Friday, September 16, 2016

Depressed People Suck

Speaking as a high functioning depressive, I can unequivocally say that depressed people suck. Myself in particular. We suck because we don't respond to message, emails, and phone calls for days and sometimes weeks at a time, we turn down invites to parties, claiming that we just have so much to do, but in reality, the thought of going to your house party sounds like the Stations of the Cross. We suck because we got a 97% on an exam, instead of a 99%, and we'll beat ourselves up for hours over it. We suck because our brains are, quite literally, trying to kill us.

But what really gets me is that, as a high functioning depressive, nobody knows what's going on. I don't languish in bed all day or stare out of a window. I work harder, hold myself to even more unattainable goals, and push through. Apart from random fits of crying on the way home from class, there's really no physical manifestation of the funeral in my brain. Coupled with the fact that I'm a major introvert, it makes it even more fun to deal with.

Occasionally, I have the privilege of being regularly depressed, and I become listless and quiet(er) than I usually am. But those are rare. I hate that I hate doing things I love, like moot court, mock trial, ethics bowl, going to business meetings, talking to people, living. But I hate not being able to show it outwardly. Perhaps I'm too stoic, or perhaps I fall back on the trope that I don't want to burden people with my problems.

I can safely say that I am the type of person who would swan dive off of an overpass, and nobody would know why. Am I going to? No. Do I struggle with the urge to eat a bullet for breakfast? Absolutely. However I am surrounded largely by loving people who know and care for me. I have an amazing therapist who helps me, and I know that tomorrow is another day (regardless of how tortuous it is.)

If this upsets you, I do apologize, but I am not sorry. This is the plight that many, many people face on a daily basis, and we need to be honest about it. Many people, particularly in the LGBT+ community, face suicide daily and keep soldiering on. The way it was explained to me once, is that a depressed person is like a soldier, alone in a fox hole, without reinforcements or ammo. But when you find them, they ask you to give them something to keep fighting with, even if it's just a stick. Because we keep fighting. It's what we do. And for those of us who have fought as long and as hard as they can, and give up, you'll find our bodies on a pile of brass if you look hard enough. But we keep fighting.

For me at least, I can say that it has, at some level, made me more insensitive, because if I hadn't been desensitized, then I would be dead. The reason is that I feel things so damn deeply it's insane. The empathy is too strong with me. I remember things vividly and to the point where just the memory of the emotion is overstimulating. For example, I was vacationing in California with my brother, a homeless man with a mental disability asked me for something to eat. He didn't want much, just a dollar hotdog or something to that effect. We went and got him something substantial to eat, and some other food for the next few days and some money as well. He hugged me, and I still worry about him. I worry if he's had enough to eat today, or if some punk ass kids have beaten him with bottles. I don't know. I still remember how sweet and diminutive he was, and how he showed me what gratitude really looked like. I don't want praise or adulation for being a decent person, I want to know that that man is ok, and that he's not suffering.

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