“There’s nothing wrong with being happy. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying something so much that it strips away all that irony and cynicism. And there’s nothing wrong with loving anything so much that it feels like it could pull your heart out of your chest and toss it on the floor. We build ourselves up to not do that, and then we build up the armor so thickly that we have trouble finding what’s underneath. We use that as an excuse to lash out at people who do feel stuff, who do like things (and I am, of course, mostly saying this about myself). It’s hard sometimes to remember that the world isn’t a place to glide through, so nothing can touch you. It’s a place to be experienced.”—Todd VanDerWerff (via cleversimon)
You don't have to hold onto the pain to hold onto the memory.
Depression is the most awe-inspiring magic trick.
It can show you just how strong you are while showing you just how weak. It can rob you of who you think you are and everything you know. It is the brain’s expertly executed sleight of hand.
As someone who has struggled for the last ten years to understand what the fuck is wrong with me, being able to have a name for it was the first step.
It’s taken most of those ten years to get to the next step of letting go of the shame and guilt.
And even then, it’s a rollercoaster, one that I am for the first time in my life spending an hour every Monday morning with a doctor trying to understand why I ride.
I’ve spent the last two years so embarrassed that I was feeling this YET AGAIN. And that’s the thing with depression. It repeats and it hovers and it grows stronger with each victory over you. And it shames you. The further it creeps in, the more secretive it feels. It becomes so impossible to imagine telling anyone what’s going on with you or why you never return phone calls or emails or show up for events. You forget how to answer. You forget how to fake it.
You just forget. You forget all of it. You forget how to try because trying is the hardest part.
But then, it slowly creeps away. Not by accident and not by choice. By will? By grace? I don’t know, but it takes work. SO much work. But it goes, just S L O W L Y. As seductively as it slithered in, it lifts from your shoulders and crawls out of your guts and leaves you wondering what the hell just happened and where the last two years went.
And you don’t feel ashamed anymore. And you sit down in front of your computer and tell a bunch of strangers just that.
Because you know it’s time, finally. And because you remember the posts and tweets from people going through the same thing that you read along the way that stuck with you and reminded you that you’re not the only one.
The ones that said, “Never forget, depression is a liar.”
The ones that said, “Note to self: This will be a lifelong battle. Today I feel good and I may not tomorrow, but I’ll keep trying.”
The ones that said, “Don’t be ashamed.”
And so you sit. And you write. And you know that this is part of climbing out of it.
Because you don’t have to hold onto the pain. It holds onto you all by itself.