Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

This post will probably be one of the hardest I will ever write. But it's something I feel I need to do; if anything, for my own good. It's something I need to get off my chest, and since I don't have the funds or time for a therapist, here I am.

This isn't an easy thing for me to clue others in on because I have a tendency to keep a wall up bigger and stronger than the Great Wall of China and rarely let people see the "real" me. The me who hides behind a tough outer shell. The me that cracks jokes to mask the pain. The me that has been suffering from depression for the past 14 years, but never remembers it being as bad as it is now.

When I think back on my life, I realize how blessed I've been. But I don't always see my life as having been a happy one. Not because I've been less fortunate or had horrible obstacles to overcome, but because of this damn demon in my head called depression. My mom always talks about my childhood as if I was a super bubbly, always smiling and giggling little girl who loved to play in dresses and be with my dad. And while I did love my dresses and was a major daddy's girl, I seem to recall my childhood much differently. Much of my childhood was spent dealing with embarrassing medical issues and always feeling like the black sheep of any group. I was diagnosed with depression when I was nine and have been on and off medicine ever since. And I've also done a pretty good job of hiding the pain.

In grade school, I had a couple friends, but they changed every year. I remember being the butt of many jokes. Boys laughing hysterically at the notion that I had a crush on them and thought maybe, possibly they could have one on me. Even one kid going so far as to draw a picture of him killing me (true story, and his punishment was so offensively miniscule that I'm still bitter). I often told lies to try to make myself look cooler, in the hopes that my peers would want to be friends with me. Being young and foolish, little did I know that this idea would always backfire.

So when it came to choosing a high school, I chose the rival high school to where most of my peers were going. I wanted to start fresh with a group of people who had no preconceived notions about me. And I was SO happy with my choice. I was satisfied. For awhile, at least. Freshman and sophomore years I loved. I played tennis for the school, I became a basketball manager, then football manager, and had lots of friends. Out of the 196 people I graduated with, I can honestly say I liked all but maybe 5 of them. I even had my first "boyfriend," even though he broke up with me two days later online. If only he knew, at that time, how happy those two days made me. Not because he was the best thing in the world and I couldn't imagine anyone better, but because it meant that some guy actually LIKED me. Then came junior year and I was ready to move on from high school. I got sick of having zero social life because I was against drinking and smoking weed and all the other people I socialized with weren't. It didn't make me think less of them, but I know it strained our friendships because they would all hang out together outside of school, and I was usually the "in school" friend. Some girls still found it necessary to make fun of me, but I just let it slide.

Problem number 1: I let everything slide. I have for years and I don't see any end in sight. I rarely defend myself. I let people walk all over and act like whatever they say to me or about me has no impact. And then I go home and eat an entire large pizza and sulk in my sorrows. Not because I feel bad for myself, but because I hate myself for not being stronger.

Back to high school... so by senior year, I was dying to get out. My dad started subbing at my school the fall of my senior year and I hated it. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere or do anything without my parents knowing. I just wanted my own space to escape. The satisfaction of high school had worn off when I was only 50% through it. But I set my sights on college and thought, "this is my time!" I was going to go into college being more laid back, more out going, less expressive about my opinions and essentially morph myself into the person I thought everyone would want to be around. Or so I thought.

College was awesome, don't get me wrong. But I don't think I realized how much I loved it until I graduated. Unfortunately, that seems to be the story of my life: I recognize the satisfaction of the moment when it's too late. My roommate freshman year and I DID NOT get along. At all. After the second week, I didn't even care to get along, because by that point I had walked in on her twice having sex with a guy (different one each time) she barely knew. Apparently homegirl didn't get the memo about putting a rubber band on the door knob as code to not come in. But I had beef with a roommate every year. And while it was easy to blame them at the time, I have major feelings of regret for the way I acted. I know I'm not easy to live with and I know I was an abrasive bitch to all of them about little things. Trust me, if I could go back in time and change one thing, being a better roommate would be it.

Again, I sought to find satisfaction in life. What would make me happy? Well, I thought majoring in Intervention Specialist (special ed) would make me happy, but that joy was short lived, so I switched to journalism. Journalism was a great plan for a few years, and then that joy also wore off. Nothing seemed to make me truly happy.

And, like most colleges, UD was a major party school. And I was kind of over the party scene by the end of my, you guessed it, sophomore year. My sophomore year was a crazy one. I blacked out for the first time ever (not a proud moment), I had a couple concussions, I was roofied-- which I blame for my dislike for getting drunk more than twice a year now-- (remember that time I fell of the counter, Mom? A jackass frat boy slipped some drugs in my drink...), and I had mono. All of that happened in three months. Hawaii couldn't have come at a better time (my second semester of sophomore year was spent there). But come junior year, I was ready to move on to bigger and better things, again. What is it with being sick of school 50% thru? I thought moving on would be where my satisfaction lied. But as history repeats itself, that hasn't been the case.

