Sometimes good advice just makes you feel worse. When depressed and feeling self-hatred and loathing and feeling generally as a failure, the worst advice is: “just pick yourself up, give yourself a kick in the ass and do something”.
The rational me inside knows what is meant, the rational me knows that it isn’t meant to put me down any further, but the depressed me just hears: “you are a failure and you are even worse of a failure because you should punish yourself for being a failure”.
Trying to give good advice to somebody depressed is utterly useless in many cases. You can only give the “good” good advice if you either studied for it, or have experienced a mayor depression yourself. I’m not talking about: “I feel meh today”, but “I wish I die right now and be rid of all these feelings today”.
Sometimes I hate good advice, because honestly, do they think that by repeating it over and over it’s going to work better? The rational me gives me these good advices all day long. But it’s like talking to a comatose patient and asking him to stand up. My limbs are feeling so heavy, my head is so stuffed, my body is just out of energy. My house a mess, my thoughts even more so.
Just stand up, please, just give yourself a kick in the ass and stand up…
I feel so worthless when given good advice. Because people are reciting the bible every time you say you feel like shit, doesn’t make you a catholic good girl. It makes you believe you should be a catholic good girl and feel even worse because you aren’t.
Just give yourself a kick in the ass and do it…
Because I deserve to be kicked, because my body lacks a certain hormone that makes other people have happy emotions, satisfaction and other rainbows in the sky?
Just do it…
Don’t people understand that I absolutely know that? I know that I should push the red button and that makes me do stuff. But what if you don’t have a red button? What if that button is buried under cobwebs and landmines? What if just looking for the red button and make your way over to the red button takes all your energy? What are you supposed to do then?
Kick yourself in the ass and stand up…
As though I’m not kicking myself in the ass on a regular basis already. As though I’m not putting myself down every time I look in the mirror. Every time I see more of my biological mother looking back. And I fear the day that I don’t care anymore. The day that I have truly sunk as low as that. Perhaps the release of my dreams and hopes, like helium balloons in the sky, will be a relieve for me. Perhaps that day I don’t care, I don’t remember my ambitions and let go of the unstable grip I have on reality.
Some people have it worse, they say, you should be relieved.
No, because I have just that sanity left to see I’m heading the same way. And sometimes that does make me fight more, but some days I’m just too tired to fight. Too tired of people expecting me to do things I cannot do, too tired of myself wanting more when I simply cannot comply.
I’m so tired, so fucking tired, that I can absolutely understand why people commit suicide. No, don’t call 911, I’m not suicidal. But I do absolutely understand. I hear people commenting about how egoistical these suicide-victims are. How they have deliberately hurt their families and stuff like that.
I stopped trying to defend them in public, because it takes too much energy and people generally cannot comprehend if they didn’t feel the same way. People who commit suicide usually are the opposite of egoistic. People who commit suicide have no love for themselves, cannot understand why anybody else would love them. Yes, his wife says she loves him, but she only says that because she wants him to feel better. How can his wife love him, when he is just a bother? He is so depressed, he just lost his job because of it. He cannot love his wife anymore, because it takes too much energy, he cannot provide for his family anymore, he is just a bother. The world would be better off without him and he is just so tired, soo tired… He wants to sleep and leave his problems. It will give his wife the change to find somebody new, somebody who can provide for the family, who can provide for his kids, who can love her properly.
If you see it from this man’s point of view, committing suicide isn’t that egocentric a move, huh?
But I do also understand the other people’s view. I understand that even though I have no love for myself, other people have some. I understand that my family and friends would be devastated if I commit suicide, that they would see it as an egoistical move. And even though I am tired, I rather spend the rest of my life in bed doing absolutely nothing and seeing my dreams fly away, than committing suicide. Because I have just that spark of ambition left, just that tiny bit of spark, who wants me to succeed in life. Who tells me: maybe next year. Maybe the year after that.
I’m almost thirty, a number that terrifies me. Because I never ever suspected I would turn thirty. It’s two years from now, mind you, but it dooms over me. Thirty is an age when you should thinking family and children and a carreer and a home and stuff. And I do have a home, sort of, and a carreer, sort of, but family and children? Yeah right…
If you don’t love yourself, you can dream of a family and children, but without that self-confidence and self-love how could you ever be attractive to somebody else? Like hey, here are my problems, now you can deal with them too. At this point I need somebody who should continuously tell me he loves me, for me to believe him. He should continuously praise me and tell me I’m beautiful, for the relationship to work. That’s not a fair relationship and in the end it will not work.
What I should need is somebody that loves me and I can love back in return. Someone that is a friend, a lover, a soul-mate. He shouldn’t be my mother, my therapist and lover at the same time. That is just wrong.
At this point I believe I’m better of as I am, a child who spends most of her time on the couch at her parents. I have an apartment and a cat who loves me unconditionally (as long as I give her food) and everything my heart could possibly desire. It still isn’t enough, because what my heart does desire is not bought with money, cannot be given by somebody else. I require unconditional love for myself. And until the different parts of me come together, I have no such thing.
