For anyone struggling with depression today: I understand.
You are not alone.
I know you feel alone – I know you feel loneliness past your bones, to what seems to be your actual bone marrow; the literal insides of your insides. It’s so deep, so all consuming, so alarmingly stagnant of any hope or desire for…. well, anything. It just comes out of nowhere. One day you’re living life, laughing, full of hope, and the next, it’s like you wake up with a whole different person inside of you. A sad person, a scared person, a hopeless person.
Where the hell did she come from?
How did she get back into my bones in less than 10 hours? Why does she always show up when I so don’t want her to? Why. What did I do wrong? Can’t I force myself back into joy? This is so not what I need or want right now.
Go away darkness.
Go away sadness.
Go away despair.
I’m supposed to be happy.
But sometimes it doesn’t go away that fast.
Sometimes it stays.
Sometimes its hours, sometimes it’s weeks. Sometimes much, much, longer.
I just spent 2 weeks in Spain.
Spain! The most beautiful place. Sea all around me, wine flowing, the language I love, my sweet mother; not a care in the world. Yet… I couldn’t get out of bed some of the days. I’d cry on and off, all day somedays. From walking down the streets, to laying on the couch, trying to hold back tears as I ordered a tea or said hello to the guard. I get it. I get the feeling of ‘what the heck is wrong with me! Why am I so overwhelmingly sad?! I shouldn’t be sad. I shouldn’t feel this way. Why am I even sad? What the fuck is wrong with me?’
Oh, man, I know. But beating yourself up and ‘should’ing’ yourself will never help you.
You must be tender. I know, I know how much you loathe the sad, seemingly pathetic person hiding behind your skin, but you must treat that person ever so tenderly. They are in so much pain. They are in so much need of comfort and kindness. Even though I know all you want is to be rid of them forever.
Sometimes I just sit, looking in the mirror, tears streaming down my face and speak all the truth I have somewhere hidden inside of me, whether I believe it or not. (most of the time I don’t).
You are beautiful.
You are loved.
You are worthy.
You will find joy again.
You won’t feel this way forever.
Your life is worth living.
You have so much value.
There is always hope.
Over and over and over.
You must be gentle with yourself.
I know for me I struggle so much with this darkness. I hate it, I want to take a pill to make it go away (and if you do, and have found one that works for you, don’t be ashamed of that. Seriously. Sometimes that’s exactly what is needed and does the trick – for me, I have tried many and none have.) I want it gone forever, I want to hide this dark woman inside of me in a far-off attic of my own heart and throw away the key. I am not proud nor fond of her.
But I am desperately trying to love her.
Depression is ugly. Even that word has a stigma around it. A certain…shame, associated with it. And I wrestle. Because I believe it is a real thing, I believe it can do so much profound damage to a life unchecked, but another part of me wonders, if the thin line of ‘illness’ if you will, is not straddled by a deeper truth that those of us who struggle so deeply with this profound hopelessness and sadness, are not also the ones who many times feel the deepest, who somehow have tuned into a frequency in this world that others have not. That we feel the pain and sorrow, the hopelessness and trauma happening all around us, to our bones. That somehow we are the ones, grieving all the pain that should be grieved in this world. For all the men who refuse to feel their pain and let their hearts break, for all the silent cries of the abused, for all the women raped in dark alley ways, for all the pain and loss, horror and terror in this world – the pain must be felt. And sometimes I think we are the chosen. The ones who have somehow tuned into this darkness’s atmosphere and now we are somehow feeling it all – or feeling nothing because it’s too much.
I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. At all. I’m trying to walk day by day, happy moment by happy moment and take the sad ones as they come. Some days are better than others. I don’t want to glorify suffering or depression. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy – but what if, somehow we figured out how to ride that line of feeling. All the things that humanity needs to feel. Instead of shaming our sad days, being able to be proud of how we are still able to feel things so deeply. Instead of running from the deep sorrow in ourselves, be able to accept it and also, somewhere in us, be thankful that we are still so alive enough to grieve so deeply – even when we don’t know what for.
How do we fine the line here? Because it is a fine line. I have seen depression steal lives and make corpses out of living bodies. I have seen it cripple too many, so I know there is a line of it all. But how do we maybe, just maybe, look at this from different angles – ones with less judgement and shame and more tenderness and vulnerability and strength.
Wherever you are on this journey. If it’s day after day of the hard days, if it’s a period or season of beauty and hope, or if you’re like me, somewhere balancing between the two, questioning why feeling SO much is seen as so damning (especially in my own eyes), don’t let go.
You are not alone. In your joy, you are not alone. In your sorrow, you are not alone. In your questioning, you are not alone.
Have hope. And be tender with yourself. We’re all doing the best we can.
(Also, I would love to hear thoughts on the line. What you think. This is all jumbled around in my head. The deep feeling world, the sadness world, the stigma world. Let’s talk. Write here or message me directly. I’m fascinated to hear your side.)