Tuesday, August 12, 2014
The Truth About My Depression
The truth is that I'm drowning. Every where I look in the big world there is pain and destruction. Every where I look in my own life, I see pain and destruction. I'm trying to hide from it all, to protect my own sanity. This is one of the two months of the year that I tend to have a major depressive episode. The rest of the time, the depression is a constant hum in the background, sapping my energy, forcing me to choose what three things I will accomplish that day. Anything more than that is no longer realistic. To hear that someone else has lost the war, it makes me wonder if I should just give up now. This hiding from the overwhelm leaves me isolated, back under my tree, peering out at a place where I know I'd be welcomed, but my feet have turned into roots and my voice has fled.
The mocking voices inside start up again - taunting me with my hopes that someone will see me. What's the point of any of this? Their questions are knife cuts, designed to make me give up. It switches to accusations - how dare you ask to be seen by anyone, don't you know that you are broken and needy and they are beautiful and strong? They don't have time for you. How dare you think to divert any of their energies to your pathetic self? You're the one who can't get her shit together. You have the tools, suck it the fuck up and do it yourself. Then you can ask to be seen. Your value has always been based on what you do. No one really cares who you are, unless it shows up in what you do for them.
It all spirals to the point that I don't know where to ask for support. It feels overly dramatic. I'm afraid that people will start rebuking the Devil and casting "depression" out of me. Because that was one of the consistent responses I've gotten before. These mocking voices, they are my voices - mine and those internalized from the abuses of others. I cannot bear to be told that something that happens inside me is evil. It's taken years for me to see, to learn, to trust that I am not fundamentally evil simply because I am a woman. My depression is tied up in my trauma history, but it also provides havoc of it's own.
The truth is also that I have support. I have a therapist who has stuck with me these past three years as I've fought to find me, to learn compassion for myself, to tell the stories that I need to tell from the past. I have incredible friends who are there for me. Who give of their time and themselves. Who provide a safe place for my anger and frustrations. Who cry the tears I can't always cry for myself. Who understand all too well what it looks like to fight this illness, because they fight it for themselves.
I have more of a voice now, than I have ever had. Even when it's too hard for me to speak up, I still belong. I'm seen and loved for who I am, even when it's all I can do to show up. I have other voices in my life, in my head. Ones that speak kindness. That tell me that I am brave. That remind me that I'm allowed to have a dark day. Voices that remind me that I have all the permission. That speak light and hope into my darkness. For this day, it is enough.