That is kind of the million-dollar question right now. Is what I am feeling part of the overall despondence brought about by my mental illness? Could the harrowing exhaustion, anger and hopelessness that is completely incapacitating me be tethered to my being a ‘basket case’. I have well for months now racked my mind on whether my lack of motivation to be a remotely normal functioning human being was because I damn well couldn’t. It has been the utter bane of my existence. Trust me, there is only so much of the same thought that can plague you over and over again before your mind is ready to jump over the deep end.
I believe it is not stated enough how the term depression sometimes tends to feel a tad bit too linear. For me at least, it no longer embodies the tumultuous nature and degree of detachment that precedes having major depression. Hence the question, ’That’s it?’. It surely can’t just be it anymore, not when it feels like I unlock a highly complex level of this ailment every other time that I am bound to experience an episode of it. It surely also doesn’t help that it is entirely possible to experience many of the symptoms of depression without being psychologically unwell. Many a time I have struggled to come to terms with the awareness that this illness seems to spread a lot like wildfire among my peers because surely, they wouldn’t be experiencing the same kind of agony I seem to carry around every waking moment. The gravity that there may be a chance that they are going through the same degree of despondence as I am is truthfully heartbreaking.
My experience within this realm of psychological turmoil surely no longer fits within the box that is depression. I am no longer of the meagre notion that depression isn’t just sadness. If the tumultuousness of my pain is anything close to what is truly defined as depression, then it should be made well aware that depression was never sadness, to begin with.
What are antidepressants?
I wanna believe that majority of you are familiar with the term antidepressants or have come across it once in a while somewhere. For the few that may not be aware of what exactly they are, they are medicine taken for different mental health illnesses. Most especially depression. That’s the lame man’s definition.
Why am I on antidepressants?
I’ve mentioned before that I have been on and off antidepressants before. I started taking antidepressants for my depression and anxiety sometime last year after a terrible episode that required me to see a psychiatrist and through that session, I was prescribed my first set of antidepressants. I was on Mirtazapine for my first dose and I’ll go into detail on the side effects in a few. For a first timer, I can say I took it like a champ. It’s a different experience to be on this medication but it might seem scary at first but I can assure or anyone who may be on the path to having it prescribed to them by their doctor, it will help. It is part of the means of getting better.
Side effects of the antidepressants
The side effects stated below are mine and not a general over view of all the side effects one is prone to get while on any set of antidepressants prescribed to you by your psychiatrist.
My initial reaction to starting antidepressants was that it would minimise the depression I was feeling in a matter of days but I got to learn quite quickly that that wouldn’t be the case. On mitarzapine, the effects quite frankly hit me like a hurricane. The depression quite literally became worse before it became better. On most occasions, there is always a fluctuation in weight and sadly for me, I gained a lot of weight. My appetite sorta increased ten fold and I was eating on a constant. The hunger was on another level. When I mentioned earlier that I took it like a champ was because despite how gravely the side effects were, I never discontinued it and was on it for a month before I had my prescription changed by my then psychiatrist.
My second prescription was what I gotta admit taking was an extreme sport. I didn’t go long on them due to the grave side effects they had on my body. I won’t mention the names of the exact medicine I was on just in case it gives off the wrong depiction of the said meds. I remember on the second night of taking them, I began to have serious tremors. I couldn’t stop shaking and my teeth rattled, you’d think I was on the North Pole. In addition to that, my heart started pounding so heavily, I was sure I was gonna have a heart attack. With the side effects being that heavy, I had to discontinue the medication and it took me a whole nearly six months before I went on any other antidepressants.
Mid year of 2021, I got into another depression episode that required me to visit a new psychiatrist since I was home over that period. This time around, I got a better prescription than the last which is what I am still on currently. I am on 10mg Cipralex and 10mg haloperidole. The first one is majorly for my severe depression whereas the latter is for my anxieties and agitation. On the first take of this medication, it didn’t have much of a side effect that I could positively point out but now when I’m currently on it, there are a few new side effects that are damning to the soul.
This will positively be very inappropriate to whoever reads this but I’ll say it anyway, my vagina has been going through it with this current set of meds I’m on. Going through it, I mean it’s dead dead. Like I can’t seem to get aroused what’s so ever and trust me, I have tried. You name it, besides sex though… don’t gotta a guy for that, or a boyfriend too.
Not too long, I was ranting to a close friend how I can’t seem to feel the slightest bit of sensation down there and she had a good laugh out of it. Besides the dead vagina, I also can’t seem to feel much joy over anything which is a lot like a mild numbness. What I can’t truly stand though, out of all this, is the agitation at night, right before bed. It is darn right annoying. It’s such an extreme sport to get myself settled in bed when it feels like every thought is racing and none of them have got sleep in them.
So yeah, just thought I’d share my brief experience with taking antidepressants and hope it distigmatizes them for the better.
‘’How do I begin to set out to the world this painful reality that even I aren’t sure I have fully acknowledged? Most nights, I am uncertain of whether I have the reality of a tomorrow. I can’t seem to decide if seeing the night through is my main goal or whether I am just being dramatic over my emotions. There is this unbearable need inside my head that tells me that nothing is right, that nothing I feel or do can or will make anything right.
For the past two weeks or so I have been fighting the reality of the fact that I have been feeling suicidal. It has no longer just been fleeting thoughts anymore but solid assurances that I no longer can decide on whether life is bearable enough to be lived. I have thought through it so many times, I have questioned myself on whether it is real in both my heart and my head. It physically aches inside me whenever I think that I could finally be ready to let everything go. It is a very unbearable burden to carry because I have found no means or way to tell this to anyone. I am convinced that either no one will believe me or they probably won’t know what to do.
How do I begin to explain this to anyone when I myself haven’t entirely come to terms with this frightening realization? How do I put this into words to anyone else when all I truly feel is shame over even feeling like this? I say this with absolute resolute, the only thing that I am certain about in the midst of all the turmoil going on inside my head is that I have absolutely no idea what to do or where to start dealing with these feelings or these thoughts of suicide. It scares me not knowing how or where to start. So yeah, that is right where I am.’’
