The Sheer Destructive Power of Depression
I have my good days and my bad days. On the best good days, I feel almost “normal” — a concept I increasingly disbelieve in as time goes on and I talk to more people with similar experiences. On the worst bad days, I can barely get out of bed except as force of habit, and everything — my work, my relationships, my will to live — suffers with me as I visit deeper and darker caverns of my brain. Every day in between is a sliding scale of sadness. In-between days are by far the most common.
It’s hard for me to write about depression without causing myself to fall (further, sometimes) into a depressive episode. Most good days are only good because I’m not thinking about my brain or its issues.
Depression is like the Death Star. Depression is completely selfish. It doesn’t make sense to the folks who don’t have it, or who maybe do have it but were brought up in a time when expressing yourself emotionally and letting others know that shit isn’t okay was frowned upon culturally. But depression does everything it can to destroy everything in its path.
I burn bridges when I sense a depressive episode coming on. I stop writing for organizations that have had my back since I was an undergraduate. I isolate myself from people I’m in friendships and relationships with. I do this because it’s 1) probably going to happen anyway and 2) I don’t want to hurt people when I don’t feel fully in control of my own emotional state.
Over the last couple months I’ve had one of the worst spells of depression in my life. This is the result of a multitude of factors that I won’t get into here. Since beginning to go through this spell, I’ve had people tell me that I don’t seem like myself. The truth is, I am myself, even — especially — now, in the midst of all this. The choices I make are mine even when the organ making them is in the midst of a chemical meltdown.
I’ve made some bad decisions.
But hopefully soon the depression will wane.