Sunday, 10 November 2013

A 31-year-old musings on life with depression

The first time I noticed something about me wasn't normal was when I was twelve. I was walking on the street with my mom, and there had been an accident. Someone had been run over, died, and was now on the ground, covered by a plastic sheet. I just saw a bunch of people gathering, and asked my mom why they were there, and she, innocently, showed me the sheet. I guess she had no idea what was going to happen. She must still feel bad about it, but she had no way of knowing. I remember what I felt when I saw it. It was a feeling that would accompany me forever, coming in many different ways. It was unbearable pain, as if my heart and stomach were sinking inside me. I could feel that person's death, even though I had no idea who it was. We moved on, and down the road someone said that the person who had died was an old woman. That's all I needed. I immediately thought of my grandma, and in my head it had been her. I started crying, and nothing in this world could make me stop. My mom took me to my grandma's house, and when I saw her I cried even more, relieved that she was alive. I still remember the confused look on her face. She couldn't possibly understand why I was so upset. The thing is, there really was no reason to be so upset. Nothing obvious, at least. Because that's what depression does to you. It makes you feel things in a way that can't really be considered normal. Except for you, after twenty years living with them, they kinda become normal. Which is why it can be so difficult to treat it. Because at some point, you start thinking that that's just how you are, and that's how the world works.

On that account, I consider myself extremely blessed. Because I was lucky enough to look for help and find it. And the people who've helped me along the way were extremely competent in their jobs, as they wouldn't give up until they found the exact kind of support I needed to feel better. In my case, it was the adequate medication. Now, I don't really like having to take medication. I wish I didn't need it. And at times I still think myself weak for depending on it. But that is not true. I have a real problem, and I need real help. I've tried to be 'strong' and make myself better on my own. It didn't work. At some point it wasn't a matter of realizing I wasn't strong enough, I should just stop being so stubborn. You don't call a diabetic person weak for needing insulin. Why should I be weak for needing anti-depressants?

Often I'll try to get rid of the medication. I'll think I've had enough, and maybe I'm all better now,  and maybe now I'm cured. It still hasn't worked. Whenever I try to stop, I just have to start again a while later. Now this is not me saying medication is the ultimate solution. Some people do get better without it, with the right support system, talk therapy, hobbies, exercise, whatever. I'm just not those people. I've tried all of that, it's never enough.

What I am saying is this: it's so easy to start thinking that it's normal to live under this fog. That it's normal to see the world covered in negative feelings all the time. That it's normal to constantly under perform. Whenever I go off the medication and then back again, I see it clearly: nothing could be further from the truth. Those feelings are not normal, in the sense that you shouldn't let yourself live like that. Always look for help. In my case, part of the help came from doctors and medication. Who knows what it could be in yours? Could be talking to friends and family, going for a walk, writing, travelling, therapy, yoga, I don't know. The point is, someone or something out there can help you. Never stop looking for it. It may be hard to find it. It was for me. It took me years to find the right doctor and the right combination of meds. Today I can say with confidence: it was worth it.

To illustrate: I tried to decrease my dosage this past month. I had a really low point, then I went back to the regular dosage. And the difference is unbelievable. One day, the world is dark. Every single person in the world hates you and is rejecting you. All your ideas are worthless, and why should anyone ever be interested in anything you have to offer? The best things in the world feel just okay, like being in your favorite city in the world or your favorite band's gig. It's all blah. Nothing is funny, and everything people say makes you want to cry. But then, if you're blessed to find the adequate support for you, the fog is lifted. It becomes obvious that no one hates you, maybe they're just busy. But you're never alone. And yes, you have lots of interesting things to share. And it's possible to laugh, and feel happy and enjoy music, beauty and life once again. And the weight is lifted, and you feel normal. Yes, now you feel normal. This should be the only thing you consider normal and acceptable. Being happy. Nothing else. And if you ever feel like I described in the first part of the paragraph, I urge you, never stop looking for help. And have faith that you will find it. You deserve to see the world without the fog. You deserve the chance to see who you truly are away from the disease. The amazing person you are. Because I'm sure you're amazing. You just lost touch with that person because the darkness is too strong. So keep going, and don't give up until you find the thing that makes you feel better. I'll always keep my fingers crossed for all of you. I know you can do it.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Thank you!