The above text was written by a very desperate, sad, despaired and most especially depressed girl. I can’t say with certainty that any of those damning feelings are gone yet, or better yet, I do know where they are. They are retreating to the back parts of my mind now that it feels a lot like I have a bit of amour against them. When I read those words above, I remotely can’t entirely recognize the girl who wrote them. She looks and feels a lot like a hollow shell and it is terrifying to think that at any one point I was this girl, I am this girl. The emotions feel like a vague memory, it has the vagueness of a sketchy dream that only holds bits and pieces of what is to be recalled of it. I wish all the memories of that pain could be erased but some of it is marred on my arms as-a-result of trying to drain it out. The pain is stuck deep inside, deeper inside than the mere blood in my veins. The scars in my hand are just a reminder of a very short-lived relief that didn’t ever quite feel like relief at all.
There is a very stark difference between being alone and being lonely. My depression is always certain to make sure I feel the best of both worlds, at least in regard to those two aspects of isolation. The most singular of the two feelings is when your entire being is encased in a fog of loneliness. No sense of reassurance would convince you otherwise of the fact that you are absolutely alone and beyond lonely. This time around, it dawned on me that I wasn’t intentionally choosing to be lonely apart from the intentional choice I made to be alone. It took all the energy I had in me to have any conversation I might have kept up with during this time. I can say with certainty that I have not spoken to the few people in my life to whom on occasion have seemed to retain some parts of me as their friend. The looming darkness is all that encases you, it is all I could think about. I was entirely convinced that nobody in my world would find a solution enough to save me from the dark pit I was in. I felt nothing beyond the scariest darkness known to my mind.
I feel like it’s important I make this fact clearer, depression is not just a bit of sadness. It is a lot more than even I can express. It is for sure something I still don’t think I have the full grasp over in regard to how vast of a feeling, an emotion, a concept, a thought, a sensation, an enlightening and a whole lot more. Depression is also quite invisible. It never is something graspable to the naked eye. For me, it is very suffocating. My mind never feels like it has any space to breathe, it feels like the only space I can afford to think is in remote gasps of air. It feels like it would resemble a lot of what I think it feels like to drown. The panic, anguish, despair and the complete lack of hope for rescue sounds a lot like how my mind is right now. Sally Brampton, the author of the memoir Shoot the damn Dog wrote in a very precise manner what it is like to experience the depravities of the mental fuck that is depression. She describes its most corrosive aspect as despair and catastrophic. She continues to elaborate on how impenetrable and unendurable it is.
I have experienced suicidal ideation before but never to its full potential as it was this time around. I knew I was deep in the gutter, submerged under when I couldn’t quit thinking of just how peaceful and pain numbing dying would feel like. When the thought became a permanent fixture in my mind, I knew there was no way around this. I didn’t want to be alive anymore. That awareness became the dawn of a new twisted kind of sorrow. I recall on some nights crying so deeply and feeling the pain and anguish so physically from knowing that I was lost in myself. I was lost in my hopelessness and my mind had resided itself to no longer living but to completely quit existing. To a degree, I thought if I hurt myself enough, it would ease that ache even just a little bit, enough to satiate it. Dull it down. It didn’t quite do it. It led me to commit my first suicide attempt. I remember the night vaguely but I recall the intent behind the pain I felt that night. I recall the finality to my thoughts when I placed the razor to my vein. I remember the soaked tears in my sheets from my wet face. It was a pain I can only describe as purely indescribable. 23rd of October,2021 I decided I didn’t want to live anymore, at least not in the state of mind that I was in.
I can’t say with absolute resolute that I don’t want to not live anymore. Am alive now, still in despair but alive. I’m on antidepressants currently so it is all I can hope that along the way, I find it easier to want to stay alive. A lot is still yet to be done and I can’t say for certain when any of it will be done. I still have struggles that play a major role in making it harder for me to fully get the help I need so it is all I can do but trying live a minute at a time. It has taken me nearly a month to write this and I’m okay with that. Writing and reading for me take quite the hit in periods of my depression so to an extent, I am proud I got to be candid about what it has and is still like for me to live with this unbearable monster that lives inside of my head.
“Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? “Mary Oliver
Well Mary, I can’t say there’s much I’ve already done with my one wild and precious life for I’m just twenty three as of a month ago. But let’s say it ‘s all the life I’ll ever get to live. Let’s picture this as the only life I’ve lived and that be enough. We may as well not plan for a future that’s yet to be lived, am I right? So for my puny little life, I will have quite the childhood. I’ll try to find the words to sum it all up but I’ll always come up short. It will be a mesh of a little bit of everything; it will not have been the best years of my life but it will be the years I’ll wish to have held onto more. It will be the years I should never have taken for granted, but still somewhat did. As a kid, I’ll be my best version of prime & proper, at least to the world I’ll try to be. Back at my house, I’ll be the biggest pain in the ass and my arch nemesis will be none other than my dear ole mum, God bless her soul… She’ll take the blunt end of my onset of puberty and will match my energy of being a serious pain in the ass. But despite it all, I’ll adore her existence like that of a god. She’ll be to me like every mother is to their child, their first god and their lifeline. I will not realize just how much the world is unfair to you until the day my lifeline will be taken away from me. Simply, I will learn of one of life’s toughest experiences which will alter the entire basis and trajectory of my life.
