Yesterday, I talked about reasons why I’m irreplaceable. It was pretty easy to think of those reasons, because I am not currently particularly far down the depression rabbit hole. I can almost reach the edge to pull myself out where I am right now, and every day has been a battle with myself to try. Every day, I’m getting closer to climbing out of the hole, and the depression’s hold on my ankle, tugging me down, is weak. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes depression has pulled me down enough that it is riding piggyback, legs wrapped possessively around my waist, hands clawing at my shoulders, lips whispering seductively in my ears “it’s not worth it. stop struggling. you’re making things worse. everything would be better if you just gave up.”
Last year, The Bloggess reminded us that depression lies. I know this. When depression starts whispering, I cling to it. But it doesn’t make me want to die any less. It just reminds me why I shouldn’t listen. Earlier this year, Julia Sleazer posted a list of ways she has managed her shit, something which can be remarkably difficult when one is in the throes of depression. This is her list, but it’s similar to one I made in therapy with one exception, which is the rationale for number one, don’t die;
A friend of mine asked me last year “how do you keep going?” I explained that I had told people I would be certain places and do certain things. If I don’t show up or do them, who will? It sounds crass, I’m sure, but the replacements for me in my head fuck the job up, so I better be there to see it through.
When you’re depressed, it’s hard to do anything. Getting out of bed is the hardest thing in the world. Why agree to do something for someone else? I see it as a variation on “you’re always hardest on yourself.” I may decide it’s too much work to shower and go to the grocery store when I could just eat pasta twice a day for a week, but if I told a friend I’d make her cookies, and then I don’t, I’m a huge asshole who doesn’t deserve a friend, and even at my worst, I want to be loved. Everyone does.
Sometimes I think it would benefit the world (or at the very least, do no damage to it) if I were gone. Knowing someone is depending on me, be it my cats for food, water, snuggles, and shelter, or my league for volunteering, a friend who is going through a rough time, whatever, it helps. Thinking about specific individuals who would be hurt by my passing does too; the world at large may not give a shit, but my nephews surely do! My boyfriend does! My family cannot handle another death right now, I can’t do that to them.
And I think about all the shit I’ve already lived through. Is what I’m going through right now really that much worse? Maybe so, but probably not. I remember how I feel when I decided to take those pills, and I want to laugh. THAT is what almost took me down? I have been through SO MUCH WORSE and come out the other side. I’ll see the other side of this experience, too, and maybe it’ll be as laughable, and maybe it will be the worst I’ve been through, making that day that much more laughable. But I’ve never gotten that close before, having gone through worse, so I can get through this.
And, finally, I indulge myself a bit. Sometimes too much, but I’d rather over-indulge than die, when it comes down to it. I lose myself in stories. TV shows, movies, books, it doesn’t matter the format, only that the story speaks to me. And so many do. You know the cliche time heals all wounds? So far, it’s true. But time sometimes needs your help to let it work. So hiding in story for a few days gives it a chance to get started.
What do you do when you can’t remember why you should stay? Leave a comment, email me, tweet at me, whatever.
Now I gotta blow my nose and do my makeup, it’s headshot day for DCRG’s pit crew and officials!