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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Depression



"My depression … had been a sucking thing that had wrapped itself around me, ugly and more alive than I. It had had a life of its own that bit by bit asphyxiated all of my life out of me. At the worst stage of major depression, I had moods that I knew were not my moods: they belonged to the depression…in the end I was compacted and fetal, depleted by this thing that was crushing me without holding me. Its tendrils threatened to pulverize my mind and my courage and my stomach, and crack my bones and desiccate my body. It went on glutting itself on me when there seemed nothing left to feed it. …I knew then that I could never kill this vine of depression, and so all I wanted was for it to let me die. But it had taken from me the energy I would have needed to kill myself, and it would not kill me. If my trunk was rotting, this thing that fed on it was now too strong to let it fall ; it had become an alternative support to what it had destroyed. In the tightest corner of my bed, split and racked by this thing no one else seemed to be able to see, I prayed to a God, and I asked for deliverance. I would have been happy to die the most painful death, though I was too dumbly lethargic even to conceptualize suicide. Every second of being alive hurt me.

I hate being depressed, but it was also in depression that I learned my own acreage, the full extent of my soul.
In literature, depression is often seen as a defense against sadness. But I’ll take sadness any day. There is no contest. Sadness carries identification. You know where it’s been and you know where it’s headed. Depression carries no papers. It enters your country unannounced and uninvited. Its origins are unknown, but its destination always dead-ends in you.
I should come with a consumer warning, like the labels that say “Handle with care” or “May be hazardous to your health.” I am unfit for human consumption. I struggle to articulate how awful and isolating this feels, but I can’t find the words.

All the romantic nonsense about depression somehow making one into a creature of unique sensibilities is easy to agree with when I feel good. Then I’m sharper, superior for having weathered something terribly difficult, or just plain pleased at having narrowly gotten away with something once again—like the snow day after the night’s homework I didn’t do. All of it stands up in the light, but it’s bullshit in the shadows. I don’t care about unique sensibilities. All I care about is surviving. My goal in life is just to get through the days.

That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key

Depression is a very narcissistic thing, it’s a self-involvement that is so deep and intense that it means the sufferer cannot get out of her own head long enough to see what real good, what genuine loveliness, there is in the world around her.

They don’t understand how desperate I am to have someone say, I love you and I support you just the way you are because you’re wonderful just the way you are. They don’t understand that I can’t remember anyone ever saying that to me. I am so demanding and difficult because I want to crumble and fall apart so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about If you loved me you would. As in If you loved me you would stop doing your homework, stop going out drinking with your friends on a Saturday night, stop doing everything besides sitting here by my side and passing me Kleenex and aspirin while I lie and creak and cry and drown myself and you in my misery." -DITTO

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat. “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
–Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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