The title of this post is sort of ambiguous. That means it can have a couple of meanings. It can mean I have been depressed and it can mean I understand depression. I mean it in both of those ways.
Depression is hard to identify especially in ourselves. When I have been in severe funks I noticed in retrospect that during the fugue I lost my ability to think clearly. I had this monkey on my shoulder and I had no idea where it came from, or how it got there and I had no idea how long it was planning to hang around. I just felt an overwhelming sense of discomfort. My only escape from the confused sense of dread was to shut down completely because I didn’t want to try to unravel the knot that I perceived that my life had become. So for me, depression is/was a problem that can’t easily be addressed.
If someone had come to me during on of my previous depressive states and said ” Hey Mo, you are just feeling low, let’s just get out and do something fun!” I’d have said no thanks, I can’t think of anything I’d have fun doing. And I’d have been completely honest in saying that. Depression took my joy clean away.
So what happened to help me to break free of that dark and claustrophobic feeling?
Um, nothing. What changed for me was I got older. I matured. I figured out that my moods weren’t illnesses they were related to feelings that were as unique to me as my fingerprints. I got that feeling sad, or angry, or frustrated was absolutely normal. I got that I needed more quality downtime where I could vent, or rage, or be creative in dealing with my pent up emotions. I learned that I’m multifaceted and that I didn’t have to identify myself as someone who suffered with depression as if it was a major illness that I was going to have to deal with for life. I got over worrying about why I was feeling a certain way and I started thinking about whether it was improving my life outcomes.
Things changed. I don’t honestly know that my feelings of depression weren’t related to my hormones. I can’t say that early childhood pangs weren’t contributing to my anxiety. I can’t say I’m never again going to slip into a dark mental pool of room temperature slime. I actually can’t say too much about depression as it related to me! What I can say though is that I’ve given up trying to figure myself out. I am what I am. I exist. I have agency. I have little to no clues about what the big picture of my life is, and let’s be frank, I’m not sure that there even is a big picture of my life! The bottom line is I’m experiencing my existence here and that is my truth! Another truth is I do things wrong just as often as I do things right! If you consider life as a random series of events then I’m batting a thousand!
I guess I just thought that I should be a little more forthcoming today. I felt that I’d be a pompous ass otherwise, I mean I’m talking about supporting women and I’m being a little reserved in supporting LGBT rights. I guess I didn’t think it was quite fair me making statements on these larger issues while avoiding statements about some other personal issues.
I don’t want a club of like-minded folks all agreeing with me! What I’d like is a place where people could talk!