You should probably do something better with your time.
NB; This is part of my CB therapy. It’s one sided, it’s biased, it’s self pitying, it’s my mind and nothing else. If you happen to know me and happen to know anyone I allude to, then take it with a horse bag of salt. There’s so much left unsaid and so much probably overstated. That’s the nature of externalisation based writing therapy.
Continue reading Silver is not the colour of the lining (of my fuck-tonne of baggage)
It has been a while now, hasn’t it?
5 years since it finally all overwhelmed me and all i could see was darkness.
5 years since I had the breakdown.
5 years of trying to overcome.
Overall, I can say that I’m fine. It’s been … an interesting ride … but I think I now have life by the proverbial reigns for the most part – though I wonder if anyone truly does.
I say I tried to overcome the depression, but I think it’s better to state that I have learnt to walk along with that black dog slinking along on a leash at my heels and not riding my back and biting my neck.
Taking ownership of the depression and treating it like a “mental asthma” has been a big turn-around in achieving that, and so I take my three pills of “mental ventolin” a day and keep trudging along.
I took on a search for what the japanese called “Ikigai” – “a reason for being” or more to the point, “a reason to get up in the morning”. The concept of building a teaching farm become mine and with that there is a reason to get up, deal with life and aim towards a goal that may very well be years in the future, but will ultimately allow me to say life had a meaning for me.
It may not be perfect, but it works for me for now, so I’ll keep going with it 🙂
Once again, there are those with far greater éloquence than I who I can simply re-blog rather than attempt to provide my own words:
Depression is humiliating.
It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.
Depression is humiliating.
If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too.
Depression is humiliating.
No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.
Depression is not a synonym for being sad or having a bad day/bad week.
It’s not a PHASE. It’s not a CHOICE. It’s not LAZINESS.
No matter what people think, the reality is that I will never be “cured” of depression.
This reminds me of the words that always ring in my ears from my previous GP who once said to me,
“you have to think of it like this – asthmatics will always be asthmatic – even when it seems it has gone away for years … you’ll always have dysthemia. Sometimes it will be chronic and sometimes it will feel like it has gone, but, chances are you will always need some form of treatment. ”
Being angry at depression is like being angry at asthma – basically useless and somewhat self indulgent.
Sometimes, the meds help … sometimes they just don’t seem to make a difference.
Stress makes it worse. As does illness. Anxiety is the gateway emotion to dark places.
Sometimes there’s a trigger … if you’re lucky.
I really like this entry from “Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars” titled “Depression – why it was never about sadness” in which they have written:
So, what is depression?
For me, it’s a feeling of total lack of respect, for myself and others. It’s a deep, dark numbness which can’t be alleviated by anything. It’s the inability to laugh or cry with any real emotion; it’s the total lack of emotion, the opposite of feeling. It’s a wall which comes slamming down around me, removing me from the world and trapping me behind unbreakable glass. I can see the world, I can see and hear people and conversations, but they’re blurred as though seen through frosted windows in a soundproofed room. It’s when food and drink is tasteless and unsatisfying, when music becomes an annoyance rather than a joy, it’s the need to keep my bedroom curtains closed at all times because the sun is simply too much to cope with.
Depression is the beast which makes me sleep for days on end, an unrelenting tiredness. It’s lying awake at night, counting the seconds until morning when I can tick another failed day off my ever-growing list. It’s the inability to lift a coffee cup without huge effort, the climb up the stairs which feels like a trip up Mt. Everest. It’s staring at a wall for hours, completely unaware of time passing.
The article is a wonderful and brave piece – go read it if you have a chance.
I look back at my days of using. In hindsight, it is easy to see the patterns. The self loathing. The slow but sure erosion of life. The destruction I was bringing on to myself. Each time I partook, it was an expression of self-hate. Self Harm. Suppression. Denial.
Continue reading Beating my addictions …