So, I have something I need to say, judge me as you see fit. From time to time, I suffer from paralyzing amounts of sadness. It’s hard for me to label the sadness as depression, because the D word is hard for a lot of people to handle, myself included. While depression isn’t as silent as it used to be, for me, it feels like everyone who talks about it also has some conquerers story. If I’m suffering from some form of depression and haven’t overcome it on a journey to accomplish a great thing, it just feels like an excuse. The truth is that I haven’t used it to overcome anything, and when it hits, it’s difficult for me to do anything at all.
When I say paralyzed, I don’t mean physically unable to move my body, I mean mentally unable to function on a productive level. It unsurprisingly hits at times when I’m not busy. Work is so busy that I have little time to focus on anything other than the tasks at hand, no sadness. At home, in the times when I should be working towards my personal goals, my mind gets so filled with fear and doubt that everything else just freezes. I think about the things I’ve seen, things I’ve done, or the things I haven’t seen or done. I think about the things I have, things I’ve lost, or the things I’ve yet to lose. The worst times are when my mind wonders into worriment for the world and my place or lack of place in it. There is literally nothing I can do in these moments that will make any difference in what’s going on in the world and yet I’m unable to separate myself from the sadness. Do you ever stand in the middle of your living room and imagine a bomb blowing out the windows of your house, shattering glass everywhere? That’s a metaphor for how I feel but also what actually and repetitively goes through my mind.
This writing isn’t meant to receive your pity, I don’t want or need that. I’m a fully functioning and self-sufficient member of society. In a lot of ways, I’m probably doing better in life than you are. Sorry, I’m getting unnecessarily defensive in a Krause type moment. Talking about severe bouts of sadness is hard, even when it’s only with yourself.
I was thinking about this sadness on my way home from work today and found myself trying to rationalize it. I’m usually such an overly happy person, I thought to myself, maybe sadness is the price of my normal happiness; a childish way of justifying the muddled. That line of thinking is the same as people explaining their actions with unfounded one-liners, “I don’t like vegetables, that’s just the way I am.” Being sad doesn’t mean that I’m dumb, nor does it mean that my core belief structure has changed. I don’t know what it means other than it’s real and it’s hard.
Those who have listened to the podcast know that the story I’m telling today is not a new one. It’s hard to talk about but feels good when I do. Sometimes that’s enough.