Wait a Sec!: Thoughts about Depression

If you think the following post slams my ex in any way, you’re an idiot. Acknowledging someone’s shortcomings isn’t vindictive. And acknowledging that they have good reason to have their faults is also not vindictive.

For some reason, we live in a world where being passive and inaccurate is mistaken for “being nice.” C’mon, none of us is perfect. I burp, you know. I offer advice without being asked (hence this board, heh… gets it a little out of my system. Not entirely, but it helps). I’m opinionated. I’m blunt. I can be moody. I’m bitterly sarcastic. I’m narrow-minded. I’m judgmental.

It’s all true.

So to call me something that’s true is, well, not vindictive in the least. It’s merely right.

I fuckin’ hate how you can’t say anything bad about anything and not be perceived as negative, hateful, or cynical. It’s so fucking stupid. It sucks. They suck. C’mon, grow a fucking spine. Have an opinion. Say what you think. Fuck that, just THINK.

And while I’m all rared up with no place to go, let’s get onto this topic of calling DEPRESSED a “SWIPE” at someone.

Hey, depression’s a fucking ILLNESS, man. Sometimes it can be almost untreatable. It’s a hard fucking road to travel. Calling the stating of a person as “depressed” a “swipe” means depression isn’t a real thing. It’s dismissive of the horrific struggles faced by all those people who can’t understand why they feel the black hell they feel. Don’t fucking disrespect them by suggesting that their clinical state is merely an insult or a swipe, and not the gaping black hell of existence they know it to be, ALL RIGHT?

This isn’t the “wah, I’m having a bad day” depression I speak of, that I know firsthand; this is the “I’m scared to go outside because something might trigger a descent again” kind of blackness that literally puts a fear of God into you.

When I call my ex-boyfriend depressed, I call him that with nothing but tenderness and sorrow. I feel for him. I wish I could help him. There is nothing, not anything, that I can do for him. How I wish I could. I can’t. That’s just the state of depression for you. Somehow you got to find your way out, but this isn’t some spelunking game. This is sinking. It’s a shipwreck of the heart, and shit, man, Lost is going on Season Three, you know what I’m saying here? If you don’t get found, man…

Depression is the bane of my life. I’ve travelled that road too often to feel anything but empathy for its sufferers.

My brother broke my heart last week when he told me he was crying every day these days, missing being a husband and a father, he said. Broke my heart. What do you say to a man who feels so emotionally crushed in the face of his not being able to be the man he wants to be? I believe depression’s harder for men simply because they’re told to not listen to their emotions most of their lives, and here’s this thing of darkness screaming at you every waking moment, or drowing out the noise in your life, and you can’t ignore it. It’s there, always. I think men feel more helpless with it, but women are kind of conditioned to know our body does this to us, and we’re brainwashed to believe we’re the weaker, more emotional sex, so we somehow cope better as a result of it. Men have to bottle it up for pride’s sake, and the price they pay’s just horrific sometimes.

I recommend this brilliant book by William Styron. Brilliant literary take on the journey of depression by one of the best writers in the world. His was chemically induced (though some of us would argue they all, in one context or another, are) and spiralled towards suicide. It’ll wake you up to a more intellectualized and concrete look at the psychosis of depression.

I believe I’ll always be somewhat prone to depression. Now, though, I realize that no matter how dark it gets, I find moments of joy. I need to always remember that.

Anyhow. I wasn’t sniping. This is one breakup where no one really is to blame.

And to the reader who expressed concern that a great relationship could die at the hands of something stupid like a broken leg, well…

…Welcome to the real world. I have been alive for 394 months. This relationship ate up maybe five months of it. And it feels like so much more. The connection went deep, fast, and there it is. Such is life. Broken hearts hurt, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. When it breaks, you can hear it cracking. In fact, they did a study last year that proves for once and for all that you really can die of a broken heart.

Yep, Broken Heart Syndrome occurs when there is a sudden tragedy that hits you. A death, a diagnosis, a theft, whatever. It mimics a heart attack and can require hospitalization, after which (2–3 days) the people can leave in decent health.

Every friend I’ve lost, every lover who left or drifted away, every relative, they’ve all taught me something. Some are dead and gone but remain with me now. Some hurt me in ways I’ll never forgive them for but to this day I remember things they’ve said, that we did, and it will always stay with me.

And that’s life.

