Conditional Corner is a series that runs Fridays on TSParentsOnline. All stories, including this one by Vrinda Pendred, were originally published at Conditional Publications.
I am 35 years old. I have been diaganosed with Major Depression since I was 21. I spent my 21st birthday in the hospital. Most days I can handle it well. But when something changes too much in my life, it’s hard for me to deal with that.
Example: my SSDI check and my hubby’s check have been cut because of the goverment. There is no funding to pay the insurance for our meds. So they have taken a total of $261 from our collective check. Now they say they are on the way to getting it back to us but we haven’t heard anything yet.
So how I deal with it is I watch a lot of TV. TV has always been an outlet for me. Even when I was a kid and there would be a lot of yelling going on and verbal abuse in the house, I would turn to TV. It soothed me and made me feel like my problems were going away. To this day it does the same for me. The only difference now is that when I’m done watching TV I am so down that I want to do nothing.
I used to clean my home all the time and that gave me some sense of accomplishment, but now it’s even hard for me to get the laundry done. Then there are times just like tonight where I was helping my hubby cook dinner – we made beef stew and I was chopping the veggies for it and I was getting anoyed because all I wanted to do was watch TV.
I was upset because I had just gone small grocery shopping and was telling my hubby that it took a lot for me to buy some cheap pillows – a two-pack at the Family Dollar on sale for $4. It upset me to buy it because I was worried about how much money it was and if it was really important to get. My thought was: did I need this and could this $4 go to something else like food or gas? I started crying about it and felt bad about it.
I try to pull my self out of this a lot. I usually can with prayer but something is different now. I don’t know if I need a med change or just a change in my routine. I struggle with the thought that if people found out I had a mental illness, they would not want to be around me anymore. This excludes my hubby and my closest friends.
Some days I agree with what one of my sisters thinks of people like me – that we are just lazy and need to get a job. I have tried this and the pressure is too much. I have even tried college and it was the pits. I drove myself nuts trying to learn math. It got to a point where I was literally hitting myself in the head.
Now the others thing that gives me a release from this stress is picking at any sores I have on my body. The stress I feel when I get real bad is sometimes unbearable. Like today, I was continually thinking of how we are going to pay for food this month and take care of our animals – thinking over and over again: where is this money going to come from?
I wish I could be one of these people who are working and still have mental illness. When I hear others are working, I then again feel like I’m useless and say to myself, “See, this person has the same illness and is working. You are just lazy.”
I am my own worst enemy. I can do more mental harm to myself than anyone else. I am like a sponge sometimes, where I can’t fight the negative and I am in a spiralling fall and I can’t stop it. I wish I could turn this illness off and that my emotions were better under control.