On Being Depressed, Part 1,826

27 Sep

Trigger warning: mention of suicide

There’s a funny sort of paradox about depression where it’s probably the mental illness that people who haven’t experienced mental illness find easiest to identify with while simultaneously being a condition that is incredibly difficult to understand if you’ve never lived through it. I mean, I get it. We’ve all been sad, right? Sadness is a universal experience; not one single person on this planet can say they don’t know what sad feels like. The popular understanding of depression is that it’s like sadness on steroids – recognizable but beefier and more aggressive.

Some people have a natural talent for happiness, and find themselves orienting towards it the way flowers turn towards the sun. Some people have the capacity to learn how to be happy in the same way that you might learn any skill. And me? I have a knack for howling panic. I have a brain that when flooded with too much of certain types of sensory input short-cuts directly to this is hopeless and you should kill yourself. I don’t know why I have this brain – someone better versed in psychology or neuroscience might be able to tell you – but after over 30 years with it I can at least recognize some of its behavioural patterns.

Fall is a hard time of year for me. All of the back-to-school jolliness – blank notebooks filled with nothing but promise and potential! backpacks that smell like fresh vinyl! store window displays with books and apples and gorgeously sensible clothing – reminds me that I never finished my degree. The crispness in the air that everyone else waxes poetical about makes my joints ache so badly that sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed. Cozy sweaters and colourful leaves are overrated. The shorter days remind me of the darkness both literal and  metaphorical that’s about to hit me like a freight train. Call me a killjoy, but for some reason I can’t see autumn as the season of anything but death and endings and cold, cold, cold.

Everyone feels sad sometimes, but not everyone finds themselves crouched in the shower at 4 am on a Saturday crying the ugliest cry and repeating I am a bad person who deserves bad things like some kind of nightmare motivational mantra while scalding water pours over their body. At least, I don’t think they do. They might do it and not write long-winded self pitying blog posts about it. What the hell do I know? One of my most persistent fears is that I’m not so much depressed as I am weak and whiny. I’m haunted daily by the idea that everyone else feels exactly the same way I do, they just manage it better and don’t complain so much.

Maybe everyone actually does know what depression is like and I’m just the loser writer lady who is endlessly fascinated by her sad self.

Depression feels different to everyone who experiences it. For me, it feels like being unable to imagine my future as anything other than one horribly blank day leading into the next. It feels like this disorienting sense of not being able to tell what is a genuinely upsetting thing and what is a somewhat benign thing to which I am overreacting. It feels like being caught in a storm out at sea and while I rationally know I should batten the hatches and wait it out what I actually feel is that the sun has been obliterated and there is nothing left in the world except rain and wind and the inevitability of drowning.

It feels like the chilling note I recently found on my phone that I apparently wrote a year and a half ago yet have no memory of writing. The note was a plainly-worded reminder to myself that in the event of my suicide I should remember to put a plan in place to make sure that my kid isn’t the one to find my body.

I’ve tried a lot of things to cure or at least manage my depression. I’ve tried SSRIs and SNRIs and low doses of anti-psychotics and St John’s Wort and B12 supplements. I’ve tried drinking. I’ve tried not drinking. I’ve tried pot. I’ve tried various kinds of therapy. I’ve tried going to the hospital. I’ve tried not going to the hospital. I’ve tried telling myself to buck up. I’ve tried letting myself wallow. I’ve tried getting fresh air and eating more vegetables and doing lots of yoga. I’ve tried chain smoking on my fire escape while reading tragic Russian novels. Some of it has worked some of the time. None of it has ever been a permanent fix. (This isn’t, by the way, an invitation for you to opine on what I should do if I really want to get better – whatever you’re going to suggest, I’ve probably given it a shot during my literal decades of trying not to be depressed).

