Tag Archives: depression

The Nothingness of Depression.

black-and-white-person-woman-girl

I am depressed today. And I don’t know where it comes from.

Is it a chemical reaction to something I’ve eaten? Is it related to my yearly battle with Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD)? Is it because I’m not being “true to myself,” and I’m stuffing emotions that I should be expressing, taking out and examining for a deeper meaning?

I don’t know. And I don’t care.

Years ago I was at my chiropractor’s office getting an adjustment. As he was asking about what was going on in my life, I mentioned I was somewhat depressed. His condescending response held the phrase, “…when you start feeling sorry for yourself…” I never went back to his office, even though I had been getting adjustments from him for years.

It was obvious he had no experience with depression. It was obvious he though “feeling sorry for yourself” was the same as depression. It is not. For me, even sadness has nothing to do with depression.

Depression is about “nothingness.”

Fast forward to just about a year ago. As a Hypnotherapist, I was learning a new technique to acquire a new tool to help my clients. This type of technique involves assisting the client to reprogram their thoughts and responses. As a part of the process, the client is encouraged to choose a better way of thinking (a “preferred response”), and to really make the new, better response very intense and active in their mind.

During the training, the instructor, while going over methods to use with clients who are depressed, said something about how “depressed patients are lazy,” because they don’t want to think of anything better.

Again, obviously he’s never been depressed. Because nothing could be further from the truth. It has nothing to do with wanting. It has everything to do with unable. Feeling sorry for yourself is light years away from true depression.

Depression is when there is nothing but deep darkness. I can’t even rise up enough to think about thinking of something better. “Something better” does not exist in depression. Depression is it’s own dark abyss where nothing else exists and movement is difficult, if not impossible.

Light and “preferred responses” cannot penetrate the lethargy, the fog, the thickness. “Something better” does not compute from within depression. It is not that depressed folks are lazy and therefore can’t remember a happier time; it is that happy does not exist; the past and future do not exist. Only darkness exists—in an eternal, deep, sucking Now. There is no direct route from depressed to happy.

The depressed person cannot move—in thought or body. Depression pushes down and pulls down, all at once, sucking me further in. It is stagnant and dark and terrifying, but I am too lethargic to react, too drugged with heaviness and apathy, to even express the terror. I get pulled in so deeply, that it physically hurts to open my eyes (my mind’s eyes, as well as my physical eyes) to try and look for something other than this black Now.

I usually find myself begging out loud for mercy, asking, “please…please…please…,” not wanting to continue the descent. The begging is as close as I can get to movement, to doing something proactive, to praying. I begin begging because, for me, there are levels of depression, and I don’t want to keep sinking. I beg for at least a full stop. I beg because I know how horrible it is further down in there, and please God I don’t want to go to that level again—please, not this time.

Depression sucks the will out of me. It sucks faith out of me. Reasoning goes next. Aversion shows up, and I am convinced that no one—not even my best girlfriend or my sweet, patient man—wants to take a desperate call from me right now. No one wants to put up with such a wretched person as I am right now.

Embarrassment is next, as I begin berating myself on how I should be able to pull myself back up out of this morass. And if I do somehow make it back up and out of this, how am I going to face everyone who noticed me sinking so deep and far away, who saw how worthless I was/am?

I am worthless, talent-less, lacking in reason and therefore have no place to go but further down, deeper into the abyss. It is the only place where I feel welcome, where I know no one will be forced to endure me, and so I let it pull me further in.

Is it a habit—like an addiction? Am I addicted to depression somehow—maybe on a chemical level that I am not consciously aware of? Because it is seductive, in a way. It is quiet, at least. It is a form of Now.

At least I don’t have to talk to anyone here. I don’t have to listen to anyone tell me how wonderful my life is and how I shouldn’t feel this way, how I shouldn’t succumb to the darkness, how I should be strong and resist it, how foolish it is to go so deeply away, to be so… absent.

That is what it feels like. It feels like I am not in the real world; I am absent. I am separated from the world by a thick, heavy fog that I can only barely see through to observe other humans.

It always feels like I’ve sunk too deep down into the rabbit hole to return.

the elephant journal version:  The Difference Between Feeling Sorry for Yourself and Depression

I am angry

I am angry.

I am angry at my friend for dying on Xmas eve. Angry at god, angry at the Universe. Angry at myself for being angry. Angry that now her family will always think of Xmas differently. And so will I. Angry that I have to adjust my holiday schedule for her death. Angry that it bothers me. Angry that I am thinking of such stupid, selfish stuff as this.

