I haven’t been here in quite some time and I haven’t been fully myself in even longer. A few months ago severe depression overtook me, the darkness descending deep and thick and enveloping. My eyes are open but I see through a black haze and my feelings are dampened and stunted. What usually gives me joy gives me nothing but a sadness that I can’t experience it fully right now.
I am here now because the dark is beginning to lift, I can feel the flowers again, and very recently I have laughed hard. All good signs. Of course I had to increase one of my anti-depressants to get here, but if that is the only price I must pay, I can live with it. It will only be a temporary thing. My psychiatrist was very touched by seeing how distressed I was, and that touched me. I had to see him sooner than scheduled because I couldn’t stand myself a minute longer. I did all the right things to help myself – well, at least most of them. I am still not exercising or eating better. If my weight is an indicator of anything it is that things are not all right in the kingdom. But I’ll get there. Of that I have no doubt.
When you are depressed, you need to be allowed to be. Folks trying to get you to snap out of it only increase the darkness and make you feel less connected. I am blessed in that those who love me most accept me as I come. I am not asked to change for anyone. I am not made to feel less than because of where I am inside. And no guilt is attached to me. Not that I don’t feel any guilt, but it is guilt that only I bring on myself. Nobody throws guilt at me. That is a gift and I am eternally grateful for it.
My therapist is a Cognitive and he is only interested in what I can DO to get myself out of depression. He is s good therapist, don’t get me wrong, but I need someone a bit more spiritual right now, someone a bit more interested in my psychic journey, my soul crisis. Those words are not in my current therapist’s vocabulary and so I haven’t seen him during this time. He will understand my words but not “get it” on a deep level. And that would only frustrate me and encourage my guilt. So I have had to do the work on my own, and I admit that has added to my burden a bit. I have also tried hard to keep as much of the darkness to myself and not impose it on those I love. I love them too much.
Depression sucks at the best of times, which is a bit of an oxymoron. But it is even more difficult when you are in flux, transition, going through major changes. It makes taking action a supreme effort, and failure to do so just increases your guilt level. I cycle through a bout of major depression about once a year, sometimes twice. I am one of the lucky ones. That fact is not lost on me. I have a good doctor and a lot of love in my life. I am able to afford my meds and I have all of life’s most basic needs. And if I am not able to find my purpose during a serious depression, I will say that at the least, when it does lift, I am more deeply present and accessible and able to love back. Depression has it’s own function in my life. It makes me stop and think and assess. It gets me real again.