed. Most of the time, I feel like I’m wearing a mask. I plaster a stupid smile on my face, make small talk and the whole thing is exhausting. I’m positive they can tell that my smile and small talk are fake. How can they not see that I’m faking it? But, most people don’t even notice or they don’t care. It’s only the people I’m closest to who can see it and they don’t really get it either.
I live next door to one of my best friends. I have to walk by his house to go in and out of my own. Honestly, I’m not sure why he’s one of my best friends since he’s actually damn annoying. He doesn’t have depression and doesn’t even remotely understand it. He thinks the way to overcome depression is to go out. That may work sometimes with some people, but not with me. If I’m depressed and you force me to go out, I’ll just sit in a corner like this:
And then he’ll yell at me because I’m not happier. “You’re out on the town! Be happy!” Be happy. As if it’s that simple. As if there’s an off/on switch. As if forcing a depressed person out of the house could make any difference, besides making me and everyone around me uncomfortable with my woe-is-me-ness.
Last Sunday, he saw me walk by as I was taking my dog out for a walk and came out to scold me for not going out with him on Saturday night. I didn’t even know he was going out. I didn’t receive a text message or a knock at the door or a carrier pigeon message letting me know his plans. Yet, to him, it was my fault for not going out with him even though he didn’t actually invite me or even inform me. “It was fun. You should have gone. You never want to leave your house.” See? Annoying. The sad fact is, even if he had carrier pigeoned me, I would have come up with an excuse not to go anyway, so in a sense, he was right.
I find my non-depressed friends and coworkers irksome. They don’t get it. They don’t understand that every day is an internal war of epic proportions. Getting out of bed takes all of my energy. Leaving the house, plastering a dumb, fake smile on my face, and talking about nothing with coworkers is grueling. It takes every single bit of concentration, strength and verve I have hiding in there behind Eeyore to leave the house. I’d really rather hide at home.
When my annoying, non-depressed friends insist that I go out, I just can’t find the energy. I don’t have enough life in me to do anything beyond the basics of making a living and having a tired dog, and even that is too much. It drains me. I am absolutely lifeless at the end of the day. Depression is goddamn exhausting.