It’s been a while since I’ve written anything personal–okay, maybe a month, but for me that’s a while. Or long time. Or longer than I’m used to, but that’s how things are in my life. And I should point out that I’m liable to say some things below that may freak others out, so if you are the kind the freaks out easily, depart before you abandon all hope.
If not, let’s roll on in, kiddies . . .
I’m mentioned, off and on over the last few weeks, that I’ve found myself fighting depression. It’s not a lot of fun, let me tell you, ’cause it wears you out. I once described depression as treading water in the middle of the ocean: you’re doing all the work to stay above water while the ocean does nothing–it just sits there and waits for you to tire and go under. That’s why if you don’t find a way to get out of the water, you’ll drown and die. And the ocean doesn’t care ’cause it’s a force of nature. Just like depression: a force of nature that gives zero shits about you as a person, or for your quality of life.
And November hasn’t helped the situation much. I’ve got a lot more pressure at work of late, and there’s NaNo, and I’m getting ready to head home at the end of the month for the first time in almost six months . . . it’s a mess. Really, the last few weeks have started to engulf me . . .
Last Friday, right around noon, because I remember it being after I ate lunch at work, I started to find myself getting in a bad way. I actually cried a little at work, but not enough that it was noticed. Actually, nothing I do at work is noticed, so it’s not in any way unusual that people would see me sitting in my office starting to lose it.
It wasn’t until I made it home that things came right off the rails. The moment the door shut behind me I began crying. I was still crying when the computer came up. In fact, I cried off and on for the better part of an hour straight, and spent the rest of the night floating in and out of the feeling that there was far too much pain in my life.
Last Saturday was my shot day, and I thought that might help me break out of the funk, but the moment the psychological effects wore off I was right back to being a maudlin little bitch. Going out and getting makeup didn’t help; being out in the sun did nothing. I felt as if nothing I did was helping break the feeling that, no, things weren’t going to get better.
By about three PM I’d already made up my mind: there wasn’t any point in going on, so I might as well shuck this moral coil as fast as I can.
I started preparing for my death.
It’s not easy for me to say that last line, because that’s a hard point in your life when you hit the tipping point and realized you’ve gone from “if” to “when”. I didn’t care, however: once you reach that point you just wanna kept going. It didn’t matter if I was finding the energy to love myself, because I wasn’t feeling any love coming back, and that’s something that’s so difficult to put aside an ignore.
So I started getting ready. I knew I was going to record some videos and post them for people to view. I rehearsed what I was going to say, and when I was going to post them. I knew the manner in which I wanted to check out, and weighed the pros and cons of survivability. I was all ready to go–
Save for three things.
One, that day was the last episode of Doctor Who‘s most current season. Okay, so I sound like a geek here, but I had to see how the season ended. Two, I was into Act Three of my huge, Infinity Jest-like novel, and that meant I was not only getting towards the end, but I was also coming up on a good part that I’ve been sitting on for over a year. I’d made promises to people that I’d finish this damn thing, and I knew I couldn’t leave people hanging about what happens–and if that doesn’t sound like a writer’s ego hard at work, nothing does.
And finally, there are two people on my “If you die you’ll hurt them” list, and if I died now, I’d be in violation of Jacqualyn’s Law, which I named for a friend. It’s a variation of Wheaton’s Law, though this one is geared more for women. It says, “Don’t be a twat,” and I’d have been a massive twat if I did what I was thinking of doing.
So I settled back to watch Doctor Who, and when that was over I headed into writing. I still hurt, I still found it difficult to get through Sunday–which I helped smooth out by doing more writing–and I made it into Monday, then Tuesday, then . . .
Last night I felt the depression coming on again, and I was really not looking forward to dealing with this crap. Then I noticed someone I’d just reconnected with on Facebook was trying to get my attention. She’s a transwoman from Canada who transitioned decades ago, and we’ve shared some information over the months.
We started talking, and we talked, and we discussed why I was depressed, and why I felt suicidal, and were there things that I wanted to do that may have made me feel this way. And there were answers to those questions, and a lot more–
And by the time we were finished, we’d chatted for about three hours, and I felt a whole lot better than I had when the evening had started.
Things aren’t “over”, but they’re better. Much better. I had some plans I want to discuss with my therapist when I see her the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I hope she agrees that it’s time I actually move on these things. I’m not feeling the trepidation about going home that I have had for a while–it’s going to be the first time I’m going to be Cassie with them full-time since I’ve started transitioning, and while I’m certain my daughter will be cool with it–after all, we went out shopping together as daughter and, um, other mother–I can’t say the other person in the house is gonna dig things. Maybe I’ll have to cook a couple of good dinners to break the ice . . . And I’m going to start taking the first steps towards getting my name changed.
But mostly I’ve chilled on the death stuff. I’m still in the ocean, but I feel like I’m closer to shore, and if you keep moving towards shore, eventually you get up onto dry land and you don’t have to wear yourself out treading water. And if I can’t get onto dry land, maybe I can get somewhere shallow enough that I can rest once in a while.
This Sorrowful Life. Sometimes you find yourself surround by bad people and zombies, and you have the choice of either giving in and joining one of the two hordes, or you fight back against the hell that waits outside your walls. Neither is an easy choice, but you have to make one, because doing nothing is not an option. You must make a choice.
I mentioned in one of my last videos that you have a choice with transition: become who you are, or die. I said I’m trying to get off the death track and be who I am, and last night I finally felt as if I was bucking that first track and leaving it behind. I hope to make it so.
I really do.