Sometimes I think that human depression is caused from an unfortunate mixture of empathy and imagination. Empathy opens you up to dark feelings that aren’t even yours, and imagination makes these feelings real and able to hurt you.
Just to keep yourself safe, you start to close off any vulnerabilities you see in yourself. You patch them up so the feelings that follow you can’t wriggle their way in and burrow inside you.
You feel proud of yourself for cleverly blocking off the hole in your chest. You don’t even mind the emptiness. The emptiness is safe. You care store all sorts of things in the emptiness. Usually some cash-money.
Everything seems to be going okay for a while. You’re lying to yourself, and you know you’re lying to yourself, but you don’t think it matters because everyone lies to themselves.
Material things do a good enough job filling the hole. You’d use something better if you had some idea of what that was, but you don’t. Maybe Jesus could fill the hole for you, but you don’t really trust him after two-thousand years of child crusades and inquisitions. Besides, you’ve visited too many museums to believe the earth is 6000 years old. So instead you just wait…
When I get like this it’s you don’t ever want to leave your bed. You know when they’re this close it’s only a matter of time, so you kind of hide to delay the inevitable. The only way you can manage any interaction is to become a quiet lonely starchild who loves with the cold distance of a terrible ice demon or human father.
You let it in the hole is filled. You feel a little less empty, but you can’t help but feel calloused, uncaring. You’re content with yourself but you don’t want anyone to see you. And you let it consume you, fearful of what may someday emerge from the void-egg around you.
Well that was quite a change in pace. But with all gravity and sincerity, I know that feeling. Stay strong.
Yep. That’s definitely depression for you.
That was painful to read, but because I can relate profoundly.
I do have to say I haven’t read it depicted quite like this before. I very much look forward to reading more.
Thank you. I will probably write more.
Since you bitch about Ye Olde “Skytrain,” I’m guessing you’re in Vancouver? Check out the BC Children’s Hospital’s “Guide to Taming Worry Dragons,” it’s this kids workbook with pictures and it totally talks about anxieties and depressions and manias and phobias as “dragons” that hang out with you and act like total psycho-scaly-nutjob dragons. Amazingly creative for a mental health resource. It also totally gets that imagination can be a huuuuge well for depression.
Also, yes, empathy also. I read this one anthropological theory about depression being useful in times of scarcity (especially poverty) or life transition (especially after death or defeat) because it gets the individual to temporarily disengage from activity, slow down his/her life, and reestablish goals and positivity and shit once conditions improve. Assuming conditions do improve. But modern life gives us too many stresses, and opportunities for defeat, so we can easily get stuck in this — oh life sucks for me, oh and it sucks for him too — cycle of treading emotional water when we could be swimming happily, just because it’s awful depressing to see that so many people are drowning, and so many people are riding in speedboats, and we feel sad for the people drowning and we feel frustrated that we aren’t riding a speedboat.
Keep on truckin’ though, mi hombre. 🙂
Life is crazy and beautiful. And so are those dragons.
I like the speedboat analogy. And the complication that recent times has given us, is that in the past we could only really see the drowning people and speedboats directly around us. Now we can see much further.
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Reblogged this on jajayalla and commented:
Depression ist ein Thema, an dem man nicht vorbeikommt, sofern man sich mit Menschen abgibt. Sie sind weit verbreitet und fast jeder macht selbst mal kleinere depressive Phasen durch. Doch die Diagnose Depression ist von längerer Dauer, wenn nicht sogar von ewiger.
Dieser Beitrag hat mich sehr berührt, weil er mich besser verstehen lässt, was in einer Person vorgeht, die ich ins Herz geschlossen habe.
Vielleicht hilft er einem von Euch ja auch.
I had to reblog it, I love the description and the designs! It was touching to read, because it helped me to understand a close person better. Thank you! *greetings from Germany 🙂
This is a great post. It articulates a lot of things that aren’t so easy to articulate. It also helps some of your later posts make a bit more sense.
We live in an amazing age, but the fact that we know so much about the suffering of others can make things very difficult. We’re all trying to be happy – but we also want to be good, compassionate people. We have to engage with the dark side if we want to help those in need, but we have to find a balance between that and the old adage “ignorance is bliss” – otherwise the weight and complexity of the world’s problems and the fact that we’re often helpless to do anything about them, is too much for most of us to handle. It’s one of life’s most difficult balancing acts, and I struggle with it too.
Maybe the key is to remember that no one needs to fix the world. Just aim to break off a few tiny chunks of the world’s problems in your lifetime and help to fix those. If everyone does that, we’ll be doing pretty well. Have faith that countless other people ARE out there doing the same thing, and together we are slowly making things just that little bit better (or at the very least that the world isn’t actually turning to shit, like some people believe).
This is really cool. Very interesting blog concept.
You’re welcome for me creating this.