I had a conversation tonight that made me think. When one is going through the depths of depression, we are not aware of the environment around us. We are not aware, or I am not aware of the stresses that I put others through. I mean, I know with the bf I was angry and argumentative and I was trying to drive him away. Why? Because it fit with the way I was feeling, the emotions that were whirling through my head. So, how do you explain to someone who has never been through it what you are going through?
Again, due to this conversation, both of us realized there is a real face to diseases like cancer, diabetes, ms, parkinsons, dementia, but when it comes to depression there is no physical ailment. There is no understanding. It is not as though you can see a physical change in the person. Yes, it is a chemical imbalance in my brain. But you cannot see it. What you see is one day I appear to be moping around and the next, I am so hyper and high that you are not sure how to deal with me.
So I began to think…..how do I explain how I feel, what I see, what is going on that affects me? And I cannot. I am so wrapped up in my own misery and sadness, that I do not care. I do not even notice how I am affecting those around me. I begin to notice when I start being angry all the time, and that the smallest things make me rage. But I put it off as others not caring and I take it all into myself.
All I can hear are the voices in my head, the ones that taunt me, tease me, tell me the things that I do not need nor want to hear. How I am a horrid mother, lover, friend. I am the world’s worst sister and daughter. And in doing so, I isolate myself so as to not subjugate anyone to the horror that has become me. I have not suddenly morphed into The Phantom of the Opera but I am most definitely within the Cersei dispicable category.
Do I use my depression as an excuse for my behaviour? I do not know. Have I ever thought about how it affects those around me? I will admit that I have not. I have not even considered how hard it must be for someone standing on the outside trying to breach that wall. To have to stand there, to watch the person you care for tearing themselves apart and yet you do not know what to do? When you can feel their pain, as a palpable heart beat in the room, and yet you just do not know how to relate.
I caution patience. I caution self regard. I caution a little leeway for the depressed and yet I understand if it becomes so hard that you cannot. Every face of depression, whether worn by your mother, father, sister, lover, aunt or uncle, grandmother or grandfather, is different. Each one of us views that blackness in varying hues of greys and shadows.
For myself, I am sorry; to my son, my mother, my brother and my bf, to my friends and co-workers. I am sorry for the pain I put you through, the anger and mean things that I said. I cannot tell you that it will not happen again, because it will. There will come a time when my meds might plateau or something so incredibly devastating happens that I cannot even fathom reality; and I will plunge back into that waterfall of pain and hatred. I will be wrapped in a blanket of misery so thick you may dismay. But know I will come back. I will struggle and fight my way free.
And most of all I thank you for your patience. For you belief that I will not always be this bleak and so you stayed beside me. Holding my hand and coaching me through never turning your back. For trying to understand, even when you cannot……I thank you.