Friday, August 17, 2012

on depression

Depression is a nosy neighbor that sneaks in the back door, uninvited.

There is nothing wrong. Nothing. You can't complain. You can't put your finger on it. There's no machine to rage against. And yet everything is annoying, everything slightly chafes. You want to connect with people, but you can't. They say the wrong things, even when they're trying to say the right things. You wait for the phone to ring, and when it does, you don't answer it. When it's sunny, you hide behind dark curtains. When it's raining, you wish you could escape the pervasive hammering of raindrops, the feeling that if it keeps raining like that, the house will begin to leak and fall apart. You keep waiting for things to break, for anything to break, for the moment when something gives you an excuse to cry, because that would feel better than waiting to cry.

You get angry with yourself. This feeling is stupid. It's fleeting, self-indulgent, meaningless. There is, you repeat, nothing wrong. You hurt, but you can't pinpoint where or why. You think you might be starting to get sick, but maybe you just can't breathe properly. Your stomach hurts, but you don't know why. Maybe it was that salad you ate, except you haven't eaten salad, because you keep forgetting to eat. You wait all day to go to bed and sleep, but when the time actually comes, sleep retreats, just out of reach, as far away as the stars that you've forgotten to look at because you don't want to go outside.

You get caught in loops. The same websites. The same songs. The same pajama pants for days on end. You try to remember what you had for dinner last night. You try to remember the last time you felt joy. The laundry piles up in endless cycles that seem meaningless until you're out of something you need. Dust dances in sunbeams, but instead of dusting, you close the curtains.

That's the thing about depression, dark patches, bad days-- they defy reason. They can last five minutes or five years. You are smart enough to know that none of it matters, that it's totally ridiculous. You know that it's chemical, or hormonal, or part of your cycle as a human or an artist, but that doesn't stop it from dragging you down into paralysis. That doesn't stop it from hurting. That doesn't stop the thick knot in your chest that steals your breath and words. And so you keep trudging through, taking care of everyone, doing what you have to do, hitting your deadlines. But inside, you're just a sucking, infected wound that never quite heals.

The bad news: depression happens in a place no one else can see.

The good news: It will get better.

*


21 comments:

Loralie Hall said...

And sometimes, things like this help just because they remind us we're not the only one who goes through it.

Thanks :-)

Stephanie said...

THIS. Totally totally totally THIS. I sometimes I forget that I'm not the only one who suffers from depression, that there are others out there like me. Just like me going through the same thing. Hugs to you, Delilah. And everyone that has ever battled depression.

delilah s. dawson said...

Sometimes just knowing you're not alone is enough to get you through the day. <3

Virginia Valerie said...

Sorry, D, especially if I've been insensitive or abrasive or otherwise a trigger. I notice that i've been especially snarky and grumpy lately, because I have been dealing with my own stuff. You know I've been down the depression path too. Thinking of you, darling.

Elisabeth Black said...

People are messy, and people are beautiful. Sometimes messy and beautiful are the same thing.

Pinafores and Pinwheels said...

hugs to you! please know I'm here if you need anything or just need to drop off the kids to have some alone time

Kelly Sangree said...

My mom and I both suffer occasional bouts of depression - when asked what depression looks like, my mom actually had an answer. There are dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor, toys on the floor, and an unshowered person on the couch that doesn't care about the dishes, laundry or toys because they are too miserable to move. And it's really awful. Some bouts go away on their own with a little effort, some require meds for leverage. But the good news is that it doesn't last forever.

delilah s. dawson said...

*stares at kitchen* Kelly, that is far too true. So don't care.

Sharon Stogner said...

It does get better... my teenage daughter has suffered with it since she a toddler (yes!) I have it, my mom...and so on. thanks goodness for medication and therapists. best of luck with everything :)

Krista Ashe said...

Thank you for capturing this struggle so eloquently. Depression isn't something you can snap out of as much as you want to. It's debilitating, and it robs you of so much. It truly is a war with a battle won here and there. Here's to us breaking through to the sunny side more than the dark side.

Julie Marsh said...

Yes. And the confounding part to me is that I still can't pinpoint how and when I emerge. I recognize the depths when I'm in them, but not the signs that I'm heading out.

DC Spell said...

UGH. Yes!!! I hate it. I wrote a few posts about it on my blog, too. It comes with the creative territory, unfortunately. I've learned to utilize it when it comes because (in a cruel twist of fate) it's when I write my most inspired stuff.

Bill Cameron said...

Excellent post. One small quibble, based on only my personal experience so of course others may have a different experience.

Simply this: it’s doesn’t always get better, nor will it automatically get better.

My own experience when depression takes hold is a lot of hard work is necessary to get back to some semblance of functionality. Medication, talk therapy, and more. It’s really hard, often expensive (which can be a barrier to getting help) and frequently includes a lot of one-step-forward, two-steps-back.

I don’t mean to be a downer. I just know how hard it can be to feel like it should be getting better when it isn’t. So I guess I would say not, “It will get better,” but “It can get better."

delilah s. dawson said...

Good point, Bill. You have to take steps to get there. When you're treading water, you have to keep treading and swim toward shore-- you can't just let yourself sink. I suppose I take for granted that, for whatever reason, it's always gotten better for me and that I'm a very fortunate person.

Ashley said...

Yeah. Everyone else pretty much said it already. I will also share this with everyone: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

MamaBear said...

Mine hit me like a ton of bricks this week. i am sitting here weeping internally because i have to be strong for my kids. i want to run away And hide. thank you for putting into words what i cant seem yo expreas

EttyOop said...

very well put...

and yes, it helps knowing you're not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Love you D. xoxo and super big hugs.
- Carrie

Kate said...

I wish I could hug you for writing this - thank you :)

seroquel 25 mg said...

Depression is really annoying. We can not control over it. We can only go for yoga and exercise.

Joanna Z. Weston said...

What a perfect description of depression! Thank you for articulating this so well. I hope that it helps people to understand more fully what depression really means.