Friday, June 29, 2012

Depresional Perspective

A decade ago I battled with severe depression. I had no interest in life. I longed for death to take me away from all the pain and monotony so that I could rest in peace. I used to go down the to beach and watch the trains go by thinking about what it would take to just go stand on those tracks. I spent many nights watching the trains go by, alone, with nothing but the deafening ringing in my ear from the silence when there was no train.

It didn't matter how many people worried about me. Nobodies sympathetic words ever stirred an emotional upbeat in me. Everyone's smiling faces, or worried glances did nothing but make me hate myself all the more. I felt worthless, and lost. I had no desire to go on, because I had felt I already had my chance and had utterly blown it. I only wanted release.

I had quit my job, spent all my savings, and my car was repossessed. I couldn't even afford to feed myself. If it wasn't for the generosity of close friends, I surely would have starved to death. The only thing that kept me from taking more direct action was the fear of failing at even suicide and ending up a paraplegic or in some type of slow, physically painful death. Even the realization that I was a failure at ending it made me feel all the more worthless.

When I was at my lowest, I received an email from my mother offering her hand in help. She told me she was about to have a major operation to remove some benign tumors and needed help while she was recovering. You see, my mother is a very smart woman. She knows how prideful I am, since I get it from her, and I wouldn't just accept help without feeling like I was doing something for it in exchange. So she offered to help me get caught up on my bills and bought me a ticket to fly across the country to stay with her.

Once I got there, I started reading about depression. I have no idea what made me do it, given my state. But I guess it's just part of my fundamental character to want to know more about something that I'm ignorant of. What I learned was that there were a plethora of doctors and other professionals out there telling tales of how common depression was. One article I read said it was the most common malady facing Americans, and yet it is also the one that goes untreated bar none.

The reason? Most people believe depression is a personal weakness, so they won't get help. That's exactly where I was.

Depression is such an insidious medical condition. There is a lot you will do in life to cause you regrets. But depression takes all that and amplifies it. It makes it mentally impossible for you to realize you are actually under the mind control of the disease slowly killing you and to know that it's totally treatable. You refuse to get help because you believe the lies being born deep within your subconcious telling you that your feelings are the result of some type of fundemental problem with you.

That is the lie you face when you are depressed.

A lie so powerful that almost nothing can break through and show you reason. The only way you can defeat it is to do as I did. Trust the doctors. Go talk to one and tell them what you are feeling. They will try to put you on some drugs. Hopefully you will get one like I did, and they will tell you it's not a magic pill. Taking it won't be like flipping on a light switch to make you better. You have to want to get better. You also have to do more than take the pills. I took the pills for 6 months, and haven't been on it again for all these years. I get down at times, but generally speaking I'm a pretty happy person now.

It's not a perfect situation. But you are not a perfect person. Nobody is. That is just life, and the sooner we realize that the sooner we can get on with our lives without trying to live up to some abstract concept of what perfection is. Once you see that, you'll see perfection is whatever you make it out to be. That is when you can start being content again and focus on the important things.

New experiences, friends and family. At least, that's what I've learned.

1 comment:

  1. This is just so apropos I couldn't have expressed it better!