Depression (trigger warning: suicide, self-harm, ableism)

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There’s something quite insidious about depression. It prevents me from doing anything I want to quite often. In fact, it is only by forcing myself quite strenuously that I am writing this at all, and the fact that I misspelled strenuously and had to use the spell-check in Firefox to fix it made me almost upset enough to want to stop writing altogether, curl up into a little ball, and die.

Depression has no reason. I should be friggin ecstatic right now, but instead about 2 hours ago my boyfriend had to talk me down from a pill overdose.

I don’t say this for attention. I don’t normally tell people these things at all. But something occurred to me, in the murky depths of how shitty I’m feeling at the moment, and it’s this: there are other people in the same state out there. Other people who may read my blog. Who may not talk about it either. And who may, like I have tried to do so many times, finally succeed at leaving this boa constrictor we call the mortal coil.

Please don’t.

You are not alone. There are other people out there who are in the same boat — yes, even happy Katje, even those writers you read and admire. (Not that I’m saying you admire me, or that you should. I am what’s known as a bad example. Just that no matter how happy someone presents themselves as being, they may be just as depressed as you are, as I am.)

We don’t ever talk about it, because society tells us we should be ashamed of feeling sad. Society tells us that our mental health issues are a burden that other, normal people have to suffer, and we should shut up, because we’re hurting them. For every one of those posts you’ve shared on Facebook that guilt trips the everloving fuck out of you, telling you that you’re so lucky to live in the Western world with your computer, and you should shut up because you’re fortunate — congratulations. You’ve just told a bunch of people suffering from an actual illness that their illness is not worthy of the public eye, that they are just attention-seekers, and that their pain is inconvenient and whiny to you.

I used to wear long sleeves a lot so people wouldn’t see the scratches; if they did, I told them I had a bad-tempered cat. That didn’t explain how the cat managed to carve words out into my skin, but luckily no one ever asked me more than that.

Oh, wait. Except for one “friend” who threatened to kick the shit out of me if I ever cut myself again.

Because, let me tell you, nothing is better than not giving a depressed person some fucking bodily autonomy. I love nothing better than to hear long tirades and rants about how suicides are selfish people who got what they deserved and how we’re better off without their shitty genes clouding up the human race. Which, yes, I have heard. A lot. It makes me feel so much better to know that my aunt, who suffered terrible pain from Lupus and mental health issues, was this horrible fucking person that I’m better off without. Whereas all I think about is the sorrow at not having her see me grow up and get a degree and have a good life. Or how much I missed going over to her place and having junk food breakfasts that I wouldn’t get to have at home.

No, really. Your tirade has helped me see the light. Obviously it will help me get over missing my aunt, knowing that she was selfish and I’m better off without her. Truly, thank you for your wisdom.

And, you know, thanks for threatening to beat the shit out of me if I decided to do something with my own body. I keep forgetting that bodily autonomy is perfectly alright for people who have a clean bill of mental health, but the second there’s something slightly wrong with us we should just sign over our rights and become wards of the state.

Every part of you belongs to you. And when I ask you to please, don’t commit suicide, it’s not because I want to limit your rights of bodily autonomy. You have that right and if the pain is truly too great to go on, that is your decision, and I will respect it.

But people will miss you. A lot. They will miss you and mourn you for years and years.

And, despite how bleak things may look now, I can assure you: they do get better. The scars fade. Life does get better. Maybe not by leaps and bounds, but by enough. And there are people out there just waiting to help you.

Talk to people. If you can’t talk to your friends, family, if you’re not lucky enough to have someone close to you who will listen, then call one of the hotlines listed below. If you run into trouble with those, my tumblr ask box is always open.

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433

LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255

Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743

Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438

Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673

Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272

Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000

Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-439-4253

The master list of suicide hotlines is here: Suicide.org.

Please stay strong. You are worthy of love, no matter what that insidious voice of depression tells you. It is a liar, and while it may always be camped out in your brain, the time will come when you won’t listen to it anymore — and life will be so much better for you.

And please remember you are not alone. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

Keep fighting.

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5 thoughts on “Depression (trigger warning: suicide, self-harm, ableism)

  1. Depression is a horrible disease, and I’m sorry that you’re suffering from it. I hope you can find some relief. Meanwhile, unfuck the asshats who say such horrible things without even thinking about the fact that you’re in pain and that their shit makes it worse. *hugs* Thank you for making such an honest post.

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  2. robinasams

    It’s interesting that someone told you to stop cutting yourself. From what I’ve read, cutting helps relieve some of the stress/pain. I never got into the cutting, because I couldn’t stand that pain. I know other people who did, though. I wrote and cried myself to sleep and thought about how to end this life. I don’t have those thoughts a lot any more, but there have been days….I keep pushing myself to hang on for another day or two, because my hormones (and I think part of it is hormonal — Hi, PCOS, which screws up my hormones.) shift and I feel better.

    *Hugs to you, Katje* Thank you for posting about this, especially when you hurt.

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    • Yeah, the person who told me to stop…wasn’t really a friend. Didn’t understand why I was cutting, and just figured if she could get me to stop everything would be okay again. Which was super harmful, so.

      I’ve actually often wondered if I have PCOS, in which case a lot of my depression could be hormonal, too. I mean, I know that most of it is caused by PTSD, but probably not all of it. Really need to get to an reproductive endocrinologist.

      I’m glad you’ve hung on through the dark times. My life would be sadder if I hadn’t known you. *hugs*

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