I'm 22 hours away from the first step to what I hope will be the greatest year of my life so far. I know the importance of gratitude, but it feels like just saying thank you is not nearly enough. I don't believe in God, but it's impossible to say I don't feel helped and protected. I've felt that at some very important moments throughout my life. And whatever is doing that, it needs to be acknowledged.
Whatever made me have the father who made it all possible. He is supporting half of this financially, but much more importantly, he believes in what I'm doing. And this belief helped me believe it. He was the first to say it wasn't crazy to go. And that is the only reason I'm going. If it weren't  for those first words, over 3 months ago, I wouldn't even have allowed myself to dream it. So, first and foremost, thank you dad. For believing in me, supporting me, and most of all, making me the person I am today. I'm proud of who I am, and that's because of you.
Secondly, I'm thankful for the wonderful friends I have. A year ago, I remember thinking I didn't have anyone to talk to if I needed. Today, this has changed.
I have rekindled my friendship with a very old and wonderful friend, and her and her husband have been incredibly helpful throughout this whole process. This whole antecipation is a lot less scary because of you. I feel completely ready to go because o fyou. But even more important than that, we all have so much fun. I'm truly grateful for all the great times we shared this year. You guys are awesome!
I'm also grateful for my online friends. Some people might say that virtual relationships aren't 'real', but to me they are. You guys have helped me so much these past months. Because of you I never feel lonely, and I feel understood. We all share our love for series and music, and mostly that's how it started, but today I'd say I feel we share love. Honest love, coming from people who can't gain anything from each other, other than companionship and friendship. And I'll always treasure that. You guys are amazing!
All of you, I love you with all my heart.
Last but not least, I'm grateful for all the random people, from ex-teachers, ex-bosses, new friends and family, who didn't owe me anything, but helped me anyway. You, too, made all that possible.
I'm writing all this, hoping that making all this public it becomes more meaningful. Because it's not enough to say thanks just inside my head. And I want, I need, whoever or whatever is helping me to know that none of it is taken for granted, and it won't be forgotten.
I can only hope to be able to enjoy every minute of it, learn and improve as much as humanly possible, so one day I can pay it all forward, with interest.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


It's weird to think that once posting here was so important to me. In a way, writing has become much less important, now I'd rather talk to people. But somehow, today, it seems like there's something more that needs to be said, even though I don't yet know what it is. What I do know is that it's much easier if I imagine that I'm only writing to myself. I have no idea why I putting it on a blog, if that's the case. But it sort of shows what some of my doubts have been lately. It's weird when I stop to think about it, it seems I'm nothing but doubts these days. Nothing seems certain, nothing's decided, and I'm not sure of most of what I think. Yet, I don't remember ever feeling so sure of myself for so long. I've had moments of feeling certain, but they never lasted for months, like it's happening now. But how can I be sure and confident, and extremely insecure and lost at the same time?
It's amazing to think how much my life has changed. It feels like it started about six months ago, but the last two months made everything more blatant. I remember thinking last year how much I missed having close friends, because for a while I didn't really have anyone. And now today I have a list of people I can choose from, if I ever need to talk. People that I never expected would come into my life, and people that were already there, but I still hadn't realized how great they were, or I had forgotten. I guess this is a little my way of saying thanks. To each of them, and to whatever force brought all of us together. All of them are definitely a part of why everything feels so different. I guess that being able to open up again, and to such different people, from all around the world, and the one who is always by my side, physically, and the one who has known me for so long, all of that has made me see myself from a different light. And somehow it made me stronger. For one, because I'm chaging the image I had of myself that I would always be alone because I thought I was incapable of making friends. I don't think I'm as awkward as I used to be. Or at least, if I am, I learned to show people a good side of me, that would make them love me anyway. The other side of that, that's connected to the first one, is that actually saying what I feel, makes me see everything from different angles. And I'm getting a completely different idea of myself, but also everything, because of all the talks. It's the good side to overthinking, it can make you learn a lot. At least I feel I have learned. So much it's unbelievable. And, finally, I think these friendships helped me overcome a fear of mine, of always avoiding conflict. Because I think I've had some sort of conflict with each one of them, though sometimes rather small, and it didn't destroy anything, much to the contrary, it just ended up bringing us closer. At least I feel closer to them because of that.
I guess none of that makes much sense, especially to anyone who can't be inside my head. And it's not even what I intended to write in the first place. Well, it was, if I think about it. Because, mainly, what I wanted to write was a bit of all the things that have been going through my head a lot lately. And that's one of them. The other part is, how scary it is not to have any idea what your future is going to be like. I try to plan everything, and prepare myself for what's to come, but I don't think it's possible to prepare myself for my future. I'm constantly torn between a feeling of "I can't wait for everything that I want to happen" and "What the hell am I doing, and how crazy am I?" I guess in a way it is connected to what I was saying before, because all my friends are the ones helping me calm the second thought. And I know that no matter where I am, I'll be able to count on them. And if I were able to make these friends, I may not be so lonely when I finally go.
But, still, with all this said, all I can think about is still, I'm really, really scared. And I don't think there's anything I can do about that now.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Liberal Arts - contains spoilers

