May 10, 2015 Leave a comment
Among the many chronic conditions I deal with, I have depression. By all recollection, I have always had depression although at various times I have been able to assemble a life which has allowed me to avoid the debilitating symptoms of depression. Like most people, I am capable of experiencing genuine happiness. In fact, I’m actually quite good at it. But it’s a delicate balance. There are no quick fixes. Every treatment has its side effects. Actions have consequences and even right action can have unintended consequences.
I don’t claim to understand depression any better than anyone else; all I know is me, my life and how I experience it. Depression is a name given to me by doctors, invented by scientist, based on hypotheses and the shared experiences of everyday ordinary people. As a result of this diagnosis I have been able to tape into a wealth of knowledge and collective experience to better understand myself. I’ve been able to take comfort in the knowledge that I am not alone. I am able to feel connected, which is perhaps an even greater sensation that happiness.
Despite all this insight, I have not been able to eliminate this thing, this part of me called depression. Whatever it is I suspect it will be with me forever. I hope I’m wrong. I would love to be wrong about this. I welcome any information that would suggest that I am wrong about this because so far knowledge has only made me more knowledgeable, not less depressed.
What is interesting is that sharing knowledge does make me less depressed. Connecting my experience directly with other people who have similar experiences does make me less depressed. Helping other people move from conflusion or anger to acceptance and understanding totally makes me feel better. The sad irony is that when I’m depressed, when I’m angry and confused, the last thing I want to do is spread that energy into the universe. Connecting with other living, loving souls may be the best thing for me but it’s not the best thing for my fellow earthlings. Perhaps this is a functional and evolutionary aspect of depression. We know that depression leads to isolation and inactivity and for a time this may be for the best. Unfortunately, we also know of the tragic ends met by people who feel completely disconnected from life.
I am writing this in an attempt to connect, to share openly and honestly my experience. And because I can… right now, at this time, in this moment, I can write. It’s been months since I’ve been able to write anything of substance and even longer since I’ve completed and published anything. I’m publishing this regardless. I’m just enough pissed off at the world to not give a fuck and that has it’s benefits.
What I want to do is share my greatest fear at the moment. I’m afraid that I may have lost you in my absence. Relationships require some level of consistency and predictability. Unfortunately, the shit I deal with makes that impossible. I suppose I could present the face of consistency and predictability by lowering the bar to something reliably attainable but where is the fun in that? I prefer to act when I can and burn out when the fuel is gone. I know how fucking annoying this is to the people around me but I don’t know how else to do it. I choose not to act out of anger or fear but sometimes… like right now… that’s what I have to work with.
So my hope is that you won’t take it personally. This is my shit. I accept that I’m an asshole but I hope that you won’t think of me that way. I hope that you won’t take my absence as rejection. I’m still here. I’m working on me and doing the best I can. If you can’t understand what it’s like to deal with depression, consider yourself lucky. If someone in your life is dealing with depression, be patient. It’s harder than it looks. I’m sorry we haven’t talked in a while. Most of the time, I struggle to put words into sentences. I fight the choking feeling around my neck. But I know it’s just life… and life goes on. I’ll be back… I just want to know that you will still be there when I’m done doing this thing I’m doing. I want to know that you are taking care of yourself. I want to know that you are finding support where you can. The most comforting words I’ve ever heard are, “You can’t lose me.” Share them with someone you love.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY