This is the worst thing about depression. Knowing I'm getting depressed, as though I'm watching from the sidelines inside my own head, listening to this little part of myself shouting, screaming "no, don't go there, step back" even though I know that I'm only shouting to myself, and the rest of me isn't listening or can't hear or doesn't care, but is blithely steaming into the darkness.
I know stress is a trigger. I know. And I can control my own stress, to some degree. Take regular breaks, walk away from revision, cuddle the dog, stroke a bunny, take a nap. What I can't control is other people's stress. While I can walk away from or block out a stranger's stress - to a certain degree, although it's damn near impossible in uni - I can't do the same to my friends. I can't say "I'm sorry, your panicing about your exams is making me panic, and I'm not really interested in becoming suicidal right now, thx bye" to the people who matter to me, who support me in turn. I can't tell my friends that thier own petty dramas are impacting on my petty dramas - because to them, thier dramas aren't petty, just as mine aren't to me. And because I don't want to lose a dearest, oldest friend because she's getting worked up over an exam, or she's broken up with her boyfriend, or because she is going through what I went through, and is asking for help a lot quicker than I ever did.
I don't want to be heard-hearted or cruel. I want to support them, as they do me, because I can support them now. I can listen, I can sympathise, I can provide wine and chocolate and loud music and a comfy sofa and a listening ear. But will they do the same for me, when thier exams are over, they're done, and mine are just beginning? Will they grow tired of my moaning, my bitching, as often as I do thiers?
Part of me knows there is a single difference between me and them: they are doing thier courses because they want to - they don't know what they want to "be" once they leave university. I do. It's all I've wanted - and I am doing a course to reach that end. But with every year, the end gets jerked that bit further away, and I'm starting to fear I'll never reach that end. That no matter what I do I'll never be able to take that step to getting there.
Perhaps I ought to fight harder, work harder, stand taller, speak louder. That's what the little screaming voice is telling me. She's saying I can do it, I will do it, I'll do everything in my power to do it. But the rest of me isn't listening, she's too busy writing self-obsessive posts and moping over how inept, useless and thick she is.