My Current Reality

As I have previously mentioned, I will slowly update this blog with my current situation as well as the past experiences that have led me to this predicament. First off, let’s start with my current state: I am not well. Sometimes I even question myself if I even care enough to get better. Sometimes I beat myself up for being so pessimistic and fatalistic, and I put in the extra effort towards my recovery to offset my bad days. And sometimes, I couldn’t be bothered.

Let me elaborate… I have been sleep deprived for many months now. To be honest, I always had insomnia. I can trace it back to my undergrad days… so that would be over ten years ago. I won’t be surprised if I have years worth of sleep deficit built up. I used to utilize this condition to my advantage, as it allowed me to power through my research papers and my mountains of reading assignments. As I entered the workforce, I would go through phases of okay sleep and insomnia. I noticed a pattern wherein I would have weeks of decent sleep followed by weeks of insomnia. I used to brush off these phases as nothing serious, and never really thought about seeing a specialist for it.

Just like my insomnia, my depression would go through phases as well. In the past, the funks did not last for more than a couple of months, and I just chalked them off as my way of coping with stressful or traumatic events. I always managed to muster enough strength to power through and “get over” my issues. Being raised in an environment where being depressed was deemed as a sign of weakness, I have developed the skill of keeping everything inside and not allowing anyone else to see my internal turmoil. I have gotten so used to doing this that there are times when I refused to acknowledge these weaknesses myself. I never really allowed myself to be emotional. And if things got so overwhelming that I break down, I would beat myself up in remorse and self-hatred for not being strong enough. I thought “getting over” my funk equated to denying its existence. I was putting all of my efforts into concealing them from everyone, but I have never really gotten the chance to tackle its resolution. I have allowed years of negative feelings build up inside me and I never even noticed that my reservoir was reaching its limit. I thought I was invincible, that I could keep on doing this forever… that is until 2019 happened.

Ahhhh, 2019. The year that I would rather forget. To some people, it was a year of happiness and bounty. To me, it was a year full of tears, panic attacks, mental breakdowns. There were some good days, thanks to the support of my loved ones. But for the most part, my year was a disaster. I felt as if I could not catch a break at all. Murphy’s Law was on a roll and Lady Luck was busy with other people. I will save the events for the next posts, but let’s just say that 2019 was nothing but craptastic. It was a year that truly tested my resilience. I have shed more tears in the past year compared to the first 30 years of my existence. I was such a mess that I had to rely on sleeping pills to help me fall asleep (though they never really helped me in staying asleep so I am still lacking REM sleep). I also started seeing a psychotherapist for the first time. And as per her advice, I have gone to my family doctor to get some antidepressants. I was initially very stubborn about those meds, as I was very scared of dependency and any potential side effects to my liver. However, both my doctor and therapist both convinced me that therapy alone cannot cure my condition. I needed the help of the medications to stabilize my chemical imbalance. My mental situation got so bad that it started manifesting on my physical health. My immune system is weakened, and my appetite has lessened. Just last December, I was sick with pneumonia for an entire month. And in January, I was hit with the flu. I may even be feeling the residual effects of it. It was a series of unfortunate events… literally.

Currently, I am going through another funk. And it has been going on for almost two months now. Every day I struggle to get up and find motivation to do anything. Sometimes I win, but most of the time I lose. And I would berate myself every time I fail. From time to time I would catch myself wishing that I would just disappear. Though I have not gone as far as to thinking about how to enact that yet. I have been pretty much confined at home for the most part, save for the few times that I have gone out to see my therapist (or attend events that have already been paid for pre-funk period). It now takes me a great amount of effort to force myself to do the things that I used to love. Most of the time, I have zero desire for anything. I find myself in this endless cycle of despair and self-loathing, and I am struggling to get myself out of this. I don’t even know what I want anymore. I just want the pain to end. Even writing this right now and listening to my internal voice is painful. You want to know how despair feels like? Imagine a constant pressure in your chest, like a weight that gets heavier and heavier every time you breathe. You feel constricted, like you are drowning. And the worst part? It’s all inside. No one can even see how much you’re suffering. You try to verbalize what you feel and yet no one understands. Perhaps it’s because you speak your truth with a smile to mask the severity of your pain. Perhaps it’s because you lose your eloquence, trying to organize your chaos into words. Or perhaps because others just genuinely don’t understand. Regardless of the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that you feel utterly alone.

So what do I intend to accomplish by writing this post? To be honest, I really don’t know. I am not trying to gain any sympathy from anyone. It is not my intention to host a pity party. But in order for me to start working on my recovery, I need to accept my current reality and stop denying the existence of my vulnerabilities. So here I go:

  • I need to come to terms with the fact that I have MDD and anxiety
  • For now, I need the help of both my therapist and medications to get better
  • There is a chance that I may need to take medications long-term (though of course I am still hoping that it won’t have to be the case)
  • I have a serious case of insomnia and it will take a while for me to pay back my sleep debt
  • My eye bags have never been bigger (or darker)
  • Due to the constant stress and sleep deprivation, my immune system is compromised and my appetite has lessened
  • I have frequent dizzy spells
  • I struggle finding joy in anything
  • Most of the time, I give zero f*cks
  • My default feeling is empty
  • I am an emotional wreck

Writing all of those points above made me realize that this recovery may not be an easy one after all. I do have to deal with a lot of sh*t, and most of them would require some major re-wiring of thoughts and behaviours. Am I scared? Yes… because I am scared of failing. But apparently, failing is also a part of the process. I guess I need to come to terms with that too. Do I want to get better? Of course. Will I be able to emerge from this triumphantly? We’ll have to find out. This blog will chronicle that journey. Am I hopeful? To be honest, I still feel meh about that. But I guess I owe it to those who love me to try.

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