My depression and I have a symbiotic relationship in that without it I would find it difficult to know who I am – I mean it’s been a long time.
I have had moments of utter obfuscation and ones of clarity so pure that I understand the essence of life and all its myriad meanings.
Can I honestly say that my life would have been better without it? I have a problem with that, for you see that would not have been my life. I have been defined by my depression but I have also been made by it.
In some of my blackest moments, I have never been more eloquent. It is rush. Words flood. I speak with an assurance that I never normally feel. The pen I write with creates a beauty on the page that usually evades me. There is a power and intensity about it all and then it bursts, and my tongue doubles up in my mouth and my pen spews spiders across the page. My anger and frustration crowds out reality and I sob and despair internally, secretly knowing deep down inside that there will be another ride, if I can just hold on.
I have cynically used my depression as a catch all to get out of things I don’t want to do and to disguise my failings because I am too lazy to do anything about them. Anything to make my life easier. Let’s face it if people think you are weak then they have a tendency to do things for you and as long as you don’t mind them patronising you, life can be very pleasant most of the time.
I will admit, for it is on record, that my depression has almost destroyed me too. Sometimes that is what I feel I most want, what I need. Sometimes I feel that is what is best for everyone around me - it’s almost altruistic.
I confuse people, I know. For my depression has also spurred me to tackle feats of endurance both mental and physical that even the strongest would shy, from an expedition to the Magnetic North Pole, becoming one of the first two English women to do so, and latterly running the London Marathon. I don’t fit people’s expectations.
Perhaps in my efforts to be normal, to be accepted at every level I push myself harder than I should. Maybe that helps trigger the cycle of episodes and perpetuates the problem but what would I be without it? Who would I be without it? Like my shadow, I don’t think I could exist without it anymore.
My depression and I, well we’re a double act.
Places you might like to go: Breaking the Silence and posts you might like to read: Rosie Scribble - I am not stupid; Menopausal Old Bag - Depression is for the Middle Classes; Diary of a Desperate Exmoor Woman - breaking the silence