The malls have begun to bustle with a fluid crowd of consumers returning gifts that are ill fitted, unwanted, or just unneeded. The blacktop paved avenues seem to constantly be battered with the numerous rolling caravans. Families flock to and from bundling up tidings of farewell and prosperity over the impending calendar. Still … sullen and desolated feelings build up.
Fuzzy feelings of familial endearment are what is expected. Fond memories of jolly old elves, carefully crafted precipitation angels, and the spin chill of frosted rain on your tongue. The lingering feeling of holiday festivus should be built up within us all. The holiday joy practically oozes forth from the finger tips of all those in woolly mittens.
So where is my sugar plum delirium? Shadowy depths of my secluded corner is where I reside at this time. I feel off kilter with most of those around me. Aside from my family I feel like I come from a different planet.
I feel abandoned in a murky gray fog. Cut off from humanity…. every year, why?
Like clockwork as the chill on the whispering wind sets in so does the gloom and despair. Amidst the glimmer of the golden orb somewhere near the palms in the park the sun seems dull. You know… like a lightbulb that is blinking out or just not screwed in tightly enough. I’ve done things, lots of tedium, in attempt to burnish that daily glow.
The feculence that resides within the cracks and crevices of my hands only smear the darkness around. Barricading the healing rays from my corner. This Cimmerian shade has become my friend via that eldest of axioms ‘keep your friends close but you’re enemies closer’.
Creeping inwards from the walled edges, ghostly hands seem to reach at me. Passing though my body gasping my sullen soul. They seem to wrench and rip my conscience from the depths of my bones. As much as I strain to keep what makes me… well me… its like holding water in my hands. It endlessly pours from the tiny cracks betwixt my digits. I have labored over this version of myself tirelessly and it seems to currently be adrift.
What is it about this season that drives this newest onset depression. Yes. Yes, I used that life devastating verbiage with complete honesty. I have depression. At a point I thought that it treaded more along the lines of seasonal affective disorder… but I now live in a sunny vacation destination. Thus, I have resided in the fact that this obscurity that comes in waves is the truest definition of depression.
I can acknowledge myself to be a psychology nerd [with my BA in psychology and striving to become a psychologist] with decent knowledge of the disorder at hand. However, no matter how much information I digest about this topic describing my personal depression is my most ambitious goal. The one constant that is true amongst those with depression, diagnosed or not, is that it is immensely individual.
My depression manifests itself most times as a shackle to my bed. The lack of motivation is as steadfast as super glue. I pull away from those I trust and love. It makes regaining a footing extremely burdensome.
I am extremely lucky in the fact that I have an excessively understanding family structure… we all struggle with depression. When I trip into a cycle of depression they are always standing by to offer support. Friends however, mostly vanish. For which I can not blame them. A depressive friend is becomes sullen, withdrawn, and completely unrecognizable.
As I began to dive into my depressive cycle I stumbled across a post that really resonated with me. A fellow depression sufferer who seems to have experienced the similarity of abandonment. Friends flee based on the fact that their words escape them. Inevitably apologies flood in at arms length from faces that seem to be phantoms of the past. I too have felt the hollowness of these types of acts. Friendships fade, oblivious people around suggest that venturing out will improve my mood, and those rare charitable few stay and awkwardly converse with me.
Karenzai from the blog Under Construction [<– click for the article], was absolutely correct by saying “And one thing I’ve come to realize over a few cycles of depression is this: depressed people don’t need you to empathize; they just need you.”. I whole heartedly agree with her. No matter what you know, how smart you are, how social you are, how much success you have, or if you are qualified… everyone is capable of being there for someone who is struggling with their depression.
I have to say thank you to Karenzai. Not only did this article help me actually look for someone’s hand to hold in my own darkness. It also concreted the concept that some people aren’t meant to stay in my life. I loved all… ok let me be honest I loved most… of the people that I have had come in and out of my life. For a lot of my life I have distressed over the fact of loosing people in my life. Now I come to the realization that mostly it is not my fault.
Yes, I have depression, and yes I know that fact can make it difficult to be my friend. However, there are constants who stay in my life. I unequivocally love and adore them for baring with me and holding onto my hand as I fumble with my internal darkness. I thank those who have been there for me irregardless of my issues from the bottom of my heart.
For those of you who are struggling with depression remember that you are not alone. Those around you quite possibly have never had any experience with depression and some will sadly disappear. Remember that it is not you driving away those you know. One of the biggest obstacles that I have faced with depression and urge you to realize faster than I is that depression makes you want to run and hide. It makes you adore the seclusion that comes as you cope with this round of depression. However, I have found that asking for someone to be there to hold your hand can vastly improve your abilities to rebound.
For those of you who know some one who is suffering from depression know that you DO NOT have to know the correct things to say or have all of the answers. The best thing that you can do for someone you love with depression is just be there for them. In all likelihood they will not talk to you about their own depression. However, any type of talking is a huge help for most of us sufferers.
**Important Note** Signs of depression manifest in a multitude of personal ways such as: seclusion, lack of daily hygiene, altered mood, lack of interest, and many more. If you have questions please visit National Institute of Mental Health if you want me information.