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This Sorrowful Life

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 . . .

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

My Resting Bitchy Face from this morning offers proof of this statement.

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 . . .

Here.  Today.

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.

As you can see, I'm actually smiling a little.

As you can see, I’m actually smiling a little.

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.

57 thoughts on “This Sorrowful Life

  1. Thank you for this post. I had a “no death till Doctor Who ends” pact, too. I’m glad we’re both still here. And I’m glad you had the guts to write about your story.

    • I’ve written about a lot of things over the years, Erin. I actually had one follower, years ago, leave me a nasty comment because they discovered I wasn’t just a “writing blog”. Their loss, right? Anyway, that sounds like a geeky thing to do, but I sometimes to set my goals as to what I’m going to see. So it’s the DW Christmas special, then the last season of Justified, then Season Three of Orphan Black.

  2. My dear friend, I hope so too. I don’t know what you are going through because it is not my journey, but I honor you becoming who you are meant to be with enthusiasm! Chin up and if you have to float in the ocean, be Rose and sit on a table, and make the depression float off the side… Damn depression affects many of my favorite people and I hate that.

  3. I’m glad you shared this Cassie. I “liked” the post, and of course don’t like that fact that you are/were/are depressed, but I’m glad you shared. I’ve dealt with depression and I guessed it’s dealt with me before too. I’ve tried to take my life before, twice and I’m SO glad I did NOT succeed. Not that everything is perfect but I know how to deal with things a bit better now, a lot has to do with my health (mental, physical, spiritual) so I try to keep a better watch over those now.

    Anyway, I don’t usually talk about it. Not something I’m proud of but not ashamed either. I have a lot more to say but well, I feel like I read this for a reason (I usually don’t read thru blogs on Saturdays for some strange reason). Friday I watched a video made by a trans woman (it was really random) but it made me empathize. It wasn’t sad or anything, and she was really really sassy and sort of aggressive but I could feel the hurt in her voice when she talked about some people (particularly) in her family not accepting her just for who she is. End the end she pretty much said fuck em, but that has to hurt. We all know that hurt on some level, but I think with people that are or have transitioned it must be even deeper. Not to mention just everyday life stuff.

    Okay, yeah typed way too much lol. I don’t know but thanks for sharing, I’m sure being open is it’s own form of therapy so never stop. I have a LOT of reading to do on your blog, but I’m glad I found you. 🙂 …and yeah NEVER do what you were thinking of doing. Like the nurse told me when I attempted, “try that again, and I’ll kill ya” (she was sweet but tough, and had the same name as my grandma that passed away years prior).

    …and lastly, I can relate to wanting to finish a book or certain projects before dying. Even though the post was about death, that line made me smile. Whatever keeps you here works for me.

    • I’ve never ended up in the hospital for an attempt–both times they were weak attempts and I just stayed home–but I’ve been in a “facility” before and made friend with a woman who’d failed her attempt, and it was strange to hear her talk about how she went into it, and how she woke up from it.

      We keep on doing what we do. And I find that talking about this, honestly, does more to get rid of the stigmas than just pretending it doesn’t happen. I think that’s what’s the most important thing: starting a dialog and showing how it hits everyone.

  4. Reading this, *hugs* and also, it’s admirable how brave you are to talk about this. Honestly, it’s very brave of you indeed. I struggle talking about it myself, you see. But you’re strong, Cassie, and I know I’m a bit of a silent reader, but I’m reading, and I’ll keep reading and ah, stay fabulous. I am really sorry to hear this – but you can do this.
    And the second (smile) picture 🙂 keep smiling. I hope you have a good day. Best wishes 🙂

  5. Hi Cassidy, what a real story… IAM so glad you chose to continue living to be YOU… no matter about others… we live in a crazy upside down world where apparently everything is ok… So please make it ok for yourself to be real and enjoy life, it is your right. Depression can affect everyone but instead of falling right in, we can think of a positive thing about us and do something that makes us smile and slowly get on with life the best we can. Remember our human life is only an experience to find out what we desire and love in life and then make sure it comes to us. Under our identity/s is our true light self that doesn’t care, only wants to experience and love. Take care and IAM watching your magnificent journey… love Barbara x