Like it is for most people, those lucky enough to have the blessing of family, I’ll live for my family. With one sibling and a single father, I’ll pour out every bit of love in me to them, which now that I think about it, might explain why it will be hard to love anyone else with the intensity and magnitude that some will seek from me. I will adore my family and be in their embrace through every day spent of my puny but precious little life. My dad will be that friend you can’t quite get enough of but still gets annoying every so often. He’ll have my back always and I’ll grow to protect him to the best of my little ability. As for my sister, she will be my best friend, my companion, my roommate and my all rounded life partner. We won’t have much of separate lives since we will be often together too much of the time. She will be my provider for quite the while and I’ll ride it out till what I hope will be the start of my own adulthood. She’ll complain I eat a lot but continue to feed me regardless. What can I say Mary, a girl’s gotta eat to grow. Sometimes indulging into her cravings a little bit more than she should. All my life’s significance, regardless of whether puny or not, my sister will be there for them. She’ll cheer me on and help me brush of the dust from the times I’ll have fall off my feet. She’ll vicariously live through me in my relationship escapades for they will be quite a few… Mary, you may be quite surprised by just how much I’ve experienced in the realm of “love”…I will trust no one more than I trust her and I’m uncertain I’ll ever know what it’s like to have anyone closer to me than her.
I will go through highschool and regard it as the worst years of my life. I’ll hate every day of those agony ridden days. I’ll want to escape to my dreams every day of my life for those four years and I’ll have my heart broken by the impossibility of my dreams ever coming true. I will peg on God to pay His dues to me even despite knowing deep down, He owed me nothing. I’ll walk down the streets of my school every evening looking up at the stars and hoping against everything that the brightest star of all will mean my redemption from my misery. It will surprise me that despite feeling incapable of feeling anything else besides sorrow, I’ll grow to love a girl immensely in the midst of it all. I’ll use her as a distraction from my grief but then, my emotions towards her will envelope me like a dome. She will eventually become all I’ll ever think of in those years and even a few years after that. I will feel hate and this wildly twisted obsession over her that will force me to think again over what I thought I knew about my sexuality. She’ll become the true bane to my existence and I will not know till date whether it was all just a projection of my grief or I just had the worst case of adolescence. Even later in life, I will still regard this girl as quite the enigma. I will have gotten better reins of my emotions when it comes to her but traces of her will still linger and hover over my conscience. I will complete highschool with the passion to charge the world. I will have my dreams hanging from my shoulders and what will then be a well sort out plan to kick start the dreams into motion. I will then learn that it’s a lot harder than I might have thought. My passions and my sorrow will set sail my career into psychology.
I will go through college and have quite the silent rollercoaster. Silent because not a lot of people can attest to anything major happening in my life but it being a rollercoaster because I certainly will have my fair share of things happen in those years. I will loose my virginity in college, and it won’t be memorable. It will not mean much and neither will it be some instrumental rite of passage for me. It will happen and I won’t care to much over it… that’s all that will be to it. I will have boyfriends, and a man-child friend too. My first relationship will be, for lack of a better word, meh. Though at the beginning, I wouldn’t have considered it so, for I will have wanted more from it. It will be based on sex marathons and on and off breaks. In time, it will be the trigger to a very uneventful onset of my first depression. It will kick-start a tirade of emotions, downhill turmoils and a whole lot of anxiety. It’s in college where my battles with mental health will become the fore front of my life. Depression will become my shadow and I will loose recognition of myself without it…Before I can even delve further into what my life will become in regards to my mental health, let me tell you about the man friend I will be crazy enough to date… It will also be in my early twenties, when I’ll have my interest picked on matters BDSM. In the case you’re not aware Mary, this is a kink in sex for those who are unconventionally woke. It will be in my venture of this kink that will lead me to meeting and somewhat dating a man-child who will then be 44 at the time. I know what you’re probably thinking but trust me, at the time it won’t seem as absurd as it might now. He will at the beginning feel like a breath of fresh air (no pun intended in regards to him being old and all..) and I will be enthralled by him and his take on the world. His bluntness will at the start look like something to be admired but it will soon wither in my eyes for it will not go unnoticed to me how emotionally dry he will be. As he himself will say, “I’ve got the emotional depth of a pin cushion”. I consider myself lucky for I will actually know what a pin cushion is like. After that, we will end things between me and this man but we will keep in touch and that will be a mistake I will soon learn dearly from.
I will go through life one day at a time…I will experience a mental agony that nothing will have ever prepared for me. I will learn to cope with this said agony in ways that will leave permanent scars, both on my skin and on my mind. I will still continue to dream and be a little girl on the inside. I will go through life plagued with anxiety that I’m never doing enough, that I’m not the best at anything that I do. I will still keep trying regardless, even when I will want to choose death over life. As I said earlier Mary, my life is still puny and hasn’t matured as much so there’s only so little I can tell you of how my life turns out… I will try my best to write more of how my life goes, maybe when I’m thirty, I will write this again. I will to you how my puny but precious wild life will have gone down. Hopefully, it won’t be so puny anymore.
“Inspired from the book ” It’s okay to laugh ,crying is cool too” I haven’t even completed it yet but I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful read.
So tonight, something quite weird but cool I guess, happened to me.
To give a short back story to what was my intended action earlier, I’ve been trying to really dissociate the past week. I’ve been dealing with heavy burden like thoughts that I surely just didn’t & still don’t have it in me to handle let alone deal with (now when I think about it, handle and deal with, same thing). I’ve been trying to space out if I may call it so and tonight being a similar kind of night, I experienced the urge to self harm which I haven’t done in like the past two, three months or so. I quit keeping count of how long it’s been… I’m not proud that I settled myself into doing it earlier but yeah, I was going to do it and then drown out the thoughts from my head by numbing my emotions.
As I was settling myself to doing the deed, I’d just happened to put on the DVD player and I’d just put up Baby Daddy, the series about Emma, Riley, Ben, Tucker and Bonny, forgot the tall guy’s name (Ben’s brother)… As I was just about to go on ahead, I got distracted by the movie and it wasn’t even two minutes in, I was laughing, like really laughing… Forgive me if this sounds morbid but allow me to paint the picture in your lovely heads.. I was holding up a razor blade to my arm while laughing my heart out…again, my apologies for the messed up imagery. In that moment, I genuinely couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore, like for a second there I was like I need not get distracted from what I was about to do. I had everything set right there, the razor and the after care kit (yes, I have an after care routine for when I self harm, I’m not entirely a mad person, I’m just one with hygiene standards) but anyway, yeah. I had an urge and I was intent on fulfilling it… At least until, Baby Daddy, completely pulled me out of that head space. I started laughing at how absurd it felt to be holding a razor to my arm when the emotion behind it was no longer there and as ridiculous as this may sound, things got too weird and I just couldn’t anymore. So I packed my kit and stored everything back and resumed watching the show.
