For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food. In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones. I am like a desert owl, like an owl among ruins. I lie awake; I have become like a bird on a roof. (Psalm 102)
This part of Psalm 102 really hit me as seeming to quite accurately describe how having depression can sometimes feel like. I especially feel the imagery captures some of my experience.
Days can often seem to disappear. I go through the motions, but I look back and I can't think of what those days contained. It's like going through life in a haze, everything is obscured. Before you know it, days are flying by and you can't seem to grasp them.
Some days you wake up and you are so tired you can feel it deep in your bones. The inexplicable aches and pains, are just some of the physical symptoms of depression.
It can feel like I have stopped caring, my heart has shriveled up and I'm no longer able to feel. I go numb and I start to disconnect.
I have already talked in a previous post about how my depression can affect my eating habits.
"Like an owl among ruins". This feels symbolic of me looking out over my life and thinking that it hasn't gone too well. That I've messed things up. In the depths of my depression I have felt that there is no hope, and everything is forever ruined. I know now that that is not the case, but I can still sometimes feel that lonly feeling of being alone in a wilderness.
I can disconnect from reality sometimes, it's like I'm not really in the world. I'm not affecting the world, and I'm just passing through passively. Things are happening to me, and I'm vaguely aware of them but everything is muffled slightly.
I've been struggling a bit with everyday life recently. It's been especially difficult to find the motivation to go shopping and cook myself proper food.
I've had several times recently when I've gone into a shop with the intention of buying things, wandered round the shop, and then left empty handed. My brain tells me I don't deserve food, that I can't afford it (even though I can) and that they don't stock anything I want. They usually do stock most things I need, I just can't motivate myself to find them, or to try different shops.
I'm quite ambitious with my cooking, I like to cook meals from scratch with fresh ingredients where possible. I still occasionally have pizza and fast food, but the majority of my meals are home cooked. This usually works brilliantly, when I'm feeling up to it, I cook a few huge meals and freeze them into portions to be reheated. The problem comes when I run out of meals in my freezer, and when this coincides with a low period. I end up surviving on what little I have left, biscuits and toast.
I've recently stocked up again with soup and also cooked a few tasty meals which will last me for a while long so I feel I am coming out of this rough patch somewhat. I try to be prepared for this happening by always keeping the freezer stocked, but it can take me by surprise and by the time I've realised things aren't going to well it can be too late.
At times like this it's very hard to do anything. Getting up, and washed and dressed feels like a gigantic effort. To leave my room, cook, and do chores is another huge task. Then we add making it to class, and doing homework. This is where I start to fail, skipping class and not handing in work. I don't have the energy to spare on study when it's taking everything I have to keep myself alive and ticking.
My anxiety grows, my brain is clamouring, you need to do the things. You need to study, to work on the group project, to hand in your work, to attend lectures. You need to socialise, why are you getting so tired.
But the fact is, I can't. I'm barely managing to keep myself going, and it's absolutely okay to be focussing on that right now. It's understandable that after an hour in the kitchen surrounded by flatmates that you would be tired. After going into uni, you are allowed to take some time to relax and treat yourself. You do deserve praise for achieving even the most basic self care.
I found something out about a couple of months ago that really set me back. It led to the most serious episode of self harm I've had in over a year.
It involved a massive invasion of my online privacy and violation of my trust. It's made me incredibly worried that I've had many conversations and emails which were intended to be private, but in fact may have not been. It's also been a huge violation of my friends' privacy, as there are things which were intended for my eyes only, which have been read unauthorised.
I only found out that this had been going on through some information coming to light that shouldn't have. This had the potential to cause serious problems for me, although thankfully nothing seems to have come of it. It worries me to think that it would have carried on indefinitely had I not found out.
I'm being intentionally vague here as my intention isn't to name and shame exactly what's happened, but rather to talk about my feelings recently.
This has left me questioning whether anyone can be trusted. By nature I'm very trusting, probably too trusting. I take people's words at face value and expect them to tell me the truth, especially when it's people I'm close to. I've learnt through this recent event and the break up that preceded it that you really cannot trust even those closest to you. The people who tell you they love you are often the ones to watch because they think they can get away with lies and deceit "for your own good".
Despite all this I'm not sure I will learn not to trust people. I certainly trust my current boyfriend, and although I question whether I should, in practice I find it hard not to.
I automatically expect authenticity in return for my own honesty. I enjoy being fully myself, and not hiding parts of me. There are several things which people have told me I shouldn't talk about, but I continue to do so because it's a freeing process.
The paranoia and fear of rejection that comes with bpd is ever present. I rarely fully believe that anyone truly cares about me, and my brain constantly tells me that they don't. It's always a struggle to believe and trust someone when they say they do, especially when I've been so hurt in the past.
Trust is a complicated thing, and can often work on a gut instinct. It takes time to build it up, especially after a break down of trust. It isn't easy to quantify at all. I will keep on hoping, and trying to select the right people to put my faith in. I'm sure I'll be hurt again, but that's part of life.