I have gone a couple of months now without medication. It’s been rough.
My therapist asked me a little while ago how I’ve kept going. She wanted to know what coping mechanisms I have and what things help. My response was that I tend to be angry.
I’m not angry quite like The Hulk. He has sudden, deathly rages.
Instead, I am much more like She-Hulk. I have an almost constant anger simmering underneath the surface.
I’m not angry at anything specifically. It’s a general anger at the whole world that keeps me buoyed up and from feelings of hopelessness. It’s not ideal, but it’s a lot better than wallowing in purposelessness. It’s not great for building relationships or having inner peace, but I wasn’t doing well on either of those things anyway.
But that’s only one coping mechanism I have. The second one is a lot better: having hope.
I don’t know why, but talking about hope seems kind of dorky to me. But hope is a fascinating thing. If you believe that things will get better in the future, you live your current life accordingly.
When I’m being She-Hulk, my “hope” is really a set of wishes for what I want the future to be:
1) I want to laugh more than I cry.
2) I want to do karate every day.
3) That’s it. Now leave me alone.
It makes me even more angry that I would be happy if I could just do those things, but I am completely unable to.
When I’m not trying to make myself more angry than necessary, I instead think about who I was in the past. It’s hard to remember what I used to be like before depression. I have found that remembering good things from the past give me hope that good things will come in the future. I remember that I am still that person and someday I can be that person again. Everything else will fall in place after that.
I recently read through all of the notes I got from peers and parents when I was a part of a speech club for three years. It was remarkable. Apparently everyone thought I was going to do great things in the future. Apparently I was a good leader. Apparently I had a beautiful smile and a hilarious sense of humor. And the best of the apparentlys, my nickname was Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All. (I think it was supposed to be ironic, but that does not discount the fact that I possessed the greatest nickname of all time.)
Often times I feel like giving up on finding a cure to this depression. Out of anger and disagreeableness I keep on going. But a better motivator is the hope that I can save and bring back that person who used to be here.