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My struggle with depression


Fuzz

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Depression sucks, and it's a bitch to explain. I've struggled with varying levels of depression since 2005. While I've had my low points of actually feeling sad and helpless, I've also recovered from those to feel amazing highs like last year when I was able to lose 40 pounds from March - June in 2012. I was eating healthy (very healthy), exercising daily (no exceptions), and started taking anti-depressants (Zoloft, well actually it's non-name-brand equivalent Sertraline). I felt better than I had in over a decade of my life. Then in June I started thinking "I've done so amazingly well, I deserve to have some celebratory fast-food" and so began my downward spiral of stopping exercise and daily fast-food trips.

Depression is incredibly destructive. I started eating shitty food every single day, I gained back the 40 pounds I had lost, I stopped going out with friends and just started lounging around in a pitiful show of anti-social introversion.

I've never been an out-going guy to begin with. I don't like being in social groups. Over the years I've flown across the United States for various Green Day events and had a blast. But every single time I've nearly backed out because I have a near-phobia of being around people. I'm not scared of people, I'm just more comfortable alone and have trouble forcing myself to take the leap and get out. However, once I get on the plane and actually get somewhere I'm happy to be there and have had some of the best moments of my life meeting with Green Day fans and some of the incredible friends I've made through GDC throughout the years. But getting there is never as simple as it should be.

That introversion is only amplified when i'm struggling with depression. I'm the type of person who hates to do anything if I don't feel like I deserve it, and these days I don't feel like I deserve much. Since December I've worked on GDA full-time. This is my job. I've left school, I stopped working at the university and have tried to focus only on GDA. But when depression strikes (not coincidentally with my terrible eating habits), I don't get work done. Over the last 3 months I've done not nearly as much as I should have, and it's hard to explain why.

I feel like I constantly let the team down. Almost everyone here volunteers their time for their love of Green Day, these sites, or the community, and I don't hold up my end of the deal. It's not about being too hard on myself either, I think I'm reasonably self-aware. I don't do enough. I consider myself a "busy idiot", something Gordon Ramsey used in one of his TV shows talking about a restaurant manager who was always very busy, but never doing anything useful.

Thankfully since I started talking anti-depressants, my depression doesn't show itself as sadness. I don't hate my life or wallow in self-despair. These days it's more of a stressful apathy. I feel like there's so much to do that I end up doing none because I don't have the motivation to get it done. And explaining that to anyone is near impossible. I know what I need to do to change (eat healthy, try to exercise, do some fucking work), but I don't. Why? I DON'T KNOW. I just can't get myself to do it. I don't understand what it is.

Team members send me messages saying "hey, can we do this, should we this?" and I don't reply. Why? I don't know. I just don't feel like talking to anyone. It stays on my mind for a while about what people want to do, and I feel a little overwhelmed but I never do it. I never take action. I know that if I did I wouldn't feel as stressed out. Running these sites isn't that tough with some action, but I don't do it and that apathy or lack of motiviation is really what's bothering me the most.

These days my escape is SimCity. Just like World of Warcraft back in 2007, SimCity allows me to escape for a few (dozen) hours. I don't have to think about anything happening in the real world. I just focus on my fake city, and my fake sims, and trying to fix things there. I could spend that time working, and I should. But I don't.

I don't know how to fix it. I mean, I know how to fix my depression (as mentioned above), I just don't know how to fix the apathy and lack of motivation (which is the root cause of my depression to begin with). Every day that goes by I just feel like I'm doing almost nothing, because I'm not.

Fuck.

15 Comments


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Sarcasm

Posted

Prepare for the huggie-touchy-feely comments.

Call me, we'll cry it out together<3 I love your wording, stressful apathy is something I can relate to.

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Dirntbag

Posted

I can really relate to this and I think I get what you're trying to explain.

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Hero_Of_The_Hour

Posted

...Seriously thank you for writing this. Practically every single thing you wrote is my life for the past nine years...except I crash diet/starve myself in a lame attempt to feel I have control over some aspect of my life...after a few weeks I feel worse, stop and always know it was pointless. But really everything...right down to the Sims...and it's hard to read. Thanks for having the courage.

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Undómiel

Posted

Andres, I know we're not close and I know a few words doesn't even begin to scrape the surface but just so you know, me (and I'm sure I speak for the team here as well) are here to listen if you need it, and we can be as patient as you like. I hope it helps that people around you are here waiting if you need us...

