This book was published December 2016. It is about short stories on mental illness, mostly dealing with psychotic episodes from my past and present. It also deals with depression and how it affects me. Below is an excerpt from one story. It is available through Amazon.com as a paperback and Kindle (e-book)
I was wearing sneakers but you wouldn’t know it. My feet felt like they were in cement blocks as I trudged my way down to the bus stop. I really didn’t feel like going out but I wanted a latte and I figure going out was better than making coffee at home. I wasn’t expecting my sneakers to change to cement blocks though. Each step took a lot of effort. I was exhausted by the time I reached the stop. I am glad they have a bench so I could sit down and rest.
The depression takes many forms with me. It is never the same with each episode I experience. Sometimes I am walking through mud. Other times I have cement shoes on my feet. Each step is always painful whether it be mud or cement. I just can’t get through to my head that there is a clear path and that there is nothing physically there to slow me down. The physical symptoms of depression doesn’t care. It holds you back when you want to move forward, all the damn time.
Recently, a Twitter friend said that I should keep fighting. I don’t think she realizes just how exhausting that is. It is so much easier to give up. To stay in bed until the sun rises again, when the black dog disappears. But you have responsibilities and that keeps you from staying in bed all day. Appointments must be kept. Prescriptions must be filled. It’s hard, it’s really hard to go on when you feel like this.
Feeling hopeless is the worse. I wasn’t feeling this when the depression started. This episode started two months ago and I lost my appetite as well as my thought speed. My thoughts became slow as molasses. It’s still hard to get the words out at times. I lost weight because I wasn’t eating. I felt tired all the time. I felt down a lot of the time. But I still did what I had to do rather than stay cooped up in bed like I would have loved to do. Now that my appetite is back, I am beginning to feel like this depression is not going to end, that it is going to stay around and I am forever in its grip. I feel hopeless that things are going to get better again. Part of me knows that it will. It just takes time. I have been put on medication that should help relieve some of this suffering but I still don’t know. I have to wait two weeks for this medication to work and I am overwhelmed by this because I can’t even think of tomorrow or the next day.
I have to just think of the present time. It’s the only way to get through the day. If I can get through this minute, that hour, I will be okay. But it’s hard. I am still not eating 100% of the time. I have to remind myself to eat. I have broken the “no food in my room” rule. I had to because pain keeps me from going downstairs to get food when I need it so I keep some pretzels near me to offset hunger. It might not be the best food in the world but it’s something. And something is better than nothing. If I didn’t have to worry about mice, I would bring some of my chocolate granola bars in my room. Those are good for hunger. The reason I have a hard time going down the stairs is because of pain in my ankle and foot due to a condition known as complex regional pain syndrome. I have been living with this condition for the past four years. It’s difficult when you can’t walk and walking is your main mode of transportation. I don’t own a car so I don’t drive that often. I used to be able to borrow my sister’s car but she traded it in for a monster truck and I just can’t drive it for fear of sideswiping another vehicle or something else.
The cement shoes have come on in the last two days. I don’t know when they will come off. I hate wearing them when in fact, I have sneakers on. The cement is so heavy. I feel so weighed down with them on. It’s like I can’t move. It’s so painful. You are exhausted by the time you reach your destination, which is only a few short blocks from your house.
The exhaustion from the depression has to be worse than a physical illness or about the same, depending on who you talk to. It really sucks because you might have energy before you get dressed and then when you are finished showering and putting on your clean clothes, you are wiped out. It sucks more when you are in physical pain as well. I don’t know what is worse at this point. Dealing with my chronic pain in my ankle or the depression. Maybe it’s both. I just need to find a chisel and a hammer to try and escape from these cement shoes. They are no fun.