Yes, I have depression, terrible bouts of depression.
It has been years ever since I was diagnosed (see my ABOUT page) yet my dark days seem to overwhelm me still most often than not. Some might say that my medications are now being overruled by the intensities of my condition, i.e., my system being “immune” to the concoctions already, thus the inability to stabilise my moods or that ever perennial self-destructive behaviour (with bouts of hypomania in between). That is why sometimes, holding on to every single pill I take can, at times, be very disillusioning: there is always a possibility that symptoms could either temporarily appease themselves or merely provide an influx of false positives in terms of my actuations and/or mind processes. Of course, I am not discounting the fact that medicines are effective as they can be. They are. But what if that, despite countless of pills I take, the symptoms are still there?
That would be a different question altogether (albeit related in a sense). Since I very much aspire for wellness, for a panacaea, for an all-encompassing sense of serenity and security—beyond what medications may offer, of course—I try to take a mental account of all things that I have been undergoing the past week. As people very well know, I am a teacher by profession; and the very notion of teaching can equally conjure up impressions about the difficulties the job entails. I would agree that teaching is difficult, that no soul dares tread such a path if he/or she is faint of heart. Yet I am here, with all my episodic depressive states that at times hamper my performance: what I ought to do in order to make the classroom “child-friendly” and “wholesome.” In fact, I’ve always ruminated on the question on whether someone with mental illness can, truly manage diversity as personified by each individual I encounter day in and day out, when I myself bear the brunt of such an arduous task. This being said, this week is no exception, given that I have to take care of things in preparation for the upcoming school year including certain school activities such as enrollment and entrance tests. Of course, I prepared. I could say I prepared myself well. I submitted a diagnostic test. I was coordinating with the assistant principal regarding student enrollment and skills assessment. She even praised me for “my efforts.” I was not necessarily on cloud nine but I was okay, and my brain felt okay because I was accomplishing something noteworthy. And I was medicated.
Then, the disaster spelled as depression struck. Anew.
Two weeks prior to my work tasks, I began experiencing another one of those states of passiveness that I very much recognise, along with the desire to feel accepted. The impulse to contact people online became totally uncontrollable, not to mention the tendencies of shutting myself from individuals “who do not know me” (like colleagues and students). It must be noted that the aforementioned are two kinds of demeanour that are entirely ironic—the disparity is all too real not to be paid attention to. However, I am most conscious that my state of mind produces such a vicious alteration of reality that I understand very well as an offshoot of synapses not reacting favourably—or more correctly, appropriately—to stimuli. This, then, posed a gargantuan quandary of sorts: I might not be able to recover quickly.
As it turned out, my apprehensions came to pass.
So for two weeks, my mind was hazy. I began forgetting things a lot, I could not pay attention to instructions, my forgetfulness started to rear its ugly head. Afterwhich came all of the disjuncted perceptions of what should be real at the moment and what should be kept as future undertakings. But my mind would jump from one thought to another like a grasshopper so nimble and flimsy, thus creating such risk for focus. Then the ruminations start: mind “conversations” that take up a lot of my time construing then decluttering so as I may keep track of what I ought to do. Nonetheless, my efforts of tackling the “noise” would go to waste sometimes as my mind would haphazardly collapse under all the weight of my brain processes. Thus thinking could be impossible (although this again would be one of the ironies as I still tend to think all throughout).
The repercussions became vile: I could not sleep. I could not rest. I would feel tired at sundry times—the latter, I believe, as mostly out of stress incurred by sleeping problems. So when an opportune time gathers itself that I be given the liberty of slumber, I take chances for rest. And I awake feeling drowsy because I would do so at 9am most frequently. This routine eventually took a toll on my duties, despite all my professed intentions not to fashion out problems for my colleagues or immediate head. This, to no avail. My problematic system takes the upper hand, and I suffer.
Everyone, then, suffers. So in order to pacify further emotional complications like enduring a whiplash from my superior or statements of disappointment by colleagues, I inclined myself to withdraw my online presence (to which I depended much of my communication with the outside world). I had to be incommunicado, incognito: sheer signs of myself whirling out of control.
Now all those three weeks of feeling a tad bit of a wreck invoked by the aforementioned and everything that bespeaks a neuro-psychiatric condition has made things entirely labourious for me. As a consequence I seem to exude shirking my responsibilities (like getting ill at the last minute) when in reality I am not. I am just not well, and my brain begins to think differently. It is darn uncontrollable, no matter how I try. Then, as soon as events subside, I would then realise the scale of a ruckus I ave caused, and all the more would I think of ending it all.
However, in the midst of all these—the conundrum, the routine, all the chaos, still there is this faint spark of hope in me that all these, yes, all these erratic behaviours will end in the long run. Anyway. nothing in this world is permanent so we have to seek for a better cycle. Personally, I don’t know when the better part of such cycle might occur but surprisingly, I am positive that will soon be realised. This might appear mouthing vain assurances or meaningless platitudes. Definitely. But it is hope that makes me seek that, so I still strive. All in the midst of confusion, similarly so with medications that I have wrongfully dismissed as already having been ineffective.
In these, I have to strive. Good days will come, better days at hand. It might not be now but I could sense that plans will unfold that I shall be soon out of my very own state of lawlessness. Yes, I figured so I have to assuage myself. Everything will be fine.