Angry that as a single mom, I have never felt financially able to give my daughter what I wanted to be able to give her for Xmas – for 22 years now. Angry that I’ve bought into the idea that I must give her material things at Xmas. Angry that I might have raised a child who expects that. Angry that I never got what I wanted as a child for Xmas. Angry that I am so angry about these things – angry that I am so very petty and selfish to be so angry and so ungrateful.

Angry that there’s no significant other in my life right now and hasn’t been in the nearly two years since I broke up with my boyfriend. Angry at myself that I think I need/want a boyfriend. Angry that I don’t need/want a boyfriend. Angry that I couldn’t make that work even though I loved him. Angry that now he wants me back and that I sometimes even consider it b/c I am so lonely and horny. Angry that I am so picky in my choice of men. Angry that any old Joe-smoe won’t do for me. Angry that being a single mom and independent woman has caused me to become so very masculine in my life b/c I’ve had to do so much for myself that I will never be able to find a man more masculine than I – may never find a man so secure in his masculinity that it polarizes me back into my feminine. Angry at the world. Angry at Santa. Angry at the father aspect of the Divine Masculine who has let me down in every way throughout my life.

Angry at everything. Angry that my employer has scheduled a fucking “retreat” for all employees during the holiday season. Angry that “retreats” are never that; instead they are boring, annoying, stupid “workshops”, out of which nothing lasting and good ever comes. Angry that I am supposed to just go to this retreat and act like I’m okay with my holiday season being hijacked by a fucking “retreat”. Angry that he insists on calling them “retreats”.

Angry that my gut is still leaky and causing all sorts of body/life style issues that I am having to deal with even though I have been on a boring, restrictive, expensive diet for months now. Angry that I can’t eat out with friends in restaurants, therefore. Angry at the physical pain this gut thing is causing me.

Angry that my birthday was just another day this year. Angry that I couldn’t seem to make it more. Angry that I can’t eat chocolate, bread or sugar any more. Angry that my comfort is tied to food so much. Angry at my body. Angry that I am so old and so unsatisfied with my life and myself. Angry that I can’t seem to change my life fast enough. Angry that I am not making more money. Angry that I put so much importance on money. Angry that I can’t just get over myself and be happy for more than a few weeks at a time. Angry that I can’t be satisfied. Angry that I can’t just rest, can’t give up and stop working and growing and expanding – why can’t I just BE?

Angry that all of this is coming up now – during the death of someone I know, during the holiday season. As if everything is supposed to be put on hold for the holidays while we make-believe that everything is merry and bright. Angry that I am so very angry. Angry that this leaky gut is probably actually producing all this anger as it is clearing. Angry that I can’t sometimes tell the different between real anger and clearing, healing, really-connected-to-nothing-and-therefore-false anger that happens as this gut issue is healing.

Angry that I can’t seem to find myself inside this anger – I’d like to be able to own it and use it constructively. Angry that I am also sad. Angry that I want so much. Angry that Earth is so slow and patient when I am not. Angry that I’m alone. Angry that I doubt myself. Angry that I doubt everything. Angry that I let the healing-gut anxiety talk me into being anxious about things I’m not really anxious about. Angry that I’m angry. Angry that I’ve typed and looked at the word “angry” too many times now and can’t even tell it’s a word anymore – thank gawd for spell check.

I am angry.

I wait

it looks hopeless from here
it feels closed

sometimes I see a faint
glimmer under the door
but mostly it is dark
with some blueblack
and thick

I wait

this is taking me all the way back
to places I don’t even remember
because those places were not mine
but apparently they
still live in here in some form

I am trying to just ride it out
want to honor the process
and not rush
want to be really done when I’m done
complete
want to know no proverbial stone
was left unturned
as we reach those nice heavy stones
at the bottom of all of this mess
like foundation rocks on the stream bed

the water has been mucked
stirring and shifting
the moving about of the rocks
and the morass covering them
has muddied the water
I can’t see anything
can only feel my way ’round
with my heart’s hands
bumping into old places
ideas
only to yelp and jump back again

but mostly I am tired
and want to just sleep the long sleep
the sleep of notknowing
but I know that sleep doesn’t
really even exist
I know death
have been there and back
there’s more restive than rest about it

time has become unmanageable now
unruly
almost cheeky
it even flows backward
sometimes
I think
just to see if I’m tracking
and I am not
cannot

the water must clear again at some point
mustn’t it?

I wait