There’s a valley in Eastern BC, outside a little town called Nelson. The natives there have a legend that it’s the valley of the lost souls. The belief is, when you’re broken in spirit or body, you go there, by the river, and in time, it will heal your soul. When you leave, you leave whole but for the little piece of your soul that remains, and then heals the next broken spirit who happens by.

And that’s what love and broken hearts are. You hurt, you heal, and a bit of that experience stays behind to make you better, stronger, than you had been before.

So, my heart’s a little worse for wear, as is my ex’s, and that’s how it goes. We are what we are, broken. And there’s no shame in it.

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10 Comments

  1. lat/lon1981
    Posted July 14, 2006 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Holy Schnikes! Thanks for the Styron link. Will order, will read! My “invaluable senior partner of my intellect” and I thank you.

    Good gravy you mean so much more to me than you’ll ever know.

    Best regards and goodnight.

    latloNg1981
    Broken too
    xo

  2. Anonymous
    Posted July 14, 2006 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    As someone who has been alive more than 400 months myself, I think you’re incredibly right about love, life and growth. I don’t worry when I scratch my car — that’s just experience, visible. You write things that are true, and I often wish I had the same courage.

  3. Jericho
    Posted July 14, 2006 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    reminds me of a jack johnson tune: “without you I am broken, but I’d rather be broke down with you by my side…”

    love the blog & will be back

    :)

  4. Solymar
    Posted July 14, 2006 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    You go girl!
    I read “anonymous’” comment and I never got the impression you were attacking your ex, just merely venting and lamenting the fact that your relationship had to end.

    You sure put that person in their place. Too bad they didn’t have the guts to put an email.

    On a slightly different note, I read a good quote the other day. It was basically how we are sometimes victims of broken hearts, but that when we know better and still make the same decision,we become volunteers for broken hearts.
    Thought you might like it.

  5. l'amoureux de KT
    Posted July 15, 2006 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Hey, it’s me. Yes, I’m old. Let’s move on…

    Basically, I have a few comments [and will keep it to a minimum here, for everyone’s sake!] about broken hearts.

    Primarily: If it ain’t never been broke, it likely ain’t never been used.

    I am not being cynical about it. I wish i was, because that would imply that there were a significant number of people out there [as opposed to a paltry few happy-go-lucky-so-fuck-off-aberrations] who have Loved and Never Been Crushed!

    Just my opinion. I could be wrong!

  6. monicker
    Posted July 15, 2006 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m opinionated. I’m blunt. I can be moody. I’m bitterly sarcastic. I’m narrow-minded. I’m judgmental.”

    Thank-you-thank-you-thank-you for being unapologetically human.

  7. scribe called steff
    Posted July 15, 2006 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Lat/Lon — Enjoy the book, it’s a great read, but a hard one sometimes. Emotionally, that is.

    Anon — Thanks. :)

    Jericho — Jack Johnson’s awesome. One of the better performers I’ve seen.

    Solymar — I’m no volunteer. Heh. I avoid hurts. But, whatever. There it is. Yeah, I’m bitter it’s over, but what else could be done? I was more bitter when I was still in it. Now I know where I stand. Now I can move on. It is what it is.

    Bicyc — Ah, Kahlil Gibran and his ilk assert that our happiness can only be as great as our sorrows have been. I believe, as they do, that those who have been hurt more can give more, those who cry more, laugh louder. Of course, there are those who would prefer to be victims than survivors, and their experiences differ vastly. Learn and move on, or stay and hurt. Those are the choices, right? So.

    Mon — Its funny that we should have to be apologetic or not, isn’t it? I mean we ARE human. Why apologise? The day I’m perfect is the day I find out this was all just a big joke. It ain’t gonna happen, and frankly, it’s not that funny anyhow. Yep, imperfect as the day is long. But I cut myself slack.

  8. PS
    Posted July 15, 2006 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t commented in a while, but I blame school and recent graduation and inculcation into a different school.

    I just wanted to say…what you said was beautiful. Even living just these 264 months I have experienced depression first hand. And I’m also experiencing just how deeply it can affect a relationship.

    I hope you rock hard at work, school, and play.

  9. Linda
    Posted July 18, 2006 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I know a woman who’s gone through the same thing as you (methinks). I hear that you liked this guy alot, but the depression was just too stressful for you. I think remaining friends with him will help keep him spiritually alive. OHmyGod, what he’s been through.… still, everybody’s ultimately got to take care of themselves, married or in love or single or whatever.…

  10. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2006 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    stumbled upon your blog, going through something eerily similar…thanks for posting this.

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