In my struggle with what's so called chronic depression, a hereditary remainder of my biological mother and her mother's psychiatric illnesses, I've learned so much. I have some great advice to give to other people, because to follow your own advice is often really really difficult. I've been through so many psychiatrists and therapists and stuff like that, I know their advises and tips by heart. I know what I should do, but doing it, is a lot harder. It's like an inability and no-one can teach you. Like your heart doesn't beat and people are telling you: just let it beat! And you ask: how? and they say: just do it. And sometimes, miraculously almost, your heart gives a beat and you think you are going to be better. But then it stops again, and you have no clue how you managed the beat in the first place and how to start it again.
So at ten 'o clock this evening, my mom (step-mom) gave me "good advice": just give yourself a kick in the ass and do it. She started off all wrong with the word "just", because that's the word I hate the most. Any advice that has the word "just" in it (and I don't mean the word that came from justice) will hurt. Because nothing, absolutely nothing, is "just" in my world. Everything takes much energy and spirit. To "just" get up in the morning is a victory for the rational side of me. The fact that the depressed side loses the battle, makes me (total) not feel satisfied with getting out of bed, because the depressed side of me is whining about returning to bed (which creates a new battle the rational side often loses, because it's a terrible effort to listen to whining when you're tired of the battle of getting out of bed).
The rest of the "good advice" and why it had me crying on the way back to home (where my cat lives), you'll read in the above "first" column. I think there will be more of these following, because it relieves me of my troubled thoughts and probably one day, make my dearest dream come true. To be a writer.
You had me from the opening lines. I'm 10 years behind you, but advice like "just get started" and "other people are worse off" is what kept me from seeking treatment for the first 6 years of my depression. I thought I was just weak, just making a big deal over nothing or being lazy. Now that I'm beginning to understand myself better, I see that it's not the same for everyone. Not everyone understands that it takes me just as much willpower to get out of bed in the morning than it takes another person to do something like, I don't know, scrubbing a toilet or writing an essay. Words of wisdom like "it'll pass" and "this is just hormones" seem hollow now that I'm no longer a teenager and things didn't magically get better. My heart goes out to you and I hope things look up in the future. (And sorry for hijacking your rant.)
Feel absolutely free to hijack my rant, because I'm interested in other people's opinions and experiences as well!
People underestimate the impact of depression and they don't know that it isn't comparable with like the flu (which will make you sick all of the sudden and will pass over time). Depression is not something you can "wait out". Because the less you do about it, the worse it will get. The nasty thing about depression is that it takes so much energy, energy you need to overcome it. It's a battle, a war raging inside. I also believe that people who are depressed for a long period of time, will never be fully cured. It will always be a sore point. Like people who have anorexia, can get better, but will always be vulnerable to eating disorders.
Acceptance was a great step for me, as was structure. I needed to get a job, for the simple reason of having something to come out of bed for. The consequences of losing my job if I didn't come there in time (and the humiliation of it) is enough reason for me to get up.
Get a job you like, something to interest you. Or find a course where there is consequence for not coming early. Tell your mom to get mad if you don't come out of bed in time (if that is a hard consequence for you to get out of bed).
Yes it is hormone-related and yes people in puberty experience depression more often then other people, the "raging hormones" in question with puberty are not the same hormones of depression.
And no, it will not pass (if it isn't seasonal related depression or mourning depression), not without a fight.
Rational we all know what we should be doing, but our minds are not that compliant...
I completely agree with most of this. I wish more people understood what you state so well: It's impossible to wait this out. The science backs you up there, too - most people who have a major depression at some point will have more as they go through life. Which also makes it a little more scary. Even if I go through good times when I'm up and functioning and relatively happy, I worry that they're temporary. And so far, they are.
The job thing is a good point. This year at university has been the one where I really slipped, and now that you mention it, it's probably because only one of my five classes had mandatory attendance. I'm working on finding commitments that I feel are within my reach - a few days ago on a whim I signed up for a weekly dance class that really interested me. I'm hoping that between being forced to leave the house every Wednesday and getting some more physical activity in, it'll help a little. I'm also living with my partner, who can definitely help get my butt in gear. Thanks for the tip
Just to clarify - I'll be 21 in a couple of months. The emotions that I felt in my teen years were more intense and varied, but all that happened when the hormones began to subside was that I became less angry. The periods of overwhelming sadness lightened, but became longer, and some time this year was when I realized that I couldn't blame it on being a teenager anymore. No more waiting.
Oh man, don't even get me started on the rational vs. emotional aspects of the mind. Well put.
Alrighty. End rambling about my silly life. Whoops.
Oh gosh I so relate with the quit being angry after puberty. I mean... looking back I was filled with rage, angry at everything and mean about it. I absolutely tormented my friends with silly little rants and absurd fights, just to "justify" me feeling so freaking bad. Because I was miserable, I seem to make it my life's work to make all my friends miserable as well. After that episode that were like the medieval times of my life, I was so absurdly humbled by their continues support, love and friendship that I totally went the opposite way, unhealthily so. I decided I couldn't show any negative feelings anymore, I even tried denying feeling bad. Of course a mayor breakdown was the end of a few years of putting on the laughing mask.
Denying ones feelings isn't going to work. Wallowing in your feelings doesn't work either. It's the balance and grey area in which we can function. Nobody is 100% happy or 100% depressed. If you are 100% happy you are either manic or on drugs and I think the persons who are 100% depressed are on the verge (seconds before) their successful suicide (or they have survived due to some miracle, medical aid or idiocy, because most suicide "failures" fail because last minute doubts, meaning they aren't 100% there yet and still have hope...)
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More