I don’t usually like to talk about depression. Because it’s depressing. And because I don’t want to depress anyone. I read once that humans can only stand about 20 minutes of exposure to someone who’s highly depressed before needing to get away, by leaving or by shutting down. I understand that. I can barely stand myself at all when I’m highly depressed.
When I was about 14, I wrote an essay for a class about my experience with depression. I don’t remember how, but a few of my classmates got to read it and came to me to say how much it had touched them. I actually made a few friends over this. It gave me a powerful sense of relevancy. Kinda like this blog has been doing, I realize. I’m very sad to say that I have lost this piece of writing, which is funny because I’m such an OCD archiver. I wish I could remember what it said.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. I guess I don’t really know where I’m going these days.
I haven’t struggled like this in a long time. Or maybe it’s more like I can’t believe how long and how good this previous stretch lasted. It felt like I had reached such an incredible new height, the view from up there was so shiny and bright, that I confused a plateau for the summit. Well, no, that’s not right either. Life is not a singular linear ascent. Life is more like you’re a big snow ball, being rolled around on the ground, growing as you pick up more snow on an all over the place path. In this metaphor, it would be like, I found myself into a real nice patch of good fluffy snow, that seemed to promise to last and last, but now I’m stuck on the dry concrete.
I believe words are just placeholders for what we want to express, for what we actually experience. That’s why I try to tread carefully around definitions and their repercussions. Like diagnoses. Those are real tricky ones. Especially with mental health. If you forget that it’s always only to the best of our current understanding, it’s easy to miss out. On the other hand, without a diagnosis, you can also miss out on understanding what’s happening to you. I mean, it’s kind of like that with everything, isn’t? If you see a red flower, you’ll register the color whether you have a name for red or not. It’s the same thing with different kinds of pain. You’ll register their experience whether or not you know how to name them. But not having a name for it means you can’t connect it to the knowledge we may have of it.
Wow, I really have no idea what I’m trying to say. This might be too complex an issue to address tonight. Or it might be the brain fog. Trying to think feels like trying to breathe when you’re all stuffed up. It’s like my mind is congested. And my heart feels like someone took a big bite in it, and chew off the part where my faith was. When I try to summon it up now, a big bunch of nothingness comes up.
I wonder if this is the kind of stuff my 14-years old essay was describing. Or if this is the kind of stuff people can’t stand more than 20 minutes of.
(I wrote this late last night, but didn’t trust myself to post it. Writing it must have made me feel better though, because I was able to fall asleep after. I don’t know if that is a sign that it is actually worth sharing, but I’ll take it as one).
(I didn’t publish it all day, because I don’t know even know why. It’s so easy to do nothing, and watch the disconnect grow. That’s why I gotta do the opposite, and make myself remember.)