Two hours and season one down, here I am writing of that weirdly saving encounter I just had. A part of me is grateful that I didn’t go through with harming myself because it would probably have kicked off a habit I am still very much battling down and every so often have the reigns over. I wish I’d say it was some form of higher power that allowed me to find a disc that’s been years old in the corner of my sister’s room to which I came across as I was technically stealing her cotton wool for what was to be another scar on my arm. What are the odds, the disc was not scratched up and had a series that’s turned out to be my saving grace for the night. I’m in an entirely better mood for what it’s worth so I guess I owe this night to season one of Baby Daddy. Y’all should definitely check it out, might work some miracle for you too.
A girl has been bored. When am I never though… But despite everything else your caught up on, (#always your reliable depressive ), I don’t want to dwell on that as of now. I’m in too much of hyped up state to ponder over as of my current bestfriend & long time homeboy, depression. I’m gonna assume your curious on what has me feeling less forlorn than my usual state of being and from that assumption, I’m gonna share what has me feeling different. You’re girl’s been horny as hell (cue the audience’s laughter) …like majorly to the degree I’m fliker’ing my twickie…😂😂 That’s a statement I came up with two nights ago while keeping my sister company as she got drunk on a new alcohol she’d been meaning to try. We were sharing on our impending states of horniness and I told her how it’s in my next budget to get a rabbit vibrator but I’ve got no idea where the money’s gonna come from, ( PS. I’m taking willing donations to get a girl a vibrator, any amount will be appreciated 🤗). So yeah, in the midst of that conversation, I came up with the statement flicker your twickie. What can I say, I’ve been on a journey of forced celibacy for quite a couple months now and it was bound to take a toll on me eventually. Truthfully speaking, I pride myself over how long I can go before giving into my body’s urge to mate if I may call it so and I think this has to be that limit because I can’t help myself from needing some sort of release, (cue the major embarrassment ) but yeah, since I don’t have a man, the next best thing is a little playmate who’ll be utterly at my beck & call and who’ll I’ll not need to impress as much to get a little bit of pleasure from.
Whilst in the subject of partnership, I recently thought about the subject of having a Dominant again as a partner for myself. After such a while of me have stashed away the submissive in me from the front of my mind, she snuck back to remind me that she’s still there and that maybe she feels ready to make a gradual come back. After my last relationship as a submissive, I purposely took a step back from being in any sort of relationship, in regards to being in the normal kind of relationship or the Dom/sub relationship due to the matters of my ever loyal companion, my mental instability. Despite it all though, I have immensely missed the clarity and beauty that I feel as a submissive. The immense pleasure & thrill of it is a high that’s unmatched for me. It’s impossible to forget what it’s like to have such care given to you by a Dominant worthy your submission. I’d be lying if I said the sexual connection isn’t among the bigger perks of why I miss being in a Dom/sub relationship. Therefore recently when I thought about it again, I pondered over whether I feel ample enough to take up the role of a submissive partner to a deserving Dominant. I went through a couple of internalized questions and just really delved deep on whether I feel like I can put myself back into that head space. Let’s just say, I feel I may be ready for it but I’d have to make a few adjustments in concern to my mental health and whether the Dominant will be up for the task of handling me with all my luggage.
Entirely away from that, I’ve been meaning to seriously gush over a book I read recently that I can’t seem to get over just how incredibly wonderful & hilarious it was. Allie Brosh’s book Hyperbole and a Half is a book I didn’t realize just how much I needed to read. It brought me such joy & laughter. I read it in bed at two in the morning and I was laughing so hard, I started wheezing from it. Despite how short it was, it was an incredible read and I’d recommend it to anyone. I can’t forget to mention the imagery used in the book that accentuated it’s hilarious nature all the more. The writer’s sense of humor in the book had me wishing she could be my best friend. The book is mental health related and I loved how I was able to relate with her in some of her experiences with depression. The way she brought out her encounters with depression felt a lot like home for me due to the sense of familiarity & relatability. Hyperbole and a half will probably be among the best books I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year and I’d love to read more of Allie Brosh’s work.
In my spare time, apart from when I’m self loving & reading books, I recently started listening to podcasts as well. Through a girl I follow on social, I came across her podcast which I thought was super cool & insightful especially since the episode I listened to first had a touch of mental health to it. From listening to that episode, it made me wish that I had a friend who related on issues mental health & depression. I’d genuinely love to have someone by my side who understands what it’s like to struggle with an invisible battle. Hell, I’d love to have a best friend who relates on being a fellow crazy and we can laugh at how badly we are done existing, in this life at least… So yeah, I loved listening to that podcasts, it’s called The First Draft on Sportify and Apple Music if anyone would like to check it out. So yeah, I’m glad I got to rope you in on the better parts of my time bored and just in case anyone wants to be my friend, my one requirement is that you’re a touch of crazy and maybe a tad bit depressed too, for the days we both need to hurdle together in our depression 😅.
