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| February 13, 2016

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Music & Misery: Double Dating Music and Depression

The longest stable relationship I have in my life is with  depression. We’re going 22 years strong out of the mere 25 years of living outside of my mom’s womb and I’m gunning for another few decades of living together. I can depend on my depression (which has now manifested into personification) to emerge at the most convenient of life circumstances and hinder any normal human function necessary to, er, living.

Battling depression this long has made me battle-weary, I’m acutely aware of how I will need to prepare for each episode. I can feel the stirrings months before actually descending into full-blown, catatonic depressed Rupa (she’s a lot of fun to hang out with) and can usually curb the worst of it before I lose all functionality. But, at least once or three times a year, I can’t stop myself from burrowing into the belly of the beast.

When I’m finally really in it a number of fun things happen:

  • I sleep erratically
  • I can’t remember anything which isn’t an exaggeration – I can make myself a meal, eat it, and 20 minutes later completely forget what was consumed
  • Nothing gives me feelings of any kind. Joy, anger, sadness, neutrality, excitement, you name it and I will feel none of that. It’s a dense fog of emptiness where nothing can penetrate through
  • I watch a nauseating amount of anime and play videogames for hours on end and not engage with any of it
  • New music sounds even more dull than usual
  • All I play is sad music at parties

My best days are what most people would call their worst. I wake up at -50% and hope to hit 0 by the end of the day where others can go from 20~100%. The hardest part, though, is knowing that my long-term likelihood of getting to that +20% range is arduously slim. The more I hear from friends and strangers that I will win my fight and one day it will get better irritates me beyond the scope of rationality. Depression is my other half. We’re symbiotic, a cute couple, so cute even my ex-boyfriend was jealous of it.

The number-one part about being this depressed as an adult is that you can’t even do your job. My work entails writing about music, think pieces, listening to and analyzing new music, and attending events / shows. But I can’t do it. Everything gives me anxiety and I can’t write, absorb new music, and any normal activity seems bothersome. All I can do is listen to old(er) music that I already know is good and enjoyable and proceed to obsessively dance to witch house.

This recent bout of depression, though, is one of the most crestfallen I’ve had in years. I’m at a crossroads of being unsure about career paths, a yearning for scenery change, being a recent woke woman of colour and my place in a society I feel uncomfortable in, and siphoning out friendships which are unsupportive and unhealthy. Digesting life, circumstances completely out of my control, actual situations I can’t simply work through feels impossible. And sometimes, it is impossible.

That’s the thing with severe depression. Your worldview is distorted and normal life is perpetually five feet in front of you no matter how you approach it. Music is the embodiment of nostalgic exes and depression is that asshole who comes around a few times a year to wreak havoc and piss off everyone around me. I’m still figuring out the angles, but until then I’ll be over here, forcing myself to listen to music and write but also playing too many video games (ahem, watching anime). Find me on Playstation and so we can continue to be URL friends but please, I beg of you, do not look into my Hulu recommendations.

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