The Depression Monster showed up a few days ago. I haven’t bothered resisting this time. Resistance is futile. I’m not wasting any more energy fighting a battle that won’t end until I do. Bring on the devastating sadness that makes me weep until I’m exhausted. Go on and increase gravity until I can no longer hold up my head. Staple me to the floor, like you always do.
Take my appetite, my laughter, my desire. Tell me joy has fled for good. Remind me of the atrocities occurring throughout the world today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Prove to me I’m powerless to prevent suffering. Trace my blame in all that’s wrong with the world. Show me my overwhelming vulnerability. Sing The Rains of Castamere. Taunt me with logic, like you always do.
I’ll feel it all, and ache to the depths of my soul. Like I always do; until the chemical chaos ceases, and I finally fall into dreamless, exhausted sleep. Then eventually awaken to pick up the pieces and begin again. Until you return, like you always do.
A letter to future me: Please read this whenever you think perhaps you can get away with it just this one time. You cannot. You cannot get away with it. You’ve forgotten the consequences because it’s been so long since you last attempted this foolishness. Stop it right now. Read the whine-fest below, and remember where it leads. Dammit.
I’m a strong woman. Sometimes I make poor decisions and regret them later. Apparently, I’m also a bit of a sadist, because I’ve made this particular error repeatedly. I know better. I guess I forgot I’m autistic and have PTSD or something. Oops. Tut tut. There are rules. I can’t eat garbage without paying a hefty price. It’s due to consequences that usually take at least a week to resolve entirely, and sometimes far longer.
The universe is laughing at me. (Not the fun kind you can join.) I put the wrong fuel in my body, and now it’s acting up. I need a priorities intervention, stat. I get tempted by junk food every so often, and instead of analyzing why, I give in and indulge. I need that data because the results are once again kicking my ass. (Perhaps some mild public shaming will finally put an end to this folly.)
It hit me just before 7 AM. I awoke later than usual with no desire to get out of bed. Just the idea of rising made me whimper inside; a red flag because I’m not big on sleep. Unless I’m unwell, I’m ready to get up when I wake up. Then, The Depression Monster showed up. That bastard went straight to a commentary about politics designed to raise my blood pressure.
My mood did a backflip over the cliff, while simultaneously flipping both birds at half mast. It happened so quickly I was stunned. It probably worked in my favor by causing me to question what the hell just happened. I realized The Depression Monster was involved and slammed on the brakes. Then I figured out why and launched directly into beating myself about the head and neck for doing this to myself again. Sigh.
I didn’t manage to shower and dress until 4 PM. I didn’t spend that time in bed, though. I spent it pacing around my apartment while debating with myself silently. Some of that time was spent experiencing awe over how long I’d been doing it. I tried so hard to stop. I even wrote out the one step I was trying to take on my whiteboard, (then passed it over and over without it registering for a long, long time.) It said, Get in the shower.
These are hours of my life I can never get back, (and this is day one.) All because I had to eat some freaking garbage. It’s not worth it. Memorize this, Alison. You’re in training for menopause, and it could start anytime in the next decade. Get your shit together, or it’ll end you. Dammit.
The Depression Monster ambushed me in my sleep. I tried so hard to ignore him, but I couldn’t stop weeping against my will over shit that already happened. It’s a lousy way to wake up. I don’t recommend it. In the hour it took me to awaken fully, he beat me up with logic. I hate that. I can’t argue with logic. He has new weapons that initially shocked me, then left me reeling with their truth.
Now I’m just pissed off the American government doesn’t promote euthanasia. I don’t understand why I haven’t seen a single commercial offering a safe and simple way to put ourselves down like pets. It should cost $19.95, and available at convenience stores open 24/7. I’ve been producing this commercial in my head, (mostly because it’s far less dark than other thoughts running through my mind, and it amuses me.)
I’m going to cut this short because I know it’s too honest. I know in a few days my brain chemistry will likely return to homeostasis, and this will all seem ridic. Even though right now I’m confident this is entirely reasonable, and therefore my usual mindset is mere self-deception. I also know I’ll still be upset I can’t buy a PermaNap kit for $19.95. I’m off to design the packaging with Photoshop and my ninja coping skills.
The Depression Monster broke through my barricades again. I know I’ve mentioned a few times my imagination is an asshole. I’m mostly amused by it because I’m in control of whether my imagination leaks out of my head or not. The Depression Monster is a sinister asshole. He doesn’t bother with leaking. He’s an ace strategist. It’s like having Hannibal in my head, (half Barca, half Lecter.) He poisons the well with mind-altering drugs, then attacks.
We’re all walking chemical reactions. When the balance is disturbed, it changes how our minds perceive the world. What looks red when in balance suddenly becomes yellow. Your eyes see yellow. You can’t remember what red looks like because it’s so damn yellow. You’d bet your life it’s yellow. But everyone else knows it’s red. And they get angry at you for believing it’s yellow because it makes them uncomfortable. So they treat you like you’re lying about seeing yellow.
So you swear you won’t tell anyone about the yellow. You take your tainted yellow and get the hell away from all the red seeing mean people. They think it’s helpful to demean and berate you for seeing yellow. They see you like a naughty pet who peed on the rug. They’re annoyed because they’re sure you’re just a lying piece of shit who’s deliberately seeing yellow just to piss them off. So they punish you for it. They accuse you, yell at you, lie to you, and tease you.
