I may have thought that I was over the worst of it in my medication swap. It seems I wasn’t. In the last few days, I have faced some of my deepest darkest pits of depression to date.
The misconception about depression is that it is “simply” a profound sadness. No. That is just profound sadness. Depression is so much more than that. Madam Bipolar wrote that, for her, depression was the absence of hope. It is that, too. To me, it is being in a pit of blackness, rage and self-loathing.
And it is a very scary place.
I thought of people who live like that. I thought of my father, who I suspect may live like that.
It was, is, terrifying to be back there. It scared me to think that this is what is lurking beneath. I honestly don’t know how to face that without the chemicals I need to ingest to make my brain function semi-normally. Surely that blackness is not what normal is meant to be?
|Source: Hyperbole and a Half|
She’s right. There comes a point where you become completely stripped bare. You figure it can’t possibly get any worse. You have judged yourself so harshly and hated yourself with such vengeance that you really stop caring. Even about what you yourself think of yourself. And, believe me, there is no harsher judge than me.
I wonder, is that what people mean by accepting yourself?
People often quote this to me: “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ~ Thich Nhat Hahn
I wonder, whether before you can choose happiness, you need to see yourself for who you are. Really see yourself, hateful as you are, ugly as you are. Realise that this is you and nothing anyone can say or think about you is ever going to be as bad as what you think about yourself.
It is far easier to stop caring about what others think, than about what you think of yourself.
Right now I feel kind of numb. Perhaps having seen the darkness and surviving, I can learn to accept myself. With acceptance may come self-love. And from then happiness.
In the turmoil of the last few days, I became very conscious of the “happiness” all around me. Is it happiness or merely the “face of happiness”? I don’t believe happiness is about putting on a face and masking the truth.
I am sad, and a little bit angry, about the faces we force ourselves to wear to face the world. I’ve long struggled with the notion of people wanting some parts of their lives to remain private. Private or shameful? Private to whom? Where do you draw the boundary of private?
Yes, we’re afraid of being judged. Do you know why? Because we are so used to judging others.
I have found that the more you are afraid of others’ judgement, the more you are likely to give it to others.
Someone commented to me recently that if we were all truly honest (about ourselves), the world would be full of lonely people.
That made me sad.
Here is another quote:
I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.
Frederick Douglass (1817-1895)
That’s a quote I can live with. It gives me hope.
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