I think a lot of people sense it in their loved ones but become scared, they genuinely donít know what to do or how to help.
That is probably the single statement that sticks with me the most in this entry, Rhedyn. And for me, particularly when I was younger, I had two very similar disbelief reactions. I have ADHD, though over time I've come to learn how to mostly mitigate it (and caffeine helps a lot with focus since the meds for ADHD are just stimulants), but when I was younger any of my peers who saw me having a bad day where I was being 'inattentive' and 'unfocused'... They just assumed I was choosing to be that way. Like every little sound didn't come across to me as magnified to the point that when the rooms were quiet and we were writing (for essays or tests) all I could hear was every tick of the clock and every pencil scraping against the desktops, so overbearing in my mind that I had to reread questions five or six times regularly and couldn't organize my thoughts enough to write a decent essay. Those few who I actually told I had ADHD post-diagnosis would literally say, "Yeah right. You just don't pay attention." And it was a slap in the face.
That was before I got diagnosed with depression, which thankfully my mother understands. She too suffers from depression, so I never had a disbelieving talk with her.. But my guys over the years have had varied reactions, and my friends.. I didn't really tell. There such a strong drive for normalcy, or at least a facade of it.. I learned to lie really well... Which helped convince me the world was full of people who didn't care because I cut myself - I won't go into much detail on this particular point - and people accepted that I'd gotten snagged in a rosebush or in a fight with a cat when they saw them... But I had them so often at that period of my life that... I knew I
would not have believed that even if I'd been talking to the world's best liar. And I blamed them even though I was telling the stories. And in retrospect I'm sure some of the people who saw knew something was up, but didn't know how to broach it.
I'll never forget my own reaction when I realized one of my friends in high school had hurt herself. I dragged her to the lady's restroom and looked over her arm. She begged me not to tell anyone because she was a foster child and afraid of the consequences.. And I made her swear she'd call a help line before cleaning the cuts and tearing off the lower two inches or so of my undershirt for the dress uniform I was in. I washed the scrap of cloth too, wrung it out, wrapped it over her arm like a bandage, and she just fell to pieces right then and there. "No one's ever cared before." That was what she said over and over again as she sobbed into my shoulder and thanked me. I don't think I ever told her I did the same thing, but that moment was when I realized that half of the power of my depression (or maybe more) came from feeling like the world at large didn't understand or just didn't care.
The sense of being alone was such an acute pain, such isolation.. And knowing how people did and didn't react to it just reinforced not giving them an honest chance to have a reaction. My lies became better, my burden heavier. I still don't talk about any of this often in real life, particularly the darkest aspects... The cutting, the suicidal thoughts. They're so taboo. Especially the latter. What people don't seem to get about the truly depressed is that suicidal thoughts aren't a cry for attention as much as they are a part of life. There's some disjoint in my mind that makes suicide a logically acceptable consideration, but it still considers the cost.. Which is the pain inflicted on others. The guilt, the hardship... And that cost is what rules it out.. Because the conditions of the moment, while bleak, aren't enough to merit me inflicting that kind of feeling on other
people.. even if it would be easier to just stop.
And I'm hesitant to post this with that (the topic of suicide) in it, but I'm going to, because I'm sure that many people who deal with depression can relate to that, and on E - where I've always been open with my thoughts - I refuse to hide behind leaving words unsaid. It's one more part of what depression does to me. One more thing to live with... But how can I expect someone who doesn't go through the cycle to understand? And how can I explain to them that all they have to do is help is just accept that something is wrong with me and that my thoughts and despairs are a part of who I am because I suffer from depression? People want to help, and it hurts them when they can't. That's something I've come to learn time and time again. Iressi is no exception, though his love of me does not end with his inability to help.. It just upsets him because there's nothing he can do to soothe me when the world has grown so black and hopeless.
At any rate, this probably should be a blog entry on its own already and I don't want it to get any longer... So again, thank you Rhedyn, so much for this blog and for our PMs. *Hugs*. I'm glad you have felt such support here from your responses; I'm sure we all have. I add my name to the list of those whose PM boxes are open to anyone who wants to talk or who needs support. We're not alone, and knowing that is a blessing.