||[Jan. 30th, 2011|03:06 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
Sometimes, when I tell people I've been depressed since I was a kid, they look at me funny or say in a disbelieving tone, "You?"
I don't purposefully put up a cheerful front or anything. It's just this fact in my life like my hair is (mostly) brown and my eyes are (mostly) green. I don't hold it against them. I know I'm not a typical depressive, and most people don't dismiss it as nonexistent just because they haven't seen it.
But sometimes, someone tells me I SHOULD be happy, that I'm lucky to be alive or whatever stupid adage pops out of their mouth without pause for thought and I want to punch their heads right off their bodies and laugh at the gouts of blood.
Well, that's a bit violent. And not where I wanted to go with this.
But I'm tired. THIS is my reality. THIS is what most people don't see:
Sometimes, I sit down or I'm lying there or I'm doing something and for whatever reason, maybe some chemical trick, pain and sorrow and exhaustion just washes over me and it hurts so much. My heart, my body, my brain all ache from the weight of it, pressing and pushing and squeezing me down into nothing but sorrow. And in those moments, I hate that I can't give up, that I push this despair along like a boulder, that I walk through this field of deep mud, that I'm pushing and struggling always and forever, 33+ years now, and I can't stop feeling everything that pulls me down and makes me feel sad and useless. And now, old. And I'm glad, in a way, when my logical brain kicks in and uses some trick I've learned to keep going or reminds me that everything passes or the feeling just fades because it's impossible to sustain that depth of emotion.
But it's always there, always part of everything I'm trying to do. It is the opposite of having a healthy, productive life and I don't want it, but I'm afraid that someday I'll be too tired to bounce back.
And that's the race, to make it better before I give up.
I just read an amazing book by Elizabeth Moon called The Speed of Dark that my Mom sent me and I realized that in a way it was the same for the main character. He felt he needed to change the way the world perceived him as "wrong" before it was too late to pursue dreams he felt he could reach only if he were "normal." It is too late for me to pursue any number of dreams; but if I don't achieve some level of normal, or at least non-pain, soon then I won't have much time left to do the things I want to do... things I can't do right now, because they require the physical space, bodily energy, and/or organizational abilities I don't have.
And that is also why I want to punch the heads off people who yell "Just DO it!" in my face. Easy for you to say.