Similarities, “Dexter” and Depression

I recently started watching the series “Dexter”. I find lately that I can’t make it through a 2 hour movie with any focus so I have been watching tv series. Without the commercials I can usually make it through an episode without more than 3 or 4 pauses to pace or wander the house or scroll facebook for a mental break. Depression is great for messing with mental focus and attention span.
I am only a few episodes into the first season but I have noticed a disturbing yet not surprising connection between how I feel every day and how Dexter describes himself and his inner “feelings” I use that term in quotations because he accurately and succinctly describes his utter lack of feelings as what makes him the way he is. He is a sociopath and a serial killer. There are actually a lot of similarities…
Depression has made me into someone that I don’t recognize. I have character traits and behaviour patterns that aren’t “me”. I force myself to go and out very rarely actually want to socialize or be part of an event or get together. I make myself go and I make myself make plans with people because I should and because my therapists and my friends and common sense all tell me it’s good for me. I can’t just sit at home and isolate myself; that’s not healthy. So, I go out with friends and I attend parties and social events and I try my best to be “normal”. I smile when I’m supposed to, laugh at jokes when it’s appropriate, nod and “hmmmm” when it’s the right time in the conversation. All the while my conscious mind is calculating and analyzing and finding my “feelings” lacking. They just aren’t there. It’s like I am dead inside and there is nothing there where it all used to be. I look around and feel the enormity of detachment between myself and everyone else around me. I feel the loss of the connections that I used to feel and that I know I should… but it’s all cold now.
I know that by writing this I run the risk of a large number of my friends saying “fuck it” and walking away from me for good. I am quickly getting a reputation as someone who doesn’t follow through or who cancels plans last minute and I completely understand why. I keep trying to force myself to be “normal” and my ability to keep dates with friends is tenuous at best. When I do make it out, I find now that in groups I am quieter and less involved. My desires to engage in activity are almost non-existent so I hang back and just observe. I am constantly encouraged by people to just keep coming out, that my company and my energy is welcome and missed and that I am wanted but I feel like I am not adding anything of value to any get together, so why bother?
I find at times that I’m lonely. Yet I also don’t want company. I can’t face the energy it takes to even just be in the same room with someone. I have wonderful friends who I know want nothing of me other than for us to spend time together but the truth is that it take so much out of me to try to be even remotely “normal” that it’s exhausting…and I feel like I am a fake and that’s not fair to my friendships. I have few close connections with people and they are sporadic based on my ability to connect – which is not very consistent or reliable. For me to be truly “me” right now around someone is not well accepted most times. People want to make me happy or at least make me less sad … and while I appreciate that, it places huge pressure on me to BE less sad or to be happy around them so that they are validated that they did want they set out to do. I hate letting other people down and I hate making other people uncomfortable so when I know someone who I’m out for coffee with or a walk just wants to know that they have left me better than when they found me that day… I feel like I have to oblige. The option is, be honest, tell them that while I may have enjoyed our time together, that no, sorry, I’m not feeling better… I’m not able to see the light at the end of the tunnel now…that leads to me turning down future attempts to meet up or get together because I just can’t face the pressure of what they need from me.
Now this may sound like I never have an enjoyable time with friends or that I never have fun when I go out but that’s not true. I do…but it is rare and fleeting. I may have a blink of a moment of a sincere laugh at a joke or a 5 minute conversation that clicks and I connect with a friend and I feel good. I may have a walk at lunch with a new friend who doesn’t have that pressure aimed at me – who just is with me and me with her as we talk and walk and I DO feel better at the end of the walk… I do sometimes look forward to a coffee date or a movie … It does happen, but those moments are the exceptions. I keep hearing that eventually those exceptions will become more and the cold, detached times will become less and the balance will tip and I will “feel” again.
It’s hard to see that most days though. But I try… I try so hard to keep dates and go to get togethers and not feel worse after because of not feeling anything at all.
To my friends, those newer and those who have been with me longer… to each of you read this… Those of you who know me, really know me, know that I am not cold and detached and emotionless – I am far from that … I’m making my way back… I just need time and space to get there. Hugs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s