I have no one in the world to turn to. No one understands my pain. I have nothing to do, no way in which to make the time pass. I can’t sleep at night. I usually stay up all night. And there is no reprieve, nothing I enjoy doing. No escape. Last night, staring at the dark ceiling--it was about 4 in the morning--I felt all the pain and aloneness build up. My only thought was “how can I get through my life”. That’s all I want is to be able to make the time pass as quickly and painlessly as possible. As it is, the hurt just mounts with each moment. I can’t take it any more.
I try to talk to my mom. Usually I can rely on her, but she has been very tired lately. My dad said she is on the verge of a breakdown and she needs to rest so I can’t talk to her. I feel like my dad makes me see the worst in myself. Never do I feel comfortable or accepted with him. I know that he tries but all he ever succeeds in making me feel is rejected, selfish, and a burden. I AM selfish, and that’s why it hurts so much. It’s true. It’s my fault. I am probably projecting my feeling on him. But I cannot deal with my own selfishness and self-absorption. I don’t know how to change and to focus on others. I try to help out at home but it’s never enough. I feel guilty if I don’t and I know whatever I do is not enough. I am still expected to do more, as if in some magical way that will make my parents love me more. Because all they’ve been talking about lately is how I need to help out, to help others. I who can barely get myself out of the bed in the morning. Don’t they know that I am doing all I possibly can to just stay alive?
Everyone has always said that joy and happiness comes from serving others. I used to do that, not much, but some. And it never made me feel any happier. And what about when one physically, mentally cannot? What then? I’m just left feeling guilty and so awful—like scum. Because it seems self-worth only comes from doing, doing…DOING. There is not goodness in trying to get through the day. Deep down I know what they are saying is true, but I honestly feel spread so thin as it is. And like I said, each thing I do just makes me feel worse. Because it makes me realize that no matter how much I do, I will never earn their favor.
So I can’t talk to my mom. Dad said to leave her alone. And I certainly cannot talk to my dad. He usually makes me feel worse. He has that very “fix-it, just DO it. Get BETTER!” attitude. It doesn’t even help to talk to my mom if I could because she just says things like “maybe you could go and visit the kids that haven’t been coming to church and teach them about God.” Or,“happiness comes from helping others. Why don’t you fold some clothes and try to help out more about home.” Would if I could…even when every moment it haunts me knowing I SHOULD. I just want my life to end. I wish I had never been born. She doesn’t get it. Or maybe she gets it better than I do and I just can’t do it. In any case, the fault is certainly with me. With my weaknesses and limitations. I feel helpless to change any of those things. If I had cancer or some physical illness, maybe they would understand. But I think they just think I’m lazy (which I am), but there is also something quite invisible holding me back. Depression is silent and so confusing.
I don’t know how to deal with this despair, this aloneness. I have turned to everyone I know—my parents, my siblings, God, my counselor, my psychiatrist. I already told you what my parents say, but it’s rather laughable how the counselor and psychiatrist respond.
My counselor usually has either one of two responses. If I go in on a very low and depressed day (like today), she responds something like this:
Me: “I have nothing to do. Nothing to live for. I just feel so alone. I wish I had never been born.”
Counselor: “Do you ever think of harming yourself?”
Me: “Yes. I think about it a lot. But I am too scared to do anything.”
Counselor: “What do you think will help you get better, Audrey?”
Me: “I honestly don’t know (to myself: if I knew I wouldn’t be here!)”
Counselor: “That’s a good answer. [pause] You know, I really think you will get better. You have so much going for you.”
Me: “But how? When? What do I need to do?!? It seems like I’ve been feeling this way forever.”
Counselor: “I’m sure it does feel that way. What time do you want to meet next week? I’ll be out of town for a while so it will have to be later in the week…”
Or on a better week…
Me: “I still feel awful but I just try to stuff those thoughts down. Honestly, I just feel kind of numb to everything. I don’t feel really, really low…just kind of blah.”
Counselor: “Well, I think you’re going to be just fine. Everybody has problem around your age. I really think you are mature… (she then goes into a five minute speech about how much I’ve grown up since when she previously worked with me a few years ago. She has repeated this speech about 23 times and I am running out of demure and modest responses.) …so how about we just meet every two weeks now instead of every week—but I’ll be gone to Florida for a while so we might have to make it a little longer. Okay, time’s up. I’ll see you in a few weeks then.”
And then the psychiatrist…
Psychiatrist: “Have you noticed any improvements with this medicine?”
Me: “No, it’s hard to tell but I think I’m about the same. I just feel really down and have a hard time doing anything.”
Psychiatrist (in a soft, slightly robotic voice): “Yeeeah.”
Me: “I have no motivation and just have a hard time getting through the day.”
Me: “I just feel really low and am frustrated that nothing seems to be working.”
Psychiatrist: “Yeeeah. [pause] Do you ever think of harming yourself?”
Me: “Yes, sometimes.”
Psychiatrist: “Have you thought of signing up for some classes at the college?”
Me: “I wish I could, but I just can’t concentrate.”
Psychiatrist: “…because that would be good to get out a little.”
Me: “I tried that but I had to quit because they were too hard.”
Psychiatrist: “…and it would be good to meet some people. Yeeeah. Well let’s try this new medicine/increase this dose…. [explains how the medicine works and how it is really a great formula that I should really see some symptomatic relief from, etc.]”
Me: “Well, okay, but it gets frustrating to keep trying all these medicines and have none of them work. This is the sixth one I’ve taken.”
Psychiatrist: “Yeeeah. This one is really great, though [repeats previous speech about said medicine.]
It’s hard to feel like I’m not connecting with ANYONE. And to have no one to turn to. Well, I have to go to Mass now. The readings this week are soooo long because of Palm Sunday. It’s pretty much the whole Passion narrative. I feel bad saying this, but Mass is one of the hardest things for me. I just cannot concentrate and sit still. Today will be even worse. I have to go, though, so I better get ready. I do love God, it’s just so hard.
(This was part of the readings at church today. It relates very much to how I am feeling.)