Perhaps it is time for me to come clean. Perhaps I need to do it for myself more than anyone else who will read it.
I struggle with depression. This site is a respite for me as much as anyone else, and when I go a long time without a post, it is often because I have nothing respite worthy to say. Today I thought that maybe if one person reads this and knows they are not alone, then it will be time and space well spent.
It can come on me suddenly, without warning, or I can feel it coming like a scratchy throat tells you that you are going to get a cold. I am old enough to recognize it for what it is, but in its throes I am too weak to resist its power. I have learned to wait it out without inflicting its pain on others around me, though those who know me the very best can tell there is something wrong because I am quiet where usually I talk too much.
Why, you may ask, why am I ever depressed when I have exactly the life I wanted? To some degree it needs no cause. It is a malfunction of a brain genetically predisposed to melancholy. From another perspective it can be set off by an event for which, though seemingly a routine trial of daily life, I take total responsibility, and thus berate myself for my failings and weaknesses as a human being. Occasionally, of course, it is something that is truly my fault, and in that situation I am overtaken with self-loathing and can barely bear to walk among others whom I perceive to be worthy of better company. That worthlessness is at its very heart. If you ever want to know what someone who is depressed is feeling, if you can’t understand and you want to, then know that person is feeling absolutely and totally without any value in this life. The true miracle, the true evidence of a greater Spirit, is that I am fully functional even in its most terrible times, and most people who I meet during the day are completely unaware that I am suffering.
The funny thing is that I am by nature an optimist. I believe that most people in the world are good and that most things turn out for the best. I am a person of unfailing, if somewhat unconventional, faith, and I believe that Creation is beautiful and perfect, even if humans come up a little short in the perfection department. I have spent many happy hours contemplating its miracles and the wonders of the Intelligence that created it. I would have this end on that note of hope. The world is a beautiful, beautiful place and life well-lived is a wonderful thing. Even those of us who experience depression have our own important roles to play in the greater scheme of life. When I come out of my depression I can see that even I am a piece of the puzzle without which the picture of Creation is incomplete. So are you.