Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventures in Depression

I stand there in my oversized sweatshirt and gym shorts, greasy hair at the result of not having showered in five days, 30 pounds heavier than I was ten months ago, across from you, with your perfect body and busy social life and beautiful, symmetrical face. Every expletive in existence runs through my brain, but I still have some semblance of willpower, and manage to not curse you out.

I've had depression since I was in the fourth grade, almost ten years ago.

This one'll be a doozy. Brace yourselves.

Ten years is a long fucking time. Sure, there have been times within the last ten years where the severity of my depression has varied (2009 destroyed little 13 year old Autumn, and I'm still in the midst of a foggy, lonely cloud of existence that descended on me mid-December 2013), but overall, I've gone through the past almost-decade numb. Without much feeling. Just observing the world around me rather than participating in it.

I'm not going to say what specifically led me to such crippling grief. Depression is highly subjective, and if I were to tell you, you'd probably chuckle and say, "Oh, Autumn. People recover from much worse in much less time!"

Which is true. It's not like someone close to me died, or I was assaulted or anything. But still. Just imagine that the worst thing imaginable that could happen to you, happened to me. And roll with it.

Have you ever been depressed? If so, then you will know that no matter what you do, no matter who you surround yourself with, you will be isolated. The only person who knows just how heartbreakingly deep your sadness is, is you. You might reach out to someone else in desperation, internally screaming, "PLEASE INTERACT WITH ME! MAKE ME NOT BE ALONE WITH MY GOD-AWFUL SELF! I'M DROWNING IN SADNESS! SOS!" but they will run away frightened, not wanting to, and probably not equipped to, deal with you and all your baggage. 

Others don't understand. Because mental illness is such an internal thing, it doesn't carry the same weight that something like cancer or multiple sclerosis does. It can't be physically seen on the body, and when you're physically perfectly healthy, how sad can you really be? Oh, you're depressed? Oh, boo hoo. Take a hike! Meditate! Exercise! Choose to be happy! Suck it up! It's not a life-threatening disease and I don't care what you say!

Some people will acknowledge you with their false pity and say "You can get through this." or "Things will get better!" all while secretly thanking their lucky stars that they're not you. They 'recognize' that depression is something concerning, but again, are too happy to not be like you to really take it seriously.

It's hard to relate to anyone who doesn't seem to share your struggles. Because again, they do not know the extent of your sadness; they probably think the way you're behaving is superficial and immature, and are dying to slap you and scream "SNAP OUT OF IT!"

I think this particular part is also true with eating disorders. Time and time again I've caught myself thinking, "Fuck you, and your ability to view food as fuel for when you're hungry, and not like me where it's literally my worst enemy and a substance that I abuse and as the cause of so many of my problems! Fuck you for being better than me!"

If you couldn't tell by now, I am quite cynical. I am bitter. I am also lonely, and that in and of itself amplifies all those negative traits times a thousand.

I have so much more to say, but I'm not articulate/eloquent/organized enough to adequately write it down. Just take this as like a very generalized, extra-short summary of what I'm thinking right now. It feels incomplete, but my foot's asleep and I want to get back to my book and there is a cookie calling my name.

Thanks for reading, no one!


P.S. I apologize for the expletives. But I rescind that apology because I like expletives.

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