When someone tells you that they are depressed, that they have depression, they are usually not telling you when they are in the throes of it. Usually they say it in common conversation because the topic came up, or maybe they are commiserating with you over one of your friends that has depression too. The admittance seems light in the moment because it is light in the moment.
The reality is that it’s not.
Light, that is.
We, the forever depressed, are ashamed of it our searing, emotional weakness. It is brave for anyone to admit it but it is not like we are proud of the bravery of admitting it out loud. Some hero.
It’s also not like I want to, that we want to, admit to anyone that we are taking medicine, but sometimes it comes up. And so we admit it. Oh, you don’t believe in pharmaceuticals? Oh, you don’t? Cool, well I don’t either but if I don’t take this here pharmaceutical I would be pounding my head against the counter of bar/window ledge/your kitchen table. If I don’t dose myself daily with this placebo both of us don’t believe in, I would just lay down in the snow, in the road, and let the 80 bus take my soul to the heaven we both don’t believe in either.
I know there are worse things than living with depression. I know that people are dying, starving, living miserable lives in threatening situations, burdened by husbands that would kill them, or lying sick in a hospital bed somewhere dying, sucking on ice, or watching beasts of men rip away their mothers, brothers, children. Jeez, am I making it any better?
That’s one big element tho. Shame. We, the depressed, know things are worse for many many others but it doesn’t take away our sensitivity to every insensitive thing that comes out of your stupid mouth. It’s not your fault either. So sorry for saying your mouth was stupid.
It’s an ugly thing. The few people in my life that have seen me in the depths of it, well I probably scared them. So there’s that too. Someone that I love that I want to keep close to me, for them to see me wild- eyed, snot cascading, teeth clenched- hey- maybe they will run away from me. Maybe they will back out of this relationship, this best friendship, this mommyhood. I have seen the look on my dog’s face when I am crying and hurling myself around. She looks like someone who noticed someone shit the bed. And the shit is blood. And she tries to act like she didn’t see, but she saw and could you please open the door and let me out, it has nothing to do with your blood shit, I’d just like a lap of water for a few hours while you clean the sheets.
Once someone sees you fall apart, you can’t take that back. Luckily Lillie’s loyalty can be re-won with a slice of meat and hug pat, but people aren’t dogs. Unfortunately.
I’m just saying all of this because sometimes it is very hard for people like us to get through the day. It’s not your fault, it’s not our fault, it’s not anyone’s fault, but sometimes we feel like helpless children abandoned in a foreign orphanage, when in fact, we are thirty one with jobs and families, or thirty five, or fifty six, or ten, or seventy. And it takes all day for us to get moving or pick our heads up. And it takes all the tiny spurps of energy we have to hold in tears and tempers but we do. And we make it out of bed, and we try to push our hair into place and go out in the world and act like a normal being. But then some Prius sloshes snow on your carefully chosen snow-outfit, and some insane person makes eye contact with you on the train and spits in your face, and some egomaniac at work calls you a stupid bitch and it would all be funny ordinarily, but today you barely made it out of bed without wishing for sleep death, so it feels real heavy.
Maybe someone that knows about your depression notices your downness and bluntly asks if you forgot to take your medicine or gingerly asks if you have your period. You very well could have forgotten your medicine (how astute of them) or very well could be in mensus (lay off) but jesus, can’t we just pretend I’m normal and having a bad day, you rainbo fucking brite?
There was some bullshit on Facebook a few weeks back about that Marilyn Monroe quote that goes something like, “if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best” And some perfect overachiever accountant or always in control computer programmer answered the meme with one of their own that was like, “if I have to handle you at your worst, then you have a problem, you crazy child.” That’s sweet but I don’t think that’s capturing the point. Monroe was a shining bright charming people lover, who had some emotional problems that led to her feeling ostracized and like she didn’t belong. So she killed herself, Meme. Get it? It’s inspirational. Motivational. Like that kitty clinging onto a tree sweetly mewing to “hang in there.” You wanna shoot the kitty from the tree?
Sometimes, most times? People are flawed. Sometimes, most times? People emote and can’t hide behind the masks that we all craft for our public personas. Sometimes, I step on a spider by accident and I can’t not think about it and so I try try try to distract myself until I end up yelling at a roommate over something totally unrelated because I bet that spider had relatives.
I guess I’m just saying, I’m just trying to say, that a lot of times we who feel too much give up the hiding of feeling too much and let it out and it doesn’t go well. But at least we let out feelings. At least we aren’t still hiding in bed. At least we get out of bed and into the world and try again. Even if we just do it for today. Sometimes a little day is like a season and we survive the cold.