  6. I think every human being has already shared similar moments… where you think that the only solution would be death.
    But suicide is just an easy way out, a way to stop a situation of deep anguish… the courage to go on is what brings us to temper our strength to overcome any anxiety, any kind of contrast. We can not “pleasure” to all those around us… there will be always one silly idiot to which our presence can annoy, and this for several reasons.
    The courage to look in the mirror saying: “I’m what I’m” and then to smile to oneself aware that it is only a matter of time… our karma is bound to double knot to the law of “cause – effect”…
    I realized several times, after all the moments of deep sadness pass, then we look behind us and we realize that we have become stronger, more determined!
    See you soon, dear Cassidy… we are all in this together!
    Hugs :-)claudine

  7. Cassie please know you are not alone. The women in my family suffer with clinical depression. An abusive childhood did not help. My danger spot is ” the black hole”. Suicide now is off the table because I have nine grandchildren. I couldn’t damage them like this. So here I am. Doing all I can to make the world a better place to be. You aren’t alone and you have people around who care. You are an intelligent creative person and you rock. Blessings and hugs, Barbara

  8. I’m glad to hear you are doing better. It’s always a wonderful feeling to pass a hurdle thrown your way, even if you are the one who threw it in your own way. The goals helped too, and I’m glad. I find it hilarious that watching Doctor Who was one of those goals. That made me chuckle.

    You are an incredibly brave person – both for going through a transition to bring out the real you and for admitting it’s not an easy process and you’re having bad days from time to time. Thank you.

    PS, you should have an email heading your way shortly after the end of this month in response to the question you asked me. I’ve been writing it, but with everything on my end, I haven’t been able to get down much each time I sit, I’m afraid. 😉

  9. The fact is that somethings in life are difficult because they are difficult and not because we are incapable of dealing with them – thanks for hanging on –

  10. Cassie, I totally understand where you are coming from, I myself, fight depression daily. I don’t know where it comes from or how long it will last and my medication helps immensely, but there are days I feel like everyone would be better off without me. I wake up every single day and look at my life and thing, ” I have an almost perfect life, why should I feel depressed”? It doesn’t matter how wonderful things are sometimes the depression over rules your happiness. I will say blessings for you that you will be able to work through this as I do every day. You are an amazing person Cass and I hope you will be around for a very long time! Hugs and Love! ❤

  11. I Love you; hate that you hurt. Wish I could make it better. I have used so many things as reasons to go just one more day. It’s gotten easier over the years…Long Live Dr. Who and you my friend.

  12. Cassidy, I have known you for quite a while now. Only on facebook, mind you. But from what I can see here you are very much loved. I wish all of us could be there to show you in person how much we love you with hugs, talks, and just being friends in person. I can’t say I know what you are going through, but I do happen to know a lot about depression and your description is pretty spot on. when you feel like crying, ride it out, just cry, cry for the pain, the loss, the bad memories all of it. eat chocolate, not a whole sheet cake but you know, some chocolate. buying shoes doesn’t help this kind of depression. Chocolate does. Talking to a girlfriend helps a whole lot too. And it sounds like you have that one covered pretty well. If you ever need to talk, I’m here too. Take care of yourself Cassidy and remember we do love you and so does that beautiful daughter of yours.

  13. You need a wall between yourself and that precipice, something that keeps you from getting too close to the edge. I’m glad that you have friends you can talk to when the need arises, but I worry that they’re not always close enough. Please be careful.

