There's been some very good discussion about depression since Robin Williams left us. I don't really need to add to it but for some reason I feel I want to....talk about mine.
Depression sucked the life out of me for almost tree years.
It was like it arrived, made itself comfortable on my couch, hogged the remote control and made me watch the movie Robocop over and over and over and over and over..... Like that only much worse.
I've never understood why people would take their own lives until the day I realized that I feared living more than I feared the act of taking my own life and not being alive anymore, that not knowing what would become of me after I died was preferable to the knowing that I could keep feeling the way I did, and that there was no way out that I could see anyway.
Luckily that was a fleeting moment for me and I found myself way back into the higher state of apathy. I had life sucked out of me and there was nothing that seemed to fill me with joy anymore. I had moments when I tried to create myself out of it by doing art but on the whole there was nothing giving me joy in life. I faked life for almost three years and.....
I woke up in pain. (Woke up as in when I slept which was less and less.)
I spent my days in pain.
I went to bed in pain.
I talked about my pain in therapy.
I blogged out of pain. (And, in pain.)
I couldn't see an end to the pain for all the pain I was in. I think I even started to get used to the pain.
I ate to dull the pain.
I couldn't cry anymore for all the pain.
I wished desperately for someone else to love me out of the pain.
I was also among the percentage of people who are not particularly helped by taking antidepressants but at the same time the talk therapy just didn't seem to get to the root of it. It just kept hanging around.
Three months or so ago I went back into therapy and ended up sitting face to face with my current therapist. I was in therapy because of work, and there was no doubt it was affecting me adversely, but I also asked myself why I was allowing myself to stay there if that was really the case.
Like so many others before me I came to realize that my pain, as much as it was triggered by a more recent situation, was firmly rooted in my past. What happened to me in my childhood was what was really at the root of all that pain.
When I told my therapist about my childhood it was after him gently inquiring and as I spoke I became more and more alarmed at what was coming out my mouth. I felt a deep shame, the kind you feel as a child when you realize you're all wrong, and I spoke of things that I really had no memory of or so I thought. It was clearly there but I had stuffed it down so far it wasn't featuring in my history as I was used to telling it.
I told him without any concept of what I was telling him and it wasn't until he looked up from his note taking and said "You were abused" that I stopped.
"Was I?", I asked because it was hard to me to fathom. My parents had never laid a hand on me.
As I told my therapist in the following sessions, it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life telling someone about it. It had been my secret for so long and it was so secret I didn't even think about it. It was buried deep in my soul and as I spoke the words I was overcome by deep shame, the kind of shame a child feels when they're all wrong.
That was the day, the moment, depression lost its grip on me and I slowly begun to feel better.
Secrets keep us sick. Secrets can kill us. Secrets that hold pain are killers and destroyers of life.
It took me three years to find a therapist to help me clear it. I think it's not an accident. We don't clear things until we're ready and we need to work on getting ready. We need to know we're safe enough to let it out, that if it becomes too much there's someone to take care of us and to look out for us.
If you're struggling with depression seek help, seek your secret and seek your healing. If you've never really known what it's like to be whole and healthy you deserve to know it before you leave this life.
I do. I deserve it.
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