On Depression

I’m not always interested in reading about others’ struggles with depression. I do, however, know I need to read them.

Claiming some sort of mental health problem seems to be kind of an “in” thing. Anything from something on the autistic spectrum to bi-polar or whatever. Of course, my own prejudices color this, because I tend to gravitate toward that kind of thing. The workings of the mind and the interaction of mental and physical processes fascinate me. I’ve also dealt with depression for most of my life.

I remember distinctly in high school knowing at least three ways I could commit suicide at any time. My preferred method for contemplation was mixing bleach and ammonia in a bucket in a room as airtight as I could make it and just going to sleep. I never actively attempted, but I remember the most common thought I had while contemplating is that if I were gone, I wouldn’t have to try anymore. I wouldn’t have to work at and continually fail to live up to the expectations of my parents, my teachers, even myself. That was the lie depression told me. That even trying was worthless because I would never succeed.

I still struggle with this. I’ve never been any good with challenges because that voice that tells me that if I don’t get what I want or need on the first attempt, further attempts are worthless because they’ll just produce the same result. This is also the voice that insists that if I don’t get recognized for what I have managed to do correctly (whether I’ve done so on the first attempt or pushed past and managed on subsequent ones) that the accomplishment is worthless.

Too often I still believe these lies. Sometimes I believe them so much I don’t want to get out of bed. I have absolutely no energy.

But eventually, I can get up and walk out and face things and realize that what loomed so large the day before is actually doable, even the first time.

I know that I’ll believe the lies again, that the voice will be a clamor that drowns out everything else. I also know that it will quiet down again. It will.


Tell me about it...