How the f*ck does anyone with depression get anything done? Stupid question, I know. It’s been about 3 weeks since my doc altered my meds. While I’ve felt *some* relief, last night I found myself sobbing again. I can’t say it was for no reason…kind of a “what have I done with my life” kinda thing. I’m in my early 40’s, so it’s not like my life is over, but when I look back on what should have been my most productive years, the years I could have gotten a healthy start on the dreams I had as a youth, I see one regret after another, stacking on top of each other until I’m crushed by the weight of them. I wanted to make movies, so I studied film in college. A college in California or New York? Nope. North Texas. I was so out of touch with the film department that I didn’t even know they were filming a major motion picture, ON MY CAMPUS, until all they needed for the project was extras. Did I sign up, even for that? Nope. I flunked out of my film class (couldn’t for the life of me figure out the technical specs of camera operation). Graduated with a C+ average, and promptly moved to…Oklahoma. What the actual f*ck.
For years after, I told everyone, and myself, that I did it so I could spend time with my aging grandparents, who lived there. While I AM grateful I got that time with them (I miss them all dreadfully now), it was a chickenshit move. I worked for a crappy TV station that rebroadcast old John Wayne movies at 3am and sold second-hand junk on live tv. Even though the job sucked, I grew in it and learned I was a good boss, and could be an asset in the tv industry. So, where did that lead? To me being fired by a sociapathic boss who, I discovered, had a pattern of mistreating his employees, then accusing them of theft so he had an excuse to fire them for gross misconduct. I actually had to hire an attorney and threaten to sue him to get him to return my property and stop lying. So, there went that reference. The experience so shattered me, I experienced my first panic attacks. I moved back to Texas and attempted once, just once, to get a job at a tv station, but didn’t have the confidence to make it through the interview without the interviewer, quite sympathetically, telling me I should have more confidence in myself.
So I became an admin. Yeah, because that position is great for the ego. I saved up enough to move to California, ostensibly to work in film. I spent 2k on Avid editing classes, then promptly took a job as…an admin. Fear wins again. I took an acting class, and was impressive enough to my teacher she invited me and just two others to join her advanced class. So, did I go on auditions? Nope. I let the fact that I was 30 pounds overweight stop me. See, in my acting classes, both the beginner and the advanced, I noticed my teacher had a tendency to always cast me as the mother, the comic relief, the sister, etc. She never cast me as the ingenue. That role she always gave to the (really very sweet) pretty girl who at one time boasted less than 5% body fat. Another crush to the ego.
I had always enjoyed writing, and had written a few screenplays in my time. I even had a table reading once with some of my friends from the acting class. My brother, himself an independent filmmaker, told me he felt I was just one or two passes away from a great script. Did I heed his advice and try to edit it? Nope. I continued as an admin, and eventually spent more time drinking than even considering my dreams anymore.
I’ve been sober for 6+ years now. A combination of a back injury, drinking myself to oblivion and feeling I’m sh*t personified left me now 100 pounds overweight. Another ego boost. I’m married to a man that adores me and we have a beautiful daughter. I’m no longer an admin…I’m now an account manager. An insurance broker. It bears repeating….what the actual f*ck. I moved to California in my late 20’s. I’m now in my early 40’s. Depression has me by the throat. I’ve lost some weight, but spending most of my downtime in my darkened bedroom doesn’t exactly burn up calories. My brother thinks I should take more creative risks. How can I do that when I can’t bring myself to get out of bed? The only thing that gets me out of bed these days is going to work (when I can manage) and my daughter’s requests for food.
Truth is, it can be traced further back than just missed opportunities in college. What I want to know is, how come, as (sadly) prevalent as child abuse has become in our society, how come there are survivors of it who seemingly overcome it, and others, like me, who let it serve as a weight around our neck, forever holding us back?
I’ll feel better once I overcome the past and my regrets, but am so beaten down at this point, I can barely function. How do I get off this merry-go-round?