TW: depression, ED, and a lot of TL;DR.
I've never posted on The Couch, and I've never posted about my mental health on GT, but I honestly don't know who else I can talk to who would be sympathetic. I'm getting worried.
I've had a history of depression for as long as I can remember — I was in therapy as a kid for extremely low self-esteem (I was overweight and reminded often) and panic attacks that were often set off by a perception of "deja vu", but I was also inordinately obsessed with death and the idea that no one loved me. They did — rationally I knew they did — but it didn't make much of a difference. I truly and thoroughly hated myself.
As a teen, it definitely got worse and manifested in an ED. I drastically stopped eating, and tried to regurgitate what I did eat, and lost 30lbs. At first it felt great to be getting some positive attention, but it was definitely all-consuming, and eventually my family figured out something was wrong. I essentially stopped the purging after someone (mom? sister? can't remember) confronted me about it. My weight plateaued, and I probably did permanent damage to my metabolism.
I'm not going to recount every major depressive episode, but these ones I think are important as they still affect me now. Suffice it to say, I've had "major" depressive episodes every year or two for my whole adult life.
Since I've been through this routine a few times too many, I'm really in tune with my triggers. I know how it feels to start to feel "off" and I usually take steps to try to mitigate it as best I can. Sometimes it works, and I start to feel better. Sometimes, like now, it starts to spiral.
I'm sad. Deeply sad. I can still laugh at things, and I still feel happiness, but deep down I'm still sad. I hate myself. I feel fat. I've gained a few pounds over the last couple months because of my ankle injury, and I despise myself for it (see above re: ED. this is major for me). Almost every day I want to cry at some point, even though I haven't fallen into uncontrollable crying jags yet. The evil little voice in my head tells me I should just die. I'm not suicidal, and I've never taken any steps to kill myself, but I'm apathetic to being alive if that makes sense. I wish I could disappear and stop existing, but I don't want to actively stop it myself.
But what truly has me scared has been the frustration and tears that culminate in hurting myself. I don't cut — I pull my hair. Not all the way out — I just pull on it firmly til it hurts. I scratch myself. Once as a kid I scratched myself so bad during a crying fit that I had a scar on my arm for at least a year. I blamed it on a cat; I don't know who actually believed that. As an adult I knew to do it somewhere unseen, so I scratched my back — and took out little bits of flesh. This urge is back — in full force, as of Saturday — and I'm fucking scared.
I should've seen a therapist sooner, before I got here — I've been feeling my warning signs for months — but I never did it. Part of it is cost — I have great insurance, but co-pays add up fast. I've probably spent more than $100 on my ankle in the last two months just in co-pays. Part of it is time — between work and grad school I feel stressed enough as it is without having to try to schedule something regular. Part of it is laziness — do I really want to start to get to know another therapist, without knowing if we'll get on? I've done it so many times in my life, and it's exhausting.
But summer is coming, and I know that with idleness and loneliness come depression. If I already feel this bad now, how will I feel in a month when I'm home alone all day? I could drive the hour+ to go see my parents, and probably will, but that's only a couple days. And it's horrifying to be stuck in a body with a brain you don't trust.
I just... I feel like I'm disappearing. Me, my personality, my true self, is being eaten up by the monster in my head. And I'm scared and sad and I don't want to go down this path again but I think I'm already stuck on it.
This is pointless and I'm sorry, I'm just venting now. I'm honestly too scared to tell anyone, though I think my BF knows because, well, he's been on the receiving end of some of my mood swings.