do you ever feel like you want to hide yourself away from the world?
shut the curtains, put on yr baggiest tshirt
& climb into bed
because you feel too stupid too ugly too at odds with the world.
These were the last words I wrote, before I shut down my laptop and stopped having an interest in life. I had even forgotten the password to my laptop. I have been so depressed this monthweek year. My bathroom is looking disgusting. August, my birthday month, was shit. I am not looking forward to the autumn or winter because SAD makes its annual appearance. If it is going to be as bad as this depression was then Lord knows what is going to happen to me. I should hibernate until next March.
I regained some motivation for blogging and what happens? My Wi-Fi goes missing. Not that that is new. My Wi-Fi is useless.
I am struggling with the thought I am now 25 and my life is still in pieces. I don’t know what I’m doing. It is like I am trying to get out of this stuck position, but the head and the body are not together on that. It feels like there’s nobody who can help because I’m an adult and should have gotten my life together by now. I do realise my anxiety is also very limiting. I think about how close I am to poverty, death, homelessness. If I don’t figure shit out then I am not going anywhere but down. How do you even start to fix that when depression leaves you feeling dead inside?
Poem published in SUBROSA Curated by Estefania Schubert & Ingrid M. Calderón-Collins ✍️ TW suicide & self-harm.
This poem pretty much sums up my feelings of being an outsider. I have never felt secure with people, in friendships and it’s all been a fight to fit in, to be accepted and keep a straight face and not appear too ‘weird’. To be honest, looking back I think all of us kids were trying hard to fit in, because it was all about the hierarchy and being cool in school. Better to be in than out. I used to get bullied because I was naive, was shy and wouldn’t stand up for myself, I would believe what people were telling me … about myself. I gave up trying to make friends by the time I was 13 & social isolation accelerated my depression. Social isolation and depression made me both suicidal and self-harm. As did the dysphoria puberty gave me.
I was full of self-pity & hatred because no-one seemed to be able to help or understand me. I didn’t understand why I was struggling to function. I was walking around feeling I was repeatedly being smacked around the head with a frying pan. Teachers only saw me as a pain in the backside, who wouldn’t do their work & would disrupt lessons. I spent so many years denying any feelings I had, feeling it was my fault & thinking no-one liked me because what is there to like? It’s amazing& sad, looking back, at how much of how I behaved & thought was depression and stigma and shame and loneliness and what people had told me I was and should do.
I don’t need to carry that shit anymore!!!!!! I don’t need to keep destroying myself.
I like to kid on I’m organised. I’m actually not – my Dropbox is a mess, my notes on my phone are filled with ideas I keep telling myself to write on paper, my laptop has duplicated every single file so it’s a trip finding which Word doc. I am working on and my to do list is seemingly even longer by the time I get to Friday than it was on Sunday evening.
I become overwhelmed very quickly and procrastination sets in. My need for perfectionism gets me into a funk as well. When I am feeling depressed, the least I feel like doing is getting organised before I can even get to a project I am working on. It’s like my cleaning mantra, if I stuff everything into a cupboard it’s there, it’s fine, it’s out of sight. When in reality it has made a mountain out of a molehill.
I started using Microsoft’s To Do app a few weeks ago and it’s been a useful tool. As long as I don’t look at how much I need to do and focus on one task, I’m good. How easy is it to not look at all the tasks and flip the fuck out? Not very easy. I have split my tasks into categories of my writing, my freelance writing, my blog, social media posts – and that’s a lot.
My problem is I want it all and I want it now. That is, of course, detrimental to the quality of the work I am producing. I am trying to learn it’s good to brainstorm, plan, edit, and make something the best it can be. There is no rush or timeline. I must remember to enjoy what I am doing and slow the fuck down.
I think as well not being very confident I churn out all sorts, so I can get that kick from producing and feeling I’m doing something. Giving that appearance of being busy. I do think as a once ‘good girl’ my worth is tied into grades – into results and with depression, people always thought it was laziness. That’s what people thought I was. Lazy Kate. I put myself under so much pressure when I was 17/18. It was stressful. As hard as I tried, people still didn’t like what I was doing, or not doing in their eyes. I couldn’t change their perception of me. It made me deny I was depressed. I thought I was lazy. I thought it was my fault. This is me being a lazy bitch and it’s not illness, it’s laziness. That fucked me up for years. It’s amazing on the outside what mental illness ’looks like’ to people. I was a typical teenager – ‘difficult’ ‘insolent’ ‘lazy’ I was fucking depressed. I walked around, feeling like shit and hating everyone, the world, myself. The majority of my classmates and teachers took the mickey. I’m sure it must have been hilarious on the outside looking in. A socially isolated, struggling with puberty, and depression, self-harming young girl who was desperately looking for a connection and understanding. She never got it, so she ended up in a toxic relationship that nearly killed her.
