Indoor Cat’s Guide to… Depression
I have suffered from depression for most of my life. When I was 15, I even tried to kill myself, though in hindsight they were very half-hearted attempts. Thankfully.
When you are depressed, or worse a depressive (constantly depressed), one of the worst things you can hear is “It could be worse.” It’s likely true, that things could be worse, especially in my case. I’ve never been raped, touched in my no-no places as a child, an alcoholic or drug addict, beaten by a boyfriend, homeless, or any of the other myriad of Lifetime movie problems. Oh, stalked- never been stalked. Never been spied on in the shower. Have been Mean Girl’ed, but also Mean Girl’ed others, so in that case it was just what comes around goes around.
So, I know all of these things have never happened to me, but pain, misery, and sadness are relative. I don’t need to have been touched in the no-no zone to feel pain, misery or sadness. I have a roof over my head and am thankful for that, but it doesn’t make any of those feelings go away.
It doesn’t matter that my trials are not as severe as other people’s. To me, they hurt. I feel worthless. I feel alone. I feel like life is long, and lonely, and I wonder sometimes if the moments of good really outweigh the much more common times of suck and sadness and loneliness.
I’m putting all of this into the universe because I’ve been struggling lately, but I feel I’m on an upswing once again. Hopefully it’ll last a while, but who knows. What I do know is that I have a family who loves me fiercely, and a best friend (my illegal sister ;))who supports me and loves me and relates to me.
I have a job that I don’t hate, and usually even life, which is quit uncommon for me. I even accomplished something pretty awesome at work on Friday, something other people hadn’t yet been able to figure out, so that feels good.
I have things that I’m good at. I am a decent writer, even if I am blank on story ideas right now. I am a decent photographer, though I tend to cheat on the editing portion by using “auto correct” and then just tweaking as needed. I forgot, but remembered this weekend, that I really enjoy cross-stitching. I also am knitting something, and taking a cake decorating class, and have remembered how much fun it is to create something.
What I mostly need to remember, but forgot the past few weeks, is that no one knows where life will take them. I’d love to know what my life is going to be like in ten years, but the only way to know is to live it. I have, as I’ve grown older and moved further away from the depression (meaning having longer between depressions), become better at being relaxed with life and embracing the phrase “no worries.” I let less things bother me, or I’ll do a quick rant and then try to move on. I stress a little less about what I want to do with my life and what my “plan” is.
I’ve heard a couple good lines about this lately, things that make me think that if I lean into life I’ll end up okay. The first was basically to “live in the current”- let life’s current take me where it will, I have no control over it. It’ll be less tiring and stressful to not fight the current. The other is a quote from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, of which I’ve only seen the trailer but do in fact intend to see the whole movie. Dev Patel’s character says “In the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” I don’t know why, exactly, but that line just struck a chord with me. When I’m depressed, I often think things are never going to get better, and then days/weeks/months/years later, I find myself thinking, “Wow, things are okay right now.” I generally follow it up with, “Shit, what’s about to happen to screw it up?” but at least I can recognize when things are good.
So, things aren’t okay right now, so this isn’t my end. In fact, I have a long time and a lot of work to make things okay, so things can’t end for me for a while. But at least I’ve got my family, best friend, and cross-stitching to keep my happy while I’m waiting for the current to take me to a better spot.