Activism · Feminism · Personal

Depression, Self-Worth, and Me

I realize there’s been a dearth of writing on my part in the recent weeks. My fingers have been frozen when it comes time to type. Political and personal (and the personal political) life has been bitter as of late and I let my despair get the best of me. I feel like a deer in the headlights. I am an introverted, depressed person, which can lead to a toxic mixture of self-imposed isolation and apathy. My couch has been my haven, with a chipper stream of sitcoms running on my television while I drift in and out of naps.

I look at The New York Times periodically through my work day and I am left emotionally zapped by quitting time. The book I’m reading during my lunch hour is about the working poor in United States, and my heart aches with every story of desperation and hopelessness. When I get home I work diligently at my second job for a few hours, maybe scarfing down some quick meal that isn’t good for my increasingly sloppy figure. When I take a shower I stare at the wall and try not to think.

I’m struggling to be an informed and active citizen while not feeling frustration, anger, and utter sadness at every turn. I’m fighting to be an activist amidst my own issues of self-worth. There are meetings I miss because I feel like I’ll just disappoint. There are protests I miss because the thought of being around people, being surrounded but feeling alone, is too much for me. I feel like a fraud and and a child, inept at every step. And, fuck, I feel like I come off as a weirdo when someone first meets me.

This is not a plea for pity. I’m not asking for forgiveness from my sins. I am well aware I am not living up to being the accomplice to people of color and the underprivileged that I need to be, and I am completely aware that this is privilege I possess, that I am a white woman from the middle class. I have no black sons who might be shot. I have easy access to birth control. I am being pretty shitty right now, and I need to turn that shit around fast.

The point of writing this is to demonstrate the need for self-care. I’ve overextended myself to the point where I completely inundated myself with current events. I’ve become so entangled that I snap at people when they say something I disagree with (particularly problematic when that person is pretty liberal and could probably be persuaded to my line of thinking with a simple discussion). I’ve become kind of a miserable person at times.

But I struggle how to do this. Binge-watching television isn’t self-care but my depression sometimes entraps me. I went to Disney with my parents, and instead of just enjoying my time with family, letting my batteries recharge, I felt guilty for missing The March for Science. Instead of working on my painting, my defeatist inner voice asks me, what’s the point? Even as I’m writing this, I’m sure it’s going to come off as a Live Journal entry written by a moody 16 year-old Heather.

I need to start running again. I need to read occasionally for pleasure, not just for knowledge. I need to create and find my inspiration. And I think the first step in that direction is acknowledging that my depression has derailed my intentions. I know when that dark cloud materializes in my brain, and there is a tiny sliver of me that looks in from the outside and is just so annoyed that this is happening again. I need that sliver to grow stronger and flush that dark cloud out.

Maybe I’m hoping to find others with these feelings, who feel their failings acutely while dismissing their wins as nothing. Maybe we can all hold each other accountable and help each other up.



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