I haven’t had a legitimate diagnosis — backtrack —
I haven’t had a clinical professional diagnosis – or any diagnosis – update on my mental health since I first moved to Chicago at which point it was fairly unmistakable that I was bulimic, depressed, and anxious.
Slowly, the codes on my receipts began to evolve from one number to another one, largely ending with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. — and even that was a guesstimate.
Labels are extremely powerful. So powerful in fact, that they are potentially the manner by which we form our conscious encounters with the world – without labels, how could we utilize language? or communicate?
Often, over recent years, I’ve had the tendency to try to stray away from labels as much as possible — realizing that with labels often comes a long terry of judgment labels to go with them – like a subtext or a surname that we attach on for what actually ends up cancelling out the labeling purpose by a large factor.
consider for example the microwave, coconut oil, and kale.
Currently, Kale is most often labeled “good”
Microwaves are often labeled “bad” – depending on which circle you allow your ears to open.
and Coconut oil has travelled not-so-gracefully-but-heroically from “bad” to “good”.
so, where once you had three labels: kale, microwave, coconut oil, you now have essentially two – Good and Bad — and these can insinuate a shit ton but also dissociates the item from its true essence.
How often do we practice the same labeling structure with people, ideas, art, science, religion, etc…
I wonder about the Adam and Eve story as an example —
The first job God – in this story- gives Adam – the first man – is to name the animals and plants. It is a sacred job – literally commissioned by the creator! In fact, even before this, we see that God creates separations – boundaries, or some kind of distinctive description for entities such as Light and Darkness, Moon and Stars, and they call them all Good.
Recall — There is no mention of anything other than Good.
When Adam and Eve are presented with the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, they are told that to eat it will make them like God =- knowing of good and evil — but does knowing of such labels necessarily acknowledge the presence of such things beforehand?
My point is this – without getting further into theories that I don’t necessarily feel like talking about right now – that labels are messy and complicated and hold a lot of weight with them.
When I tell you my story about Depression, Eating Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, etc — these are my stories – particular to me — and yes, of course parts will resonate, parts will be similar – but also, my story in no manner necessarily predicts the story of another.
I have been really depressed for the past 3 weeks.
It’s been hard to get up from bed – nearly impossible to get to class, really hard to do anything.
really. really hard.
It’s Wednesday Morning and I feel pretty shitty.
This past Monday – I felt so so so shitty – that our delayed by 1 day Valentine’s Day dinner ended up being curling up in bed helping me feel well enough to talk. to be present.
Honestly, – could it be really that hard to take care of myself?
Could it be really that hard to just be, to do, and to breathe?
Why yes, yes it could, and yes, yes it is.
Oh, so what was all the shit about the labels?
Sometimes when I feel like shit – there is a trigger point – something concrete that I can point to and say YES that is why I feel like shit – not necessarily because of that entirely, but that thing triggered my already susceptible body to go “ding ding ding!” anxiety/depression/other-emotional-managers ALERT!
And when I can point to something, for the most part, i can figure out what to do – whether it’s validating myself, giving myself time to grieve, or addressing that situation.
Sometimes – I can’t point to anything beyond the time of year, and sometimes, not even that.
And right now, it feels like there is absolutely no where to point to. I have no idea why. and I feel stuck and I feel like it’s all my fault.
So I asked for a label. I asked for a new label to help me figure out why the fuck I feel like this – because at least if I have a label, I can look at it. I can hold it in my mind and learn how to interact with it in relation to everything else.
After a preliminary diagnostic chat with my therapist, she referred me to a psychiatrist. So for the first time in … maybe almost ever … I called a psychiatrist and left a message- a very confusing message – but that’s where I am.
It’s not bad. It’s not a sign of a huge problem. It’s just different.
I’m not sure I’ll get up today but I am here – whether I want to or not.
Thanks for being.