It appears that maybe you do have to suffer to write, because at the moment I’m sort of okay and there’s nothing to say. I’ve been putting off writing because articulating it might draw attention to the fact and then I might stop being okay again pretty fast. I don’t really know why I’m okay, but I highly suspect that it’s just that outside circumstances are good so there’s nothing too heinous for me to deal with. Work is okay, I’m sleeping well, I’ve not had a cold for a while, the weather is good.
It can’t be that I’ve got better at dealing with things, because that might imply I’m getting better and the counselling helped and maybe I could think about actually actually coming off the drugs like I’ve wanted to since I started taking them four years ago. Four years. Who gets better after four years? It must be settled for life now. I can’t picture a middle ground.
I’ve been reading another self-help book recently, and it seems to be fairly sensible so far except for one sentence that made my blood run cold. It was a throwaway comment (though not that throwaway since it made it into his published work) about how depression and other mental illnesses are ‘just a symptom of the problems of society’, not a legitimate thing but just people being selfish or trying to base their lives on the wrong thing and suffering the consequences.
Because people keep telling me I’m not rubbish, etc, and I keep telling me I don’t have any good qualities, depression is one of the only things that I’m certain is me. I am a person with depression, a depressed person. I’ve been that for so long now that I don’t know what I’d be without it. It’s simultaneously horrible and comforting. I can’t escape from the sadness and emptiness and hatred, but it’s not a weakness if I get overwhelmed by it sometimes because it’s a real malady. When people with degrees who sound like they know what they’re talking about brush it off as an issue of willpower or personality it makes me feel physically sick.
What if they’re right and I just am lazy and weak, using this label as an excuse for every neglected friendship and undone task? I don’t want them to be right. But what if they’re wrong, and it is a real illness, but I’m learning to manage it better even if it isn’t actually going away and it might not be such a big part of my life, at least for now? What if I can’t hide behind it any more? As if continuously smashing up my own soul with a mallet for years hasn’t been painful enough, now I might have to start putting it back together.