A great Saturday morning to you all! I hope you are planning on a great weekend. You know, once you’re retired, Saturdays don’t bring the same joy that they did during all those years you were working. Kind of funny how that works, huh? Anyway, I digress from the purpose of this post.
Since we are at the beginning of my blogging career (that sounds so funny to me), I guess I need to explain what my intentions are for this blog and why I have started it. What am I planning to talk about? Depression. Oh, my gosh, what a depressing subject. Geez. However, I will be posting about depression and the effect it has, has had, and will always have, upon my life. For the past couple of months I have been posting on Facebook some of my thoughts on depression and many friends have suggested that I start a blog. Maybe they are tired of seeing their newsfeeds filled with my thoughts or maybe they were thinking that I could reach more people through a blog. But, whatever the reason, here we go. It is my hope that by sharing my stories and my experiences of this thing called depression with you, we can all learn. We can all understand what depression is. Depression is such a misunderstood part of many lives. And let me say here that I am in no way thinking that I am an expert on depression. I’m pretty darn good at being depressed, but not so good at getting un-depressed.
Those people who have never experienced true depression think that it’s just a bad day, a downer, a day where things just don’t go right. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a day like that! But, true depression is SO much more than that. It becomes a way of life for some of us. It’s a deep, dark hole that we live in, unable to crawl out of. It’s not like we want to be there. Gracious, we would give anything to live as others live, to be happy, to be satisfied, to love ourselves, and to just be normal. Hopefuly, through my posts, we can all learn to understand it and overcome it. Wouldn’t that be simply marvelous?
NOTE: Because I know “me” so well, let me say that I will most likely post some things that have nothing to do with depression. My mind is scattered and goes in a frillion different directions at the same time so I know that my blog posts may very well take that scattered mind into account. Just be prepared, ok?
As I stated before, I live in a deep, dark hole most of the time. There are times when I can crawl out and live above the hole, but if I’m not careful, I will fall back in. I’ve done it many, many times before and I’m smart enough to realize that I’ll probably fall back in again. There was a time when, if I did get out, I’d take just a few steps before something else would happen, before there would be some more guilt for me to claim, some more self-hatred and, bam, I’d be right back in the hole and would have to start that long climb again. But, I’ve always known that there is a light at the top of that hole. I can see the light and I know that the light is good. It is my way out. I just have to keep on climbing toward that light at the top of the hole. I’ve made that climb so many times and it’s so hard to continue to climb, but it must be done. The alternative is to give up, to stop living, to cease to exist and that’s not what I want. I did want that at one point and we’ll get into that story at a later date, but know this – at this point – my plan is to continue to climb. Come climb along with me.
Depression. Any of you know anything about it? Unfortunately, I bet that many of you do and many others “think” that they do. You know about that “don’t care” attitude, that “and I don’t care that I don’t care” feeling that sweeps over us. We don’t want to talk to anyone. We don’t want to see anyone. We don’t want to do anything. We just want to “be”. And we want to “be” by ourselves. Just go away and leave us alone. Don’t give us that “Awe, come go with me; you’ll have fun” bull. We won’t have fun. We’ll spend the whole time just wishing we could go back home and be by ourselves. It’s not that we don’t love those people — we love them dearly! But, we know that we are just more trouble than we’re worth. They would be so much better off without us. They wouldn’t have to spend their time trying to “make” us have a good time. They just don’t realize what a chore it is for us to be in the world of the living. We see others out there having fun, enjoying themselves, enjoying life, doing things. And we do become envious for just a fleeting moment. We remember when we used to do things, when we used to have fun. What in the hell happened? What caused us to stop having fun? What caused us to not enjoy life? But, after pondering those thoughts for a few minutes, we decided we just don’t care, it isn’t worth the effort, it wouldn’t matter if someone asked us to go do something with them — they are probably only asking because we look so darn pitiful, sitting here by ourselves, never a smile on our face, just HERE, just taking up space, just existing. We’re probably at the point where we believe that nobody likes us. I mean, gosh, they never have, so why should they start now? And they shouldn’t like us after all. They are just wasting their time and effort and love on us. We are terrible people. We have only caused problems and heartache to others all our lives. We aren’t smart enough to play the game anyway. We’re never smart enough to do anything. We always mess things up because that’s just what we do. We need to just go away and leave everyone alone because they’d all be happier without us around. We just cause them stress and unhappiness and pain because that’s what we do. We don’t ever do anything good. We’re too dumb, too stupid, too unworthy to do something right. So, those people having fun are better off if they leave us out. We’d just ruin the afternoon for them. They just feel sorry for us. And who wants to be invited to do something for those reasons? Nope, not me, either. “If they are only doing it because they feel sorry for me, then I don’t want to do it,” says the stubborn you. “It’s not going to be fun, anyway. Nothing is ever fun. Nothing. Is. Ever. Fun.”, says you. “It’s just easier to be here by myself. Then I won’t have to put forth the effort to act like I’m having fun,” continues the miserable you. All those feelings (and a frillion more) run through your head as you contemplate actually doing something. The amazing part is that all these thoughts race through your head in about a 10-second span and then they start over again, and again, and again. And the feelings always win in the end. So, you spend another afternoon by yourself, wondering about why you are not worthy. It’s pretty common by now, isn’t it? And you accept that that is how life is, that that is how it’s supposed to be. That’s your today. That’s your tomorrow. That’s your every day. The saddest part is that it’s ok with you.
For those of you who have never experienced depression, you sit here and shake your head. I know you’re doing it. Don’t act like you’re not. It’s natural. That’s how people think. You wonder how in the world someone can “let” themselves get in that state of mind. And you say, “Well, we all go through those types of feelings at times. Just pick yourself up, brush it off, and get your butt out here and have some fun.” Oh, if it were only that easy. If only we COULD just brush it off and go out there and join the world of the living! What a blessing that would be for us! But for many of us, that’s not an option. There’s no brushing it off for us. This feeling is with us; it consumes us; it IS us. Our job is to somehow learn to deal with those feelings, how to function with them, and to somehow rid ourselves of them — if that’s even possible. For some, it’s not. I pray that it’s possible for me — and for you, too.
I don’t have all the answers. I have no magic bullet, no magic cure, no magic words to pour out on you. If I did, I’d be taking a long hot tub bath with those words pouring over me. But, I do have depression. And I’m ready to talk about it. Maybe by seeing me wade through it, you will understand it a bit better. You may be able to communicate with someone who is depressed and be able to engage that person a bit more in life. Maybe by me expressing my thoughts and feelings to you, I will be able to understand it a bit better. Maybe I will be able to communicate a bit better and perhaps, I will be able to engage in life a bit more. My goal? As we travel through this journey of my depression together, we shall all learn.
Ready? Let’s go.