The thing about depression is that it invades everything. It’s not just feeling sad and blue. It’s eating everything you see, or eating nothing. It’s sleeping fourteen hours a day or sleeping three. It’s crying at an episode of Full House or watching the news and failing to care about the kidnapping and murder of a child.
You can become fat or thin, sleepy or high, restless, emotional or bored.
And everything that happens is because you are inherently flawed. Things are obviously your fault, like burning toast in the new toaster oven. Other things that mere mortals might attribute to something else, like your inability to blow bubbles while everyone else in the group can, is a sign of your inborn failure as a person.
If only. If only you had different parents. If only you were prettier. If only you weren’t so pretty. If only you weren’t so smart – you’d be able to relate better to people and have more friends and maybe wouldn’t be so depressed. If only you’d never slept with him. If only you’d slept with her. It goes on and on.
And, if you do it right, it can be one hundred percent your fault. Others sometimes blame their parents, psychiatrists, lovers, even their children, but I think depression in its purest form is totally self-focused. Again, my opinion. The type of depression I’m talking about isn’t situational, such as those caused by a death or catastrophe. It’s chronic, very little could happen in your life to change it without outside help. And at this point you’re just not a good enough person to deserve outside help.
Psych meds are great – you can stir them all together, take them all, and potentially lapse in to a coma for two weeks, if it doesn’t do the job. Sure, some folks get a lot of relief from them. Some people with my illnesses even go on to have fulfilling lives. That’s not me, I don’t identify with Winston Churchill or Kaye Redfield Jamison. I don’t even identify with the guy that sits across from you with three kids and a dog and takes, like, a hundred pills a day, who has stayed out of the hospital for seven years and says he doesn’t even think of suicide. That’s not you and will not ever be.
I am not making a judgment. It sounds like I am, and I would be, if I hadn’t been there for years at a time – I don’t even judge myself. I understand getting so fat (not so much the thin) being high and sleepy at the same time and I was the one crying at Full House, not you. You would never do such a thing – Old Yeller is more your thing.
It hurts because everything hurts – my body gets achy and my joints hurt – but what hurts the most is the lost time. I look back on weddings, parties, exciting events are they aren’t exciting. I remember thinking, “This is it?” At the time it was impossible for me to be happy, although looking back I can see it was a joyous time. My illness made me miss it.