"The worst part is, there’s no one else to blame"

Difficult day today.

I went to class. I realized halfway through that I can no longer stand being inside the amphitheater. Anybody would get depressed if they were inside an amphitheater for 2 years in a row, with the same people and situations. That’s why I’ll be skipping class tomorrow. I’d much rather stay at home than have suicidal thoughts and be cold inside an amphitheater.

It’s been especially difficult these last few days to interact with friends. I’ve been closing in on myself and my issues and isolating myself. It literally hurts to smile and I find myself hating my friends for wanting me to be with them. I know they care very much about me, but that little voice belonging to depression keeps telling me: “Stay alone. Isolate yourself. It’s not worth it.” You know when they describe depression as a gray cloud hovering above you? That’s how I feel today. But I know I have to push through. It’s tempting to listen to the little voice, but I can’t allow myself to indulge in it.

About med school, today one of the lectures was about hypothyroidism. At one point, the PowerPoint slide the lecturer was showing was about the different symptoms of hypothyroidism and how it can mimic other disorders. Among the list was depression. I looked at the word and it seemed to turn into a neon sign. It always happens whenever depression is mentioned in class. It feels like an unexpected slap in the face. Plus, the lecturer was mentioning the symptoms of depression at one point and she just skimmed over them like it was a recipe. I felt insulted and kept thinking: “Do you even know what it feels like? Having pain seeping through your pores, being cold all the time, being so weak you fear having a car accident whenever you drive, feeling useless and pushing everyone away because you only find solace in solitude and sleep? Do you really know?” It’s not the first time this happens, and I’m sure it will keep happening.

I had therapy with M today and it left me feeling bittersweet. I felt I came across as superficial and uncooperative. Really, M has a lot of patience with me. I thank her times a million for that. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much from the session. Depression seems to have taken away my memory, among other things.

M noticed the cuts on my arm from this past week. She seemed genuinely worried and maybe even a little frustrated. I asked her what she thought whenever she saw my cuts. Her response was that me cutting means there is something we are not addressing in therapy. It means I have an internal pain, a problem, that we are not addressing, and the way for me to express the pain that that problem causes is to cut. She said it means there is still a lot to work on in my treatment. She seemed genuinely frustrated, it almost made me cry because it meant she cares about me.

M asked me if I could make a commitment to not cut for at least a month. I said yes. I really hate cutting, I don’t want to keep doing it. I already removed the blades from my desk and made a serious commitment with myself. Let’s see how that goes. 

I don’t understand myself. I honestly want to get better, I do. However, I keep indulging in these behaviors that cause me more harm than good. My irrational brain still trumps my rational side, and I feel like a failure because of it. I feel I can’t even do therapy right.

I also showed M “the List” (see this previous post). I initially gave her my journal so that she would read the list herself, but she made me read it out loud instead. I felt terrible reading it, ashamed. However, M told me she made me read it instead of her because she didn’t want to reinforce the things that I had written in the list. Of course, had she read the list it would have made me feel like crap and possibly have a “black and white thinking moment” with her. I thanked her for being so considerate and thinking ahead.

What she told me about the list was that just because those are the things I think about myself, it doesn’t mean they’re true. She said that the way I perceive myself is absolutely transient and depends completely on what my emotions are at the moment, which is why the list is misleading. For example, if I’m in a crappy mood, I’ll probably have a negative self-image, while a positive mood results in a positive self-image. I have to remember that the list only describes what I think about myself depending on my mood, not what I truly am.

I truly admire M, I really do. She’s wise beyond her years. Unfortunately, like I said, I don’t remember much from the session and I didn’t have a chance to write down my thoughts immediately afterwards because I had class. I hope that when I’ll be a doctor, I’ll be like M.

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