Through my mental health journey, I’ve grown to learn that it looses it’s aspect of private and individual just cause of what & who it ropes in along the way. In my case, my ongoing journey has roped in a few people, some were strangers who turned into family and others were family right from the start. It weighs heavy on me as a person who struggles quite often with the mental battles I go through, and this is not because of what it’s done to me, but because of what it’s done to those around me who’ve stuck by me despite my ailing mind. I have seen it tear down my sister and it was for me more excruciatingly painful than any insition I’ve ever put on my body. I remember last year when I had my depressive episode for about six months. It was right about the time when my country was on a lockdown due to the pandemic. I was stuck in our apartment with my sister and we had no means to go home due to a cessation that had been implemented on my country which prohibited me to travel. I self harmed more during that period than I ever had before and it became an instinct & it was such an impulsive nature for me to do, I grew numb about it. I ratted myself out to my sister cause I knew if I didn’t, I’d have probably not so intentionally hurt myself beyond what my little first aid after care routine could handle. Even then, despite being so out of touch with anything else besides the throes of my depression, I could see just how much my battle was weighing in on my sister. She carries her emotions on her sleeve so it wasn’t so invisible to me just how exhausting it was for her to see me go through that gutter. It’s not until recently in one of the countless conversations we have about my mental health did she admit to hating her work over that period when we were quarantined together and that she wanted to cry her eyes out everyday she had to do her job. She wasn’t sure if anytime I wasn’t in her periphery, I wasn’t cutting myself and now me being aware of what it must have been like for her to go through that, genuinely breaks my heart.
My guilt in depression is tethered to what my battles have done to others besides myself. I can honestly say, I haven’t found love enough for me to feel guilty over what being mentally ill does to me. It’s what it does to those I care about that shatters me the most. To say I have tried to hide the ugly effects of my battles from my loved ones would be putting it lightly. Sometimes I just rather die with it and let it rip me from the inside out all on my own than let it seep out to those who matter more to me than anything. With my dad for instance, my old man doesn’t know just how much effort it takes his last born daughter to live through each day as a depressive. On some days, I want to shout it to him with such aggression about how I can’t seem to shake off this sadness that I’ve carried around for all my life. On other days, I can’t help but think he’s better off in the dark, from it all. Untainted from my demons.
It’s been both a blessing and a curse having my father out in the clear from my battles. It’s been a blessing because then he doesn’t have to look at me different. For now he knows the bare minimum concerning my depression. He would still be in the dark if I had never needed his help on buying antidepressants last year after starting therapy. It was a hard enough secret to keep cause then it was just me and my sister having to find means on how we would get money to take me to therapy and for me to see a psychiatrist as well. It got so hard every two weeks trying to figure out how to come up with the sum of money I needed for every therapy session because I couldn’t tell my dad that I needed money for something he was completely out of the loop on. When I finaly had to ask for his help, I came home with a prescription letter from a psychiatrist with a list of antidepressants I needed to start taking. This was right after my county opened it’s borders and the cessation that had been put in place due to covid was lifted hence why I got the chance to travel home which put a halt on me going to therapy because it was in different counties.
To say I was nervous bringing up that subject with my father was an understatement. I wasn’t sure he’d grasp what I was saying or if whether he’d even understand the gravity. This isn’t to imply my dad is slow or anything like that. On the contrary, my dad is pretty intelligent. What I was worried about was whether it would make sense to him the way it was meant to, from my understanding. It’s through him and our conversations together that the aspect of being an African and having a technically African raised father that I saw how much ones background and tradition affect different aspects and subjects which in my case was & is mental health. He actually took it quite casually which was what I thought I wanted but turns out it wasn’t what I needed. I didn’t see concern on his face when I tried telling him that I struggle with depression. Instead I got a speech on prayer & exercise and how much it would help keep me less idle. I told him that it had nothing to do with that and that it was a chemical imbalance in my brain that made me depressed and it still didn’t faze him. I was quite frustrated to say the least but I understood him despite it that he couldn’t just magically see it as I did. I gave him the prescription and told him that I needed him to buy me that medication and he was fine with it.
Whoever believes that they can go through mental health on their own have it quite wrong. I never knew just how much I’d need my father’s understanding until I finally brought him into the know about my struggles. A few days before my last birthday, my dad finally bought me the antidepressants I had been prescribed and I decided to start on them the day after my birthday. I’d already been on a different set of antidepressants two weeks before and they had really exhausted me out so I didn’t want to be loopy on my birthday since I was gonna have a little shindig going on that day. Cue to when I finally started my new meds did I see true & genuine concern which was more than his impassive nature had ever expressed. A few days in after I had started on my new meds, I got some really scary side effects after taking them and I thought I’d get them under control by buying some antibiotics. I had major and I mean major heartburn and aside from that, my heart rate was over the roof. I had heat flashes and I could hear my own heart beating so loud and quite fast, I was certain I was having a heart attack. My dad’s girlfriend is a pharmacist and I asked her if she could prescribe something for the heart burn and she asked me about the meds I was taking and I told her what I was newly on. Later that night when my dad came home, he was beyond agitated. Apparently, after my conversation with his girlfriend earlier, it was apparent to her that one of the antidepressants I had been prescribed to was very severe and was mainly for schizophrenics. In basic language as was explained to my dad, he was told they were for ‘crazy people’. That was genuinely the first time I saw my dad loose his calm and look so terrified. I believe it dawned on him that he’d just bought his daughter over the counter meds that were going to completely alter my mind and irreversibly damage it for life. For the record, I never once thought of it as my dad’s fault because it wasn’t, neither of us would have known. He felt responsibile for that mistake since he hadn’t done research or any enquiry about the meds he was buying me before he handed them to me. I on the other hand was more upset that a supposed legal & professional psychiatrist had prescribed to me medicine he knew wasn’t meant for me and which would probably have adverse effects on me but went ahead and prescribed it regardless of knowing all that. I was livid and after that, I quit taking the meds all together because despite how badly they were reacting to my body, they weren’t meant for it from the very start.