I’m a person who has a kind of genius for humiliating myself. The more depressed I get, the greater the likelihood of me doing something I’ll later regret. My sense of perception becomes warped, and I start to think that all my friends hate me; I get clingy, and then feel disgusted by my clinginess; I say too much and then say even more in the form of elaborate apologies for saying too much. So when I finally crawled out of the shower on Saturday, opened Twitter on my laptop and sent off a series of embarrassingly personal DMs, I knew that I had to shut that shit down before it got out of hand. I mean, more out of hand than being naked in a fetal position on my bed crying so hard that my eyelids were too swollen to open properly for the next two days.

I deactivated Facebook and Twitter, mostly because I was terrified that I would bring my meltdown in all its glory to the masses. I had visions of waking up the next morning to screenshots of my darkest moments echoing out into infinity across various social media platforms. I had paranoid fantasies of social services taking my kid away because I was so obviously and publicly unfit to be a parent. I told myself that if I just took the tool out of my hand that I wouldn’t be able to hurt myself or anyone else with it.

Did you know that it’s actually pretty hard to delete your accounts on social media? Much harder than tweeting I AM A FAILURE WHO HAS NEVER DONE ONE GOOD THING IN LIFE GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD. It took me about fifteen minutes of sleuthing on Twitter to figure out how to deactivate it.

I don’t really have any moments of great realization or neat resolution on which to end this post. I’m back on Facebook and Twitter, but that doesn’t really mean much. I am still scared. I am still sad. I am tired of scrabbling against the brick wall of my depression and feeling like I’m never getting anywhere. I’m tired of being so articulate about what I’m feeling but somehow never able to move beyond the capacity to put my sadness into words.

I’m grateful that I’m still here. I guess that’s something.

I’m grateful that in spite of a brain that tells me that I should do otherwise, I continue to try to survive.

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Saint Jude and Saint Dymphna, respectively the patron saints of lost causes and mental illness

 

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60 Responses to “On Being Depressed, Part 1,826”

  1. wonderjs September 27, 2016 at 3:50 am #

    I’m sorry that you are feeling bad. I totally identify with the fear that I’m just depressed and whiny. I’ve been trying to be accepting of how I feel, and your posts definitely lay things out in a way I’ve been afraid to, so I’m grateful also that you’re here and that you blog.

  2. No Virgin Mary September 27, 2016 at 4:03 am #

    I feel like I could have written every word of this.

    Every word.

    *giant hug from an internet stranger who feels closer to you than she wants to be to anyone in her actual life because real life people = responsibility and effort and I AM SO LONELY but also DON’T ANYONE COME INTO MY SOLITUDE LIFE PLS K THX*

  3. Hilary Held September 27, 2016 at 4:05 am #

    This is so very, very well written. It’s a map of a place I’m very familiar with, but drawn with astonishing detail. Your writing about depression is a map that explains the texture of the road, and the road’s many steep elevations which make it hurt to walk. A map that reads, “Your knees will give out here. And here – also, here.” Well. I can go way too far with an analogy – one reason I gave up writing. I hope you never do. Your sentences do fine work, And – I shuddered, reading it, for personal reasons – I remember, now, why fall feels like burial. I never finished my degree either. Please continue to write – your writing possesses all the self-possession and taut, musical restraint that you fear you lack. Continue.

  4. smartypants196 September 27, 2016 at 4:08 am #

    I for one are one of those people who turns toward the sun but i also have to work hard at staying happy. I read every one of your posts and it saddens me to think that you have so much unhappiness. I for one would miss you if you ended your life, i look forward to your posts. You are a very intelligent woman with a writing talent. Channel it into your writing, compile all these posts into a book. I worked in service to people with disabilities for 35 years and then was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I was forced to retire and spent years in therapy, and was able to come out the other side. I found my journals from the days when I first moved to Oregon and was working in the Wallowa Mts in Oregon as a timber cruiser, , well years later i cleaned out my closets and found my journals and when reading them, i chuckled and said “These would make a good book, and I wrote three books. “From the Waters of Coyote Springs” Felix and Eve and “The Arrangement” all three e books I made into one paperback book ‘The Eve Chronicles” by Diane DeVillers, Check out my author page on amazon. Without getting MS i never would have had the time to write my books. Now i am a writer and its calming and gives me purpose. Sometimes I dream whole chapters and i get up in the middle of the night and write them down. I have so many stories in boxes that I started, or just outlines for other books. I am 60 and know I should be writing every day, as I dont’ want them to be thrown away after I die. It gives me joy and it fills my days. I also swim twice a week, hour long laps, it helps me with my spirit, exercise helps me so much. Every day i ride my incumbent bike 8.2 miles twice a day. I swear by exercise keeping me and my mood happy. I look forward to your next blog. Someone out there are people like me that love your blog. Keep writing. Peace

