Depression Lies. It’s a phrase you’ll come across if you spend time on the internet. It’s a mantra many of us have to repeat to ourselves, because we need to hear it especially when we’re in deep and can’t feel it. The worst thing for me in depression is being convinced that I’ll stay in that place forever. That not being able to enjoy things is my new base line. So when that happens, I need to tell myself over and over again: Depression Lies. Even if I don’t believe it.
Right now, I am doing well. My base line of emotion is what I consider ‘normal’ again and I can feel all sorts of awesome things. Feels! They’re pretty cool. Even if I’m overwhelmed by all the things and I get anxious about doing so much stuff that is so much better than not being able to feel anything other than crappy. Depression in my case means I get morose. I feel tired and sick and I can’t have big emotions other than ‘everything sucks’. I feel like I am the worst person. For me the one thing that helped the most is going out and hanging out with my people. I know I’m not the same fun person to be around as I normally am and it seems idiotic to sit morosely on someone else’s couch when I could be sitting morosely on my own and not be a bother to anyone. But spending time with people I love keeps me from going deeper into depression. Spending time with people, knitting and yoga all help. Man, yoga is the best. But when I am super depressed I can’t get myself to go to yoga and I just start blaming myself even more for not being able to do the one thing that I know will help. That is one of the ways in which depression is such an asshole. It actively prevents you from doing the things that would make it better.
I can write about this now because I am doing great again. I feel like me. Enthusiastic, full of stupid jokes that amuse mostly just me. I’m getting back to doing all the things I love. I’m reading a bit again, I’m knitting something FIERCE and I’m spending time with awesome people. (I will always prefer being slightly overwhelmed by all the things I want to do than not being able to want to do anything.) I still have problems. I am procrastinating finding a therapist even though I’ve got my referral from my GP ages ago, but I’m so worried I won’t find a good one and how do you judge something like that? But I’m me again.
Someone I care about is currently dealing with a depressive period. I want to be there for them and help them, but I don’t know how. My depression is not the same as their depression. What works for me to get out of that hole does not have to work for them. And that is the hardest to navigate. Even knowing what it can be like, having empathy that stems from experience, I still don’t know what to do to support someone else. What if all the things I want to do just makes them feel worse about themselves? Makes them feel bad about not believing me when I say ‘hey, I like you and you are awesome. also, you have a cute butt’. The last thing I want to do is add pressure.
I have started reading Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, which is amazing and about all the ways she deals with her various mental illnesses. This book is the best y’all. I just want to take it out and read it out loud to everyone and specifically to the person I mentioned in the past paragraph. But that might not help at all. The way Jenny Lawson deals might not be the right way for them. It’s the right book for me to read right now, but it might not have been when I was in so deep I couldn’t focus on reading at all. But if you are in any way interested in actual depiction of mental illness, this book is worth reading. It’s also absurd, so be warned. (I LOVE ABSURD THINGS.) Because it’s important to keep talking about these things. And to discuss all the ways in which Depression Lies and talk about all the different ways it affects different people. And it’s important to listen to the people who suffer, and validate them. To ask them how they cope and see if that is something you can contribute to.