I was reading a book last week and the two main characters were having a conversation, revealing backstory. She admitted that she wrote books but she hated them because they were full of anger and rage. Depression was also mentioned and the guy said, “You don’t look like a depressed person.”
It got me to thinking.
What the hell does a depressed person look like anyway? It’s pretty stereotypical to think that all depressed people walk around wearing black and crying all the time. It bothered me because Depression isn’t something that is necessarily recognizable, as much as some people might think it is.
It makes me angry when people talk about depressed people as if they know what it’s like. Oh, you’re depressed? Here’s a list of things that you can do and you’ll be cured:
- Just take a pill
- See a therapist
- Just be happy (Seriously??)
- The sun is shining and you have all these amazing things in your life. Just focus on those things and everything will be better
The sad reality is that many people think all of these things are cures, rather than tools. I don’t believe Depression can be cured. It’s something you live with every day. Some days are worse than others, but you survive somehow. I think the worst thing you can do is go into it thinking it will all just go away at some point.
I spent at least ten years of my life firmly believing that I would one day be cured. I took pills, I saw therapists, I focused on goodness, only to find myself in a deeper, darker place than I was when I admitted I had Depression.
I know it’s different for everyone, so I’m not here to tell you how you should handle your Depression. But for me, I found that acceptance was my best friend. Rather than fighting the bad days, I accept them. It isn’t easy. It’s hard to wallow in the darkness, but I do it with the firm belief that it is temporary. I know things will look better soon and that whatever is going on internally doesn’t define who I am.
That’s probably the hardest part of Depression (for me); in those moments when the Depression hits me full force, I truly believe I am an awful person and everyone in my life would be better off without me. It’s a scary thing to realize your thoughts are basically beating the shit out of you and it’s hard not to fall into the trap of believing yourself; well not yourself, but the thoughts. See, even I have a hard time separating my thoughts from my self.
This doesn’t have much to do with in/out, except that maybe you can think of Depression like that. Rather than letting it define who you are, think of it as being “in” the Depression and then being “out” of it. Does that work? Maybe in a simplistic sort of strange way. I really just wanted to rant about what I read in that book, and somehow fit it into the theme for this week. I’m probably cheating, but I did Stream of Conscious, so I guess that’s probably all that matters.
Happy Saturday everyone!
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “in/out.” Use one, use both, use ’em any way you’d like. Enjoy!” Feel free to click the link and join us in our stream of consciousness writing.