I stumbled across Tamara on Twitter not terribly long ago and it took almost no time to realize that we were totally kindred spirits. She writes a fantastic blog, is dead funny and makes me laugh almost constantly. I’m crazy blessed to have her in my virtual village and I’m honored to have her as a guest poster today.
I’ve only just begun it, but I can already tell you: Writing about depression is hard. Writing about my faltering faith, my personality defects, my physical flaws, my parenting struggles– that’s easy. That’s stuff everyone goes through; I know I’m not alone. But Depression is a sinister demon, and it’s a damn good liar, and it loves to whisper, “You’re all alone.”
Writing about depression when I’m not having an episode is hard because it forces reflection on something so dark. But writing about it in the midst of it would be impossible. When Depression attacks, sometimes the most I can do is just get out of bed, and even that is unwelcome and trying. Forget productivity, fuck creativity.
Depression strips me of my energy until I am bare useless. I sleep, and I sleep, and I sleep, and still I am tired. Body-tired, mind-tired, soul-tired– dead tired.
Depression overcomes me and I am helpless to fight it off, and, exhausted, my mind and my heart succumb. It tells me that there is no one who sees or hears my pain, and even if there were, there is certainly no one who cares enough to touch it. And I listen, and I believe.
Depression toys with my emotions so that I am alternately weepy and apathetic. Both everything and nothing at all can make me cry– sobs that go soul-deep and find no catharsis and begin again. And then, mood changed out of nowhere explicable, I will be unmovable. My normally soft heart will not care, cannot care, about anything or anyone. And the demon Depression gets off at its own sick game.
But although it lies, Depression is half right when it says that no one understands, because some of the people closest to me do not have to fight this particular demon, so they cannot grasp its power. They think I ought to snap out of it, shrug it off, perk up, rejoin life, carry on as usual. But what they don’t understand is that I am not free to do any of those things. I am captive, I am bound.
Others, out of well-intentioned, utterly useless ignorance, may point to my Christian faith and say, “You’re too blessed to be depressed.” And their trite rhymes poke new pain in a deep wound. As many times as I have been attacked by this demon, I have turned to my Savior and begged, “Why?”
I don’t know that I’ll find an answer in this life. But I do know a few things: Writing about depression is hard. Living through it alone is harder. And there’s nothing like writing down 453 words of truth to stick it to a liar.