And now for something more personal:
I think the depression’s coming back.
Sometimes when I stand outside, I can almost see this grey haze standing between me and the sun. My own personal raincloud. Just like those Zoloft commercials with the sad, sad blob, who discovers happiness through the perfect patented blend of SSRIs.
For me, depression isn’t about feeling sad. It’s true that I might be in tears more often than not, but it doesn’t feel like actual sadness. It feels like exhaustion and hopelessness. I don’t feel sharp pain; I feel numb. Things that would normally give me joy just feel dull and colorless and, most importantly, removed from me and my life. Like they’re happening to someone else I know fairly well but don’t talk to all that often.
The tears probably should have been a tipoff. I shouldn’t actually be going through a box of Kleenex a week. But I’d chalked it up to stress over relocating to a new state and starting a new job, to a lack of social support in my immediate area, to a romantic relationship which has been both incredibly fulfilling and also intensely stressful. And, granted, those are valid reasons to be feeling a little emotionally shaky; there’s a lot on this plate of mine at the moment. This could be depression of the situational variety.
Or not. Maybe it’s just the same old shit.
How I envy the well-adjusted and mentally healthy. What must it be like never to fear that your brain will turn on you? It’s a terrifying thing to experience, because depression speaks to you in a voice that sounds eerily rational. Persuasive. Reasonable. It uses logic and facts and has a comeback for every timid counterargument you can think to propose. And it’s single-mindedly focused on convincing you that you’re worthless.
Now that I’ve written it out, I’m noticing how similar depression is to being in an abusive relationship. Abusers spend quite a lot of time ensuring that their victims depend on and trust them, because it’s much easier to control someone you’ve broken down first. And we humans seem to trust our own inner voices implicitly; we don’t question whether they have our best interests in mind. Even when your brain’s gone rogue and is trying to convince you to jump from a 15-story building, part of you still thinks that it really knows best.
I guess it’s hard to doubt the part of you that sounds sanest.
Fear not, my tiny readership. I am getting help, and I’m not about to do anything to harm myself. I’ve been through this before and I know how to deal with it. But I think part of dealing with it is admitting it, acknowledging the reality of it. Like finally admitting that your controlling partner is harming you and that you deserve better.
So, depression, fair warning: I’m on to you. Enjoy your residence in my head while it lasts. We’ve been here before and we may be here again, but each time I spot you a little more easily and I’m a little better at weeding you out.
I’ll win in the end. You’ll see.