Not the music variety, which is, clearly, totally awesome.
I’m talking about the PTSD variety of funk that I’ve been graced with since a monster sexually assaulted me as a child. Mingle PTSD with Major Depressive Disorder–which I may or may not have had regardless of sexual abuse based on my genetics and other factors–and you’ve got the ingredients for a major funk. I can’t seem to shake this latest funk. It’s been with me for a few months now. No matter what I do, it clings to me like a sheen of sweat.
I am depressed. That blows. It’s not all the time anymore, but it is persistent. It is an ever-present niggling little parasite gnawing on my brain.
Mental disorders are obnoxious. They are not easily diagnosed. If you go into a hospital with a broken arm, it’s fairly evident what’s wrong with you and what needs to happen. They’ll give you some painkillers and put your poor hurty arm in a cast. A few months later, all better!
Mental illness doesn’t work that way. Some people, like the latest Fort Hood shooter, to all appearances, don’t have anything wrong with them. They don’t seem depressed or unstable, yet they shoot a bunch of people anyway. The latest shooter was in psychiatric treatment and he still got a gun and went on a rampage.
Mental illness is insidious that way. It is woven through the very fiber of our beings. There’s no date you can circle on a calendar when the cast will come off. There’s no real effective treatment. There is no pill, surgery or magic elixir you can take to make it heal. There is no cure.
When you have mental illness, just the notion that it will never really go away is sometimes enough to make us lose our shit. Imagine suffering from something that makes your life seem worthless, that immobilizes you and makes you feel nothing or everything, while knowing that it will never go away. It’s terrifying. And the worst part is, that because we are not technically in our right minds, so to speak, we are ill-equipped to cope with that depressing notion.
Some people can’t handle it, and to be perfectly honest, I do not blame them. I can’t ever see walking into a military installation and shooting people, but I can entirely understand turning that gun on yourself. It is so much easier not to fight it. It’s so much easier to let the depression carry you away to that dark place where nothing matters. Sometimes, we just can’t fight it anymore.
I’ve been there; wallowing in the muck at the bottom of my soul. I’ve stopped swimming and let the current carry me. I’ve crawled into the darkness and slept in a fetal position for a while. And I tell you what–and this is something nobody will talk about–it’s liberating. When you give up the will to fight the monsters in your soul, there is a sense of peace that comes over you like nothing else.
I clawed my way back out of the darkness, because I was not ready to die and I’m still not, but I get it. I understand all those soldiers coming home with PTSD. It’s a terrible price to pay for doing the right thing. It makes my heart hurt to think of what they’re going through, because I do understand.
Sometimes, it gets to be too much. We lose the will to fight. Our own brains are working against us to void the survival instinct. We don’t see the value in living. We don’t see our own value. We bring nothing to the world and we might as well stop being a drain on it and those we love. And it will never go away. We will live with that darkness in the background for as long as we breathe. Sometimes, it’s easier not to fight.
I try to write my way out of the funk with posts like this one. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes, it even makes it worse, but I keep trying, because it is all I can do and because someone going through it might read it and simply know that they are not alone.
You are not alone. There are so many of us here in the darkness with you, fighting alongside you. We will try to carry you when you can’t carry your own weight. This is not your fault. We understand. We know what it’s like. We love you even if you can’t love yourself.