Monday, August 18, 2014

The Axe (Dealing with Depression)

I will likely delete this quickly.
I, like many people, have issues with depression.
It seems so cliche these days to say you "suffer from depression"; everybody and their grandmother "suffers from depression."
(I will never forget the time I walked into a new doctor's office, told him I had been feeling "down," let it slip I'm Jewish, and his response was, "Oh, you're Jewish? Jews are a depressed people. Here's a prescription for anti-depressants. Bye bye."
But that is a different story.)
I will not get into the causes of my depression, as for one, I think they are irrelevant, and two, they are too private to share.
(Or maybe I'm just romanticizing my own pain. I don't know. Americans have a bad habit of doing that, I've noticed, and I'm no special snowflake.)
But I will tell you what often helps me, because maybe, it'll help a few of you too. I know I'm not the only one suffering lately. A lot of my friends have been feeling down.
If nothing else, a couple of you may get a laugh.
When I get too downtrodden to keep going—when I get too depressed to do the "everyday functioning" stuff—I ask myself:
"If a guy were chasing me down with an axe, about to kill me if I didn't get this shit done, THEN would I do it?"
Invariably, the answer is yes.
So I do it.
This line of logic basically reminds me it's not that I can't do this stuff. It's that the depression is trying make me think I can't do it, make me believe a lie—because that's what depression does.
There used to be dark days when my answer to the question would have been, "No, I still can't do this shit."
There were even darker days (and this was o so long ago, but I still remember them keenly) when I would have greeted the axe with the open arms of a long lost lover, and tilted my head for the kiss of the blade.
Those days are long gone, thank God. I have ways to function, ways to remind myself I am capable of doing the things I need to do to be a wife, mother, sister, daughter, pet, and (to the best I can be) friend.
I can function, even when a part of me doesn't want to.
The depression does sometimes feel like a dark cloud, and I'm working in a fog here, but I can work blind.
And soon, the cloud will lift. It always does.
To my friends feeling sad: I don't know why so many of us are feeling like this. Maybe it's because of all the sad stuff on the news. I've heard from more than one source it's because of the "Super Moon" we just had; I don't know.
I do know a new season is upon us. It's time for a change.
Let's make it a change for the better.