Writing about depression is a tricky task.
Writing about depression while knowing that you’re in the midst of a downward slump is even trickier.
I have this fear of glorifying depression and mental illness in my writing. I don’t want to make it seem like a romantic thing. It’s a rough, raw, soul-ripping experience. It’s fighting with the one person who knows all of your weakest spots, the most painful pressure points. It’s having fleeting moments of clarity and hope, but knowing that those moments can be snatched away at any time. It’s feeling completely alone and like a burden to anyone you might try to reach out to even though they insist you could never be a burden.
Logically, I know I’m loved, I know I’m not a burden, and I know that I’m not totally alone. But the sick and twisted part of full-blown major depression is that your mind is tricked into believing that all the negative things that pop into your mind are true at some deep level. When you’re no longer in control of all of those thoughts, it’s hard to see the glimmer of hope anywhere in the future.
I’m fighting to find that tiny speck of light again. My serious episodes have taken a turn from the apathetic paralysis I experienced years ago. While the paralysis is still very much part of the demon, I’ve become so familiar with my own mind that the bigger struggle for me is experiencing the loss of control that is fought before the apathy sets in. I’ve been quoting Sylvia Plath a lot lately in my personal writing because her character in The Bell Jar is so relatable to my current state, and I feel like this quote in particular really nails it:
I felt very still and very empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.
I publicly write about my depression because more than anything, I want the general population to start treating depression as something that is a pretty regularly recurring struggle for all sorts of people. Typically, I’m an upbeat hard-working person who tries to make sure everyone else is content and who loves to make the lives of others as easy as possible. But this is something that I constantly struggle with. Most times, it’s something I can handle with a regular schedule and writing through my thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, like the past few weeks, it gets so debilitating that I have no other way to cope than to remove myself from everyday life and do high-intensive therapy and recovery treatments.
The point is that mental illness is not a rarely occurring disability. So I write to bring awareness to that fact. I write because I want other people to know that if I have a mostly healthy life, they can have that as well. I write to remind myself that the really bad moments are fleeting, and I can watch how much my mental state changes when I recover and become healthier again.
I write because one of the biggest lies depression feeds me is that I’m completely alone.
I write this as a reminder to me as well as anyone else: you are never fully alone.
4 thoughts on “It’s Not Worthy of Glory”
What a wonderful reminder – you are never fully alone. I appreciate the fact that you write about mental illness because I absolutely agree that more people need to be aware and see the many faces that illnesses can take and that there are ups and downs like most things in life. <3
Yes! The ups and the downs have to be documented and shared…it’s not all one or the other, and I think that’s the stigma that mental illness still has in our world
Thank you so much for sharing. Not only is it refreshing to see a blogger being so open and raw with her readers, but I for years, I also suffered from this kind of depression. It’s an awful thing to go through and I think more people need to understand. I’m kind of new to blogging still, but I do plan to write more posts on the subject. It’s one of the reasons I got into blogging, was to tell my story in hopes of helping someone. So again, thank you so much for sharing. :)
Thanks for reading! I don’t write very often any more because I’ve just been falling behind, but it’s so therapeutic to write whatever is on my heart instead of trying to fit into a mold, you know? Happy writing :)