Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million
ellenmillion

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On Depression and Decisions

Every example is from my own life; if you find yourself in my words, it is only because we have both been there.



***

I was painfully depressed.

I went to the useless counselors and dutifully took the Prozac and hurt and hurt and hurt...

I couldn't find it in myself to reach out, and was hurt when no one would reach out to me.

I withdrew from everyone I knew, and assumed they didn't care when they didn't know what to say.

I tallied the medicine in the cabinet and wondered if there was enough in the whole world to stop the pain.

I spun my little fantasies in my head; how sorry everyone would be when I was gone.

Depression was an endless, surreal nightmare.

And then, I woke up to find that life was going on without me.

Depression wasn't because the world was out to get me, no matter how easy it is to tally up the things that go wrong and try to claim some cosmic agenda. It had nothing to do with crushed vertebrae or detached retinas or rejected stories or lost childhood friends. It had nothing to do with nasty comments or disappointed dreams.

Depression was my decision to lie on the bed looking at the ceiling wishing I were dead.

Depression was my decision to look at my art next to an expert's and find mine lacking without bothering to figure out why or trying to fix it.

Depression was my decision to look at my failures instead of my possibilities.

Depression was my decision.

It was the easiest decision, certainly far simpler than picking up the pieces of the projects I had begun and seeing them through to completion. Depression was more appealing than accepting the limitations of injury and figuring out what I /could/ do.

I have done a host of difficult things in my time; finishing a degree in engineering, starting a business with $200, living without plumbing through Alaskan winters... Pulling myself out of depression is one the hardest things I have ever done, and I have to do it again, and again, and again, nearly every day.

It doesn't go away. It doesn't get easier. It's always there, that sweet, angsty option of lying down on the bed and saying 'I don't want to try anymore; I am tired of fighting and I hurt.'

I could compare the people who reached out to me with the number of people who don't and feel worthless. I could look at all my flaws and disappointments and I could easily find more to feel poorly for. I could say 'haven't I done enough?' and wait for someone to pity me and feed me self-confidence.

And the world would reward my attempt at failure with just that.

I will fight it every day.
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