Who is this sadistic asshole whose words, though crude, have the power to render my thoughts of self-worth inept?
When did this…thing appear?
For me, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when depression started running rampant in my mind.
Sure, there were times when I felt angry, worthless and down in my teenage years. But didn’t everyone feel like that from time to time?
I’ve had bouts with the black dog throughout my adult life.
Maybe the origin is irrelevant. It certainly won’t make it go away.
Today, I fight
I had a long conversation with a good friend of mine last night about depression and anxiety.
This friend had been feeling extremely down for awhile and needed to talk. I’m no therapist, but sometimes you just need to be an ear to listen.
I started listing the thoughts I had personally had in my head and my friend let out an audible gasp.
“It’s almost as if you’re reading my mind,” my friend told me.
“Strange, isn’t it? We think these dark, private thoughts that bring us shame when we shine light on them. But mine are the same as yours.”
Take them by the hand
When I’m down, and absolutely nothing seems worthwhile, I reach out for my wife.
I mentioned to my friend that my wife is sort of my last line of defense against depression. Lacey can coax me out of bed when all I want to do is sleep, or simply hide from the world.
I said, “Though you won’t want to do it, reach out to those you love.”
Make them understand
I doubt it’s completely possible for someone without depression to fully understand or appreciate the havoc it wrecks on a person’s mind. Trained therapists are a notable exception.
And you know what? It doesn’t matter. You don’t need those you love to completely get why you feel the way you do. You hardly get it, yourself.
I tell Lacey to not worry about why I feel down, or how to fix it. Just be there.
Listen when I talk. Convince me to talk when I feel like I can’t. Embrace me when nothing else works.
About those illusions
Those thoughts you hear can sound something like:
- You’re a burden.
- You’re not worthy of love.
- You’re better off alone so you can’t drag anyone down.
First, let me say that those thoughts are unequivocally false. If the theoretical shithead who cuts people off in traffic, pees on the toilet seat, or cuts in line at the movie theater has someone in his/her life that loves them, then you certainly do.
Paging Dr. Leo Marvin
Now, set one small goal for yourself. A baby step (pardon the “What About Bob?” reference). And kick the shit out of that goal. Make it your bitch.
Examples: do the dishes, clean the shit out of the litter box, clip your toenails.
Whatever it is, make sure you’re physically moving. It helps.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Fuck the sadist and their false assertions. The things they tell you are lies, and you know it. Even if you don’t know it, I do.