I’m in M’s office sitting on a black couch looking at the horse picture on her wall. I’ve just described my current mood as depressed but when she asks for details on what I mean by that I am unable to define it any further in the moment. We pause in silence for a second, I’m trying to figure out what makes ‘depressed’ a more appropriate word than ‘sad’ or ‘overwhelmed’ and while I feel those things too, I literally feel like the force gravity has doubled and I am being squashed. Perhaps ‘pressed’ is more accurate than ‘depressed’ but I’m unable to find the words to articulate any of that so I say nothing.
“Tell me about hope” M says. “It’s a four letter word beginning with H” I reply avoidently. Fucking hope. What is it with shrinks and the word ‘hope’? I’m aware ‘hopelessness’ is one of those suicide red flag feelings but I doubt M is red flag hunting, we have an agreement due to the whole years of chronic suicidal ideation thing in that we need to be completely honest with her about where we’re at and she will choose to trust us and not lock us in the loony bin all willy nilly.
It took a fair while for us, okay me in particular, to trust her on that, but 6years in we’ve been honest and she hasn’t had us committed, so she’s earned my trust and in turn I won’t break my promises to her either. In my opinion being trusted like that helps keep us ‘safe’ (*gag* God I hate that word) because we don’t ever want to let her down, get her into trouble or be the cause of additional unwanted paperwork.
Where was I? Hope. So what is hope? Hope about what? I have general hope… Like I hope my kids grow up to be happy functioning adults. I hope that humanity will get it’s shit together one day, although the glass is less than half full on that one. Personal hope? Like in what way? Define the question please. I have short term hope sure, like I hope I get a close car park at the shop – I have a pessimistic attitude that I probably won’t but I guess I still hope I do.
But long term hope? Well that kind of implies you have a future. I don’t know that I have a future. Assuming we don’t knock ourselves off intentionally then cancer is lining up to do the job. Besides, the future hasn’t exactly been something we’ve coveted. As soon as we are given ‘hope’ in regards to remission from the cancer the suicidal thoughts creep back in from under the floorboards.
From experience I find that Hope just leaves you open to disappointment…
I guess thinking about it, I’ve definitely been way more hopeless. I mean when one is at rock bottom then you’re not even thinking positively enough to think about hope, everything’s too shit. If anything you’re hoping for a sudden end to all your emotional pain that isn’t too physically painful. That being said, when you start digging to sub rock bottom actively suicidal level you stop even caring if it’s painful and the only hoping you’re doing is hoping that it works.
I guess hope is a spectrum. Yes I’ve definitely been worse. Does this mean I don’t qualify as depressed at the moment? Do I want to qualify as depressed? Is that why I used that word? Why? That label wouldn’t really fix/ change/ mean anything. It’s not like that would allow new magical access to antidepressants or something, M would probably prescribe them if I asked, but I don’t want them.
I’m suddenly aware that a chunk of time has passed and 99% of this conversation has apparently taken place in my head, but we have seemingly still been talking to M, must have half switched out or something. Therapy sessions are pretty much always fuzzy and disjointed. I still think ‘depressed’ feels like the right describing word for how I personally feel. I’m still not sure how I currently define hope or at what point the death of hope becomes the death of self.
This happened a while ago, probably several months but I’m not great with time and I found this written in my drafts folder. It still applies though. I’ve been busy with life stuff, but still feel “depressed” in general. I don’t think this feeling necessarily applies to all the others in our cohort but it’s my perspective.
I’m a little frustrated because I’m aware we have been having weekly sessions with M, but mostly phone ones (thanks Covid) and I feel like I haven’t actually gotten to talk to her properly in ages. We saw her a week or so back and she’d moved offices which made it oddly difficult to get into any sort of mental space to talk, though I don’t know what I even want to talk about other than ask her about our hospital admission notes from 2015 that we had sent to her sometime last year.
I don’t know if she’s talked about them with one of the others or not but I really want to know what they say and keep forgetting to ask! Memory issues are a right pain in the ass.