  5. Shirley September 27, 2016 at 4:09 am #

    I can SO relate. My bed has been my sanctuary/hideout lately. Depression is so easy to feel, yet so hard to explain/describe. And can you answer the question why you are so undeserving? I can’t. So as long as we don’t have that answer, keep looking. Otherwise, yes, we may do something stupid (something we can’t take back).

  6. Debbie September 27, 2016 at 4:13 am #

    You are a beautiful writer and thank you for sharing a very personal part of you. Depression is a mystery for many. Sharing experiences helps to share the load, at least a little.

  7. writing, writing, words words words. September 27, 2016 at 4:14 am #

    It’s really good to hear you again (I’ve been away from WP almost a year now). I forgot how much I love your writing, love listening to your thoughts and feelings. Listening to you I feel nourished by your go honesty, and not so alonewith my own similar feelings. Also, you must know this piece would so be at home on Longreads, or at least Medium.com because it is, in my humble opinion, so good on so many levels. Again: thank you. xo

  8. Patrick Patterson September 27, 2016 at 4:27 am #

    I can relate…I’m ok now, but in and out of mental hospitals, really bad clinical depressions, dealing with a young child as you are…unable to move at times…I get a lot out of your writing and you know you are not alone.

  9. Maracae Grizzley September 27, 2016 at 4:35 am #

    I struggle with depression, too. It sucks and I’m so sorry that you’re having such a difficult time with it right now. I agree, platitudes don’t help and suggestions often go awry, particularly when offered blithely and without understanding.

    Every day you are still here is a success. Every day you stubbornly cling to life is a win.

    I’m having a particularly hard time with my own condition right now and I just feel so much compassion for everyone who struggles with the same things that I do, whether to a greater or a lesser degree. You are amazing. You are brilliant, and shining, and glorious.

    You do what you must and you are heroic for doing so. Even if it’s just holding on for one more day. If that’s the extent of what you can do, then it is enough. Please don’t doubt that it is enough. You are enough. You are valued, and worthy.

    You are not alone.

  10. Framboise September 27, 2016 at 4:44 am #

    Dear,
    I read you, I hear you and (horracious chill!) I feel you !
    I suffer from depression also and have been fighting it for over 35 years (first I can remember wanting to die was around 12) And yes it is a sneaky mix of hormones, psychological sensitivity and family ailments.
    I went through about 10 years of analysis and I really thought I had killed the beast but alas, no. It perked up again after an honest 7 year truce!
    As I try to approach it differently yet again (I am not the same person as I was 7 years ago right?), it becomes more and more clear to me that I need to love myself more.
    How do one achieve that when one clearly doesn’t? I’ll tell you when/if I get there!!!
    But the negative mantras that come flooding our brain must be fought with at least a similar amount of positive assessment. It makes me smile as I write this because I’m not yet nowhere near the daily horn-tooting I deserve. I think it has to do with failures, accepting my mistakes. And honestly yes, I think one fights depression all one’s life, the clouds will come, and you better believe they all have silver-linings or else you’re fucked.
    I assimilate (lets be clear I judge myself) my state of depression with laziness, like I’m not fighting life actively enough or something; my shrink always would say “Can’t you find a way to shake the disgust?” The advice floats with me, shaking that horrid feeling, like a dog in the rain.
    Another healer, an osteopath, said “You’re in depression? Congratulations! You must have pressured yourself a lot and now you get to de-pressurize!”
    Maybe we want to suck so much out of life that we put ourselves under a lot of pressure in order to be a “good-enough living creature” 🙂

    About the subject, have you read “The Sunset Limited” by Cormack Mc Carthy? Tommy Lee Jones adapted it on screen.
    Hang in there, hang tough and more over hang softly, ❤

  11. Miep September 27, 2016 at 4:50 am #

    Stegner wrote in “Darkness Visible” that it was too bad “brainstorm” was already taken, meant something else, as this would be a much better descriptor than “depression,” which sounds like a dip in the road.