  14. Strive to see the positives in your life. Dismiss those who are negative and unsupportive of you and who you are. We all have our own journey to travel. It may be bumpy along the way but we choose if we are going to give up. Don’t let your life over-power you …. you over-power your life. It’s yours … make it the best one you can.
    Be safe … Be well … Be !!!! 😍

  15. Cassidy– First let me say you are rocking that new hairstyle like nobody’s business. Second, stay with us! This must have been difficult to share. Depression is sneaky and nasty but you can get through it 🙂 Promise 🙂

  16. First, all my hugs and love to you. I’m sorry you hit such a bad spot with the depression. I’ve been near there myself though not that close, and I have similar reasons that keep me back(ie people I couldn’t hurt that way), but I know it’s not a place you ever want to find yourself. Hearing that you had found yourself there, reading the process you were going through, made me tear up a good bit cause of the familiarity, but also the sad thought of losing such a wonderful person I know to something that. . . is truly hard to fight. There are people out there who will judge, who will never understand. I am not one of them though. I get it. I’m glad you’re feeling improved though, and that you’ve started to buck that rail. . . and that you’re going to start the process to change your name — that is just wonderful! If you ever need to talk, I’m here. And I hope the talk with your therapist has helped or will help(I don’t know when you talk to them). I have not seen mine often(only twice now), but I know it has helped tons and missing the appointment I should’ve had recently when I desperately needed it. . . well, I’ve been at my own bad place with the depression, but I’m hoping to start bucking my own rails to use your phrasing. ❤

    Second, this is the best description: "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."

    I've often described my experiences with depression as feeling like the waves have grown choppy and are dragging me under, and that it feels like I'm drowning with nothing to anchor me. Your comparison above is spot on.

      • So true. Sometimes all you can do is try to keep pushing forward and fight to get out of the water. That’s all I’ve been able to do, at least. So far it’s working though I had a few times recently where the ocean almost won. Hoping that something come up this Friday might make the fight a little less weighing on me, but we’ll see. . .

  17. Bless you, Cassie, I want to hug you until it hurts. You are such a lovely human being, I would be sad if anything happened to you.

    Every depression is different. I had crippling depression after my stroke in 2008 that almost did me in. I did therapy and pills for years and almost gave up, then I decided to give light therapy with a “sad light” a chance. I got the largest light they had ($500, they also have smaller versions $35) and within a week the depression left. I still struggle with it now and then and I continue to tell people because the recovery was that miraculous.

    I am glad you are smiling and feel better. If your depression returns I want you to think about all of your friends in bloggerland and how much we all care about you – you gentle soul. Never give up or give in – there is always hope. ❤ ❤ ❤

  18. Some say life is a gift.
    Some say an imposition.
    Some say whatever, but we’re stuck with it … (hey, it sure beats the alternative).

    Or does it? Shakespeare put some of the most powerful words ever written on that topic into Hamlet’s mouth but they’re not to be skimmed over or taken lightly. Serious stuff.

    IF the depression is due to chemicals in your brain, modern science has treatments that may help redress balances. I say ‘may’ because in my own opinion medical science is to a large degree just modern quackery, although absolutely brilliant at resetting shattered limbs and stuff. If your depression is due to you, to you per se; then you can fight it.

    I find that actions speak louder than words. Action is movement, death is stasis. The quick (it means alive/living) can accomplish things—and few things make one feel better than accomplishment. My Dad was the archetypal warrior, yet an intense humanist; he had a superb mind but was totally self-educated. His solution to the Black Dog was tackling any problem head on … and when he found himself brooding he’d build boats. We had a lot of boats.

    And keep finding better ways to do things.
    For myself I know I’ll never get published yet I keep writing, rewriting, and polishing. And I research. The more I read away from the ‘approved’ literature the more my deeply ingrained notions are changed. And here’s the rub, there’s more good stuff out there than I could read in a thousand lifetimes—throw away the one I’ve got? No way~!
    Now get thee to Hamlet, read that soliloquy a hundred times or more, and boot that blasted Black Dog out of your life.

    And good luck …

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  21. Hi Cassidy, I’ve been really slack at reading blogs but I wanted to check in here to see how you were going. I’ve been deeply depressed for most of my life but the meds help, And this post helps! You are amazing, Julie xxx

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