Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

the ugliness of reality

This is one of those posts I hate to write. It's one of those reality check posts, where everything isn't going to turn out all sunshine and roses. This is a post about the stranglehold of depression. It's about feeling vulnerable and transparent when out in public. It's about convincing, repetitive thoughts of disappointment and failure. Letting so many people down, that's the well rehearsed message, and it's on auto-play. It's about me turning my phone off almost all weekend because it was painful to talk to anyone, and what was I going to say anyway?

"How are you doing?"
"I feel like shit."
"What do you mean?"
"I hurt. I can't breathe. My body aches. My chest is filled with the heaviest of lead. My thoughts revolve around what a useless existence I am currently living, and how it's equally useless to keep on living it. The only thing I want to do is sleep. Yet I can't sleep enough, partly because I'm exhausted, but mostly because sleep is my only reprieve. I go to sleep hoping I don't wake up. But so far, I have."
"I'm sorry you feel that way."
"Me, too."

What else is there to say or do? I can't hold up my end of any relationship right now. It's not fair to whine and complain. I'm doing my best to continue moving. But that hurts, too.

Such a silent, invisible illness, depression is. If only people really knew how difficult it is to get out of bed. How nearly impossible it feels to take a shower or get dressed. How I have to calculate my movements in order to allow for rest after each and every one. And not just physical rest. My brain is overflowing with negativity, self-doubt, and failure. To focus I must crawl through a swamp of strangling slime and screaming banshees. An intermittent coherent breath is my only hope. I may appear a little off, maybe impatient or slightly cranky. But beneath the surface there is so much more ugliness than that.

Depression is cruel and hideous. It is warring just below the surface, my surface. I only have so much fight. Depression steals that, too. I can only fight so long before depression strangles me. Bit by bit, it buries me. And then I'm gone. Currently I must be losing the fight, because "gone" sounds like relief.


Anonymous said...

Amazing you can find the words. That lying Mugster, depression. Makes everything that changes, which is everything, seem petrified.

Relief is what I want for you, Sorry it’s so shitty.

Paul Lamb said...

Clearly stated. About as perfect an explanation of this monster as I've ever seen.

And I recognize every word of it in myself.

etta said...

@ Anonymous, @ Paul: Thank you both. Unfortunately it is clear you both understand. Thank you for your descriptive words.

As an aside: As I was sitting here feeling satisfied with your kind insightful comments, and the fact that I made a connection with each of you, my oatmeal boiled over and made a huge, sticky mess. Perfect. Depression.

Paul Lamb said...

Though if you'd titled this "The ugliness of reality" you could have gone down a comical angle. I would have contributed a photo of my mug.

The point being that, um, well, this will pass. And you'll find yourself laughing a reality once again. Of course I know how impossible that sounds -- I have been there many, many times -- and I know this sounds condescending and "well meaning," but I speak with empathy as much as sympathy.

Your blog means a great deal to a great many people. You're a model and a mentor.

Hurry back to us.