I feel like I’m losing the fight with depression, which is depressing in and of itself. I think back to the last time I was truly happy – I think it’s when I was advising at ASU, but there was plenty going on then too, so maybe it’s even further back than that. Maybe thinking of it as happy isn’t quite right.
I’m trying to recall a time when I didn’t have to spend a good 20 minutes every morning talking myself out of bed, fighting the desire to simply stay there and read, watch movies or play games to ignore the gnawing feeling of something missing, something irreplaceable. I can’t imagine that this is a normal thing. Jeff and Nina get out of bed every day, no problem. They rarely miss school or work. Lots of other people do the same. But I also can’t deny that this is a real struggle, nearly every damned day. I rush home at the end of the day, to safety, so I can veg until I can sleep. I sleep as much as I can, until the next morning, when I start the day with the 20 minute haranguing to get myself out of bed.
I love Portland – love the weather, love the smell of the land, love the fierce devotion to individual expression. Most of the time, I love the politics. But I cannot seem to find a person here, not a single one, to deeply connect with. There is a kind of cliqueishness here that is tough to break because it hides behind a face of friendliness. That is to say, people are friendly enough, and happy to be acquainted, but that deeper connection seems to be reserved for long-term residents or a kind of person that I am not.
This is severely exacerbated by social phobia and remaining scars from my experience with spiritual community in Arizona. I make plans every week to go to a UU service, go back to the OTO lodge or check in with the SCA. And then the day comes, and I don’t go. I reached out to a local coven, but think it may actually be dysfunctional and/or defunct. I have considered starting my own, but dammit, all my BOS and coven info is on Big Blue, which is (hopefully) sitting in a storage unit in Arizona. I could do it over, and it wouldn’t even be that big a deal, but with who? I’m having such a hard time with that connection.
I made a decision to stay with Jeff long enough to try therapy one more time. I made it hoping something might change. I made it thinking, still, that maybe the problem is, and will always be, me. But mostly, I made it because Jeff asked for the chance. And he was going to find a therapist for us, but hasn’t. I am afraid I made the wrong choice. I always am. And I’m tired of thinking about it, the kind of bone weary tired that leads to giving up, to letting go of the last rung of the ladder (thanks Stephen King, for the recent re-read of Night Shift).
I have never been in a worse place in terms of self-respect and self-esteem. My confidence at work, of all places, is shaken deeply too. Work used to be my refuge, the one place where I never doubted. Now I feel like an idiot, like an imposter. And mostly, I feel like I don’t like recruiting much. I’d rather work directly with students to help them succeed. I’d rather advise. That’s what I hoped this job would be. It could still be that, but not anytime super soon.
I’m scared I can’t make it change. I’m scared this is how it will be for the rest of my life – mostly dreary with an occasional half-assed moment of joy. And I’m disgusted with myself for being like this, which isn’t really helpful.
I’m taking Effexor. I’ve been on it for about two weeks. I’m not noticing much in the way of mood improvement, and I don’t like having to take it. I’m probably drinking too much again, so I’m reining that in too. I haven’t sought out therapy again. I feel like it’s kind of a lost cause, but that might change if the Effexor kicks in, or if I go back to trusty ol’ Prozac. Did I say I hate taking anti-depressants? Yeah, I did. Well, I’m going to say it again. I hate taking them. But it seems like they’re the only things that erase the feeling of wanting to stay in bed all day, wanting to stay hibernating.
I want to know, where’s the Monica who wrote stories? Who created spiritual community? Who priestessed? Where’s the Monica who felt good about who she was and what she could do? Who believed in herself? Where’s RavenFire? Where the hell did I go?