Kind of like family

file00058283027I was talking about depression recently and I realized some things. Like this whole thing about forgiving myself is great and all, but I still haven’t forgiven, or even tried to forgive, the depression itself. I think in metaphors and similes a lot, and it came to me that it’s like family. Even when you don’t see it for a long time, or you’re just dreading one of its all-too long visits, it’s still a part of your world. You can disown it, but that doesn’t change the connection. It won’t set you free.

So while I’ve been saying all the right things about learning to let it flow through you and accept yourself, I’ve also kept a war mentality about it. Like an “it’s either me or you” kind of thing. But the thing is, depression is part of me, part of my cells. It’s in my DNA, and to hate it with passion is wasting perfectly amazing passion that I could put somewhere else. Hating depression won’t make it leave me alone, won’t clear a path to eternal joy. And eternal joy is best left to the afterlife anyway, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Me, I’m aiming for peace, as much as I can make, here and now. So I’ve done the work, learned to respect my own boundaries, learned to nurture myself like a friend or mother. Okay, at least some of the time! But I’ve tried to ignore the part of me that is depression, because it’s not a friendly house-guest, and I’d oust it if I could. Cure it like cancer, and save us all. Ah, but I can’t. So I won’t.

So here we are, connected, wary, trying to learn to get by in life without falling too far off the ledge. And I do know that as good as things are right now, my odds of never seeing its face again are pretty damn low. So maybe if I can accept this thing, this dark, ugly, black-hole-peace-swallowing thing, maybe I won’t feel like a total loser when it comes to raid my fridge and take over my home. Maybe I can try to remember that the visit will end. It is what it is, after all. Like any wild thing, or that one relative of yours who just doesn’t have any empathy and doesn’t know when to leave. I can’t tame it, or teach it. All I can do is learn to accept it for what it is, and hope that by doing so the next visit will be easier, and shorter.

Hopefully, it will be a good long while before I get to find out how that goes.

10 Comments

  1. The Hedgehog

    To accept things, is to weaken their power over us.

    Sorry you have had this awful thing to contend with. So many people I know suffer from depression. Glad you are in a good place right now!

    Spiky big hugs from The Hedgehog x
    (Angela Z/WWWB)

    Reply
    1. it's nothing, really... (Post author)

      Thanks for the spiky hugs. Talking about it helps me, and it’s helped other people too, so onward I go.

      Reply
  2. Jennifer

    Such an honest post. I particularly love the last bit, “Like any wild thing, or that one relative of yours who just doesn’t have any empathy and doesn’t know when to leave. I can’t tame it, or teach it. All I can do is learn to accept it for what it is, and hope that by doing so the next visit will be easier, and shorter.”

    We often use the phrase “nothing lasts forever” to express sadness that good things have a finite shelf life. But we can turn that phrase on its head – happiness that bad stuff also has a finite shelf life. It sounds like you’ve had that realization – I hope you remain in this good place for a long while.

    Reply
    1. it's nothing, really... (Post author)

      Thank you so much! It does seem, in the depths, that the dark will last forever. It’s part of the dark magic of the thing. Carry flashlights!

      Reply
  3. Mom

    Even if it overstays its welcome, as it does whenever it comes, it will leave after the invasion….ALWAYS. I know this to be true. Love you Liesl.

    Reply
    1. it's nothing, really... (Post author)

      Thanks Mom – I’m sorry to share this part of DNA with you, wish we were both immune! <3

      Reply
  4. Jennifer (J.G) Lucas

    This is so true and so well put. I never thought of it like that. Thank you for your eloquence! I’m glad you haven’t had a visit for a while, but you (one) does have to kind of respect and accept it, as you say. Mine has wandered off, and I don’t miss it, but I keep a lookout for it. Sometimes, I swear it’s peering in my windows at me, but when I look it disappears. If it makes its way in again, I may let it make me burrow under the covers, but I won’t let it make me hate myself. I’m too old for that sh*t. :)

    Reply
    1. it's nothing, really... (Post author)

      If you see it in the windows, staring it down is the best approach! I hope it walks away always.

      Reply
  5. susan

    Like a loud party, when you hear the music from afar. It’s probably best to turn and run. You know that always means trouble. Sending squeezes.

    Reply
    1. it's nothing, really... (Post author)

      Thanks Susan, and thanks for all your comments, they brighten my day :)

      Reply

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