Yesterday sucked at first. I slept for 15 hours the previous night, which is unprecedented. I felt so disoriented when I awoke. Before I even managed to make my bed, the Depression Monster ambushed me and stapled me to the floor. I could almost feel the crushing weight holding me down. I wept, while mentally tripping over how quickly I fell into utter despair.
The depth frightened me enough that I started packing a bag to get the fuck out of South Dakota. (It’s not safe to exist here while in a mental health crisis, even for white people. 😱) South Dakota doesn’t differentiate between a criminal and someone with mental illness. Either way, you’re at an extremely high risk of being handcuffed and hauled off against your will by the police.
There’s no such thing as a mental illness when you have brown skin at the Sioux Falls VA; it’s considered deliberate misbehavior, which is subject to punishment. I know. I need to move. It’s difficult because I feel quite protective of my neighbors. While they likely wouldn’t notice my absence, it would feel like a dereliction of duty to me. (I really need to reprogram some of my military thought processes.)
One of these neighbors named their wifi connection, “God Emporer Trump.” Between that and witnessing unbelievably reckless behavior during a contagious pandemic, I’m absolutely getting over myself and any obligation to be an exceptional neighbor (who was trained for nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare by the US Army.) I still have nightmares from watching footage of soldiers suffering from mustard gas exposure, and worse.
Just recalling about how hard it was to clean a contaminated 2 1/2 ton vehicle while in protective gear makes me want to cry. You can’t see what you’re scrubbing away, so it’s an extremely tedious and precise process. My teenaged mind wanted to scream, “This is fucking futile! We should just take our gear off and accept we’re dead!” The movie Silkwood also made a strong impression. And Seveneves by Neil Stephenson.
Fortunately, despite bawling and trying to figure out how to flee without my
tracking device iPhone, my body went through the habitual motions of living with mental illness. I made my bed, took my meds and vitamins, and got on the treadmill to play World of Warcraft while listening to Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast.
One thing I adore about myself is that I can be downright suicidal, but if I hear something funny, I still laugh. I suspect it might be involuntary, or I’m just that basic, or whatever. I probably did a thousand pushups for laughing inappropriately while serving, but I never figured out how to stifle it. (The closest I can come is to exhale loudly while grinning.) I would starve to death if I chose acting as a career. Heh.
Laughing is the only way I know how to thwart a panic attack, too. Sona Movsesian did a Beavis and Butthead fake laugh to support Conan despite being unamused and was immediately called out for it. Conan assured her she’s under no obligation to laugh when she doesn’t feel like it. Her sincere laugh is fucking fabulous. I love that podcast so much.
Within that hour or so, the tears stopped. I did the daily world quests, then headed to Uldum to reputation grind. After I completed the three daily quests there, I stayed to help other players kill elite monsters since I’m a tank. I taunt the creature, so it attacks me while the fiercer but less armored toons destroy it. Blows that would kill them just tickle my toon. Heh. Unfortunately, it takes much longer to annihilate anything by myself. I’m okay with that.
I was shocked to feel only mildly low after getting off the treadmill. It felt like magic. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that depressed and regained homeostasis on the same day. I’m not sure what was going on, but I did miss some red flags. My appetite vanished before the long sleep, but I was too busy to notice. I’m glad I stick to my routine religiously.
I’ve never been a morning person, and it takes me a while to wake up. It makes programming habits into my morning’s easy peasy. I’m not really awake for it, so it’s never a chore. All the things I have to do daily, I do first thing in the morning, before I’m awake enough to resent it. It’s lovely knowing I’ve completed everything and can do what I want after.
Warcraft is the only game I’m playing these days. I quit my Apple gaming subscription because I never used it. Warcraft is so perfect for repeatedly failing, overcoming, and succeeding in the comfort of my own home. I don’t get upset when my toon is killed anymore. I just respawn and try again with a bit more knowledge on how to prevent it. I love that they’ve included puzzle challenges in the daily quests.
It’s more a tool than entertainment at this point, hence only playing while on the treadmill. It hasn’t improved my proclivity for falling off the world, though. I still die that way more than from accidentally stumbling across elite monsters while exploring. My gear score is high enough that only the highest level bosses pose any serious threat. (This is always temporary, as the new content due to be released soon will end that privilege.)
Today, I awoke to feel typical, if not a bit giddy. I still remember how I felt yesterday. I recall thinking it’s a good thing I don’t own a gun because it would be way too easy to act on my despair before working it out. I hate going from happy-go-lucky to OMG I can’t stand being alive for another second in what seems like a flip of a switch. But since this is life for me, I’m glad I live accordingly.
I’m weird about it, though. I worry about things like how to prevent giving PTSD to whoever finds my body. I always end up deciding to use a bathtub to drain out my blood in the least messy manner. I’ve seen dead bodies in horrific conditions and understand how even a glimpse stays with you forever. The only way I could deal with it was to pretend I was their mom’s surrogate. I’m sure this is why I don’t have PTSD over it. I got it from being raped by a fellow soldier.
I think PTSD happens when you can’t imagine the trauma, and it fucks up your ability to process it. I clearly remember the day in basic training when the drill SGT’s told us three out of ten of us will be raped. I laughed and thought if anyone tried, I would fucking kill them. I fully believed this right up until it happened to me. Then I clearly recall being astonished by how physically weak I was in comparison to the average man.
I thought since I could beat up my brother, who was two years older, I could protect myself. I didn’t understand the fact my brother held back whenever we engaged, and I forgot we stopped doing that altogether by the time I was 12. We figured out talking made physical altercations unnecessary. The shock and inability to imagine the scenario tore my brain.
I also think it prevented my PTSD from doubling down when my ex-husband stopped taking meds and lost his fucking mind. It terrified me being hunted for so long by someone who had elite military forces training. Especially since nobody would fucking believe me at first. That was an intense mind fuck on top of everything. But I’ve never experienced that level of shock again. Instead, I got extremely good at surviving.
I’m still awed I survived. There’s some severe trauma involved, but it didn’t tear my brain again. Sometimes, it scares me that I’m not more fucked up from it. But then I remember it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I used every skill and drew from all my training and experience. I was too hyper-focused on staying alive to do anything but strategize and keep moving.
I had to live moment by moment and never look back for so long it became a habit. The hard part was stopping. Living here for over 8 years is an accomplishment because it’s so hard not to abandon everything and flee every time I get triggered. I don’t booby trap the entrances anymore. I sleep in my bed and have for over two years now. It felt so vulnerable for years to lay down without being in a closet with a taser.
I can’t say more because it’s still pretty easy to trigger myself. I’ve come a long way since those horrible times. Also, fuck everyone who made it worse by not believing me, humiliating me, and mentally abusing me when I asked for help. If I were as vile, you’d be so dead. I guess, thanks for teaching me how to feel indifferent toward people who don’t see me as human.
I love too quickly and don’t know how to unlove, but indifference is the opposite of love. I’m so glad I now have that ability as it’s a necessary survival tool on this planet. But fuck you so hard, you evil pieces of shit. I didn’t believe in demons until I had to rely on the Sioux Falls VA hospital for mental health intervention. I’m so strong now I’ll never have to do that again. Yay, all day. Fuckers. Heh.