I deal with depression. I have most of my life. As anyone who fights this lying bastard knows, it is far more complex than being sad all the time. I’m not. I make a concerted effort not to be. There are those times though, when you feel this insidious fucker creeping up on you and try as you might, it still sets up camp in your mind, whispering all the terrible things you’ve ever believed about yourself.
“You are worthless.”
“No one is ever going to want you.”
“You are completely forgettable.”
A decent human being would never say these things to you, so why does your very own psyche do it? Why do we listen to that voice inside that causes us to lose interest in the people and things that in the past brought us joy? That’s what depression does. It tells you there is no joy to be found in relationships, no worthiness in the work you do, and no point to the things that bring you pleasure.
I try to figure these things out all the time. I have periods where things are going great. No complaints from this girl. The real bitch of depression is that you don’t have some terrible life altering tragedy that turns your world upside down. Nope, what happens is that your enthusiasm begins to wane. You start pushing back the time you leave for the job you used to love. You find yourself putting off doing the things you had previously enjoyed doing. The negative thoughts you try not to entertain start circling, touching down, building nests. BAM! The bitch is back! That happy you life you were enjoying so recently looks dull and grey. No life altering event needed. The suckiest thing about that? This mother fucking monster sits in your head and tells you that this is exactly what you deserve.
There are things that never fail to bring me joy though. I have to keep those things in mind to help me make it through the worst days.
My kid isn’t half bad. She makes me crazy, but that seems to be the dynamic of the parent child relationship. Depression may tell me that I’ve fucked up everything I’ve ever touched, but I’ve raised a decent human being who cares about others. Screw you, Depression! I got that one right!
My friends. See, the scumbucket I’ve been talking about says, “No one likes you.” Wrong, mother fucker! I have people who love me, who want to spend time with me, and feel like their life is improved by my presence. My life is certainly improved by theirs. I have friends that I see on a regular basis. We get together for meals, watch movies, play Cards Against Humanity, and talk for hours. I have friends online, some of whom I’ve never even met in real life. Not once have I seen some of these people face to face, but at a request for prayer or good thoughts, love comes pouring in from all corners of the globe, gifts arrive on my doorstep, posts show up on my Facebook wall, and texts show up on my phone. That doesn’t happen to someone who is unloved or forgettable. So you know what? Fuck you, Depression! You’re a lying piece of shit.
That doesn’t even cover the friends and family who have been there for me for years. My BFF and I have been best friends for 34 years. No matter what that asshole packaged as a mental disorder tells you, no one sticks around that long if you are worthless and unlovable. Do you need to know what I’m going to tell Depression?
There are people though, friends and family alike, who desert you when you need them most. You may not have actually done anything to them but they turn on you. Depression is quick to tell you that you deserve that. Guess what. Fuck them and Depression! They’re all assholes. If they aren’t willing to support you or even tell you why they’re doing what they do or just refuse to accept responsibility for things they’ve done, then they aren’t worth worrying about. By all means, forgive them because they aren’t worth what that bitterness will do to you. Don’t give Depression another place to settle in, because that rat bastard will.
There is one thing in my life depression can’t touch. My Emma. That silly little bundle of poodle fluff won’t allow it. I never knew until her exactly how much difference a pet makes. She gives me unconditional love. She doesn’t care if I screw up; she just loves me. She’s funny, happy, and so loving towards everyone she meets. Pets really do make a difference. She is a constant source of joy and laughter and I shudder to think what condition I’d be in without her. She was a rescue, but the real question around here is “Who rescued whom?” Depression can suck it because my Emma is my four-legged antidepressant who has made sure that I’ve laughed every single day since she came into my life.
So now, to the point of this blog. As I’ve said, I have fought depression most of my life and it keeps coming back, making me suicidal at some points. I’ve decided that this time I’m going to share and chronicle this fight. I’m not going to do this alone. With each new change, good or bad, I’ll post here. I hope that I can inspire myself and others to not let that no good, lying bastard win. This is a fight I have to win and if I can help or inspire others, then I feel it is my duty and privilege to do so. If you’re facing the Dementors and chocolate isn’t helping, join me and we’ll fight them off with our own Patronus.