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lizziebix

Posted

I don't have the right words as I'm not familiar with depression. However, you do have friends here. And a team that is here to support you in any way you need. Always.

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GreenRanger

Posted

Oh jeez, I don't consider myself depressed, but I can definitely relate with a lot of what you said. I get these big ambitions and never actually sit down and work on them. I hate the anxiety before doing something social, but feel good about doing it once I'm doing it. And boy do I know how to waste time, spending hours on YouTube and Facebook even when there's nobody on and all the new videos of the day have been watched. Sometimes it hits me that I'm not actually doing anything, and even then I can't get myself to do anything. So in a weird sort of way, I kind of know how you feel...and I certainly didn't expect to. I know this isn't a particularly helpful comment, but I don't like saying what people have already said, even if I mean it myself too, which in this case i do.

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LazyPhil

Posted

I know what you're feeling, I'm struggling with depression too, I even take anti-depressants

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NowhereBound

Posted

I feel exactly the same way. You hit the nail on the head when you said, "Stressful apathy." That's hard to convey to people who've never experienced it, but I know what it feels like. I've secluded myself from all my friends and I don't know why. I wish I could say something to make you feel better, but I really can't when I myself am trying to work through it. Just know you're not the only one feeling this way.

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Fuzz

Posted

Thank you all for the replies. It's somehow helpful just typing it all out and know others can relate to it. Thanks to those of you offering your support and those of you who can just relate to what I wrote. Both are incredibly meaningful to me and I appreciate it.

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pasalaska

Posted

While I've never had to deal with depression myself, I can relate to much of what you wrote, especially the paralysing introversion and the lack of motivation when things start to pile up. Just know that the people on this forum care about the community here, including you, our fearless, but not infallible leader. It's okay to be human, and your health and happiness always comes before GDA and GDC. We're all here to support you if and when you want or need it.

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Boy do I know exactly how you feel. I've spent years going up and down through depression and can relate to the utter hopelessness that entails along with it. I also know that lack of motivation to fix it, as you come to a point where is you no longer care if it gets fixed and all you want to do is stay in bed and forget the world. You know what makes you happy, but you no longer care if you are happy. Total hopelessness...that's the best way I have found to describe it. Also, just as you, I used to take Zoloft, or rather the generic brand, and while it helped me for a while, it would come to points where it would mess with my head just as bad as the depression. I would then stop taking it, feel better for a bit before crashing...HARD. I would have constant breakdowns and feel so out of control. For the longest time I thought I was crazy as well. My question is whether or not you're still on Zoloft, as that may actually be part if the issue. I know it ended up being worse than before I was taking it. I also know a lot of people who have done good on it before it screws with them, just as it did me. I ended up moving to Lexapro and it made a big difference. I would talk to your doctor about switching meds. You are definitely not alone and I know what it's like to be depressed and how hard it is, so I hate seeing others go through it and always try to help those who are going thought it in any way I can.

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Hermione

Posted

I can relate to a lot of this. I don't really have any advice but know that a lot of us understand and the team is always here to support you. As for the site, you've already made it awesome to the point that it stays awesome even if you take a break, things keep going fine. You can always take as long as you need, your wellbeing is far more important and there's never any need to feel guilty about it on our account. I wouldn't have the courage to write my feelings down like this, I think it's a really great and positive thing that you do and I really appreciate it.

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justcause

Posted

K, rule of thumb with stuff that feels like it's piling up and psychically burdening you is dump it, forget about it, and do the next thing that's put in front of you. That's efficient, and creates a much better energy for your work.

I don't care about your admin stuff - as Hermione said, you've got the site at a point where it pretty much ticks over, and there's a good team to take care of the day to day stuff. What I do care about is seeing you on here - I miss you when you're not around, and I love it when I see you posting on whatever the fuck. Maybe you should take an official break for a month or something, and just come on here as a regular member of the community, no responsibility, just have some fun with all the rest of us. :)

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ha, yeah, I understand this. ironically enough, I stay on here, because I don't have motivation to do anything else. I'm not sure what to suggest, but when someone force me to do something, it does feel better. I don't know why I can't get motivation to continue doing it, either. you're not the only one who has this problem :D

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