After that experience, I have not had therapy or been on any other antidepressants since. I soon after asked my dad if he could look for a different hopefully better psychiatrist to whom I would see and get a better diagnosis of my mental health as well as better effective treatment. This is where it has proven to be very difficult to get my dad on board because he quickly fell back into his slow paced process of doing things. It’s been a few months since that encounter with the antidepressants and after that, my life sorta fell back into routine. School opened and everything else took a seat at the back of my mind. I didn’t get better per say but the depression went back to being my day to day cup of tea, the one I was accustomed to. Now, due to different triggers, I am in the middle of another depression episode and I thought it would be perfect timing to see a new psychologist & psychiatrist but mainly the latter. I made my dad aware of my need now for a psychiatrist and told him I have been struggling again but he doesn’t seem to see the urgency of it. Even just thinking about it right now, is nerve wrecking. I’m triggered by his lack of motivation and urgency in getting me help especially now when I’m not at my best mentally. I admit he’s not fully in the loop of just how bad my mental instability goes, he is clueless of my self harm which has started again after I’d been clean for 98 days. I have racked my mind on how to bridge that information to him without alarming him but I just don’t know where to start. On some days, I want to just show him my arms and let them speak for me but I get scared of what he’ll think or do. It’s taken me a lot to admit that I am mildly suicidal as of currently and I am going through the days trying to find the will to see through the end of each day. He isn’t aware that I don’t know how much waiting I can do anymore before I can completely disintegrate. I am trying to be patient but it’s hard when my mind isn’t on board. So yeah, that’s where I currently am. Mental health is so contradictory in how personal & individualistic it is but also how communal it trickles down to. I hope that the wait isn’t going to be longer than my mind can hold off from completely falling apart.
“I’d been depressed for so long, hiding it wasn’t an option anymore, not by choice at least. My body took the choice out of my hands.”
Last night as I lay in bed thinking as usual, my mind drifted off and I began to wonder what the world around me sees whenever they look at me. In all natures, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually and even more so mentally. Only a substantial amount of people can give just a little bit of insight on what they think they know about my mental health and the struggles that enslave me on a daily. They see what they perceive as just the basic stressful day to day experiences one has to go through being at the point at which I’m at right now in life. It’s absolutely okay in their eyes that I’m stressed out about not knowing what I want to do in my life or whether I have a plan for the next phase now that I’m done with college. I can say with certainty that nobody sees what I feel or have to live through on a daily… not even a fraction of it. A friend of mine earlier last night mentioned to me that she has noticed that I’m extremely general on everything I relay to her and my response to that was that the world isn’t interested in the specifics of one’s life. People rather just know enough than know too much. It’s enough for them trying to be allies but too much to be a friend. It’s extending support but without having to be presently there, in the middle of it all. I would honestly rather not have any ally at all if that’s the case, therefore having to maintain my specifics to myself.
If there’s a chance that the world around me thinks I’m normal, then truth be told, I’m offended. In the stereotypical sense of the word, normal is boring and I would be highly offended if anyone considered me boring. I may not be your ray of sunshine, but neither am I living through the normal cycle of being this person who believes that everything sorta just falls into place… not to piss on anyone’s parade who might live by the notion that everything does sorta just fall into place. Alright, maybe I am, even if just a little. Entirely, what I’m saying is that, I don’t think I have been afforded the luxury to believe that my life is following a mystical path where I’m meant to entirely live through mental suffering just for it to get better in the far future and that I’ll look back at it and think that it was all worth it. Simply, I’m not cut out for normal…and I’ve learned to accept that and maybe even embraced it.
I’ve mentioned it before to my sister that the worst possible thing that could happen to me in life would be to be termed as cliché. Just the thought of it, makes me want to buff in my mouth and it wouldn’t be pretty. Cliché in my eyes would be anyone thinking that I self harm for attention. Just so you know, anyone who does self harm is seeking attention, just not for the reasons that the world thinks they are. It entirely could be a subconscious reaction to emotional pain but, from what I have felt in that moment, despite trying to hide it, there’s a part of you deep inside that seeks out hope that someday someone will see that invisible but obvious cry for help. That they won’t look at you like a loon but will take an initiative to get you help, the help that you might not have had the courage to ask for.
“How can I afford to feel self conscious over my body but can freely walk around with no sleeves covering my wrist and with my scars bared out to the world.”
I thought about that yesterday and if that screams normal to you, maybe you need to check yourself. I don’t have an answer to that, just like I don’t have answers to a lot of other questions about things that I do but can’t seem to have an explanation over. How I can even afford to walk out of the house with my marred wrist but can’t wear a dress because it will show out too much of my curves or in better terms, my fatness… It’s intriguing, isn’t it? That I am more ashamed of what was God given more than I am ashamed of what I self inflicted on my own body. It leads me back to the question of what it is the world sees whenever they look at me. Do they see the internal turmoil I have to face just with having to decide if I look more fat in a dress or whether I can pass on the lie that I was in a car accident to explain the scars on my hand? Are they remotely aware that I want to die but not necessarily from my own hands. “That I’m not suicidal but sometimes the lines get all blurry.” I know they don’t see all that, and it’s why my friends can afford to read my blogs and tell me that they’ll kill me first if I ever attempted suicide. That it will be selfish of me to choose my life over hurting them if I died by my hands. Oh, how selfish I will be if I died anyway besides what is considered natural. Well news flash, suicide is as natural as it gets. Until they can see beyond their hurt over me taking matters into my own hands, they will never see what truly lies beyond my eyes. They will never see beyond the lies of the fabricated stories meant to explain the scars on my hands. It’s not until they are ready to hear more than just the general, will they be aware of just how truly miserable I feel just having to live through everyday without the knowledge of why I’m even breathing.
So if you think for a moment that I’m normal, then I think you’re the worst kind of ignorant. It’s like if you treated a cripple like you would treat an able walking man…you’d be of great insult. Don’t look at my scars and then express indifference. I had that happen to me once before and it’s taken me over five months to express just how of a dick move that was. To completely disregard of my pain, is to disregard me as well. Don’t deceive yourself into believing that you’re doing what’s best by ignoring the elephant in the room. If you’re not going to kiss those scars like you would kiss every other part of me, don’t bother touching me at all.
