I never got it when I read things about depression and people said “I was surrounded by people, but I felt so lonely”. I’ve suffered with depression before, but if anything, I felt the opposite. People equals pressure. Suffocation. If you’re depressed, truly, genuinely, seratonin-deficient, you often feel sad without knowing the cause. Of course, the cause is hormonal, but it’s usually the perception of others that if you’re sad or depressed, there must be a tangible reason, and often there isn’t.
So being depressed around other people means questions.
“Are you okay?”
“What’s the matter?”
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
And, of course, there isn’t. Not unless they have a big bottle of SSRI’s in their pocket (and we all know how I feel about those), so the questions just pile pressure onto an already addled mind. You start making answers up.
“I’m fine” you say.
“I’m just a bit down because of work/my weight/last night’s episode of Game of Thrones”. you reply.
But you aren’t fine, you can’t explain why and all of the people in that crowded room do the OPPOSITE of making you feel lonely, they make you feel like you’re going to be crushed under the weight of their expectation.
The flip side.
It’s not chemical. It’s tangible.
In every disgusting sense of the word.
You WISH it was chemical. Oh, that it were that simple. Take a pill and POOF! It goes away…
No. Sorry. Not for you.
It’s there and it will be until your dying day. It might get smaller as the years go on, it started as an egg in your brain, maybe it’ll shrink to the size of a chestnut, in time it’ll be a pea…but it’s there, rolling around if you tip your head the wrong way. No matter how hard you try, you can never quite make it fall out of your ear and roll away.
So you carry it around, not telling anyone, not wanting them to have an egg, or a chestnut, or a pea.
Until the day that your own egg, or chestnut, or pea gets too heavy and you just can’t carry it by yourself any more. So you tell someone, and instead of halving the burden, it doubles it.
I’m sorry. I don’t have the answers. I can’t tell you what you want to hear. My inner child has had their tongue cut out.
And then, those people asking the questions – they go away. They can’t carry half of the weight of your egg, so they drop it and it smashes and you end up covered in yolk. It’s ALL OVER YOU and the neat little egg that you’ve hidden away for so long suddenly becomes a huge mess all over you life.
And it’s you who’s left to clear it up. Clean up the sticky mess that you’d managed to keep so tidy for so long.
Where’s everyone and their questions now?
I’m the lucky one, I suppose. I still have the people who matter, the ones who have never doubted me, not for a second. The ones who have never demanded answers or quantification or details.
Wicked, evil, liar. That’s not me. Not for a second.
Keep your questions.