Wednesday, 15 July 2009

"I'm so depressed."

The world uses it too lightly. For a movie that's house-full. For a cancelled appointment. For an extra kilo on the paunch. For another way of saying, "I'm bored, I'm lonely, I'm pissed off."

So when I say, "I'm depressed," I can hardly expect people to respond with anything but the usual well-meant, unasked for suggestions, advice, and opinions: it's just in your mind, if only you'd pray, other people are worse off, you have nothing to be depressed about, etc, etc, ad nauseam.

Here we are in the 21st century, and yet very few people actually know that depression is an illness. And beyond knowing on an intellectual level, one needs to understand and truly believe - just because something is true and we "know" it, doesn't mean that we accept it.

In dealing with my depression, I'm like that. I often see it as a sign of my weakness or ingratitude. For all my reading, knowledge, intelligence - I find it hard to accept that this is a medical condition I have, an illness.

I'm working on it. I'm trying to tell myself that like diabetes or asthma it's a condition that requires a combination of medical treatment, professional help and lifestyle changes. That it's something I can't pretend does not exist, that I must be watchful and take enough care of myself to prevent those otherwise inevitable episodes that are so easy to fall deep into, and so difficult to climb out of.

I'm currently climbing .. and while taking some time off for just this, I did some de-cluttering at home. I went through a lot of old papers and journals, threw a lot out, kept some for keepsakes, some to rework and edit, and some to share. Here's what I had scrawled on a little scrap of paper some years ago when I was going through a depressive episode:

I grieve deep within
a place where
nothing grows
where there are no
and just one end.


JMH said...

That bit of verse hits hard. I wish you the best, and hopefully it gets easier with time and taking action gives you some power over it.

Chethana said...

'...with only one end'. This is the haunting part.

Sherri said...

"a place where nothing grows". I beg to differ - the mere fact that you write is "growth" and "creating". Keep at it, my friend. Your talent for writing will carry you through this.