Monday, February 27, 2006

Context

I've had this post sitting in my drafts for a week. I've added to it, removed from it, had my finger hovering over the delete button and the post button alternatively. First worried it was too personal, then that it wasn't personal enough, and at last that no one cared any way. Doubt, second-guessing, insecurity, etc.

I made this blog, all those years ago, as a place to vent. A place I could say all the things I will never ever say. Hence the title. It's not so easy to do now, given most of you reading this actually know me. There are a great many things I'm not saying that I really, really, really, REALLY need to say.

I know what happens when I let silence rule me. Silence is yet another of those goblins that harass me. So this is venting. You all know someone who isn't a happy person, and this is a little bit of what it's like. Give them a tap.

Suffering From Depression vs Being Depressed

I have been discussing depression with a couple of friends recently, and was informed that apparently there's a difference between being depressed, and suffering depression. I didn't realise, although if I had thought about it for long enough, it should have been obvious.

Everyone, at some time in their lives, becomes depressed. No one has a good time all the time.

That doesn't mean one suffers depression. Being depressed, even for those suffering depression, is usually circumstantial. After a while, the circumstances go away, and the depression does to.

For me, being depressed is-

DEPRESSION

A grey, wet blanket. Wool, so it is heavy, and scratchy.

-which differs from person to person. For Winston Churchill, depression was a black dog that followed him around.

Suffering from depression means that that grey, wet blanket never goes a way. It sits just there. Every. Single. Day.

When depressed, it covers my whole head, so that I can't see or hear, I can't speak, and sometimes, I can't breathe. It's paralyzing. On the good days, it pulls back to just sit there, being heavy, cumbersome, but not in the way. But it never goes away.

It means that, on the good nights, you have trouble sleeping, and on the bad nights, you can't sleep because you're crying, and have been for hours.

It means on good days you're enjoying yourself, having a glimpse of what it feels to be a normal person, and yet waiting for that one look, pause, sentence that will ruin it all and bring you back down. And it does.

It means you spend a lot of time avoiding people, because people hurt you. Never intentionally, but you're sensitive, and you can hear everything that isn't said as well as the many inflections of what is said, and you can read between lines to entire universes that don't exist, and the strength of your insecurity and doubt has the power to destroy even the happiest of bubbles.

It means you spend a lot of time in your head, to hide from these people who mean you no harm. You take refuge in your warmest memories, and then, because you cannot help yourself, you systematically tear them apart, and poison them with doubt, and tell yourself that it never meant anything to anyone else but you.

It means you know yourself well, very well. You get tired of your own company, and when you're not avoiding all contact with the human race, you're obsessively checking your phone or email, to see if anyone feels any need to acknowledge your existence.

It means when you need help, you're incapable of asking for it. You sit there with the phone in your hand, staring at the wall, playing through your mind all the conversations you might have with all the people you could call, but you don't. You say it's because you don't want to impose, but really, it's because you're terrified they won't understand, or won't care, and that the slightest rejection will make you crumple.

It means you look at the days, weeks, years, decades, minutes of your life stretching out before you, and the sheer length of it sucks the breath from your lungs, because the thought of having to go through every one of those days is crushing, is more than you can handle. So you don't think about it.

It means on good days you don't like yourself, and on bad days you hate yourself.

It means when people ask 'how are you?', you give nothing answers, 'okay', 'alright', because the truth takes too long, and no one wants to be burdened with someone elses darkness, and they never know what to say anyway.

It means you carefully push your friends to arm's length. Words are so very cheap, and not matter how well meant, words don't mean anything to you anymore. So you'd rather nothing was said.

It means you need some sort of acknowledgement that you're not a worthless sack of meat as much as you need air, because you can't convince yourself otherwise.

It means you're constantly tired, because every day is one long battle with yourself, to not assume the worst of the world, to acknowledge that it isn't personal, to remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with your life and you have no reason to for all this anger, and hatred, and misery. And why are you crying on the train?

It means you're strong, because you've had to carry a heavy burden for a long time. But its a strength like glass; easy to see through, easy to break. There is no armour thick enough.

It means you spend most of your life alone, because you're afraid of what the world might do to you. You're hard to get to know, so a lot of people don't try.

It means the walls are always up. The walls are always down. You're nothing but contradictions, and no one knows what the weather is like in your head from one minute to the next.

It means you see life as an ocean. Everyone else seems to have a boat, and they coast about on the surface as if it were fun. You lost your boat. Perhaps you never had one, and now you're in the water, and every day you struggle to keep your head above water, with this grey, wet blanket tangling you up and dragging you down.

Somtimes, it means you drown.

Someties, it means you're very good at treading water.