What It Means to Be Depressed--Illustrated!
It made me cry and laugh. It's an incredibly insightful and brave post.
I work with kids and young adults, some of whom have severe mental illnesses, some of those who suffer from depression. Some of my students have attempted suicide or periodically disappear for a few days or weeks because they are being hospitalized for their illnesses. I also had a major depressive episode when I was 19 and have dealt periodically with less serious "mood issues" since then. There are so many misunderstandings about mental illness, depression in particular. I think it's hard for "normal" people to understand to have a brain on the emotional equivalent of a bungee cord; once you fall over the edge, there are forces beyond your control. It's the whole "snap out of it" mentality ("Why can't you make your fish be alive again?"--read the post and that will make sense! :) and it's hard not to be angry at people who think that way. They haven't been there and just don't know.
I think that's why I love Allie's post so much. She makes it possible for people to go there and maybe understand, even a little.
I love and loathe my brain, depending on the day. I love that it's pretty smart and can do cool things like write stories that people tend to get into, and it's apparently pretty funny (my coworkers tell me I'm hilarious, which is weird, since I've never thought of myself as a funny person) and capable of empathy for and emotional connection even with difficult people (hence the work I do). I loathe the dark side of all that: the bizarre thoughts and dwelling on unpleasant things (blood! violence!) and dysthymic funks and random, formless anxiety and its capacity to cause me physical pain (its new favorite way to announce "I'm stressed!" being pain that radiates down the right side of my neck and into my right shoulder). But it's my brain, so I keep trudging on with it sloshing around between my ears doing its thing and trying my best, despite it, to do mine.
Also, the music choice, I swear, is coincidental. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is one of my favorite--if not my favorite--albums of all time. My sister bought it in 1995 when it first came out, and I promptly stole it ("borrowed it") from her--I still have it! It's downstairs in the basement on the CD rack! Anyway, my iPod is broken so I'm limited to Spotify on the laptop, and I have a surprisingly limited imagination when it comes to thinking of music to listen to. It's pretty much Mellon Collie, the LotR soundtrack, the Fleet Foxes, or other stuff from the '90s that I'm too embarrassed to confess to!
This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!