||[Jul. 13th, 2012|11:09 am]
The Question Club
Talking to a fellow about our mutual battle with depression got me wanting to talk about it again so if you don't 'get' depression, just pass this entry by. Don't be crabby with me okay? Hey there is your question mark!|
I have been clinically depressed since I was 8 years old. I have been this way for DECADES. I can't remember any other way of feeling; like a large elephant in a small room, I squeeze by it every day to get to the other side while my family tip-toes past it as if it wasn't there. It is an up and down cyclical thing with me and weeks go by where I can ignore the elephant. Although I am diagnosed with depression I am not diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and my life is generally a curvy line but at times it's sharply peaking and and other times plunging like a rock to the depths. It is slowly but surely eating a large messy hole into my very soul. I am shaped by my depression, the person I am today is because the hole in my soul is ragged. Like a pair of lips the wound sucks the life out of me; a beast with a mind of its own, I am but a passenger hanging on to its scaly back. The will to live during those very bad times is something I have to diligently search for.
It is like a vortex, a large dark hole spinning around and around at a slow inexorable pace, dragging me down into its murky depths. I am aware that I am sliding down and claw at the sides trying to save myself but inevitably, down down I go till I can't see any light, everything is grey to me. At its nadir, I lose the ability to see colors, to see beauty, to control my emotions. I lash out, I go on hours-long crying jags that I have no control over, I hide away in my house. The impending doom that hangs over me like a grey cloud crushes the breath out of me. I am reduced to hiding in my bed or pacing back and forth like a caged animal. I AM in a cage, really, one of my mind's own making.
At times, I try to tamp these crushing feelings down with vodka hoping to numb the pain and the fright. This is a double-edged sword though as I know that I will feel worse in the morning. And then one day when I think that it is all too too much and I can't handle it anymore, I awake and notice that I can see the colors again. Just a little bit at first but it is enough to push on. Up I crawl out of the slowly spinning vortex, clawing my way to the top again. I never get to the very top but even to be at eye level with the rim of my own personal hell is enough for me to keep on keeping on.
If you met me in person, you wouldn't guess that I am depressed as I wear a cunning disguise like a shield from the world. I use humor as part of my shield and you can find me cracking jokes and laughing all the time. The act of laughing is so close to crying that sometimes the line blurs and in my dark depths my laughter does sometimes turn into inappropriate sobbing. I hate that lack of control. I am not a sissy-girl. When I feel that coming on, that is when I hide away lest I start crying in stores or bank line-ups. And when I am feeling okay, I am strong and forthright and march forward through the darkness with my head held high.
I am not a tragic star in a play of my own making. I am fighting the good fight against this villain. I went to a shrink for 3 years, I took counseling, I took part in group therapy and life-change courses and have been on eleven different anti-depressants not including the drugs I had to take for the side-effects that most gave me. This is all to no avail though, as apparently I am one of the 5% of the population that is unfixable. I stopped going to the shrink and refuse to take any more of the anti-depressants as I would rather battle the elephant in the room as myself rather than as the stranger that the drugs turned me into. It is a battle that I ultimately fight alone.