WARNING: The following post is NOT warm and fuzzy. Proceed at your own discretion.
Depression is a fickle bitch.
It’s PMS, road rage, PTSD after returning from Iraq, or staring down at your beautiful newborn and feeling…nothing. It’s partial paralysis after a stroke, a blown-out knee, an unwritten novel, failed dreams. Constant pain from a herniated disc, dialysis, gluttony, the inability to leave the womb-like safety of your home.
Depression is the faded ink stain on your favorite shirt, the dormant stage of a daffodil bulb. Or a zombie apocalypse.
Depression is the dress you buy for when you’re 5 pounds thinner, only to find it years later crumpled on the floor in the back of your closet.
Depression is failure for not being able to “snap out of it.” It’s unfulfilled potential, too many hours of sleep, and medical bills for undiagnosed ailments. Relationships gone sour, regurgitated food, clogged arteries, and one too many glasses of wine.
Depression says No before getting smacked across the face by a parent. Depression says No to the babysitter who molested you, the assailant who raped you. Depression says No to the men you try to please to fill the hole. No to extra work hours in place of family. No to your child about…well, anything.
Depression says You’re Not Worthy. How could you be with Hep B-tainted blood, tract marks on your arms, semen deep inside you from someone who shares your DNA? Or simply that your sexual preference is different from mine.
Depression says It’ll Never Get Better. Because you’ve tried everything. Because the meds can only do so much. Because cognitive therapy doesn’t work when your words and thoughts are diseased. And in response to all those success stories about others who have overcome this beast, you scream, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Depression says I Don’t Love You. I never wanted you. I wish I had aborted you. I beat you for your own good. It’s how I was raised. It’s the only way I know. It runs in the family.
Depression says You Could Have Done Better. Because a B+ is not an A, 2nd Place is no Winner, and if only you had worked harder…If only… If only you were thinner, smarter, taller…
Depression seduces, giving you that tingly feeling in your groin. It brings you to that moment when morals, doubts, marital statuses are forgotten. Depression gets you completely naked, ready, and willing…and then whispers, “I don’t want you,” before slinking away.
Depression leaves scars in the form of cutting, tattoos, or grooves in the brain like well-trodden areas of carpet. It can be obvious and deafening like angry feedback during a concert. Silent and seething like a small gas leak. Or brains splattered all over the wallpaper you never wanted in the first place.
It’s selfish and maddening and sensitive and organic. It’s suffocating, lacking in compassion, intuitive and creative. It’s paralyzing and hopeless and cerebral and methodical. It’s both powerless and powerful. Bright light when you remember how you once were; darkness over how you are now. It’s prison, then parole. Purgatory. An apathetic Heaven or Hell.
It’s the underachieving, New Age pessimist and the overachieving, Mensa tyrant. The insanely talented Oxycontin-addicted Narcissist. The gold-medal winning, anal-retentive introvert who wonders, What now?
Depression is Jim Carrey, Eric Clapton, Agatha Cristie, Edgar Degas, and Princess Di. It’s Reddit co-founder, Aaron Swartz, J.K. Rowling, Marilyn Monroe, John Hinkley, Jr. It’s “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” Nietzsche, (but if it does end up killing us, it’s only because we’re desperate for the pain to go away). Depression is Mike Tyson, Mike Wallace, Terry Bradshaw, and Oscar-winning director, Malik Bendjelloul.
Depression is the doctor, the artist, the addict, the mother, the Vet, the student, the Walmart cashier.
Depression is the unemployed and the employed, the psychiatrist who treats you for symptoms, the terminally ill, the convict, the mortician who will dress your dead body. Depression is your parent, your child, your spouse, your grandfather.
Depression is a petulant child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket on a dog day afternoon. “See me,” it cries, before retreating once again into invisibility.