My first reaction to having a breakdown in public is to pretend that I’m not having a breakdown and buy a hamburger take-out. Though usually cheeseburger. With pickles if I can help it.
Though since I can’t really eat lately, this time the hamburger is spending the night in the fridge. Crisscut fries and all.
Thinking about how many meals it will take me to eat it and will it survive long enough to be still edible when I can get to it is better than thinking about the fact that I have no support system at all and my breakdowns are getting worse.
It’s a nasty kind of irony… that the worse I feel, the higher the probability that I won’t be able to handle calling in sick… and I can’t even convey how ridiculous it is, because not a soul on the other end would say anything bad about it. Or act in any way that would show that they didn’t like me taking days off. But the phone is one of my triggers and no matter how many times I make myself do it next time never gets easier. If anything it only gets worse. Probably because I have to make myself do it, but I don’t know how do you even get around that.
Every time I post something on flickr and take a few moments to go through the recent photos of people I follow there, it’s like they scream at me, my mind screams at me, that I’m trapped and wasting my life on things I don’t need to be wasting it on.
But, contrary to the popular belief, I’m not trapped because I’m too stubborn and cant take myself out any time I would decide to do it. What traps me are immigration laws and my condition that makes me a care-needed individual every time I set my foot outside.
Being completely unable to decide anything is one of the more annoying depression symptoms.
Sometimes it makes me have a panic attack in a store, unable to choose between a blue jacket and a green one, sometimes it makes me turn down a chance for a better work position, and sometimes I spend all day unable to figure out if I’m going to go to a concert by one of my favorite bands I brought ticket for 3 months ago, or give up and go home this evening.
Me: Buys a tone of books that have ‘romance’ as one of the genres every time there’s an anxiety attack (seeking ‘comfort books’ like cheeseburgers).
Also me: Gets genuinely surprised and disappointed when plot/romance balance exceeds(on the romance side) 70/30 and characters can’t stop thinking about sex… (like I thought I was buying something else).
I also complain about cheesy covers and titles. But then keep buying fantasy, sci-fi, and historical romance books anyway. And stuff them into my brain like gauze into bleeding wound.
Sometimes it takes me a really long time to realize something.
Recently I’ve finally really understood the mechanism behind the everyone’s notion to tell people that ‘it’s all in your head’, ‘you’re the one who has to save yourself’, ‘you just need to change your mind set’, ‘you’re the key to your own happiness’, and so on and so forth, I can’t even remember or the major examples…
It’s quite obvious, really. We tell this to people so that there can be no notion that there’s a responsibility on us to help them. If we make sure that everyone believes that they must be able to save themselves from the inside, and not expect help from anyone else, no one is going to blame us from doing nothing. And we don’t need to feel guilty when people who needed our help lose their fights, we then can only say that they didn’t ‘want to try enough’.
And when we <i>do</i> decide to help someone, we then can be praised as heroes who went beyond anything that could be expected from us.
Fact is, sometimes some of us really fall into situations, in context of mental health or otherwise, where there’s nothing more we can do ourselves to help ourselves. Sometimes people drown and they can’t be the ones to pull themselves up. And while other people are not actually required by anyone to help them, it would be great if they at least stopped blaming it on those who are in trouble. Telling a person with serious metal health problems that ‘they must be more positive’ or ‘stop being depressed or autistic by changing their way of thinking about things’ is like standing on the ground above a drowning person and shouting ‘it’s your problem that you don’t even know how to swim properly, just do better’. Yes, some percentage of people will still have strength to float or swim ashore, and it may even work for them. But it’s <b>not</b> for the spectators to decide who can or cannot do it.
This pattern of behavior that equals to saying ‘I’m not going to help you, but I’m going to save you by telling you that you just have to save yourself’ really disgusts me. If you can’t/don’t want to help – no one forces you, be on your way. Just stop using people who are suffering to boost your self-esteem by pretending you’re saying something wise and helpful by telling them to stop hurting.