    I hear you about turning off the Internets. Sometimes I find it helps to draw, just free form, without any particular goal. Draw it out. Gets me out of my head, like speaking a nonverbal language.

  12. Nadia L King September 27, 2016 at 5:45 am #

    Thank you for posting. Can I reblog this one?

  13. setmeravelles September 27, 2016 at 6:09 am #

    I am so sorry you have to be going through this. This is the first time I’ve read something even similar to the type of depression I go through, the self-hating, the deactivation of Twitter and Facebook, etc. You are so brave, not at all weak but BRAVE, and even braver for putting it into words what you’re going through. Thank you for that. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for being you.

  14. Alistair McDonald September 27, 2016 at 6:10 am #

    Thank you for doing that. I can’t say that I can fully understand what its like for you and others (including one of my daughters), but thats as powerful anything Ive read. Kia kaha and best wishes

  15. Amanda Martin September 27, 2016 at 6:48 am #

    Hugs. You’re not weak and you’re not alone.

  16. polianthus September 27, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    Hello BelleJar I found you via the Militant Negro – and I am glad I did. You write beautifully and you manager to write humorously about a difficult situation. I loved the bit about chain smoking on a fire escape while reading tragic Russian novels. Wagner would be a good sound-track. Lohengrin the second movement would be excellent. Basically I think life is not easy, for anyone, there are trials and tribulations and some people are better equipped than others to deal. One sentenc you wrote struck me among many others – I have a brain that when flooded with too much of certain types of sensory input cuts directly to this is hopeless ……- it immediately made me think of hypersensitivity – people with heightened awareness and processing of the environment and stimuli (people, places, noise, light, heat etc. a bit like being a human amplifier) -may not be relevant for you but that sentence just clicked and so I thought I’d share.
    :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensory_processing_sensitivity
    Best Poli

  17. may hem September 27, 2016 at 7:34 am #

    Your words show great strength and will. Please keep surviving

  18. Al September 27, 2016 at 7:39 am #

    It sounds a bit like you are living to please others. I have suffered depression. I have tried many things. Then I found mushrooms. Magical ones. After one trip my depression faded greatly for about a month. It did come back, but I continued with some mushroom therapy and I haven’t dealt with it for a while now. Just a thought as you mentioned just about everything else people do.

  19. Linda Taylor September 27, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    Wow you describe it so perfectly. The only words I have is to say please keep getting up each day, that you mean something to people, that you have so much to offer the world through your words & finally the world would be a lesser place without you. Take care. xx

  20. MarinaSofia September 27, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    Oh, my, this hit me right in the gut:
    ‘One of my most persistent fears is that I’m not so much depressed as I am weak and whiny. I’m haunted daily by the idea that everyone else feels exactly the same way I do, they just manage it better and don’t complain so much.’
    So, so true! And then you have to add that derision and pity for the poor weak creature as well into the equation. And, as you say, all of the strategies for coping are temporary at best or useless or half-baked.
    But that’s not helping, I know. I read this morning a series of Tweets about different ways in which depression manifests itself by @colocha_rachel. She talks about depression also being exhaustion, lethargy and low motivation (and that’s on the good days, right?). That sometimes you can function reasonably well at work, but you have no energy left over for anything else.
    So all I can say is: it’s always better to connect with others. I find it hard to believe myself at times, but am always grateful afterwards.

