Monday, September 5, 2016

Walking the Edge

I can't seem to do these prompts correctly. I'm holding a card asking me to talk about happiness, and I want to talk about Depression. Capital is fully intended and deserved there, since it's something that I've dealt with for a long time.

I think the biggest reason that I realize that I've been carrying this with me for so long is what's missing. It's always felt like other people are better able to remember their childhoods, the things in their life. But all of my memories seem to drift in, with maybe a few snap-shots of things that stick out, the rest blurred and indistinct. I can't really put my finger on any given incident that might have pushed me into depression.

But it's been there for a long time. I've built coping mechanisms as best as I can, but... they're just coping. In some ways, it feels like I'm always walking the edge of the deepest parts of my depression. To the point where it felt... right that I would think about killing myself at least once a day or so. Even when things were good, I'd still be there, standing on the edge.

I've broken down a few times. Once, in the middle of gaming with my friends, I couldn't stay there anymore. We gamed on our college campus at the time, and there was a small forest crisscrossed with walking trails only a short walk from the building we were in. I went there, hoping to clear my head; but the longer I spent walking around, the more I just wanted to end things. I tried to open my wrists with my keys. It feels pathetic to say it, but it wasn't attention seeking behavior: I use my keys as an impromptu edge to open boxes, and it was the sharpest thing I had on me at the time. I really didn't want to walk out of there, just find someplace in the snow where I could bleed out and leave.

But it's very hard to cut yourself with a set of house keys. And I eventually went back to be near my friends and just mope in the next room. On the way home, my roommate noticed how close to the edge I was. We went to a bookstore and Toy'R'Us, buying nerf guns at the latter. That's probably one of the reasons that I remember that night so well, him reaching out and pulling me back.

I'm on medication now, and it helps. I'm not always walking the edge of the cliff, staring into the abyss. But it's not perfect; early in 2016 I almost did something very stupid. And I still find the concept of growing old a strange one... Like I don't ever expect to be here to reach that age.

I try and find things worth living for: friends, family, stories. These help ground me. And I'm grateful for all of the people in my life who are here for me.