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Stories from a Chronically depressive.

I’m sitting in my couch wearing my black Playboy Bunny bathrobe, with a cup of coffee in my hand. Eyes fixed on an imaginary spot on the opposite wall. I sit like that; thinking for a while, then I light a cigarette and take a sip of my coffee. Where to begin? So much has happened in my only 34 year life.

The life of a Chronically depressive.

I believe I was born without enough of the “Happy juice” as I call it! I often have to explain the chemistry of the brain to make people understand what this means. How can one be chronically ill and dysfunctional when there are no visible signs of any illness? It can be very difficult for “normal” people to grasp or comprehend. And thus far more frustrating and depressing to suffer from this disease.

I move around a bit, feeling slightly restless, which makes me light another cigarette and stare out the window on the grey skies.My thoughts wander back in time…… How was I as a child? Scared! Scared of not being good enough, not being pretty enough, clever enough, pleasing and well behaved enough! But I was a good daughter. I was a sweet and clever little blond girl. I was a lonely child.
Lonely….hmmm….seems to be the concept of my life….! Loneliness. A feeling that’s always haunted me where ever I’ve been, whatever I’ve done or whoever I’ve been with. To be lonely seems to be my lot in this life. But how can one feel alone amongst a few good friends or hundreds of people? Solitude, antisocial, isolated, different, indifferent, invisible, too visible???

My breath is very light, as if I try not to breathe at all…. I shut up for a moment, and try to clear my head. No luck! The words are flowing from my mouth. So much to tell, so much pain, so much despair and frustration. Pills, suicide, alcohol, sex, cutting… Been there! Done that! I’ve tried it all…
I pause and take a sip of my coffee. It’s cold now. I don’t care…. There’s got to be some good stories…oh…I remember, and I tell a few. Just got to escape the destructive mood I’m still capable of pulling down on myself, though feeling better. Yes, I’m better now. I’m medicated with the right stuff now (or at the least for now)! It’s been 4 weeks in a row of happiness, joy and energy (let’s not talk about the side effects)! I haven’t  had such a “long” period of feeling good about almost everything in my 34 years! For real??? Yes, for real…. Of course this doesn’t mean that I can’t be sad, unhappy or dissatisfied and tired. But I suppose I just get the same reaction to bad things that “normal” people do? I wouldn’t know!? I just know that I hate feeling like that.

I light yet another cigarette. I look at my fingernails. They’ve gotten long and my fingers look a bit more feminine than they used to. Still biting the fingers though!
Irony…The thought of my new found happiness brings bitterness to mind…..WHY? Why didn’t they notice? Why didn’t they do anything? Why didn’t they see?  How could they not see ME? I don’t understand. Or do I? Deep down inside I think I know why. I. Me. Myself. I thought I knew what they preferred to see, so I made them see that. I didn’t want to disappoint them. How could I? I just wanted their love and attention, and I got it. They seemed proud. The trap was set! I trapped myself because I was a child and didn’t know better. Didn’t know the consequences of being a lifetime perfectionist and pleaser! To them I just wanted to be perfect. Isn’t that what every child strive to be to their parents? But then again! When I think about it, I’ve done some crazy things like cutting off all the fringes on our dining room carpet. I drew under the chairs and cut small holes in everything with a scissor. Small enough to might not be noticed so my parents wouldn’t get angry, but unconsciously I guess I was hoping for them to find out, so they’d get angry anyways. At the least when they got angry with me, they saw me! Sometimes I was just sent to my room and sometimes my mom would slap me. My mom never missed a hit. Well, except from that one time when I was 16….and she threw the iron at me! It hit the door frame about 6 inches from my head. I try to believe she missed on purpose!
Sometimes I would wish that she had in fact, NOT missed!

She, my mom, once said to me:” I just want you to have some respect”. I was old enough and my adrenaline was pumping enough to answer back and say: ”I don’t get respect for people that hits me. Only fear”!
I go silent for a while… thinking about my mom and our turbulent relationship… I DO have some nice memories too though. They just seem to be less important. Or maybe it’s because those memories should’ve been the main ones. She read books aloud. She read a lot of books to me. I liked that a lot. I loved and still love books. We both sat in a big chair, me on her lap while she read some of the most famous child books and adventures. I loved adventures. My favorite was “The Never Ending Story” by Michael Ende. I could relate to Bastian. I’ve read it many times since in my adult life.

Going forward in my mind to present time again… We’re best friends now, my mom and I. I call her Mummi. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for me or my son. They too, have a very good relationship, which pleases me a lot. My mom has grown up I would say. Sometimes I even think of her as being cool! This makes me laugh, as I remember some specific episodes where she’s completely surprise me in a cool, funny and much unexpected way! Not so long ago she told me that she considered having a tattoo! She thinks mine are too big and she isn’t so keen of them or the knowledge that I most definitely haven’t had the last one yet!So you might understand my surprise when she told me. She said that if not for the sake of the tattoo itself, then just to provoke the rest of the narrow minded family, to whom her daughter has always been the black sheep in the flock. The misunderstood and misbehaving.
Now for that, she earns my respect.

We can actually talk about almost everything now, my mom and I. We just have to steer clear of the past. There’re still some issues where I never think she’ll be able to look at it from my point of view. Maybe it’s out of guilt. Maybe it isn’t. I’ll probably never get an answer to that.

Right now she’s having a hard time understanding and accepting that I’m in fact chronically sick. I’ve now had my 3rd diagnose through times and most likely the primary one. I suffer from a lifelong depression also referred to as: Chronically depression. I’m on my 3rd or 4th type of medication now and this time it’s, as described by Wikipedia, “The last resort”. A bit scary I might say and it’s got some very annoying and unpleasant side effects. But hey, there’s always a price you have to pay for health and happiness if you’re truly sick. I pay it willingly….
When I told my mom about my illness, she said: ”so for how long must you eat those pills”? I told her that I most likely had to, the rest of my life. She grew silent…….
She’s coming over for my birthday next week. Then we’ve agreed that she will go with me to a session with my psychiatrist though she’s a bit reluctant. Hmm…ok “a bit” might be an understatement. I think she’s afraid, that it’ll be about blaming her for my condition. I’ve assured her it’s not. I just need her to understand. And what might be even more important; how to deal with it.  He might be able to explain it all from a more professional and understandable way. I think she needs to hear it from someone with a bit more authority.
I hope…….

Session is over. Hours have past. My coffee cup has been empty quite some time and my mind is exhausted. Eyes still wet and swollen from crying. The phone rings. It’s the other photographer asking if we’re soon on our way back to the studio. Yes, we’ll be there shortly. And I have to go and pick up my son from preschool. I get up from the chair I’m now sitting in and get properly dressed to go outside. Back out into the real world. To present time. I dry my eyes and put on my “happy face”, grinning a bit to Pascal, my photographer for this session. Wow I say aloud. What an experience. You know I could go on much, much longer. All the stories I have, that you didn’t get to hear! But the past have been put away for now. Daily life continues.

It’s a cold and very windy day even though we’re in the beginning of august. I put on an extra sweater as we go outside and get in my car….

Thank you Pascal for listening to my stories with passion of people, and for the art of capturing true emotions. Thank you.