Monday, September 03, 2012

The X-Ray of My Soul

Depression isn't sadness. Not real depression. Sadness is caused by something. Your pet dies. You break up with your boyfriend. Your favorite TV show ends. There's an impetus to sadness. A + B = sad.

There's no equation for depression. One day it just shows up, invites itself in, and makes itself at home. Sometimes it does wear a costume of sadness. Just to shake things up a bit. But it's at the oddest times. "Hey, I'm with friends! People like me, this is great! Oh, wait? What IS that? Why am I suddenly crushed with sadness? Get it off, get if off!!!" Yeah, it's kind of a mind-fuck like that.

Have you ever gotten an x-ray and they put that heavy coat/vest/doormat thing on you? Even if you're just getting your teeth checked? Depression is kind of like that. Heavy, only all over. Over your very soul. It's debilitating and makes it hard to breathe. Only it's invisible. Like an invisible cloak, but not in a cool, Harry Potter way. In the way that all you can do is crawl under it and drag it around until it gets a little lighter, then a little lighter, then lifts. It disappears for the same reason that it appeared. For no discernible reason at all.

And what does it look like to the people around you? Well, because it's invisible, it looks like you're being an asshole. It looks like you don't care. Because you don't. Depression makes you numb to caring, not just about other people, but about yourself. It's impossible to care about anyone or anything when your soul is covered with this heavy darkness.

And then it lies to you. On your better days, you know you're smart and capable and deserving. When depression knocks, it makes you believe that you're worthless and stupid and wrong. No matter what you do, it will be wrong. You know that you have things to do, that people depend on you. People you care about. Depression tells you those people don't care, that you're a disappointment, that the effort of trying is too much. And even if there are other voices saying, "No, do it! You can! You're someone who matters!", depression's voice is louder. Only it's not loud, because it's in your bones. And your bones are heavy and you're tired and you can't do it anyway because you're shit, so you don't. You give up.

Then people are disappointed. And you explain yourself until you're blue in the face but it doesn't matter. "Can't you see? I'm trying!! Can't you see? I care!!" No, it's like a one-way mirror. You see it, but they don't. You know you're different, that something is wrong and that you don't want it, but they only see the appearance of apathy, self-absorption, and discourtesy.

So you wait. You give yourself a time-out and face the corner. Which, by the way, is also rude and viewed as being a supreme asshole, but you can't worry about that. You can only wait for the heaviness to lift. For the lies to stop. For the moment you can smile again and really feel it.

One day you're happy again. What is happy for you, anyway. Once in a while you even forget for a little bit. You allow yourself to be carefree and silly and let the joy in. But it's there. It's at the edge, it's waiting to come back, unannounced, uninvited. You can blur the line for a little bit, you can put a few steps between you. But it will be back.

It always is.


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