Archive of ‘depression bites’ category

Depression is a Rat Bastard.

Thought bubble that says, "Does anyone know where depression is? Because I'd like to punch him in the face."Internet, you already know I struggle with depression. I take medication, I try to take care of myself, and mostly I’m…okay. Sometimes I even feel pretty great.

I don’t feel so great right now.

Logically, I know I have the world by the balls. I’ve got a good job, good friends, a great kid, an awesome husband, and a supportive family.

I’ve had a ton of freelance work thrown at me this year, so for once I’m not broke.

And, as if that’s not enough, I’ve sold not one, but two books this year. TWO.

In short, I have not one damn thing to complain about. Not. One.

But logic has no place in depression. And I? Feel kinda shitty. Not spectacularly, I-can’t-deal-with-life-so-I’m-going-to-stay-in-bed shitty. But damn-it-I-really-don’t-want-to-deal-with-life-but-I-kinda-have-to-so-I-better-get-my-exhausted-ass-out-of-bed shitty.

I think you just read the world’s longest hyphenated word, which is not a sign of good sentence structure. But I can’t be bothered to care.

The not caring, it’s one of the many, many things that comes along with the depression train.

See also: self-loathing, self-blame, and general feelings of inadequacy.

It’s totally awesome (not really).

I started this post with the idea that I’d impart some nugget of wisdom about depression. But I’m not feeling very wise (see above).

I guess what I’d like you all to understand is that depression? It doesn’t make sense. It’s not something I can control. It’s not something ANYBODY can control. I don’t WANT to feel like this. Nobody wants to feel like this.

If I could wave a wand and make it go away I would.

But I can’t. I just have to slog on through the days, knowing eventually it will break, and the sun will come out again, and I’ll have the energy to do the shit I want and need to do. In fact, I’ll actually WANT to do things.

That’ll be pretty awesome. I know it will. And because I still know that? I know I’m going to be okay.

I’m going to be okay. Really.

But depression? Is the biggest rat bastards of all rat bastards. I’d really like to punch it in the face. Or balls. Wherever it would hurt the most.

How’s that for profound?

(kidding)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unexpected Grief.

Every good bye could be the last one. Treat it accordingly.

The last time I saw him, it was my brother’s birthday. He’d kept us laughing all evening with his sly jokes, and had affectionately called me 3.14 (his childhood nickname for me) at least once. I rolled my eyes, of course, but I didn’t mind. It was our thing.

He eventually got up to leave, and as usual, I made myself scarce so as to avoid the teen-like awkwardness that always comes over me when there’s a lot of hugging going on.

I wish I had hugged him good bye.

I probably never even told him I loved him. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to do so.

I wish I had. I hope he knew.

Last week, he chose to leave this world forever. No one even knew he was thinking about it. No one realized how much pain he was in or how much anguish his self deprecating manner and easy smile was covering up.

I wish he had let us know.  I wish he would have let us help. We could have helped. I would have helped.

But he didn’t. So instead, I’m searching my memories, looking for clues.

I remember riding around on his shoulders when I was very small, feeling like I could touch the sky. I remember how he forced the others to let me have a turn while playing Atari games, defending me when no one else would. I remember being excited to watch MTV  together when it was still shiny and new,  and how incredibly worldly he seemed when he drove off into the night on his moped.

But I don’t ever remember seeing him sad.

I never had a clue. Now all I’ve got is grief punching me in the stomach and guilt swirling through my brain.

I hope wherever he is, he’s at peace and his pain is gone. But I wish with all my heart that he hadn’t taken that step. He never gave us a chance. It wasn’t fair.

So, internet? If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be this: never, ever take the ones you love for granted. Make sure they know how you feel. Make sure they know they can talk to you. And when in doubt? Go in for a hug.

 

 

 

 

 

What the World Needs Now: A Depression Simulator

A couple of months ago, I spent some time playing with one of the virtual cameras James Cameron used to make Avatar.

The camera was, well, it was amazing. When you looked into it, you could see straight into a different world. If you looked up, you saw the sky. If you looked down, you saw the ground. You could spin around 360 degrees and see the “landscape” that surrounded you.

There was no sound, but the colors, the textures, they were all there. It seemed real.

We need the world’s artists, filmmakers and IT magicians to replicate that experience. To, in fact, take it one step further and create a virtual reality in every sense of the word. But it wouldn’t show the viewer the brilliant landscape of a science fiction world. Instead, it would immerse the beholder in the dank, dreary world of a depressed person.

Storm Cloud filled sky by bterrycompton

The colors would be flat. No brilliant blue waterfalls or verdant green hills here. Everything would be done in shades of gray. The sun. The sky. Even the children’s faces.

The sounds would be altered. Laughter would sound like sobs. A dog’s bark would sound like a howl. Even the sound of a loved one calling the camera holder’s name would sound distorted. Accusatory.

There would have to be a feeling of heaviness too. The viewer’s feet would be weighted down with boulders. Her shoulders bent under a heavy backpack. Her head dragged downward by an inexplicable gravitational force.

And if the makers were really talented, they’d insert voices inside the viewer’s head. They’d whisper thoughts of worthlessness. Of self hatred. Of anger toward anyone and everyone who dared to be happy.

They’d loop in an endless soundtrack of hopelessness, and work to convince their victim that the world would be better off without her.

And it wouldn’t end until the person being subjected to the experience was broken and begging for release.

Sounds harsh, I know. But perhaps if something like that existed? We could stop having ridiculous conversations like the one going on over on Katie Couric Facebook  page today, talking about how mothers who take antidepressants are weak-willed little pansies incapable of dealing with the day to day stress that comes with living.

Because after you’ve lived through that? I’d be willing to bet that you would never again call a person who suffers from depression weak.

Depression is a merciless illness that attacks you in a place where you have no defenses – inside your own damn brain. Most of the time you don’t even realize what’s happening until it’s too late. Until you’ve been sucked down so deep you can’t  even see the sun anymore.

Finding the will to fight back, to punch back the demons and reach for the happiness you’ve forgotten you deserve takes more strength, more f’ing chutzpah, than any of those superficial Holier-Than-Thous can even imagine.

Depression is not something to be ashamed of, any more than hypothyroidism or diabetes is something to be embarrassed about.

It’s a chronic illness. One that many of us keep in check only with the help of medication. Like Honest Mom, I am a better mom when I take my antidepressants. When I don’t? Well, it can get really hard to be a mom at all.

So, unless you’ve been there? Shut the fuck up. Please. We have enough critical voices screaming at us from right inside our own brains. We don’t need yours added to the chorus.

 

 

 

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