You Aren’t Welcome Around Here Anymore

Come on, we’ve all been there. Lights off, door closed, fetal position on the closet floor. Body-wracking but silent sobs, because, for fuck’s sake, why must you constantly ruin everything for everyone?

Oh wait. You mean this doesn’t happen to everybody? It’s not a normal Friday afternoon activity?  Of course it isn’t. Other people aren’t as fucked up as you, you lazy piece of worthless shit, why can’t you control your Goddamned emotions?

And so it goes. To say I’ve battled Depression for decades is to over-glorify the term battle. For much of the time, the fight has been so one-sided that it would be laughable, were I not too busy trying desperately to fend off thoughts of suicide. Depression knows everything about me, knows exactly what to say to bring me to my knees. At once mocking me for thinking that I’m special enough to have something diagnosably wrong and chastising me for a long list of faults, mostly rooted in laziness and lack of value as a human being, the phrases that bombard my consciousness are devastating.

Depression is a liar and an abuser. Depression feeds on your weakness, knocks you down, and then, when you think it’s as bad as it can get, derides you for your stupidity, convincing you that the problem is not Depression, the problem is you. If you just didn’t suck so much, maybe you wouldn’t be crying. If you weren’t such a lazy piece of shit, you’d get up off the floor and get some work done for once. No wonder nobody likes you, all you do is bring everyone down with your drama addiction, you fucking crybaby.

If Depression were a partner, friends and family members would hold an intervention and demand you break up. Instead, they often side with the bastard.  “How can you be so sad when there are wars and famines going on?” “You have to convince yourself to feel better, stop wallowing”¦” “Your mood reflects the energy that you are putting out there. Smile more!”

It’s not like that. Trust me on this one, if I could talk away the bottomless darkness, I would have bullied myself out of it long ago. Instead, I let it wear on for years, trying desperately to hide it so that people wouldn’t know just how lazy and worthless I was, just how weak I was.

I’m still surprised that there are people who don’t feel this way, Depression was so good at convincing me that I was just so utterly worthless that I couldn’t handle what everyone else successfully managed.

But it’s not true. I finally saw Depression for what it is: a lying, manipulative son-of-a-bitch that didn’t deserve my attention. I got help. I got treatment, and even though I occasionally find Depression sneaking up on me and working me over with its cutting phrases, I’m moving on.  We’re breaking up.

Depression is treatable.  And it is a Goddamned motherfucking liar, and I swear on my mother’s honor that if I find it going after my loved ones, I will beat. it. down. Fuck you, Depression. You aren’t welcome around here anymore.

Looking for advice? Send questions my way. I enjoy ruminating about my own life, but would enjoy ruminating about yours even more.

By Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

13 replies on “You Aren’t Welcome Around Here Anymore”

If Depression were a partner, friends and family members would hold an intervention and demand you break up.

This is a very powerful way to think about depression.  But it’s hard when depression feels so intertwined with who I am–it feels very much like the problem is something inherent to me.

We’re breaking up.

Depression is treatable.

I know this is true, because I’ve gotten help, and I’m getting it, and I know it makes a difference.  But damn, I’m only 28 and I’ve had depression for nearly 2/3 of my life.  I do what I’m supposed to do– I see therapists, I take medication, I exercise, I stay involved in activities, all of that.  Depression just keeps coming back.  When will I finally win?

For me – I don’t know if I will ever *really* win.  What I do know is that it made a gigantic difference to divorce myself from responsibility for it.  I exercise.  I stay involved.  I see therapists.  I cried on the couch of my therapist’s office once, asking him why I couldn’t just learn how to manage it, what was I doing wrong.

But finally, finally, I see it as a disease, and not something I should feel guilty or ashamed about.  It’s a disease.  I treat it.  People with diabetes are going to have times when their blood sugar spikes or drops, and they will have small crises, and they will do what they have to do and move on.  I’m trying to look at it like that  – a disease that flares up.  It’s hard to not feel that horrible pit in my stomach the morning after a terrible night when I think about how much I put my loved ones through, but the more I try to be objective about it, the less control it has over me.  It sucks.  But it can’t manipulate me as much.

