a note to the depressed

The truth is, the world is a painful painful place. You felt it. You felt it with such intensity that your heard wanted to explode. You knew you wouldn’t survive it. And so you left. You have gone somewhere. You are there taking care of yourself. Trying to understand. Trying to make sense of it all. Or to come to terms with it. You are there, watching it all happen. You want to leave that place but you know you can’t. You know that leaving that place won’t work.

And you’re tired of explaining it to them.

You see, they want you to leave that place. They see things about you that you were long since made to unbelieve. And you know this too.

Which has added to your frustration. You want to leave for these people. You can’t leave because of these people. You are stuck there speaking but not being heard. Shouting into a void that only echoes back memories of a person you know you cannot be. So you have shut down. You are here, but you have gone. You are somewhere else, protecting yourself.

 

And that’s okay.

 

Take as long as you need. Stay in bed for hours, watch cartoons. Eat nothing but starch and water for days. Take long walks at night accompanied by nothing but your thoughts and the occasional cricket. Talk to yourself. Read a book a day. Read several books. Absorb, absorb as much as you need it is infinite. You cannot possibly absorb even a fraction of an imagining of what it is. It’s okay to stay there for as long as you need. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s time to leave. Don’t let anyone force you to leave. Stay there for as long as you need. Then when its time – and you will know when it is time – come back. And we will be right here. And we will welcome you and we will know you.

We miss you.

We love you.

 

3 thoughts on a note to the depressed

  1. Michael,

    I’m very worried about this post. Depression is so often a feeling of being untethered and feeling hated. One feels angry and numb. One contemplates suicide. One experiences the world as unlivable. I worry that this post makes it sound like some kind of refuge from a terrible world–It’s not that. It can’t be that.

    While it’s important to affirm to people with depression that there is support, it’s also important to realize that this might not help. And, for me, the idea of being told that feeling like absolute shit is, somehow, “okay,” that it’s a necessary “refuge.” It does not sit well with me. At all.

    Given what we know about depression–that cycles get progressively worse, and that the longer each cycle is the harder it is to recover–I’m very worried about the idea that one should “take as long as one needs.” I would never wish that for anyone who is in the hell of depression. Never. That void is terrible and destructive and killing.

    Keguro

    Reply
    1. While I understand what you are saying I think it’s important to remember that the idea of okay doesn’t mean a permanence. It is also the nature of depression to pass, and I think a lot of that cycle is propagated by it not being “okay”

      Reply
    2. but that’s not even it. I’m also thinking about the comma. Sometimes the body hurts so badly it shuts down for years even. We accept that. We let that happen. We try and treat what hurt the body. I’m leaning towards this an an analogy for depression because I have experienced, and read of, depression as a distance too. An absence. I’m thinking that absence is triggered by certain things that overload us with pain. The body, knowing that amount of pain will lead to suicide (as it often has) goes into a “comma” to protect core function. Care is lost.

      Sometimes people don’t come out of commas. Does it mean they shouldn’t have gone into them? No. Is it tragic? Horridly.

      yes, there is medication for some people. But we also know that, for many people, that is not an option. They are stuck in a situation where they can’t reach for help. And so they have gone away. Do we insist that they come back when coming back means self destruction?

      Reply

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