Depression is a brutal filter…*


“Sometimes I think depression should be called the coping illness. So many of us struggle on, not daring or knowing how to ask for help.”[i]

When I first got sober, I couldn’t function. I couldn’t get out of bed,  I couldn’t go to work.  The oddest thing about all that is that my therapist at the time, the best female role model I ever had, told me that I was doing great. I would tell her that I’m not doing great, I’m sober and yet I’m unable to even function in the world. She would always tell me how well I was doing.  I loved her.  In hindsight my depression was overt then.

What I’ve now realized is that from the time I started back working, approximately nine months after I got sober, until a few years ago I kept my depression covert.

“Woke up this morning, afraid I was gonna live.”[ii] When the depression came back this time it came back with a vengeance. Because of the life situation that I was in, the shame of not being able to do what I needed to do to take care of my responsibilities devastated me. It did get to the point where when I woke up in the mornings I didn’t want to. It’s not that I wanted to die, it’s that I did not want to live.

There is no worse feeling than not wanting to live but not wanting to die either.

“I smile when I want to cry. I laugh when I want to die.” [iii] One of the characteristics that I have developed to keep people at bay is my laughter. My friend Anom  says that the thing that has probably kept me from more mental and emotional harm was my ability to laugh. Now that I’ve read the quote that I just cited, I’ve learned that the struggle that I go through by working through depression, is nothing more than the culmination of my coping skills no longer working. I have been led into this inferno called depression so that I could work through the underlying emotional conflicts and live my true life. I am doing it by doing this.

“It’s hard to part the curtains when the dark holds such familiarity.”[iv] Once depression  takes over, it takes on a life of its own. My depression really became completely overt, there was nothing I can do about it, a little over two years ago until about three or four months ago. Now I am keenly aware that I still have emotional conflicts. What I am also newly aware of, that I have realized, is that I am okay. The mind always wants to stay in the darkness. So it still takes a conscious effort to get up and open the curtains metaphorically.

“Depression is sometimes more severe than physical pain and it ‘s also chronic.”[v] For me there is nothing more severe than depression. I, like many my age, have my maladies and yet I would trade all my depression for the same maladies that I have. Being depressed is like having cancer and not knowing it.  Something is sucking the energy out of you and you dont know what is.  I have been tired my whole life. I mean every day until just recently.

What I’ve noticed is many of us harbor the depression in our bodies.  I can say from first-hand experience of those close to me that that’s true.  I also know from first-hand experience that there are many people in the world who are addicted to legal drugs who are just as depressed and not treated, if not more so, than those of us who were addicted to illegal substances.

I have seen  more devastation to people who did legal drugs, as far as them having depression, than people who did illegal drugs and got help.  Most of them dont know they are depressed.  They manifest their depression somatically and treat those symptoms and dont understand that they are suppressing something and then the wack-a-mole concept starts.  Skin disorders, ulcers, back pain, headaches, thyroid problems, anxiety, etc., etc., etc!!!

* I said that one day when talking with Anom  [i] Sally Brampton [ii]Elizabeth Wurtzel  [iii]Donna Lynn Hope[iv] Donna Lynn Hope[v] Pranwan

wolf yosemiteIt is better to seek forgiveness than it is permission.Oh yeah, the wolf’s name is Baron!

yellow orchid with 4


2 thoughts on “Depression is a brutal filter…*

  1. Yes! Harbored in our bodies. I knew this intelectually, but something just came to me from this blog entry that I have been unable to define for 20 years or so….
    I went through about six years of episodes of anaphylactic shock that brought me to deaths door, via the ER several times. What we never found was the physical cause of the allergic reaction. And now, looking at it here, I feel in my gut it was my grief and immobility about my life circumstances – that had me calling out to “be seen and heard!” Wow.

    • It is so wonder full that we need not really seek, we need only see!
      Thanks for a great example of the psycho-somatic connection.
      All of those conditions I used as examples in the blog were from my history, not some hypothetical example!

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