I wish that sometimes, I didn’t have to act like am normal as well. It’s a deception from me too. Why can’t I just scream my lungs out in the middle of the streets just because I feel like it will be the next best relief? Why do I have to hold the pain till I’m behind closed doors to make deep enough insitions on my skin just to bleed the pain away? Why can’t I just break completely apart and not question myself over it or care about what it’s consequences will mean for me? I wish I didn’t have to fight so hard to keep the crazy tucked in when all I yearn for sometimes is to disentangle myself to little bits and pieces. All I ever feel like is a sitting duck or so in this case, a sitting crazy. I can’t tick off cause I should care enough about the consequences of what it will mean to the world but what about me, what about what I’m having to hold inside to prevent it from breaking out. A jar can only hold so much of anything without spilling out. I can’t even be crazy enough to finally get the attention I need that will get me help. All I wanna do is be crazy enough to get help and maybe if I’m lucky, stand the chance to gain a little bit of normal, even if it means gaining a bit of boring.
I know, not the most captivating title but I’m not sorry I didn’t come up with something better. That’s the best I could do anyway… So, again with the title, a little depressing but I’ve been meaning to elaborate to the world on my hopelessness and how wildly it sometimes makes me feel. For a precise elaboration, the term depressive is meant to bring insight to the fact that I don’t think that the drastic measures my mind seeks to end feelings in the likes of hopelessness is something that occurs in just any person’s mind. It takes a specific kind of sick to view shit the way I do, to want to solve issues the way I think makes sense which finally brings me to the highlight that the way I view or turn to resolving issues I go through isn’t similar for every person who struggles with mental issues. I was very precise in using the term ‘this’ to highlight that whatever I’m about to write is how I view things and how I feel towards them.
Besides it being a first for me to explain my title in detail, I just want to put it out there that I don’t intend to be metaphoric in my words today. I’m too hopeless as it is to wow anyone with my ‘great’ expressions of pain. I’m too drained out; that’s what feeling hopeless is about right? Feeling like there’s not a chance for anything good happening or punning out for you.. Yeah, sure sounds a lot like where I’m stuck at right now.
Where to start, not sure? A lot like everyone else, I had this grand plan for the beginning of the year but twenty days in, I’m willing ready to wrap this shit up. My needs are overwhelmingly piled up and I have no absolute means to meet each of them. To be frank, they aren’t some over the top things that I want but they are basic things that I need. I finish school in a three weeks time. I’ll be done with my diploma and where I’m from, the stereotype is that the end of one chapter or phase of life, is the absolute immediate beginning of another. No questions asked, no gap periods taken, its pretty much hopping from one wagon to the next at every stop. I’ve had it asked to me countlessly what I intended to do right after I’m done but I’ve pretty much got nothing besides heading home and working on my writing. I’m not upset about not having some grand plan to fall back on once school is done cause I genuinely need to ease off the pressure that’s been weighing in on me for a while now. What has me feeling a tad bit upset is those around me who feel like they are entitled to questioning me about what my plans are after school and why there are no immediate plans underway to get me a job. Like I’m not frustrated enough.
Feeling hopeless isn’t something I’m unfamiliar with. What can I say, I’ve got a history of things never punning out for me, not much of a surprise there… My hope is attached to the part of me that’s a christian, the part of me that believes in God therefore I rely on Him for my hopes and aspirations. I’m not knee deep into religion, I’m not even sure I’m religious but I am spiritual. Even for the most basic of things that I’d require luck, I still sorta run it through God in a verbal and brief way.. ‘Hey, I know I’ve not spoken to you in a while but could you please let me not fail in today’s paper, I’d be really grateful ‘…This will be my words pretty soon when I sit for my finals. I can’t say my mini prayers always go through as I want but I do know they are heard but being the human that I am, I am constantly asking for more and crossing my fingers that miraculously it will pun out as I want it to…
I can’t even recall how long ago it was when I started this precise update and for sure is that I’ve lost my train of thought though not entirely, can’t say I’m any more hopeful than I was while writing this. To bring y’all to where I’m at now, I’m done with school…(cue the applause). Truthfully speaking, I wish that applause was more real than the one that goes on in my head everytime I think of the fact that I’m done with school… but away from that, it doesn’t really matter anymore that nobody recognized that me finishing school was more grand than anything for me, at least in my eyes it was…
Back to hopelessness, it’s still very much there…probably now more than ever. I’ve felt hopeless in ripples and it’s taken its toll and now it’s more of just a constant feeling that I’ve honestly become accustomed to. At first, I was sure it was gonna take me down the depression express but as I began to feel the wake of the dark season set in, I was like, am I honestly ready to deal with all the bullshit this early into the year, absolutely not. Therefore, I put on my big girl panties and decided I’d just let it roll off my back, cut out the things making me feel hopeless or better yet, assume their existence in my mind. I don’t dispute that I need to figure shit out but I won’t do it on the expense of my mind deteriorating. Truthfully speaking, I’m not ready to start fighting with myself and with whether it’s worth living through. So the hopelessness is still there, just tucked away for a later time…
I’m back, in less than two hours. That’s what writers block does to someone, when you start after such a while, you feel like you need to recap everything. So here I am, in a more calmer state of mind, the speediness I was feeling earlier now more simmered down. I’m grateful for feeling it though, it didn’t give me a chance to over think and overly assess whether what I wanted to write was worthy enough for a blog update. It might not have been my vision for a New Year’s blog update but as I’ve come to decide, I don’t need to drastically change things about myself or how I do things just cause of the notion that the new year automatically means everything new. So I will anticipate to change over the year but will try not get myself worked up over it. (que anxiety,”easier said than done “)A lot like everyone else, I have ambitions for what I wanna achieve in the new year. Sounds very business like but it’s just stuff I wanna do to better myself. Like for starters, I wanna get back onto the tattoo wagon. I’d decided at the end of 2019 that I’d take a break from getting any more tattoos over the year 2020 and I actually pulled that off. I’m guessing it was mainly due to how unexpected the year turned out but regardless, I’m grateful I was able to see that decision through. Therefore now, I feel ready enough to start getting new ink and rocking it. My choice of ink previously has always been more of sentimental & special to me but this time round, I wanna do more spontaneous & adventurous kind of ink. My sister tells me that my ink isn’t truly baddas just because it’s too sentimental and emotional; not that I regret any of it, I just think it would be nice to have a few spontaneous tattoos that don’t have to have a sentiment behind them. The sentiment this time could be cause I thought they were cool and aesthetically pleasing to look at. I guess wanting this for me is part of trying to live a little, at least beyond the confines of what is my normal which in the case of tattoos has always been deep sentimental value. I don’t intend to get ink that will be meaningless or that I just got out of a whim but I do want to get ink that years down the line when one of my kids probably wants to get a tattoo of their own, I can tell them that it’s fine and I can show them mine but still explain why I got it in the first place. Even if the explanation is that I thought it was cool. Props to wanting to be the cool mum.