  21. Africa Clockwise September 27, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    I have been reading your blog posts for a couple of years and often forward them to friends as I find them so elucidating, yet have always been far too intimidated by your genius way with words to comment. Today I send you a massive hug, thanks for your writing and all it costs you, and a plea to battle on for the sake of people like my husband who suffers similarly but cannot articulate like you do. We all need you, please hang on in there Anne xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  22. silverapplequeen September 27, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    Listen, I can relate. I’m bipolar … when I’m happy, I have trouble remember the sad days & when I’m depressed, it’s like I’ve never been happy AT ALL EVER IN MY LIFE. But yes, you can learn to be content. Contentment is a different concept than happiness & it exists even when you’re depressed. And yes, IT TAKES WORK. Everyone does it differently, but for me, I have to get outside & take a walk or ride my bike everyday. I have to eat good food, natural foods. I have to connect with other people (I run two support groups). I have to play with my cats. I have to meditate & do my yoga.

    As for your unfinished degree reminding you that you’re a loser, well, I didn’t finish mine until I was 52 years old. I don’t know how old you are, but there’s always time to finish. Every year, you hear of 80- & 90-year old people finishing up college degrees that they started years ago. & if you’re struggling with a mental illness, you might be able to get financial aid based on that alone. There’s a LOT of aid out there … grants, not loans … for people with special needs. Don’t give up. Never give up.

    The main thing … hang the fuck in there. You might not feel worthy of life but YOU ARE.

  23. Kate R September 27, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    I am a non-depressed person. I do get sad sometimes; I am a lost twenty-something who has experienced plenty of grief, but it’s not a frequent thing. When my sadness has been debilitating, it has always been in response to tragedy. What you have MUST be depression. The inability to differentiate between the genuinely upsetting and benign is something I do not struggle with, and I am not a particularly enlightened being. I hardly ever worry that I am a bad person. My conclusion is that I am not dealing with what you’re dealing with. Take it from a non-depressed person: You have it harder than I do.

    Maybe go to the southern hemisphere in the autumn so that you can have a second helping of spring? Therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms? Just this year, psilocybin showed significant promise for ameliorating the effects of treatment-resistant depression . . . Sorry, I know, it’s your life. You said you needed no more suggestions but I’m a fixer. I want to help. I selfishly want to keep reading what you have to say. Anne, when you write about the world, you reach out to me with the truth. I have processed parts of my life because of some of the things you have written. You have made healing connections in my mind and helped make clear some of the things I am not able to say or think. I’m so grateful that you have continued to survive.

  24. rafter September 27, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    I am a non-depressed person. I do get sad sometimes; I am a lost twenty-something who has experienced plenty of grief, but it’s not a frequent thing. When my sadness has been debilitating, it has always been in response to tragedy. What you have MUST be depression. The inability to differentiate between the genuinely upsetting and benign is something I do not struggle with, and I am not a particularly enlightened being. I hardly ever worry that I am a bad person. My conclusion is that I am not dealing with what you’re dealing with. Take it from a non-depressed person: You have it harder than I do.

    Maybe go to the southern hemisphere in the autumn so that you can have a second helping of spring? Therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms? Just this year, psilocybin showed significant promise for ameliorating the effects of treatment-resistant depression . . . Sorry, I know, it’s your life. You said you needed no more suggestions but I’m a fixer. I want to help. I selfishly want to keep reading what you have to say. Anne, when you write about the world, you reach out to me with the truth. I have processed parts of my life because of some of the things you have written. You have made healing connections in my mind and helped make clear some of the things I am not able to say or think. I’m so grateful that you have continued to survive.

  25. Just jenny September 27, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    I am so glad you are still here.

  26. Anna E. Allen September 27, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    ❤ thank you for putting into words what I have been trying to convey for so long. ❤

  27. Amy September 27, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    Me too. All of this. Put in words that I cant. I’m in the long process of changing my thought patterns. So I don’t spiral. I’ve got 5 kids, so suicide is not an option for me. I do feel better some of the time. But I still feel an incredible sadness still. Thank you for writing this. Xoxo

  28. Christine Wasnie September 27, 2016 at 11:57 am #

    Beautiful and honest. Not that you asked but, by helping others you help yourself. Perhaps it is worth a try.

