Category Archives: Depression

Just got off the plane…

I’m here. They’ve been waiting for me, holding up a sign with my name on it. I have officially arrived in my dark place; looks like nothing has changed, it’s just as I left it. A place so dark that I can’t see through my veil of tears. Nothing and no one is welcome here. I do not wish to talk to anyone on the phone or in person to tell them how I feel, because quite frankly, I may tell them to fuck off! So, the only way that they will get any insight into my dark place is to read this post.

Happiness being relative, I can honestly say that I am unhappy. I don’t give a fuck if anyone thinks that I have it better than some people. Who are they to say that? From the outside looking in, they may assume that I have it better than most and they would be way off base.

No material possession can make me feel better right now. No one person can make me feel better right now. I am responsible for my happiness. Of course I cannot control someone else’s actions but I can control my reaction and I haven’t been doing a great job of that lately. It would appear that I am a glutton for punishment, I assure you I am not. My lack of focus and apparent misery prompted the following question, “Is there someone else?”, to which I replied, “Yes… Me. I am the other person”. To be clear, I am in my own way and that’s what’s so fucking sick about the whole thing. In my heart I know what I need to do in order to make myself happy, which in turn will make everyone else happy, yet I can’t.

There’s this fear that has me paralyzed. The fear of failure. I know that if I don’t move, I will die; perhaps not literally, but my very soul will cease to exist and I will merely inhabit a physical form. Actually, if I continue to have these overwhelming feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, I may kill my physical self; not at my own hand, mind you, but as a bi-product of depression and/or anxiety coupled with my Lupus, Sjogren’s, Raynaud’s and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Stress makes my illness(es) flare-up, so living stress-free is tantamount to my well-being. This very moment, my spirit is on life support and my stress level is off the charts. I almost wish it was over already.

Not to assign blame, but there are some members of my family that really fucked my head up! All those years of rejection added up to me creating this person who I thought my loved ones wanted me to be just to stay in their favor. My first few years on this earth were rife with instability, turmoil and rejection, I felt worthless; no child, especially under the age of 5, should be made to feel that way. Once I was in a more stable home environment, I was told over and over again that I was smart, pretty and funny, but the damage had already been done.

Everyone in my life may be having an easier time than me dealing with my illness or, it could be argued, a more difficult time. Their support or lack thereof, doesn’t diminish the fact that I am sick. The physical pain is secondary to the emotional pain and I don’t know how long I can live like this.

I made a vow to myself, sometime last year, to live authentically and I was making progress, truly. However, I may have fallen off track and reverted into this being that is foreign to me, all to appease the people that I love. I feel like I have to choose between their happiness and mine, which sucks.

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Ugh…

I am feeling so… Ugh… I can’t even think of one word that can convey all of the emotions that I am feeling right now. I am in an “in-between” state. One minute I’m up. The next minute I’m down.  No, I’m not bi-polar, or at least I have NEVER been diagnosed as such. However, I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, both of which I take medication. Did I tell you about the time my doctor prescribed zoloft for me? OMG! The worst time of my life. Please allow me to explain. Being diagnosed with depression and having your VP’s and SVP’s at work tell you you’re “not being yourself”, is bad enough. Once my doctor prescribed zoloft to me and I began taking it, I lost any and all desire to have sex. Although I may have been feeling more upbeat during the day, I didn’t think about sex at all… like… ever! As far as I was concerned, sex was non-existent. That whole “being under the influence of a controlled substance” was soooo not cool. Ok, I know what some people might be saying “Sex? Who cares?”. I do. I am a very sexual person. My sexuality and spirituality are entwined. That’s not to say something blasphemous, like I want to lay with an angel or anything crazy like that. No, but I need to be able to connect sexually and spiritually with my significant other. When I go “there”, I go “there”. Needless to say, the zoloft regime was short-lived, to be replaced by Wellbutrin. Guess what? The Wellbutrin is not working right now…. Ugh!

