Haven’t written for some time, huh? Well, I’d been feeling good. No need to write while I’m fine. Became a member of an amazing party, fighting for a better life; enrolled in a first mathematics course in university, cut my work hours, spent hours and hours in a community garden, weeding and harvesting, … all in all, a happy time.
But I’m back here.
Feeling the need to explain what it’s like to realize your depression is on the rise once again, to have those two voices in your head – yours and the depression’s.
There are two ways I’ve experienced depression now. The “aware” one, where I hear depression’s voice and am able to argue back… and the unaware, where I just feel down and out of energy and don’t know why. This one is an aware one and I’ll share the situation in my head with you. A tiny moment of it. Maybe 2 minutes.
Let me start by saying: I have an inner narrator. Always. I used to think everyone did, until lately, when a friend told me they understood their partner so much better now that they knew the partner has an inner voice that’s ALWAYS talking, and rarely friendly or supportive. It was a… wait, what? moment. “You’re telling me you don’t? There’s … silence… in your head? That’s possible?!”
The only moments I know silence is when I’m meditating. And it’s been training meditation for years to reach the ability to reach one minute of silence. I can reach about 5 minutes now – if I’m not in acute crisis.
So, it’s not an exaggeration what I’m describing. My brain floods me with thoughts and after decades of living with them I’ve learned to recognize the ones that don’t “belong”, the ones my depression sends. So here goes:
Random thought: I feel a tad alone. I should ask my friends if anyone wants to talk.
Depression: They won't. They don't like you. Not now. You're miserable and you'll just pull everyone down with you. Make them feel bad. Nobody wants that. Nobody wants you.
Me: Not true. They've been with me time and time again. They lift me up when I'm down, I lift them up when they are down. We love each other. They've seen me miserable and they are neither afraid nor taken aback. Shut up.
Depression: So you dump your responsibility to care for yourself on them? Asshole. Too lazy to do anything yourself, huh?
Me: Not. True. I care for myself BY asking for help. I am worthy of love and help.
Depression: Don't you remember how it feels to sit with "friends"? Being with people and still feeling alone?
Me: I do. It still helps. It's a progress. Feeling connected can take a while.
Depression: It's not worth the effort. Maybe you'll feel fine for a while, but I'll be back again and again. You'll always have to fight me. ALWAYS. And then you'll be tired and boring and nobody will want to hang out anymore. Once they realize this is the REAL you. The real you is lazy and stupid and ... ohhh, remember this one time when you couldn't even think of anything else to do but hang up on the person you didn't understand?
Me: Don't YOU remember how my husband watched me, hugged me and smiled, saying he knows that sometimes I'm "out of order" and that I'm too wonderful all the other time to let those moments define me?
Depression: Yeah, well... you still suck.
Me: *blowing raspberry*
I won this round. But it is exhausting to argue like that ALL THE TIME.
Working medication kicks out depression’s voice. Sometimes I could still hear it shouting in from somewhere, but it’s quiet and actually doesn’t even need arguing, ignoring it is enough, which leaves a shitload of energy for other things – like working, household chores, hobbies, friends, sports, …
Too bad my medication doesn’t seem to be working anymore.