  29. Ninette D.S September 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    Thank you for putting this into words for me. I understood every word of it. So thank you.

  30. Julie September 27, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. I am so glad you are still here. Fight the good fight. Write on.

  31. M.C. September 27, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    Thought not at present, I am, in general, same. And we who live with depression are many things, but we–you–are not weak. Thanks for sharing where you are, and for making me feel less alone.

  32. Allison Dandurand September 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

    Thank you for writing this. I have a brain that tells me to be sad too, and it sucks. It really, really, really, really sucks. There is nothing I can do about it, and that sucks all the more. I am not ok with carrying on in emotional pain & consistent turmoil, but – it also has given me an immense amount of insight. I deal with body pain too, which I think is a result of the emotional pain. I can’t tell people about it because it will hurt them – I have a responsibility to protect others as a wounded healer. I haven’t found the answer on how to be most useful, but I think I am building tiny bridges- doing what I can on a very small level every day to help people feel a little less lonely. I feel less lonely in the process, even though the responsibility is quite overwhelming at times!! Again, thank you for your honesty. It really helps to know that others are in the same boat too- fellow beautiful & wise women.

    On Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 11:41 PM, The Belle Jar wrote:

    > bellejarblog posted: “Trigger warning: mention of suicide There’s a funny > sort of paradox about depression where it’s probably the mental illness > that people who haven’t experienced mental illness find easiest to identify > with while simultaneously being a condition that is in” >

  33. treatwilliams September 27, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    I wrote a post a while back very similar to your forth paragraph- https://treatwilliams.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/my-whole-existence-is-flawed/
    Good reading thanks.

    • treatwilliams September 27, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      OH FFS…’fourth’, not forth. Sorry, I’m dieting at the minute..was scattered this afternoon.

  34. hmertins September 27, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

    I liked your comments about ” I’ve tried drinking. I’ve tried not drinking.” And “I’ve gone to the hospital and I’ve tried not going to the hospital”. I think those sentences captured exactly how people who are struggling try one thing and when it no longer works trying something else (sometimes it’s opposite). It’s both poignant and in an odd way funny. Dark humour of course. I have no answers. I know my mantras as I’ve moved through grief were/are ” “this too will pass” and “just keep walking”. Sometimes doing three easy things helps. Colouring and hugging the dog counts as two. Hang in. This too will pass. It has in the past. Be gentle with yourself and maybe do something nice for yourself TODAY! You DO deserve it.

  35. jimobewon September 27, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

    I love your openness and getting right to the meat of the matter. No lightweight this blog. I’ve spent many years as a mental health counselor and an alcohol and drug counselor; and many, if not all of us in recovery ( recovering booz hound here), would benefit greatly from reading and studying your site. Thank you so much, Jim

  36. Aubrey T September 27, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    This, just, all of it. I want to print out a million copies, put them in a plane and have them dropped all over the city. I wish I were that brave. I wish I was brave enough to even write something like what you’ve posted.

    I know you said no suggestions and i know it’s a dick move to post this, and I am sorry for that, but…
    I knew that in my life I would probably never really care about myself the way most do, or even the way I should. I expected to be dead, at the latest, two years ago. Like you I had tried everything and then some. I even tried going to church (a worse idea than my alcoholism and drug experimentation).

    I don’t know if it’s about ‘believing in a higher power’ or ‘something more than yourself’, ‘find people with similarities’, ‘look for the good in all of the bad’ or any of that platitudinous garbage but… I was introduced to a band named ‘Johnny Hobo and The Freight Trains’ a borderline nihilist anarcho-folk-punk band. The truth in the lyrics and music had me hooked instantly and I read more into the vocalist’s life and ideas since he left that band and made two others. I didn’t realize someone else held so many similar views on the world or politics. I knew of anarchism but only the more individualist ‘punk rock anarchy’ but it never felt quite right.