They tell you they understand how much it sucks to see yellow when everyone else sees red. The red seer’s claim to care about you and want to help you see red again. Then these understanding red seer’s turn around and tell everyone else about your yellow problem. Red seer’s you’ve never seen before start attacking you. They love to taunt the yellow seer. Kick the yellow seeing dog. Whisper hateful comments when you get her alone, where nobody else will hear.
Some red seer’s get so excited about having a free dog to kick, they forget to sequester their kick fest and get caught by someone who thinks kicking dogs is cruel. Unfortunately, it just makes them kick harder and sneakier ever after. It just makes other red seer’s who were indifferent before become yellow seer haters. So you swear so much harder never to tell anyone about the yellow.
Then the yellow disappears suddenly, and it’s red again. Your eyes see red, and it’s a bit of a relief. But you remember when it looked yellow, and how much it hurt to get kicked by so many for so long. Then you start wondering if it’ll stay red, or will the yellow come back at the worst possible time. You lose faith in your eyes. They lied to you, and you suffered horribly for it. You still have nightmares about the yellow seeing times. But you know if you think about it too much it may happen again.
So you think about anything else as hard as you can. You realize you’re terrified of the yellow returning. Before you know it, your entire life is for making sure the yellow never comes back. You’ll do anything to prevent it. Anything, (you think.) Eventually, you realize what you fear is the red seer’s. You can’t even drive near the red seer building anymore. The sight of it signals Anxiety to come out and play. Anxiety is The Depression Monster’s best friend. They wear matching t-shirts that say Stronger Together. Assholes.
So you stay away; unless Pain tries to kill you. Then you wait until it hurts so much, you start begging Pain to kill you. You go to the back door in the middle of the night and ask politely for relief, like a junky looking for any fix to get that Pain off your back. Sometimes you get some, but usually, you waited too long, so you go home and hate yourself for risking another round in hell over something as silly as Pain. You call yourself all sorts of names for not sucking it up and driving on. It’s just Pain. It’s only a signal! So you unleash all the hurt and rage on yourself.
Eventually, you decide it doesn’t matter if you see yellow when everyone else sees red, so long as you stay away from the red seers. They’re freaking everywhere. It’s not safe to be around anyone when yellow shows up. It’s a personal problem. Nobody believes you see yellow. They’ll try to trick you into telling them, but don’t fall for it. The punishments get worse over time. The worse part is, some red seer’s don’t kick. You know better than to trust it, so it messes with you. You suspect it just hasn’t happened yet.
But I won’t subject myself to being kicked when I’m down. It just makes suicide far more appealing and logical. Which I’m pretty sure is the desired result. I can’t think of a more efficient manner in helping it along. But then I see the ones who don’t get kicked. I recognize why they’re different and it sickens me. S’up, Nausea? Glad you joined us! We were just getting ready to stare at the wall for six hours. Again. Yay.
The Depression Monster is sitting on my head. I’m ignoring him out of spite. It makes me feel powerful (because I’m winning.) Unfortunately, I’m still moving slowly and taking (really) long pauses to overthink. It’s messing up my schedule. I also got an invoice from the legal office negotiating the partnership at work. I cried a little (because it’s fair despite feeling like robbery.)
I was raised by Great Depression-era parents in the 80’s. (Everything about money makes me anxious.) It’s irrational because they also taught me to be generous which means I’ll likely never suffer from lack of resources to survive. I’m still fascinated by how well it works. All the religions I know of teach it. Giving things to other people is painless for me, but it’s been tainted by suggestions I’ve been taken advantage of a few times by relatives.
I’ve learned being used is bearable. It can change the dynamics of a relationship, though. So there is sometimes loss involved, but it’s subtle. Some political news penetrated my defenses and set off this round, I’m guessing. I really hate having to shield myself from reality in any way. It makes me feel like a child. I do it anyway because it’s necessary for me to survive.
I’m stronger now that I know about Stevie Nicks. She’s a wise guide who is open, honest, and hella famous. It’s as if she knew all along part of her journey was to help others. When you study her interviews, it’s clear even from when she first became famous, she’s cognizant of her influence. She probably knew she would be famous long before it happened. I’m guessing her mom talked to her at some point about this aspect of fame. It’s entirely something my mom would have done.
My anti-depression toolkit is super useful, now. I’ve been teaching M. how to have fun. He thought playing is just for children. Now he knows play evolves as we age, but should never be forsaken. He’s making his first game for IOS. He’s also coloring on a daily basis. It’s breaking his addiction to TV, (which is good because I canceled all channels except Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.)
I watched the first episode of Atypical. I recognize I’m not its target audience. It’s a show for neurotypical people to better understand autistics. Therefore, it’s speaking in their language. I still enjoyed it. I’m pleased the show exists. When they use FX to demonstrate how it feels to be the autistic main character, it’s jarring and nearly unbearable to me. I walked away and came back when that part was over. I recognize the actors playing the parents, but everyone else is new to me.
My immediate thought was to wonder why the hell the lead actor wasn’t masking. It’s uncomfortable to watch. It feels like watching someone walk on a highwire with no net to me. I cringe when I see him actually say or do the things I spend a lot of energy suppressing. But again, it’s because the show is not only for entertainment, but it’s teaching. Also, masking is a skill, and trial and error are how it’s acquired. (It’s a cruel, mean school.) He’s young and just discovering how masking can make life less painful.
We age and develop at different rates, and grow based on different experiences. There will always be a broad spectrum of traits and behaviors associated with autism. When I was in high school, I didn’t mask well and my energy and time management skills were non-existent. The difference between then and now is shocking to non-autists. This is why no one should put limits on our potential. Especially not where we can come across or overhear them. (That’s abuse.) I’m off to beat my drums.