This isn’t going to be some in-depth discussion or brilliant analysis of depression. It’s been discussed fairly constantly since the heartbreaking death of Robin Williams and there are so many great articles and stories being shared. I’m afraid my contribution is small. Mainly because I feel pretty damn good right now. (I am not a superstitious person, but I felt like ducking after typing that sentence)
Thing is, I SHOULD be down. I am at a strange crossroads right now. I just moved back home from Hawaii and am looking for a job while basically just floating through my days… living on MY MOTHER’S property, no less. That alone should send me howling to the nuthouse. Let me tell you what I had about 4 months ago, when my depression and anxiety got so bad I had to be hospitalized:
1. A great job with full benefits where I made more than enough money for my fairly modest desires (I didn’t like it much, but maybe I could have if I hadn’t been so down)
2. A brand new car that I loved
3. A big, nice condo with access to a swimming pool, jacuzzi, all the fun stuff, and
4. While single, as is my preference, I still had company of the sexy-times variety whenever I wanted it
I lived with my sister, who is a great roommate, and I had an embarrassment of riches when it came to close friends I could confide in and who would do anything for me. I was also completely miserable.
Now? Sigh. There is currently a big fat lizard loose in this “house”, and I have to be aware of it at all times so I do not step on it at night. There are spiders and other creepy-crawlies all over this place, it’s filthy, and the fridge is full of expired food. I have no car, no job, and no money. But it’s somehow okay. I’m not dancing for joy, but I feel peaceful. And really that’s how a normal fucking person should feel when they are a fairly privileged human in America with a roof over their head, a university degree, and generally good future prospects. This is just temporary.
But there it is: That is depression. When people act like it’s a mood or a whim instead of a disease or chemical imbalance, I want to kick their idiot ass out of a window. Because it doesn’t fucking matter what is going on in your life. Once your mind turns against you no amount of money, logic, or telling yourself how great you have it makes a lick of fucking difference. You are just miserable. I came out of my depression through trial and error- by realizing, after MANY different pills, that the medication I was taking was not the right thing for me to take. I won’t go into it further because one person’s journey with medication means absolutely zero to someone else’s journey. What works or rather didn’t work for me, is irrelevant. The point is- I feel like myself again. And every day I wake up feeling that way I want to kiss the fucking sky. I can’t believe my luck. Because when you are down in that pit, you know you are never getting out. You KNOW it.
So if someone you know is depressed, don’t remind them of all the great things they have. They already know. Don’t tell them to think happy thoughts, start doing yoga, or cut out red meat. I promise you they are doing their fucking best. I promise you. If they are drinking, eating pizza and watching Netflix every second they can, consider the possibility that numbing their body and mind is preferable to what they will do if they allow the dark thoughts to take over. You can offer to take a walk with them, get something healthy to eat, or get out of the house- but if they can’t, then they can’t. What you CAN do is tell them how strong they are for fighting. Tell them to keep going. Because the only way out is through. There is no “snapping out of it”. No magical cure that works for everyone. I found a balance again but there are no guarantees that it will last indefinitely. Everyone has to find what works for them, and if you want to help, then you can be supportive while they look for it.
Of course if you don’t want to help, we completely fucking understand that too.