    I started reading more and more about ‘anarcho-communism’ or as I refer to it now ‘You keep using those words ‘anarchism’ and ‘communism’. I do not think they mean what you think they mean” and everything just fit me. Caring about others, gender and sexuality inclusive, against all forms of oppression… More so the ideals of Kurt Cobain and John Lennon rather than those of Vladimir Lennin, except we generally accept that violence is sometimes necessary in the short term even if peace is greatly preferred. I never really understood what ‘solidarity’ meant before finding others that are as compassionate, challenging, and thought provoking as most of the other ‘ancoms’. It’s a strange feeling, they’re not friends or family but you know that you’re all there for each others problems even if it’s not specific to you.

    I don’t know if it will help or maybe you already looked into it and it’s not your thing, but it has helped me and has lasted longer than any other distractions, almost 3 years now with no signs of slowing. I still have some bad days but they’re much fewer and far between.

    Whatever it is that helps you, I hope you find it.

  37. ainsobriety September 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    You are not alone. I also have those overwhelming thoughts, often out of no where.
    Medication has helped me…but it still creeps in sometimes.
    When I am Not feeling that way I can’t remember why I did…it is very frustrating and undermining.

    Hug. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Bonnie Kenaz-Mara September 27, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

    Please keep writing for all those who feel like this and can’t articulate it and for those of us who love those people. I have a family history of depression and bipolar diagnosis yet nobody in my family speaks of any of it, at lease anything that matters. With them I always feel like it’s prying or grilling or invasive of me to breach their silence, because they’re quite, non talkers even on good days. With your word I can empathize and understand so much more. Thank you for being you. Beautiful. Flawed. Brilliant.

  39. Genevieve September 27, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

    I’m really glad you’re still there. I feel that you help me think and act like a more feminist, humanist and, globally, better person. Thanks for being back on social medias as frigtening as it certainly is, and for sharing your toughts about depression.

  40. Kate September 27, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

    It’s true you help many people, which only reminds me of my own cry “If I’m so damned good at helping other people why can’t I do something for myself?!” so I’m guessing that
    can’t carry enough weight with you to pull you up. My depressional bouts aren’t a patch on yours, but I wonder whether my “tool” might help you – get good and damned angry about the stupidity and unfairness of the situation, and ride on that rage to get out of the shower. At 72 I’ve figured out everything anybody experiences is experienced differently by each of
    us, so maybe there’s a pocket of your mess that can serve YOU, that hasn’t yet been identified/named/sanctioned by medical gurus. And you CANNOT be doing everything badly/wrong/incompetently, as you ARE taking care of your child on some level, evidently sufficiently or s/he would be gone by now. Please take solace, too, in knowing you CANNOT be a bad person since you’re not mean and hurtful to others. Can you escape in some music – even angry, sad,down stuff can feed us strength when we’re angry/sad/down – ? You need comfort, and I hope some can come your way soon – and hoping a random word might spark it for you, might turn the creative “divine madness” into a simple lyric lunacy, say . . . I’ll be glad to read things you write when you’re feeling good, too –

  41. Sdp September 27, 2016 at 10:36 pm #

    Thanks for writing this. I have recently come to terms with what I thought was my own episodic depression; it is actually instead pretty constant. Two months ago, I hesitantly disclosed these feelings to my family doctor and reluctantly agree to medication. This was a huge decision for me as I feel like the stigma of naming depression or anxiety has lifted but the idea of being medicated for it has not. Two months in and I can say that the lows aren’t quite as low, but still very present. It’s too soon to tell if medication is really working. Guess it’s just one week at a time.

  42. Cheryl September 27, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    Anne, you matter to me. I’m glad you are still here, too. Please reach out if you want to talk with a family member…the fact that we haven’t yet met doesn’t erase our cousin-hood. Remember, we have chatted before, I’m the one whose great grandmother was a Theriault. I think we are third or fourth cousins. I’m around your parents’ age, and I’m a great listener, plus I’m a really good advocate. I sure would hate to miss out on seeing you get to be my age and see the things that life is supposed to have for you. Maybe I can help. Sending love.