And medicine has helped me enormously.

If this isn’t one of the best posts I’ve read about depression I’ve read in a while I would eat my shoe.

Sometimes I forget that other don’t experience things the same as me and I “slip” and tell them something about how my brain works.  I did that the other week with a friend, about how I can’t even have a good dream without my Depression taking it and pissing all over it.  I spent a year where my only emotion was exhaustion; it was the worst year with Depression.  It really likes to overstay its welcome.  Then it makes you feel like an ass for burdening your friends with your issues and not faking it and lying.

Depression knows everything about me, knows exactly what to say to bring me to my knees.

This so much.  It knows all those little tender spots to stick a knife in and twist.  Maybe throw some salt in there too.  It’s nice to know I’m not alone, even though I wish I were-I couldn’t wish this hell on anybody.

I’ve dealt with that bastard for so long and I am exhausted. Then I think about the fact that I’m only 21, and I wonder if I can really do this, can really have a life, and a family, and ever be happy, if I can ever live in the daylight. Just the fact that there are people here on Persephone who do, that these people exist, gives me hope.

Thank you.

You can.  The fact that you are aware of what is going on when you are 21 speaks volumes – when I was 21, I was so ashamed that I couldn’t even put a name to it, and spent an enormous amount of time and energy trying to fake being happy.  With time, you’ll find more and more ways to respond to it, to treat it, to intercept it when episodes come on.

Hearing stuff like this makes me feel so much less alone, like…oh…I’m not crazy. If I distance myself from it, its amazing at how deeply rooted it can become, how its manipulates (like you say) and how its indescribably devastating ( and yet, when you are in the thick of it, you don’t recognize it). You have perfectly described it.

To say I’ve battled Depression for decades is to over-glorify the term battle. For much of the time, the fight has been so one-sided that it would be laughable, were I not too busy trying desperately to fend off thoughts of suicide. Depression knows everything about me, knows exactly what to say to bring me to my knees. At once mocking me for thinking that I’m special enough to have something diagnosably wrong and chastising me for a long list of faults, mostly rooted in laziness and lack of value as a human being, the phrases that bombard my consciousness are devastating.

I’m still coming to grips with talking about my depression – I come from a long line of southern folks who have dealt with mental illness, especially depression, for generations, yet never really dealt with it, because in the south mental illlness is just a person being “colorful” or someone being “over dramatic” or just needing to “calm down” or “cheer up”.My own acceptance of it has been a long time coming and it only came about because of other people talking about their own experiences.

I’m glad to hear that you are better and that you have gotten out of the forest. Thanks for this.

Thanks for this.  I struggled with depression as a teenager but never got help for it.  My best friend was more severely depressed, and the cycle of putting myself down for even feeling that bed when clearly I had nothing to feel that bad about was a big part of my life for a while.  I don’t know really what changed, because I never did get help, but I rarely deal with depression anymore (my m.o. is more stress/stress management issues now.)  But it’s good to remember that what I felt then, and very occasionally now, is legitimate and not something I should be (or should have been) putting myself down about.

Also, I just read one of the most poignant things I’ve ever read on Hyperbole and a Half recently that dealt with what you’re talking about exactly.  I highly recommend it (actually I highly recommend Allie Brosh everything, because she is awesome, especially when she’s talking about dogs.)   http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

This post reminded me of that H&aH post as well – the personification of depression as almost being stalked by the meanest, most bullying version of yourself. Both this post and that one gave me an insight into chronic depression I haven’t had before.

Same here.  In fact, this is the first time I’ve publicly acknowledged that what I was going through as a teenager was depression, and it was in part reading this post and the H&H post that made me comfortable with saying that “out loud” (even if it was actually written…same idea.)

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