I often hear people say they were “saved” from depression. Maybe it was music, maybe it was yoga, maybe it was God, or a puppy, but I know I hear it lots. People rarely word it so it sounds as though they saved themselves from depression. It makes me want to call myself a victim and wait to be saved. It makes me want to curl up under the covers and watch my life shrivel until it looks like a worm on a sidewalk on a sunny day and do nothing about it while I wail that the world has yet to come save me. It really does. And if I’m being completely vulnerable, it makes me want to stop eating. And not “I’m so sad I’ve lost my appetite.” I want to stop eating because it gives me something else painful to feel. Because focusing on my eating disorder and how skinny I still want to be, is easier than trying to figure out why I’m so sad all the time. Because the physical pain of starvation is actually easier to handle [in my mind] than working through whatever is bubbling up out of me right now. But I want to be healthy, and I don’t want to put those who love me through more stress than knowing I’m depressed will already put them through. And in remembering how hard it was to get out of the anorexia cycle last time, I’m very eager to stay clear of that dark and lonely path.
I’m smart enough to know I’m not a victim. I’m fortunate enough to know that while people don’t vocally admit to saving themselves from depression (how humble those individuals must be!) that I’m the only one who can take steps forward. That I can choose to put energy and passion into something outside of myself—be it yoga, music or simply, writing more.
Knowing that, I think makes it harder. I mean, I can imagine what it would feel like to not know how to make it better. Those lost in sorrow moments, with no direction. I’m not saying I see a light at the end of a tunnel; I honestly don’t think my depression is any better or worse than others, but why compare? I feel sad and it sucks. I shower, and make myself eat, get myself to work and do yoga almost every day. I hear of depressed people (and some not depressed people) who don’t do that much. As I said, I think it makes it harder, feeling like I have to save myself from myself, while trying not to focus too much on myself, and being mad at myself for not having saved myself by now. Get it? I’m depressed that I’m depressed and even more depressed that I haven’t un-depressed myself yet.
And you know what makes me madder? I thought this arbitrary, undefined anxiety and depression would be alleviated with my continued sobriety.
And what makes me even madder? That I’m such a perfectionist (which somehow I’d forgotten about myself) that just admitting to being depressed makes me feel like I’ve failed—again. Just to expand on this, even when I go to see my counselor, in the back of my head I’m constantly aware that I want her to see me as “succeeding” despite lack of progression. What does that even mean?!
My life is actually pretty great. I think that makes this all easier and harder; so much to enjoy and so little enjoyment to feel. And harder to figure out what the hell is actually wrong. I hope you realize this isn’t a help-cry, or even me looking for support or encouragement. It's just, when you are working through depression, you tend to not tell people, and it's a lonely place. You feel drawn to isolation, yet hate it at the same time. You don't want people to know, but wish they understood. It's not really what people are asking when they greet you with a "How's it going?" I wanted to share with my friends why I’m not around so much, and let them know while I’m not alright, I’ll be alright. And why I’m sort of a cranky and insecure &H!T these days. . .
Also, I've heard vulnerable people live more fulfilling lives.
To all those who deal with depression, MWAH! Lots of love, and unfortunately, no real advice.