So, I finally watched the best movie of the year. Not The Avengers, not The Hobbit, not Twillight. Liberal Arts. Actually, let me correct myself: The best movie in a really long time.
And to start, I'd like to say, sometimes I'm really bothered that English is my second language. There's so much I want to say about this, and I already feel like I lack the right words. But I am going to write this in English, in great hopes that the person who I most want to read this, does. The immensely amazing person responsible for this movie.
I have been anxiously waiting for this movie since the middle of the year, or more. And you know how when you are really expecting something, and you're afraid that the thing will never be as good as you imagined because nothing could ever live up to your expectations? I was afraid of that. And I was deeply surprised. It not only lived up to my expectations, but it actually exceeded them.
And now is the part when I feel like getting a thesaurus.
This movie is incredibly well written. The dialogues are extremely light and deep at the same time. It's fluid, it's funny, it's endearing and heartwarming. The characters are incredibly real and it is the only flaw of this movie that it's too short. I could watch these people lives developing for days. I'm completely in love with everything Nat says and does, but mostly, we have to remember that, yes, everything is okay, and hard as it may be, be love. I'm also completely in love with Zibby, especially her spontaneity. "We should hug". Also, I actually cried with "I would like to kiss you... on your forehead". It takes a special kind of sensibility to write these kinds of scenes.
Now, is it weird that some things Jesse says about the music that Zibby gives him actually remind me of how I feel when I listen to some of Josh Radnor's songs of the day? "I worry that my nervous system is ill-equiped to contain such immensity of feelings". But his comments also made me remember one of the best experiences in my life: Being inside a church in Bergen, Norway, on a rainy day, listening to Bach played in an organ, suddenly feeling like the walls were alive, and I could feel everyone who had ever been there. Yes, music has this power.
Now, back to the movie. Such an unbelievably amazing cast. The delivery of those perfectly written lines was superb. I couldn't imagine a better and more appropriate ensemble.
And last, but absolutely not least, Mr. Radnor. This man amazes me in everything that he does. He can make me cry, and feel an entire arc of emotions with a single look (not only on this movie, but on HIMYM also). And, going a little off-topic, but not so much, he is forever an inspiration. Incredibly smart, deep and kind. As someone already said before, he is beautiful. Not only on the outside, but also, and especially, on the inside. And going a little more off-topic, I don't think I'll ever have trouble again finding great songs to listen to, because I have his SOTDs.
I need to rewatch to be able to think about the ending. I was too overwhelmed feeling way too close to Dean. Even though I'm much, much, better, I'm still too close to how he feels and sometimes I need to stick to the vampire books that empty your mind.
To sum up, thank you, Josh. Don't ever stop writing, don't ever stop acting, don't ever stop making movies. Your work is a blessing to this world.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Things have been good for a while. For a long while actually, which made me really happy. But I'm having a few bad days now. I may have to give my cats away. My father can't stop complaining about them, because they make a mess, and break the plants, and sharp their nails on the cushions, and act kind of crazy sometimes. And now I'm travelling to Ribeirão more, to visit my mother, and he complains even worse when I'm there. I'm going to go there the next holiday, in about a month, and he said that he doesn't want to be left with them. I don't know what to do. I don't have money to put them in a hotel. I'm so sad with the idea that I might have to give them away. And I'm worried about Hedwig. She doesn't like to be with other cats, and whenever she's in a new environment she stops eating. I'm afraid if I send her to a shelter she'll stop eating and nobody will even notice. I'm gonna miss them so much if they have to go.
And on top of that I have to write a 20-page long paper, and I don't even have a topic. I've thought about two topics, but I don't think either of them will work. I can't even think of a new one, nothing that I could develop. And I feel completely useless and stupid, because I know lots of people who have written a lot more than this, and I think I won't be able to write this one. And I'll feel totally incompetent.
I just wanted to let it out. It's not making me feel better, though.

PS: Whoever wrote the anonymous comment on the last topic, thank you. And if you ever come back here, I would love to know who you are.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Oh, I do have something else to write about. My cute little cats. This is the first time that I have my own pets. My family has had pets all my life, but they were never mine. (Besides the little hamster that my sister killed, but I was too young to notice anything). I find it so interesting to realize how they really do have personalities. H. is quieter, most of the time. Except the rare exceptions when she runs around the house like crazy, jumping all around. I don't quite understand why she does that. But normally she just likes to sleep, or observe. She's always happy to find a post, the higher the better, to look around. On the other hand, O. never does that. It's like she doesn't even realize there's a world out there. But she is crazy almost all of the time. She likes to play with her little mouse. H. couldn't care less about it. But O. goes around chasing it for hours. And she's like a little dog, bringing it to me, expecting me to throw it for her again. It's funny, because the mouse runs away sometimes. It hides underneath some furniture and is lost for months at a time. And O. doesn't even notice, but when it resurfaces, it's all she can think about. Specially when I'm trying to sleep. I'm really glad I chose her when I went to adopt her. She's so likeable. She has this cute squirrel tail, all fluffy. It's funny, because even though she has lots of hair, she's not exactly fluffy, so it's just the tail. And she's needy. She's always seeking for some contact, asking to be patted, rubbing against our legs, shoving her "face" (I forgot the actual word for this) under our hands. H. doesn't seem to mind. She hardly ever notices there's people around her. As long as she has a warm place to sleep and somewhere to look outside she's happy.