If you could see me you probably wouldn’t be able to tell what surviving means.

Unless you had it. 

A.k.a. depression.

Your Specter may be different.

PTSD.

Anxiety.

Bipolar

Dissociative Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder…

…Mental. Illness. (I like to call them Mental Health Conditions)

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It’s been severe for me going on close to a year. That monkey on your back that you can’t shake loose.

No matter what medications you’re on.

No matter how much exercise you do.

No matter how much sleep you get.

No matter how many friends you could call in an instant to support you.

No matter how sunny and warm it is.

No matter what you do, or don’t do, it’s always there…your Specter.

Here’s what surviving my Specter means-

  1. Apathy – Perhaps this should more accurately be categorized as catatonic or numbness. A deep-seated emotional disconnect from life. Nothing makes me happy. I don’t smile. I don’t laugh. I have a lack of enthusiasm and interest and I’m indifferent to the things that go on around me (though I did get out to vote, yay me). I don’t get joy from anything, not even blogging or drawing. I’ve convinced myself that it’s the meds but maybe it’s Specter’s claws gripping my throat until I give up and cease to care.
  2. Lethargy – I’ve been going to bed around 7 pm every night for the past several months. By that time, I’m so disinterested that sleep is the only thing that could quell the apathy. I used to stay up late so I guess this is a good thing, but not really. What’s worse is that I set my alarm for 3:45 to take my Adderall, hoping  I’ll feel like getting out of bed by 6:30, but that’s hopeless. For the most part, it’s still a long-enduring struggle and I usually slap the alarm clock in disgust as I try my hardest to mutate my way to the shower.
  3. Isolation – Depression teaches you that you’re worthless. It forces you to harshly criticize yourself for what seem like rational thoughts – You’re overweight;  You’re always angry; You never smile,; You’re never happy; Who could stand to be around you? Its cunning schemes trick you into believing that you are bringing others down when you’re around them. You believe these lies and suddenly they become your reality. And you don’t want to be around others. Suddenly there’s a solace in being alone. No fear of being judged by others (my friends never have) or worrying about impressing others. And you grab your security blanket, turn off the lights, turn on Netflix, and cocoon yourself from the outside world. I’ve perfected this by going a step further and have disconnected my doorbell.
  4. Suicidal Thoughts – Ah yes, these. The icing on the cake. When sleep isn’t enough, death is. It seems like the only way out. But it’s not. I know how bad those thoughts can get – I acted on my own suicidal thoughts a couple years back. If you have these thoughts, please contact someone as soon as you can. Then, make sure you have a safety plan in place. Have three friends you can call before you start spiraling downward. Preferably someone who can come sit with you. It must be three in case the first two don’t answer for some reason. Also, make it clear to these friends why you want their help – at a time when you aren’t having suicidal thoughts. My friends in the U.S. can call the lifeline given below.

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This is what it means for me to survive the Specter.

I hope you can’t relate.

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