Tuesday, October 27, 2020


I used to like watching Bojack Horseman. When I was in LA four summers ago (in 2016, just before the Trump administration), someone introduced me to it for the first time. To my deepest consternation, I have forgotten his name. I know who he is, I couchsurfed at his place and he was never home because he worked on a TV crew. He was writing a play and he had notes and books all over his apartment, and he also had a gazillion tattoos on his body. I just forgot his name. This makes me feel like a bad person, but that's what I am. I am good and bad and all the things rolled into one human being. I know he wrote me a nice review on Couchsurfing, because I cleaned up his apartment in between reading all the books he had, and I wanted to check for his name, but I have been paywalled out of my account because I don't want to pay a fee to keep the site up (I haven't been an active member for years!). At this point of time I'm honestly trying to play a game with all my brain neurons to recall his name: should I go to a baby names website and look through all the names?? is it Leo? Howard? OMG it worked, my brain worked. His name is Patrick!!!!! I wonder how he's doing in life. As I was saying, I first watched Bojack with him, and I followed it for a couple of seasons, but one day I stopped. I don't remember the particular scene or why, but I know Bojack is a depressed character and as far as I know, he doesn't really do much about it. I think it hit too close to home.

I think I'm a high-functioning depressed person, but my sister may not be. I've gone to her school to help her get back in, but she eventually dropped out for good. She recently got a job a couple of months ago, but in the past two weeks, she's missed work without a "physical illness" and didn't inform them prior, so I don't know how long she can hold onto the job. I say "physical illness" in inverted commas because despite not being contagious or tangible like fever or the flu, I know depression can make it pretty physically impossible to move or want to do anything. When she doesn't go to work, she starts crying or curling up and then you can't really get through to her. As a high-functioning depressed person, I can go to work without seeing a point in it, I just become a mechanical robot working on autopilot. My rationale for it is so that I don't become a burden to anyone else. When I'm spiralling into my episodes, I recognize it and I either seek out medication or therapy. 

This time of the year is the worst for my family, I think within the same month in 2016, I had a miscarriage and our cousin that my sister was the closest to, died suddenly in a motorbike accident. This is the first year since then that I haven't had a full-blown meltdown, but I have a feeling my sister hasn't become conscious of her triggers yet, because she went to the cemetery last weekend, and it brought on her latest episode. I had some mean thoughts about her yesterday, I didn't say them to her, but I know I was being very mean about it. Sometimes, she asks how to get rid of depression, and if I have said it once, I must have said it at least thirty times, for her to go to therapy regularly and take medication. I think her condition is so bad that it truly cripples her from even keeping herself in check to do those two things. I don't know what else we can do for her, there was a period of time our other sister kept tabs on her taking her medicine, or sent her to the clinic for therapy. These are things a seventeen-year-old should not have to do. This is the same sister who is also affected by my night terrors, the poor child. I think I had mean thoughts last night because as an onlooker, you can feel helpless and useless.

I don't know why I started this tangent. As a so-called adult, I have made many friends, younger and older, who also suffer from depressive episodes. These are people who have great prospects in life, they graduated from Harvard, they're yoga teachers, they're white men with no financial debt living in Singapore. I know that depression is both a debilitating disease that can affect anyone, and I know that it's exacerbated by capitalism, which thrives off making you feel incomplete and less than, and you have to beat it in the smallest of ways, reminding yourself that you are happy without another pair of shoes, without getting surgery to perfect your vision, without all those things that all these other depressed people have in their lives. You have to constantly ignore every single sign thrown at you, and remind yourself your worth is more than what a capitalist system expects of you, or the completely made up monetary value you can contribute to such a flawed system.

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