Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Gift of Depression

He asked me, "Is this all you think about now?" as I began another reflection of how my depression once tainted my world perception and created an alter-reality that I wanted so desperately to escape. And I paused because I did not know how to answer this question. What is this question? Why this question?
I admit that I speak freely of my experience with depression. I speak freely because I can no longer be ashamed of something that everyone has felt at one point in their life. I speak freely because I cannot believe that I am alone when 14.8 million suffer majorly just like me; twice as many women than men. I speak freely because I see the symptoms all around me of people still chasing that farse called the "American dream" that was not designed for attainment but enslavement. I speak freely because it heals me.
So why this question? Is my depression all I think about now? The question makes me realize the asker has not known long-suffering. I am not saying he has never suffered, I am not saying he has never felt pain. But it is clear to me that he has never been visited by the kind of suffering-pain that was only supposed to crash on your couch for a few days until things get better and be out your space but 3-months later is still eating your food, disturbing your sleep, and turning your sanctuary to your hell. That question told me that he never sat alone with only his history and a chisel and tried to chip to the core to see what exists.
Now don't misunderstand - I'm not saying depression is necessary to understand self. It has simply been my curse turned to worth. My depression was a slow painful slithering death. It gripped and squeezed my every breath. I was exhausted, beaten, and confused... my mind the abuser that left no bruise. I was a prisoner of self's: self-loathing, self-hatred, self-shame. I suffered alone, of that we do not speak nor say that dreadful name. Shhh, depression... what a dirty word! Just the sound sullies the tongue! People hear it, cringe, and think "Oh, how sad, poor, and pathetic that one." But those words will never roll off their lips. Instead it's other insensitivities masked as support that slip. Like, "ah, you just need a break, a little vacation" and "you're stronger than this situation." Oh but my favorites are "you need to stop thinking so much" or "toughen up and pull yourself out of this rut!"
There is no sense or certainty to depression, this I know. There is no clear cause and no one solution. There is no cure to something that cannot be understood; all there is is acceptance. And so I accept my condition like a pair of prescription lenses. It is always with me as I look at my world. It is a part of me just as my eyes provide my sight. Yeah, maybe he's right, all I think about is depression now... all I think about is what a gift my depression has been!
See, once you have looked death in the eyes and lived to reflect upon it you understand the value of life! I know the bliss that can exist in one second - every time I open my eyes to each day! I understand the sacredness of NOW as the only thing we really experience - everything else is theory or remeberance. I know true happiness because I own my thoughts, my feelings, and my actions - even the silly-crazy-impulsive ones; they are the only things in life that I can call MY OWN. I have peace because I accept me where I am, who I am, and where I've been - I am a child of GOD, made in His image, in this world but not of this world, I AM!
So to his question "Is this all you think about now?" I say, "Yes! I think about MY BLESSINGS EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY!"


A New Man said...

Wow...I'm speechless...and PROUD. I've just read through all the posts that you have added since 7/18, old poetry and new thoughts, and I am proud of you for expressing what you needed to say. Sorry if I touched a hurtful place during one of our conversations (or monologues, depending on the moment), and I hope that you'll continue to put thought to page and to best that animal labelled "depression" whenever it rears its ugly, obtuse head to strike. I love you.

Anonymous said...

Depression is not a disease that is confined to the human race alone. Its area of functioning also extends to the animal kingdom. Horses are particularly much prone to depression as compared to the other animals. The lack of a sexual partner is one pre dominant cause that drives horses to depression. Well, in this case, even the human beings can be driven to depression! Luckily for us we have depression cures.