    • bellejarblog September 30, 2016 at 1:29 am #

      Of course I remember you ❤ ❤ ❤ I will reach out next time if I need someone to talk to. Also I have another cousin Cheryl so you'll fit right into the family 🙂

  43. myimperfectlife1 September 28, 2016 at 1:55 am #

    I can totally related to everything you wrote. I’ve been struggling with some level of depression my entire life like at age 4 I was telling my mom I wanted to kill myself so yeah actually my entire life. I had several major depressive episodes growing up but totally undiagnosed. Until I was 16 and I fell into my deepest depression yet. I’m only 23 and I’ve been hospitalized in psychiatric wards 4 times, spent a total of a year and a half in inpatient facilities, 6 months in outpatient programs, and in between seeing a therapist at least once a week. I have also tried every antidepressant and antipsychotics and anything my doctor could pull out of his ass and nothing worked. Seven years after my first hospitalization I was diagnosed with treatment resistant depression. And please be open minded about what I’m about to say but I got a new psychiatrist who recommended ECT (electroconvulsive therapy or most commonly known as shock treatment). And it has changed my ENTIRE life. I know it’s really scary to think about but it isn’t anything like it is in the movies or what people usually think of. Honestly if I didn’t do this treatment I would have definitely committed suicide with a year or two. And now I feel like a completely different person than I have ever in my entire life felt. My body literally feels lighter. I can get out of my bed and be a happy, functional human being. The darkness that I constantly felt inside of me has disappeared. I wouldn’t say I’m cured but pretty damn close. I would really recommend looking into this treatment or asking your doctor because it saved my life. It makes me so sad that people who are in our position feel like they don’t have any options besides suicide because this treatment is so heavily and negatively stigmatized. Please don’t give up hope! There is treatment that will help you!! ❤️❤️❤️
    Also don’t hesitate to contact me.

    • bloggymcblogface446 October 19, 2016 at 8:51 am #

      Yes, I also underwent ECT and it made me feel so much better. I resisted doing it for a long time because of fear and the stereotypes surrounding it. I wish I’d done it sooner. I didn’t find it painful at all and once I got used to it it wasn’t scary at all.

  44. Ann September 28, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    That was a smart move, cutting off social media while you’re feeling rotten. Quite a few people have made posts they later regretted, but I’ve never heard anyone regretting posts they didn’t make.

  45. Ben September 28, 2016 at 2:22 am #

    I really relate to this, right down to the cutting off social media (didn’t deactivate, but I just hid from the world all weekend). I’m glad you’re still around, and I really appreciate how honest you’ve been about your depression.

  46. davebarclay1954 September 28, 2016 at 5:00 am #

    Can I start by saying I know depression first hand. Like you some things work sometimes and not others. The only thing ever to stop me from ending it was the thought of my child being the one to find me. This time of year is always the worst, dark when I leave the flat, dark when I get home with rain in between. I mask my anxiety and depression with smiles and laughter because I just want to curl up and hibernate until Spring. Can’t let others see how I feel, there’s no cure, no quick fix, so I won’t kid you that there is. Hang in there because the depression will lift eventually. You need to talk then get in touch, you want to share with someone who won’t judge? That’s me, been there tried to kill myself often when I was younger and failed. Get in touch if there’s anything I can do to help xoxo

  47. marshmallowmagpie September 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    This resonates so much with me. Thanks for expressing what I was unable to voice.

  48. Sophie September 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm #

    Thank you! I’m a bit of a depressive mess myself right now and feel emotionally paralyzed. I’m grateful to you because I know at least one other person in the world “gets it” and “gets me.” I manage to hide it from most people, including, sometimes, myself. But I feel all alone in the world. Your blog tells me someone else in the world understands a great deal about my experience. I thank you very much for that. Sending gentle hugs.

  49. 3rd1000yrs September 29, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    Don’t give up. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1417261775183918/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Reblog: On Being Depressed, Part I by The Belle Jar | Life, Marginally - September 28, 2016

    […] via On Being Depressed, Part 1,826 — The Belle Jar […]

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