It’s hard to write about depression in ways that non-depressed people will understand. I’ve been spending a lot time with a friend lately who has never suffered from The Big Suck, and he just doesn’t get it. Frankly, it’s starting to piss me off—his stupid “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or “it helps me just to get up and get shit done” attitude, and it’s been making me avoid him like the plague. I can tell he just doesn’t get it, and my patience for having to explain myself to people right now is fucking nil.
I mean shit, what do you want me to say? That it’s been so long since I’ve mustered up the energy to shower that this morning I discovered that my pubes had rebelled and formed themselves into one long dreadlock in the middle of my crotch, like some angry Vagina Unicorn, ready to poke anyone’s eye out should they happen to look upon me and even remotely find me fuckable? That I’ve been subsisting on a steady diet of bourbon and coconut ice cream—sometimes one poured directly on top of the other—and have long ago started considering the coconut as a “fruit” in my balanced diet? That when my wife makes the very reasonable request to clean out the cat’s shitbox, I view it as a chore akin to working in a diamond mine seven miles down in the belly of the Congo?
All of this Suck is back again courtesy of that cunt, Chronic Pain. All summer long my feet have been the worst they’ve been in a while. I’ve been back in flip flops a lot, which is likely part of the problem, so I got my ass online and Mama ordered herself some orthopedic shoes! Guess what? If you’re depressed, searching for orthopedic shoes online isn’t going to be the thing that brings sunshine and light to your day. Jesus Christ on a rolling bagel, that shit is bleak my friends. It looks a lot like this:
May I interest you in the Quasimodo model?
But I finally found a site that isn’t for nurses and hunchbacks and ordered myself three pairs of shoes. Thank god for delayed tax returns because specialized shoes ain’t cheap, as I’m sure we can all imagine. Because why not kick a girl when she’s down? I’m waiting for them in the mail, but once again, I try not and get my hopes up. The other thing about heading into my NINTH YEAR of peripheral neuropathy is that I’ve tried fucking everything at this point. I’ve gotten my hopes up so many times that I just don’t even bother anymore. Best I can hope for is something that mildly eases the pain and doesn’t leave my feet screaming at the end of the day.
Right now it’s Tuesday and my feet are still recovering from last Thursday when I took a trip to lunch, the grocery store, then spent three hours on my feet cooking dinner for friends in my kitchen. Right after dinner, I was in such pain, I had to go straight to bed and medicate myself with Vicodin and weed until I could fall asleep. Then I spent most of Saturday, Sunday, and yesterday in bed, recovering, doing nothing but scrolling through Facebook for eight hours each day, reading about how horrible the world is and how shitty people are to one another.
I know, I should get out in the sunshine and exercise, right? I can’t. Exercise is out of the question. I should definitely get off Facebook, off my iPad entirely. Yes, I get that too. Go outside! Read a book! It’s like all of the the depression advice mimics my mother. Walking hurts. Concentrating is difficult. Hell, I have a hard time even watching a TV show at this point, let alone focusing on a two-hour movie. Fuck reading a novel. I don’t even remember the last time I read one, and I used to read two books a week, easy.
What do you do when everything you used to love becomes meaningless or impossible? You scroll through social media feeds because they match what’s happening in your brain—ping! ping! shit! fuck! ow! ping! cat video!
Or is it the other way around? Does the rapid-fire scroll of a Facebook feed train my brain to focus on nothing and feed the pain in my feet? Who the fuck knows anymore? All I know is that all the doctors I’ve seen in the past nine years have not been interested in the least in helping me solve this problem. As my wife—who, god bless her, has sat through every single one of these fucking appointments with me, has said over and over again—“I can see the moment on every doctor’s face as you’re telling your story that they give up on you.” If they can’t solve it in the fifteen minutes I’m allotted, their faces gloss over, and they’ve already forgotten me. Peripheral neuropathy isn’t sexy; no one’s spending big research dollars on it even though millions of people suffer from it.
I used to be out in the world, in it, of it, sucking it up, making people look at me, gobbling up new experiences as fast as the world could throw them at me, perched in the center of it all, a bottle of whiskey in one hand, a cigarette in the other, hair on fire, screaming LOOK AT ME WORLD, LOOK AT ME IN ALL OF MY GLORY.
Now I’m white girl with dreaded pubes in orthopedic shoes posting angry rants on Facebook.
Sorry y’all, apparently today is a pity-party day.