A slight change this week; I feel a need to acknowledge a few things, and a few people, and I wish, if possible, to give some hope, both to them and to myself.
Hello, all of you who have tagged a post with the word Depression. I’m glad to have met you.
I started my WordPress blog primarily as a literary endeavor, and when I realized I could browse posts by tag, I started out with stuff like Books, Writing and Fantasy. I’ve met some incredible people, and some incredible writers, and I couldn’t be happier for it. Many of them are listed in the links at the bottom of each of my pages.
A little while ago, however, I wrote a post that I considered tagging with the word Suicide (an incidental tag – it wasn’t my suicide). I was worried that WordPress might have some red flags up for that sort of thing, and so I refrained – but I was curious, and began searching for posts tagged Suicide and Depression. I was scared; this wasn’t a world I wanted to go back to. I continue to have mental health problems, but I can’t realistically call myself depressed, and I haven’t had a suicidal thought for almost five years.
What I discovered is a world of scarred, lonely and deeply traumatized people, each desperately clawing against their despair, unsure day by day if you will win the fight. You are not bad people; you are capable of kindness, generosity, compassion and selflessness – I have seen it through your tales. Many of you have admitted to some of your deepest faults; some of you have discovered the blessed anonymity of the internet and revealed things about yourselves you wouldn’t dare speak of to your closest friends. You have made me wish I had such a community of messed up minds at the lowest point of my own life, over ten years ago now.
I have found myself compelled to communicate with you, through far too many comments and replies, to the point that you probably feel like blocking me from your site, I’m sure. I am connected to you, and I would like you to know that you are connected to each other, whether you know it – whether you admit it – or not. I will never try to help you; I will (try to) never offer advice. At the deepest depths of black, when I could (quite literally) see nothing around me for the haze of darkness that clouded my vision, I swore that if I survived, and was ever in a position to talk to someone else about their own depression, I would not help them.
Some of you may understand this sentiment; help is not always what you need. Support may not be what you need. I remember; all I wanted was kinship. I was convinced, certain, that no one, ever, suffered as I suffered. No one was as depressed as me. I was proud of this fact; my cuts were deeper, my desire for death greater. I was the one that the teachers were scared of; I was the one that dropped out of school. I drew a bitter comfort from this – being depressed was the only thing I was better at than anyone else. I did not – ever – want to get better. I was offended by the very thought that there was a ‘better’ to get; this was me. To an extent, I still hold true to this; I am no longer depressed, but I am not better. I am still on medication, and my mental troubles have shifted to new, and more disturbing, patterns.
If you are seeking help; if you are seeking support, and therapy – I love you for this. If you are not – I love you no less. It is your choice. I have been touched, and disturbed, and horrified at the stories you have shared. I have no excuse for my depression; I had a happy childhood, was a good student, and loved life. When I was fifteen it all fell apart, and has never been put back together again. Some of you have suffered far, far worse – suicide, trauma, sexual abuse – and I would have you know you are stronger than you think, for you have made it this far. You have passed through terrors that would have left me screaming and insane. You are human, all of you, and you have survived. It’s what we’re best at.
Most of all, I want you to know that you have touched me, and reminded me of the desolation I used to call home. I cannot in faith wish you happiness, for you may not be seeking it. I would rather, if you would accept it, wish you balance, consolation and acceptance, both by yourselves and by others. I do not want any of you to die, though it is your choice, should you make that decision. I would have you know that I care for you, as a dispassionate, third party. I’m not going to intervene; I’m not going to interfere. I will continue to listen, though, for as long as you keep writing.
As a final word, something you will probably as one reject: you are all wonderful.
Alexandra (alexandra writes; aftermath)
lifeonaxis1 (Mood Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified)
Mandi (Mandi A. Stores)
Nell (letters to dom; pensées sans frontières)
SainT (Dead Negatives)
Stella (My Body the City: The Secret Life of a Manhattan Call Girl)
15 thoughts on “Tales of Despair: Your Words Are Heard”
Lovely post, Satis, and thank you for your kindness. ❤ I have so enjoyed getting to know you lately, and hope our friendship continues to grow! : )
Aww – as do I. : )
You sweet man, Satis. Such compassion.
I was only thinking about this freedom to speak through blogs this morning, a place that through anonymity we can broach those dark subjects that are taboo elsewhere, and feel a belonging, not so alone.
It took me a while also, to use the tag suicide, to explore other’s blogs on depression. And their words, and your own, help me too.
There are some amazing people out there, aren’t there? So strong and so brave. Whatever the reason for depression, futility and sadness to darken their lives, whether it is chemical or from experiences, they keep up the struggle for meaning and wholeness. And are so brave in their honesty of sharing.
Your responses to my words, have been refreshing, stimulating, honest and without judgement or fear.
I thank you for your kindness. And wish you well.
You’re more than welcome, Nell. I haven’t ever set out to make a difference; but if I do, I’ll feel a little more justified in the world. The very act of writing is itself a strength; I remember the time when I couldn’t have brought myself to even consider it. I’m looking forward to learning ever more about you, at your pace – when you’re ready to share.
Hi again Satis. Just wanted to say thankyou again for this post. Whist trawling these tags I had previously come across some of the other writers you mentioned, I have now been able to check out more, thanks to your list – and connect sometimes! All contain beautiful words, from places of the heart. Thank You, my friend.
Of course, Nell. I’m always here, you know; we all are. 🙂
Thank you for your post. You made me cry. That was exactly what I needed to hear right now.
I’m very glad I could reach out to you in some way. Thank-you so much for stopping by! I was encouraged to read about your husband; having even one person to rely on can make such a difference.
i was pretty much going to say the exact same thing as coloradobound724. i cried beautiful tears that never come when i need them to. i really needed to hear that. thank you.
You know you’re welcome! It’s been overwhelming to me the number of people who’ve appreciated these thoughts, and I’m happy you were able to shed tears (wait…that doesn’t sound good!). There’s little that’s made me feel worse as a person than being unable to react to the things that should bring be joy or sorrow. I began to worry I had psychopathic tendencies when I felt nothing at my uncle’s funeral. I just couldn’t feel sad; I got choked up when my dad started crying delivering the eulogy (I’ve never seen him cry in my life), but I just felt so detached. I love it when I actually break down and get the tears out.
Thank you, Satis. I’ve dealt with, and still do deal with these issues on occasion, and this post really did help a lot. (That was such a bland sentence.) This is exactly what I needed to hear.
Thank you (again.)
You’re so welcome! I’ve received such a response from this post, and I really wasn’t expecting it. I’m a little taken aback how many people seem to have gotten something positive out of it, and I’m so glad for it. You’re a great support, by the way, for my writing – thank you for all the likes and detailed comments!
Really well articulated, Satis. Like you, I had the happy childhood, etc. Depression kicked in for me later, and maybe lighter, but I still resonate.
I nominated you for the lovely blogger award. 🙂 check it out here: http://mooddisordernos.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/my-first-blog-award-nomination/