Depression isn’t glamorous.
Losing your temper with everyone and everything around you because you can barely think straight, realising you’re crying without knowing why, feeling the bubbles – hot and acrid, or ice-cold – of rage over who knows what overwhelming you, drowning you, isn’t glamorous.
Hating yourself, planning your death, isn’t glamorous.
Not showering for days at a time isn’t glamorous.
Barely remembering how to eat, because your hunger isn’t for food, isn’t glamorous.
Depression isn’t glamorous. But, sometimes, it’s what you need.
You need to be shut off from everything that had previously distracted you, made to focus on your pain, so that your brain is forced to focus on a solution to that pain.
Most of us go through life never knowing what it actually is that hurts – and yet it’s what hurts that, once we harness it and address it directly – is most likely to lead us to the life we want.
Few people ever got rich without solving a problem: depression forces you to focus solely on the problem, to live the problem – you just have to stay with it long enough for the immediate agony to pass, and the problem to become apparent.
If you have any other way of identifying the pain that will become your potential – take that way. Depression is a rough, half-forgotten path in country where you find yourself rapidly running out of oxygen, cut, bruised, and frequently lost. If you can find a paved road, clearly signposted – for the love of all, sacred and profane, take that road.
But, if it has to be depression, remember – sometimes, you’ve just been shunted on to the “deep rest option” of life, and, if you can survive it, something lasting will come of it.
It takes time – I’ve suffered from serious, debilitating depression for about half as long as I’ve been alive, and I’m only just beginning to glimpse the potential in the pain. Fifteen years on. A decade and a half, and a half dozen times I’ve nearly walked away.
It may take me another five years to fully grasp and begin to address the potential in the pain. It may take me another fifteen to realise my version of “success.”
I just have to hold on, and do all I can to make sure I have that time – I have to allow depression to be a “negative charge”, instead of just a negative.