Apart from ink, I might just have finally found a solution that will save me from having to go to the salon every other month and won’t need me to shave off my growing hair. I’ve had short hair since 2018 and from around mid 2019 I quit shaving it and began growing it out again. It has been a tedious task since I have what I believe is type 4C hair, fully African. Not the easiest to grow out and definitely not the easiest to tame. I’ve had an Afro since the beginning of last year and it was a lot but I enjoyed embracing my natural hair. It was liberating in a sense. Now though, I recently started plaiting it out which is fun and all apart from the fact that it’s costly which is mainly one of the reasons I shaved to begin with. But now, I just might have figured out how to have the best of both worlds, have plaited hair and not have to shit a ton of money for it. Temporary Dreadlocks. I acknowledge that I’m possibly late at finding out about them but I think it’s extremely advantageous to have them. I weirdly have never taken a liking to dreadlocks whether permanent or temporary before, until I recently saw someone with them and they looked bombass and it got me thinking of whether it would be a good look on me. So now, I want it to be the next new look for me. Temporary dreadlocks go for at most ten months and all they need is renewal which is cost friendly. It’s truly a win win for anyone. I hope to look good in them and be stress free for those months that I’ll have them on. If I like them and look good in them, they might turn out to be my new normal for a long time to come. (p.s for anyone who’d like to get them, they are also a very protective style for your hair which is what we strive for, ladies especially)
Something else that I feel I’ve had as some kind of resolution for at most two years now is getting over my fear of wearing dresses. I’ve rocked a few dresses over the past two years and I’ve looked good in them, might I say so myself but on most days, my anxiety gets the best of me and my subconscious doesn’t let me leave the house in a dress because I’m extremely self conscious of my body. Being plus size for me is still something I’m learning to embrace; a step at a time. This year though, I truly do want to work on wearing more fitting and pretty dresses; getting my girly girl on. It will take me giving myself quite a few pep talks but I want to get over the fear that everyone is looking at me or that I probably look weird and the shaping of my body isn’t the right one for dresses… It’s a whole lot of insecurities but I wanna overcome them little by little.
At the end of last year, I got to travel to one of my favourite places in Nairobi which is the giraffe center and it’s always fun for me being outdoors especially in nature where I can interact with wild animals. It brought about the need to travel more which I hope to do as well in this new year. I have no specific place I’d want to travel to but I do want to expand my social life beyond the four walls of my house. With me completing school this year, I will probably have too much time on my hands and I don’t want to spend it all copped up in the house, as much as I may be introverted. I want to at least travel locally to new places and create beautiful memories, even meet new people as scary as that may be for me. You can very much say that I have no social life whatsoever and I wanna work on fixing that.
To add on to trying to get a social life, it will probably require me to be less of a loner and mingle more with people. As unbelievable as it is for an introvert, I do want to create new relationships with new Genuine people. Highlight on the word genuine because I honestly rather remain friendless than have fake friends with foul intentions. I’m grateful for those who I have but I’d like to broaden my circle a little. This last couple of months has given me a lot to think about on who I consider true friends and those who have entirely just been draining the life out of me. I’ve had occasions of serious disappointment towards friends I thought had my back but revealed they didn’t and it’s disheartening. I don’t have a number of how many friends I’d like to gain, one would be perfect actually. All I want is a real, raw and genuine friend who’ll have my back and I’ll have theirs. Who’s intentions in my life won’t be based on gaining anything in return but one who will care for my well being as I will for theirs. I know it sounds simple but in the real sense it isn’t. Along the same line of thought, I want to be more expressive of my actual feelings and intentions with people. I no longer want people to assume that just cause I hate confrontation, that I’m okay with being a pushover. I don’t want that shit flying with me again. I’ve been a pushover for so long just because I can’t tell someone that they have pissed me off or that they said something to me that didn’t sit well with me… I need to be comfortable with making others uncomfortable as long as they are aware that I won’t be sidelined or made to feel inferior by their opinions of who they think I am or should be. I’ve gotten immensely hurt by both family and friends dishing out their opinions over shit they shouldn’t have opinions over about myself. So what if I have a few scars, don’t mention it to me just because you think highlighting it will make me feel guilty just cause I put them there.(Trigger warning) My mental health isn’t up for discussion if I haven’t brought it up. I don’t want to discuss it with anyone just to feed their curiousity of how it feels to be a cutter. It’s not anyone’s business, regardless of whoever you think you are to me. So no more taking bullshit this year. I know it won’t be easy just coming right out and being brave enough to confront someone when they make me upset or feel uncomfortable but I sure as hell will try making them aware that it isn’t alright and that I don’t like it. This I promise to myself that I will stand up for myself, even if it means loosing friends and family.
..and finally, this year I intend to better myself at being a writer. It’s a passion of mine and I want to not care about perfecting it but more of being genuine in it and as raw as I can get. Words are magical and it’s relieving and liberating for me when I write. I have a few personal projects I hope to work on this year in terms of writing and you’ll just have to stick around to see, that’s for anyone who likes or enjoys to read what I write.So there we have it, my ambitions for the new year. Resolutions sounds too technical for me therefore mine are ambitions. I will give it everything I’ve got to achieve most if not all of them. I’ll be sure to keep you on the loop, at least for anyone who feels invested.