dawnbreakingblogdotcom

Turning depression around

It’s not you; it’s me.

on 20/10/2013

We all make excuses at various times in our life, to get out of prearranged plans or spontaneous suggestions, to justify ourselves or discredit others, to exaggerate or play down, to avoid insult or to limit damage.  With depression, one rarely-believed get-out clause has never been more true:  it’s not you – it really, really is me.

I’ve never been the one living with someone who has depression, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to put myself in your shoes.  I am genuinely thankful to anyone who has it within themselves to stick by that person and to try to understand them.  I’m in awe of your endurance, and I’d be a fool to underestimate your own experience.

Depression isn’t something that those around us need to take personally.  It’s not an reflection on you.  You haven’t failed us.  It’s not about you not doing enough for us, not giving us enough, not appreciating us.  The truth is that we can be your world – and in many cases we are – but that has nothing to do with our depression.  We can have everything and everyone we need and want, but it changes nothing.  When nothing is missing in our life, there’s still something missing in ourselves.

It feels like something has found the connection inside us that allows us to experience happiness and pulled that particular plug.  In fact, it feels like it’s been permanently removed, and we can’t imagine ever having any spark behind our eyes again.  We feel empty and disengaged when we know that we should be laughing with our loved ones and grateful for you and everything you bring us.  But we can’t.  We physically can’t, so we feel guilty and unappreciative, and that guilt feeds the depression, and the short circuit remains exactly as it is.

So please don’t question yourselves.  Please don’t assume that you’re the reason we’re ill.  Would you be responsible if we had a hormone imbalance?  No, and in the same way, you’re not responsible for the chemical imbalance that explains depression.  Carry on as you are.  Support, comfort, and encourage us.  And as caught up in ourselves as we may seem, please never think that we’ve forgotten you.

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