That’s enough for now. Thanks for reading. Let me know how you get organised. Also how are you finding this new editor?
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This week’s, no last week’s, meal plan. This was a success. Because I have had depression, it is difficult to reign in eating sandwiches and crisps and it makes making a choice what to have for dinner hard too. With the meals written down, it feels like a commitment and is a closed choice. You know, those are the choices, pick one or the other. It’s flexible, I haven’t eaten all these meals this week. Because there were leftovers to be eaten. I had spag bol for breakfast. It was delicious. I live with my boyfriend. There’s two of us. Our weekly shop usually comes to eighty or ninety pounds.
With this meal plan as well, I have been able to eat vegetables. With depression, you don’t tend to reach first to fill up on vegetables. So I mashed cauliflower into the potatoes and with the pasta sauce I chopped up carrots, celery and onion. I figure if you can chop them up small enough, veggies are adept at hiding in sauces and potatoes. Mash needs some flavour, otherwise it’s like eating clouds or wet paper. Not that I enjoy eating cauliflower, I should have got broccoli. I confuse the two. My go to meal is baked beans, bacon, eggs and waffles. That can be cooked in fifteen minutes. It doesn’t take too long to eat. It’s filling. Not too painful. Of course, if you – like me have a ton of washing up to do and have no cooking utensils to hand, cereal and yogurt are another one of my go to’s.
When it comes to liquids, I do buy bottles of water. I know it’s terrible for the planet, but it is easier to stay hydrated when depressed when you can grab a bottle from the fridge. I do own a refillable bottle, and obviously with depression the effort required to clean, fill and refrigerate it can be beyond me. I do use it when I can. Alcohol is something I try to not drink when I am depressed. Like I say, I try. I admire those who can have one drink and then stop. I know there are a lot of lockdown drinking memes around. Plenty of people quipping, ‘I’ll have a drinking problem when I get out of lockdown!’ And the truth of it is people may well have become alcohol reliant in current circumstances. That’s the thing with alcohol, it starts as one drink of an evening and then can become two or three into the night. Never mind the damage inflicted on your body in the short term during this lockdown. As I mentioned earlier some people can have one drink, and humour is what people use to cope. Even if it is inappropriate, it is in my eyes – but if you haven’t experienced addiction and alcoholism, then it won’t be. I think alcohol is a poison and is like knocking back paint stripper or similar concoctions that are found in the shed with a large warning sign on the side of them. In any case, it certainly does not help depression.
I used to be the person like water?! It’s disgusting and naff. No thank you. Now I am advocating people drink water. I have grown.
Well, April was a shit month, wasn’t it? Utterly shit. Thanks depression, love you too. But it wasn’t all bad. Here’s a list of Good Stuff that happened.
The sun came out. Yes, I actually got to feel the sun on my face.
I had one good day where I took a selfie and thought I like how I look. No flaws there. Even the bags under my eyes looked cute. Here is the selfie. (Yes, my hair usually does its own thing)
I finally purchased a plastic tub to put my shampoos and shower gels in, to store in a cupboard, so they were not laid out on the floor. Yes, I tidied up my shit.
Laura Woods took over from Alan Brazil on Talksport’s Sports Breakfast in the mornings on radio (This sentence is so broken, I could have put that better) I’m happy she got the job and it wasn’t given to another man.
Bizarrely I was approved for some amazing books on Netgalley. I mean, Amazing. I spent all of April reading. I binged on books. Not sick though.
I started to blog again, mainly because I got a Wi-Fi connection. Hoo – bloody – ray. #luxuriesyoucanbarelyafford
I also, in April, started holding myself to account when it comes to ticking off the things on my To Do list. I downloaded the Microsoft To Do app and it feels great to be able to tick things off. If I use paper, it doesn’t work. You basically end up collecting bits of paper with the shit on it you meant to have got done in November. Which means it all builds up, I become overwhelmed and then I procrastinate.
That brings me onto another point, I deleted some of the apps on my phone that were not serving me. They were distracting me, which is needed sometimes, but you can’t be distracted 24/7 because then you are avoiding life (how long did it take me to learn that? Far too fucking long)
I submitted a few poems to Fly on the Wall press’ call for food themed poetry for the next issue of their magazine. I started the year with the aim of submitting m writing again and it started well and then tailed off because of the aforementioned To Do lists. Plus my confidence in myself is so screwed, I get into the mindset of why try and get published when so many people’s writing is far better. Which is rich because when I do read my poetry, I think that’s pretty good Kate, not bad. Then I read some of the reviews on my books, which people have read (and I need to stop saying which) and get a boost from that too. So I need to stop going on a negative bender. I need to tell those negative thoughts to fuck off more often. Not easy when depressed, not easy. We can try. It is May first. The opportunities are endless.
OK. Turns out I was wrong. I had depression, but April was full of progress too. Let me know in the comments how your April was.