It’s tricky attempting to talk about depression in a matter-of-fact way. One’s own depression that is. Especially with people who don’t understand it. Phrases like, “I feel depressed” or, “it was so depressing” get thrown around willy-nilly. The experience of true depression is lost in colloquialisms. The reality of it drowns in the notion that depression is feeling sad and, you know, everyone feels that way sometimes. Not true.
But how do you express the way depression dances you into the ground? You’re grapes between heavy toes of its stomping feet. How do you demonstrate the obsessive and stubborn self-deprecating thoughts that swirl and swirl and swirl and tie you down from idiosyncrasies, from the basic regularities of living?
I don’t think about my depression or how it’s affected me as much these days but the thoughts and memories inevitably surface. Except now, instead of wallowing, I recall the experience of depression as something I’ve worked at shedding. I think of it and smile to myself because of how I live now. That I live in the world – present tense. But I’m a realist. I know it won’t completely go away. It comes and it goes. Depression visits regularly. But I don’t let it swallow me and spit me out into the world. I’ve learned to stand my ground. Shut it down. Tell it to fuck off. Let it run its mouth. It tries to convince me that I can’t accomplish my aspirations. That overcoming my fears is hopeless and foolish. I let it sit on my shoulder and scream in my ear. I can hear it. But I don’t listen. It lies and lies. It isn’t looking out for me.
Depression doesn’t take care of you. It isn’t comforting. Or honest. Depression isn’t part of who you are. It isn’t you. It’s a thing. A sticky messy dirty thing.