~Depression is not about what we have; it’s about what has us.—Steve Safran
Can we talk about it?
Face to face. Human being to human being. Compassionately. Humanely. Try to understand one another rather than judge one another.
Don’t you think it’s about time?
Not just because of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Robin Williams, and all the other Hollywood celebrities who committed suicide, but because of us, the ordinary people, the regular people who believe they cannot face another day, walk another step, perceive a clear future.
The first time I experienced this sadness, this mysterious creature of dread, I didn’t know what it was. I only knew it felt like clouds lowering, black rain falling. I began to write words, allow the shadows to pour upon the pages. This was my Prozac. This was my savior before I met Jesus.
Winston Churchill called it, “The Black Dog.”
Sarah Silverman said depression is similar to being terribly homesick, but you’re already home.
My sister, Kay, admitted, “Kimmy, it’s like demons holding you down with claws.”
Sylvia Plath described it like this in her poem, Sheep in Fog: “Morning has been blackening, a flower left out…They threaten to let me through heaven. Starless. Fatherless. A dark water.”
There is a stigma attached to anything that people assume makes us weak, out of control, irrational, breaking down.
As Brene’ Brown so elegantly said, “There is no such thing as a breakdown, there is only spiritual awakening.
Man, I cannot tell you how much I love that quote. I mean, thinking of one’s depression as spiritual instead of a sickness is powerful, hopeful. It makes me smile.
Aren’t those who experience depression shamed enough, misunderstood enough? These individuals are some of the strongest people I know for getting up everyday and LIVING in spite of their situations, circumstances, history, chemical imbalances, whatever it is that causes them to struggle.
Why are we afraid to talk about it?
Why are we fearful to talk about things that make us uncomfortable— death, suicide, mental illness? Even my sister’s murder.
Perhaps, just perhaps, this makes it real, makes it come to life, makes it like a disease you can catch.
But we must talk about it. Okay? Are you listening?
After Kay’s murder, the clouds didn’t just lower above my body, they covered me completely. The black rain drenched me. I remember being in the bathtub, thinking, ‘I don’t feel the water on my skin. I can’t feel anything.”
Depression is worst than death…because we (Think) we are dying while we are still alive.
But please please please DO NOT Ever underestimate the people who go through it, the people who live with it.
Those people are some of the strongest individuals I know.
They FIGHT back.
They get up every single day in spite of their conditions. They see beauty in the world. That single flower is not left out. They gather up their tribe to love them more. They seek others who understand. They pet cats. They tap into their art. They reach out. They find God.
I shall end with one of my favorite writers, Andrew Solomon. He says it much better than I——
“Prozac doesn’t do it unless we help it along. Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.”
—Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon.
NOTE: The world WOULD NOT be better without you inside of it. Get that strait, Okay? You are here for a purpose.
And you are LOVED by me and many others who want you to stay.
Live. Live. Live
HELP/ Support for Depression in Duluth: https://www.yellowpages.com/duluth-mn/depression-support-groups
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
New York Times: What is Sadness/Depression?