My relationship with my Mommy…

Not sure if you can tell from my last post, which was copied verbatim from a letter that my mother sent me, but we had a volatile relationship. “I love you very much – and  I am truly sorry that I have been such a disappointment and failure as a mother.” Reading those words is extremely painful for me. I never forgave my mother for abandoning me as a baby. That letter was dated June 9, 1995. My Mommy died on July  9, 1995. She died thinking that she was a disappointment and failure as a mother to me. When I first read that letter back in 1995, I did not know that it was the very last thing that I would ever receive from her. Ever. When she referenced her “imminent death”, I didn’t realize that she would be dead a month later. You know how people say, “I’m dying. The end is near. I’ll be gone soon.” and we normally think that they’re just talking? How could they possibly know that their eventual demise is so near? Well, she knew. I don’t know how she knew, but she knew. I’m almost certain that she did NOT take her life. If there is anything that I have taken from my mother, I know that it is her strength. She would never take her own life. She was in prison for YEARS, why wouldn’t she have done it sooner?

I know she was probably depressed. She had lost her last appeal in 1994. That was it. A jury of her “peers” found her guilty and she was sentenced to die in jail. I don’t mean that she received the death penalty. No, she received a 15 year sentence, which, if you have HIV and no proper medical care, is a death sentence. My Mommy died in prison from complications attributed to her HIV status. I’m not sure if she had full-blown aids at the time of her death. What I do know is that my grandmother thinks that my Mommy was murdered. I think my grandmother may be in denial. She wanted an independent autopsy performed.

At any rate, I don’t want to get into specifics of her case on this post other than to say I believe her HIV status was the reason she received such a harsh sentence for an offense that normally carries a 6 month sentence and $1,000 fine. Please stay tuned, I will write about the specifics of her case in a later post.

In the meanwhile, please check out HIV Law and Policy. It really is unfair how persons that are HIV positive are treated in the justice system.

When I die, you gon’ miss me….

…or perhaps you won’t. Who gives a shit, who gives a fuck? 

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Feel. My. Pain.

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I’m unhappy…

I just can’t…

I’m done…

Paralyzed by Fear….

What exactly does that mean? For me, it means that I cannot move one step ahead, one foot above, not even one step back. I am literally paralyzed. I don’t even feel like I could fall backwards into the abyss. No, I feel like my feet are planted in cement. I feel like my heart is as solid as stone. I feel like my brain is mush. I feel my emotions taking over but it’s like that movie “The Serpent and the Rainbow”, I can’t move and no one can see my consciousness. I’m screaming and no one can hear me. I’m crying inside but I can’t will those damn tears down my face so that someone, anyone can see them. I can’t move. I am completely overcome with helplessness and hopelessness. I am so sick of being here, in this emotional state. I feel like it’s “Groundhog’s day” everyday! Have you ever felt like that?

I was cleaning up over the weekend and came across a couple of letters that I wrote to my beloved. I’m not sure if they were ever delivered, only one was found with an envelope. They were so simple, yet poignant in their simplicity. I was taken back to the exact moments that I sat writing those letters, tears streaming down my face (both then and now). My doctor has asked me recently, “How long have you been unhappy? Or, better yet, can you tell me the last time that you were happy?” Happiness is relative, I know. But relatively speaking, I was stumped. I didn’t have an answer. Finding those letters dated well over a decade ago answered at least part of that question. It let me know that I have been in this perpetual state of emotional instability for over a decade. I do not cry for attention. In fact I would testify on a stack of bibles that not more that 6 people living today have ever seen me cry. My therapist has yet to see me cry. There was a formation of tears trying to will themselves out of my tear ducts during one extremely painful session, but alas, I held them back. Those tears are not for her. Those tears are not for him. Those tears are not for them. Those tears are not for you, dear reader. Those tears, these tears, are mine and mine alone.

I have been hurt so much in my life in such a short amount of time. I forgive those that helped facilitate my pain, but I never forget. I can’t. I own that pain. I can’t seem to let it go. I don’t remember the physical pain of a blow to the body or the dull pain from a forceful “fall” onto a hard floor. However, I do remember the hushed voices of adults using derogatory terms to describe a child (me). I remember the look on their faces when they intentionally hurt me. I remember the absence of humanity in their eyes. I remember the sting of their nasty words. I still feel their phlegmy saliva spat in my face. And what’s worse than all of those thoughts running rampant in my head? Well, you know I’m a photographer and I photograph EVERYTHING. So, when I come across pics that depict my injuries and/or the look of hurt and shame on my face, it takes me back to those moments in time. Like Michael Franks sings “The Camera Never Lies”. Sometimes in life, you can push your pain and hurt deep down inside yourself and even make yourself believe that whatever happened really wasn’t all that bad or perhaps you imagined the whole thing. But those pictures bring every little nuance back and you’re in that moment again. Paralyzed by fear…