As you may or may not know (or will know as soon as I type the rest of this sentence), I have Major Depressive Disorder. I’m medicated and it helps, but it doesn’t ever go away. One of the reasons I have this blog at all is because writing helps.
However, sometimes, like the past few days, I’ll go to write something and nothing comes. It’s just a blank wall of white. I sit down at my computer and stare at the blank wall, trying to think of anything to write on it and fail. At times this past weekend, I sat here with my laptop waiting for words to form in my mind about something, anything, and they didn’t, so I wrote nothing. Sometimes, even when I do write things, I think they’re crap. I think they’re unfocused and not up to my usual Goldfish quality standards. The last few posts on this blog are like that. I wrote them because I had to write something, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to say, even if they’re shoddy and lack any sort of focus. Or that could just be my depression talking.
Writing nothing is not good for my depression. If I can’t talk about it, it just gets worse. My depression doesn’t want me to talk about it and I hate when it wins. My depression wants me all to itself forever in a dark black hole. If I let it, it will swallow me alive.
For years, I suffered without medication because I was afraid that one of two things would happen: 1- I would become a zombie, devoid of all feelings or thoughts or personality or 2- I would become this manic happy person, so different from who I really am. Neither of those things happened. I’m still me, only a version who is able to cope ever so slightly better.
Drugs aren’t miracle workers. An antidepressant doesn’t have the power to turn me into a zombie or a maniacal happy person. All it does is shine a little ray of light into the darkness of depression. It allows me to see my depression a little more rationally, which is really remarkable considering just how irrational depression really is.
Most of the time, my depression is manageable, but I go through phases like the moon. Right now, I’m a full moon of depression. It will slowly recede, but it’s been bad. I feel frozen. I haven’t been able to write and it feels like I have a tangible weight on my chest. Sometimes, it’s difficult to breathe. My mouth has a metallic taste to it and I feel like I could break down crying for no reason at any second. Depression isn’t much fun. It’s not rational.
When I’m depressed, I think about suicide. I think about who will come to my funeral, who will take care of my animals, what embarrassing things they will find in my room. I think about whether or not I would leave a note and what would it say. I think about things that I would never think about were it not for depression. The thing is, I would never commit suicide. I just never would. But when I get depressed, I think about it a lot, because depression makes you crazy.
This life is all I have. I don’t believe in reincarnation, heaven, hell. They’re nice concepts if you can believe in them, but I don’t believe in much by the way of the supernatural. I don’t believe in luck or karma or superstition. I don’t believe in gods. I believe that this life with its gentle breezes and sunshine is all that I have and all I will ever have, so when I start considering suicide, it’s apparent that I’m not in my right mind.
These things are not easy things to talk about. That’s partly because my depression doesn’t want me to; talking about it makes it weaker. It’s also partly because those around me freak the hell out whenever I tell them things like that. I will never forgive you if you commit suicide. But I never would! If you’ve never been there, you can’t understand that I don’t want to even think about suicide, but it’s there all the same. They are thoughts in my head that are not mine; they are my depression’s. I talk about it not to scare people, but because it helps me and it might help someone else.
So, what do I do when I get this way? Above all, I try to remember that the bad thoughts that my depression put in my mind are not how I really feel. I don’t believe everything is pointless and hopeless. I do think my life has some value. I don’t want to die.
I try to distract myself. I try to make myself do things I normally enjoy, but don’t feel like doing because a symptom of depression is losing interest in things that normally make you happy. I try to remember that I do make a small difference in this world even if it’s just to those who love me. I try to kick my depression’s ass. I try because I know the depression will wane eventually, just like the moon, and I will not let it win.