Another week or so of seemingly helpless hibernation comes to a close. Another stretch of seclusion behind closed blinds and locked doors. Another cognitive battle between the voices. One attempts to fool the other. Sometimes they are neck-and-neck and I can muster a grip to pull ahead just enough to put the keys in the ignition. Just enough to get up and do the ‘normal’ things. Sometimes the trickster, with its slithered tongue, runs faster, yells louder, sings sweeter, and all of me falls backward onto its lap and lays cradled in its velvet talons, as I have done many times before. But this does not mean surrender.
After the past year of decisively facing it head-on, I tire of saying the word, “depression”. I tire of delivering these kinds of phrases: “I was feeling depressed” or “I fell into another hole”. However, not acknowledging when you are experiencing symptoms of depression is not helpful. In fact, ignoring it is detrimental. One cannot successfully treat one’s own depression if it has not been recognized. To successfully recover from a depressive episode, one must appreciate depression – recognize its significance and magnitude. Neither of these are easy to do when you are in the midst of an episode. Even when armed with years of experience and considerable knowledge of this ‘mood disorder’, it is not necessarily easier to peel depression’s intangible film from your soul’s skin. The experience of it does not get easier. You cannot simply ‘think’ it away. But. Depression is manageable. Depression is manageable.
There were times during the past week when I felt as though my efforts to manage this wicked emotional jack-in-the-box were being erased with each successive dark day. But I have to disagree. I have to disagree with those feelings and that voice. This is one part of the lengthy process to snuff out depression’s voice. If you hear it sometimes. If it tells you to give up, to give in, to forget about trying to halt its maniacal and cyclical lies. Lies that you are not good enough, strong enough, smart enough. _______ enough. Disagree. Don’t accept it. Press on. See those boot straps? Get a firm grip and pull! As my dear friend C texted me today, “U can can can do this.” And you can. If you need, ask a friend for reminders like these whenever your dark cloud descends. Supportive and encouraging statements from people who care for you are immeasurable. This includes telling these things to yourself. Amidst a mind maelstrom, I try to hang on to this – Be kind, compassionate, and patient with yourself. This is manageable. Believe.
Another week or so of seemingly helpless hibernation comes to a close.
“Watch out for intellect, because it knows so much it knows nothing and leaves you hanging upside down, mouthing knowledge as your heart falls out of your mouth.” ― Anne Sexton