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On Depression and Self-Loathing

(WARNING: If you’re going to read this post, read the whole thing before commenting please)

So I think I ought to come clean.

The reason why there hasn’t been a post about Jul på Liseberg or the other things I was going to talk about this week is that I’ve been feeling really really low for a while now, and this week has been really awful. Imagine feeling like you’re so sad you want to just pretty much stop existing? Yeah – that’s been me this week.

I think the worst part of it has been that if I’m honest, everything’s going pretty well here. I don’t have anything to be sad about, I’m just… sad. On the worst days I feel hardly anything at all – merely a pervasive sense of boredom with everything: It’s like looking at a grey, drizzly autumn day with disgusting weather (but not dangerous weather – just the stuff you don’t want to go out in) and feeling like that’s all the weather’s going to be like forever. And then I start feeling guilty for feeling bored with the world, because I’m in a foreign country surrounded by new things that should be really exciting. And when I start feeling guilty, I start beating myself up inside my brain, and generally bullying myself.

Because that’s what it is – bullying yourself. It’s like looking at the nega-version of you in a game. The nega version always seems stronger and makes you feel like you have no way to fight it, because it knows all your moves – everything about you. It knows exactly how to hurt you, and it’s horrible.

Tuesday was the worst – we’ll avoid the first part of tuesday because it basically consisted of me terrifying Emil with how sad i was, but the afternoon was spent crafting with Nina, which was pretty much a lifesaver. I tried lots of christmas sweets which she made, and I made a few christmas decorations, which acted as a wonderful method of distraction from my misery.

Wednesday was spent with a list Emil gave me of things to get done. I didn’t get very far if I’m honest. It took me a long time to get going, coupled by the fact that I then got a message from the University Admissions in Sweden people saying that I got into Uni for two courses starting in January. Before people go congratulating me, my initial reaction was ‘Oh f**k.’ I had been assuming that i wouldn’t get in and making plans to be in the UK. It seemed to me more of a curveball on Wednesday than an opportunity, and I almost rejected the offer then and there. I didn’t though, and for now I won’t as I have until the 20th to decide.

Trouble is, that with how I’ve been feeling, I kinda worry that if I come back I won’t feel any better, just worse, and that I could do with a long while at home to recuperate. On the other hand, it gives me 6 months in which to stay in Sweden, meaning I can do effectively a year out here – and it’ll look good on my CV. But at the end of the day – I need to feel better.  When you’re scared of yourself because you’re so apathetic you don’t really care if the food you’re eating gives you food poisoning, it’s time to DO something about it. But then again – when you feel that apathetic, it’s difficult to even care enough to go and get food.

It’s not like all of this is hugely sudden – I’ve had ‘low periods’ before – In Uni I had two major ones (as my friends can attest) and I’ve been beginning to feel the blues coming on since early August. I hoped that coming to Sweden would brush them away, but i don’t think it ever did, which is a shame. I’ve got a few theories as to what may have begun it all, and I’m probably going to look into that whilst in the UK, as it seems like there’s a pretty high likelihood that it’s something that can be altered.

Thursday was spent dealing with washing to bring home, calling mum to tell her how I felt, packing and then meeting Nina for a look around Haga again, but it was also spent feeling mostly dead, dull and incapable of much feeling at all. Genuinely, yesterday I felt so apathetic. I began to feel a bit better going around Haga, but a well-intentioned phone-call actually made me feel worse by reminding me how I felt. I appreciated the sentiment, (which was intended to cheer me up) but sometimes a cheery-phone call is not helpful at all, and sends you back to square one. I played Guild Wars 2 mostly because Emil told me to, not because I wanted to – although I’ll admit i felt a bit better afterwards. We continued this by playing Zelda on the N64 when he came home, which also made me feel slightly more human.

And then this morning came. We went to Universeum, and had a look around the animals, the bugs, the plants and trees. Universeum is a hard place to explain, and I think I’ll do it somewhere else – I have photos! I sat in front of the Aquarium full of fish for maybe 10-15 minutes, and stared at it. And suddenly I started to relax, to feel less stressed and sad. And I began to smile. And then we went into the rainforest zone and Looked at all the tropical birds. I smiled even more. And then we met the monkeys that roam freely through part of the zone. They made me feel even better.

And it dawned on me that how i feel *is* bullied. My own brain is bullying me into feeling bad and awful and stupid and ridiculous and like i should just fade away. It feels just like someone else doing it, and perhaps for me, the best way of dealing with it is to deal with it like I’m being bullied by another person, because bullying, foul as it is, is something tangible that can be dealt with somehow. It may be a totally ridiculous concept to everyone else, but the idea that I am being bullied by my own brain means to me that this isn’t fair, this isn’t right, and that my endless self-loathing is, in fact wrong.

We made our way to the shop and Emil bought me a 2×2 rubiks cube, which is actually a lot harder than you’d think!  I sat and fiddled with it and he got me to look at him, and he smiled at me.

And I smiled back.

I may not be out of the woods yet, but I think I might be able to see the wood for the trees.

Links:

What is depression – video

Adventures in Depression – Part 1

Adventures in Depression – Part 2

Links for when you need to keep your hands/brain busy:

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About niennaangeline

My name is Charlie. I'm 23, and I'm currently studying in Gothenburg after (sort of) moving here with my Swedish boyfriend in September 2013. I'm a historian and an ex-teaching assistant, with a love of geekery, chemistry and Steampunk.

3 responses »

  1. Have you tried taking extra vitamin D? I find that it helped my depression, and maybe you just need to talk to someone about it. I know it’s hard but you dont have to feel that way, its a treatable problem. <3

    Reply

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