So your friend, your mother, your sister, your brother etc are depressed. And you call them with the best intentions. You are calling to give them support, offer your love and devotion, tell them that they are not alone. And yet at the end of the call when they are sobbing and assuring you it is not your fault, you are stuck wondering what the fuck you did.
You were nice. You said the right words, your mouthed the right platitudes, but in the end, you just do not get it.
Depression is not easily understood. You cannot talk to someone else about it. You cannot ask them for their experience. Because what they have gone through I have not! My loathing and disgust has no bearing on someone else’s. I am angry and no, I will not benefit from talking to someone because at 44 years old, I already know all the shit that is wrong with me. I know my triggers and I know that my dad was an asshole but that is another story.
I have spoken to therapists and counsellors. I have gorged my pain and reiterated the loathing. That is no longer the issue here. The issue is my seratonin levels are fucked up. There is something wrong with my brain chemistry. And I am okay with that. What I need to do is suck it up and accept it.
But this post is not really about me. It is for those who are confused because they reached out, they were supportive, they wanted to understand and yet you sobbed, you stammered, you made no sense. And the whole reason behind that is that they were nice to you. It is the niceness that is the killer. For my sake……this might not be for all who live with depression so sound it out first…..do not be nice to me.
I am deep in the midst of a cycle of depression. It is dark, it is all consuming. I feel as though I spend my days wading through water, not really there. It physically hurts to smile and I am freezing. All I want to do is sleep. I eat just enough so that my stomach does not rumble. And I stare mindlessly at the television not even seeing what is there unable to enjoy reading.
I cry for no reason. And I do not need one that is what depression does. I had to explain to my two bosses at work what is going on with me. I mean, I have a hangdog expression on my face, I often emerge from my office with red eyes…..obviously there is a problem. But how do you explain to someone what it feels like to be depressed. To live with depression. So I came up with a character and I gave him a name and a look.
My depression is named Morty. Morty is an asshole. He is the uninvited uncle that moves in and never ever leaves. He may go visit another family member once in awhile but for the most part he resides with me. He is short and rotund, with greasy black hair and a handlebar mustache. He is aggressive and snappy, his voice is harsh and grating. He dresses in a mix of leisure suits from the ’70’s to the ’90’s wife beaters. His jeans never really quite fit.
Morty when he arrives is careful. He is on his best behaviour for awhile so you never really realize the insults, the taunting, the words running on a loop……you are worthless…..you don’t know how to be a mother……you are going to get fired…..you are so stupid…..you are…..you are…….and suddenly he is right in my face.
And that is another aspect of my depression. See I get to feeling really good and I can push Morty away. I can shut him up, relegate him to the small attic room. The one that gets so humid in the summer the boards swell. In the winter he huddles next to the chimney eking his warmth from there. And I imagine Morty is gone. I have conquered him and I stop taking my meds.
It doesn’t happen right away. This last time was a year and a half before I was hit. And I woke up and realized that Morty had somehow escaped. Now this venomous glutton sits on my chest and his claws are buried deep within me. And I start screaming. Only you would never know that I am screaming because I do not make a sound. But they reverberate in my head.
This time is not as bad as my last crash three years ago. I could not even look after my son. I was wrapped in grey wool and I slept my days away. I watched him play with tears running down my cheeks because I was so sad. I could not explain it to him. But a break through came the day I got dressed before I took him down to the bus rather than my pj’s. So I know that it will come with this cycle as well.
Morty has me in his clutches right now and it is painful. I am back on my medication and the amount of crying I have done since Sunday is slowly lessening. It will take time for me to get to exactly where I need to be. I do know though that I will be fortifying the room that I am locking Morty up in this time so that the chances of further escape will be slim. I know they will happen and deal with them when they do.