In the past 10 months, I have changed my career path entirely, graduated college, moved home, started working towards nursing school, been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, gained 35 pounds, and been diagnosed with a worse case of insulin resistance than initial tests revealed. And while my life is far from awful, I just can't seem to find happiness. My mom asks me all the time why I'm not happy and all I ever say is, "I don't know, but I'm not going to a therapist" What I really want to say is, "Because my brain is effing messed up and I have serious issues even I can't put an effing finger on." I still don't want to go to a therapist though, mostly because I hate crying and feeling like, "whoa is me, my life sucks."

I've always been incredibly insecure about my looks, my weight, my personality, my everything. And unfortunately, it's only grown worse the older I've become. I have yet to have be in a real relationship. I have an immense fear of relationships, with friends and men, and have a fear of men in general. I don't trust anyone. And I have an incredibly hard time letting anyone get close. Not a good thing for someone who is almost 23 and longing to find "the one". I have always been mature beyond my years and, until recent years, never realized how detrimental that attribute could be. I wouldn't say it made me socially backwards, but it certainly made it much more difficult to fit in. I watched friendships come and go and I was left in the dark wondering, "What went wrong?" Unfortunately, this trend continues. As extroverted as I can be, I tend to be a loner. I ostracize myself for reasons even I can't understand. Maybe it's a fear of being let down? Being taken advantage of? Or, most likely, it's because I am not happy with who I am, so why should I expect others to be?

The hardest part about depression is knowing that I'm depressed. I get so mad at myself for taking all the wonderful blessings I have for granted. I become even more depressed knowing that I am never happy. That life, essentially, is just never enough. It's such a vicious cycle, one that even medication has a hard time helping.

The point of all this is: when will it ever be enough? When will I realize how awesome my life really is, how great my friends are, how supportive my family is? When will I stop taking everything for granted and be happy in the moment? When will I find my satisfaction?? I always say when I am a mom, a wife, an RN, living on my own; all of that will make me happy. But will it? Or will this demon continue to control my life and I will continue neglecting the fact that my life has been richer in 22 years than most peoples' are in a lifetime? Only time will tell.

**I didn't write this for attention, or sympathy, or words of encouragement. In fact, I'm tempted to turn off the comments all together (but that seems a bit drastic). If no one has anything to say, I'd be completely OK with that (on this post only ;)). I wrote it to get it off my chest, because it has become a serious issue in recent months and I needed to get it out. I have so much more to say, but am having a hard time finding the words. I hope they come in time. If you feel the need to comment, by all means, do so. But if I don't respond, like I usually do, it's not because whatever you had to say wasn't appreciated; but because I'm awkward, hate being the center of attention, hate having sympathy, and chances are I just can't find the right words to respond. But please know that your comments, negative and positive, are always appreciated.**


Anonymous said...

Well, it really is interesting to read your blog today because it helps me to hear your feelings expressed without our emotional outbursts!! Also, because I had a long talk tonight with Frank and how he really cares about you and wants to help you be happy and realize how great and beautiful you are! Thanks for sharing some of your inner thoughts that even I did not know.
Love you..... xoxo Mimi

Helene said...

This is a powerful post, one that I'm sure was difficult to write.

Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes just getting it out there, off your chest, is the best kind of therapy there is.

Merri Ann said...

I hope sharing this story was helpful. I know it must have been difficult to write.

Being in my 20's was as difficult as my teen years. For me it was about feeling lost ... I had no clear direction in my life. But it slowly worked itself out ... the friend issue, too, sorted itself out.

Melissa said...

You have a mimi? I do too!

I have dealt with depression as well. It is frustrating and sad. And just feels awful.

Seeing a therapist really could help... and maybe medication?

A social worker (an LCSW) would be a great way to go! They are wonderful!!!

Good luck with everything... I hope you find your happiness soon!

Oh... and you changed your blog layout! Nice.

Cary said...

Mar - I'm LOVING your blog! I was laughing out loud at some points and had butterflies in my stomach during others. Keep this going and continue to also use this as a venting space...don't hold back! And just remember that with all of life's ups and downs, you'll always have me loving you and supporting you!

Nathan said...

Marianne, your blog is truly awesome. I find it amazing that you can be so honest and soul bearing in this post and so humorous in others. Please keep it up!

Molly said...

So glad you wrote this post! I hope that it helped a little just getting it out. I know it wasn't easy. For some reason the whole idea of talking to a therapist/counselor has a really bad stigma attached to it, but I think it should be required for everyone! Just having an hour to talk about yourself and figure out your needs, wants & desires is totally worth it. So - just be open to it :)

Trust me, you are not alone in all of your feelings.

Keep blogging about it! And of course, don't forget that you always have family (especially 3 second cousins that can relate to many issues) you can talk to anytime!


The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

How did I miss this one? Maybe I wasn't following yet?

Wow. Thank you for being so personal in this post and pouring it all out. I feel like I know you a whole lot better and I never would have guessed about the depression.

Do you think if you weren't "labeled" so to speak, you would feel differently?

I think you are beautiful and I am not bullshitting you.

Kids are so mean (when u were little) They are mean to everyone.

I was mature too and I had friends, but not like most girls/women would say they had "Bff friends" My parents were always the coolest and your folks sound cool too.

And now I am rambling. :-)

Don't put so much pressure on yourself to be "happy" or have regrets what u have done or didn't do. The past is the past.

For what it's worth.

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