Sometimes, the sadness is overwhelming.
I feel surrounded by indifference, by dullness. By fatigue.
It isn’t all the time, but when it happens it is palpable. A living, breathing thing pulsating in my consciousness. The unhappiness, the frustration, the anger. The fatigue.
The weather broke a little bit last week and I felt like I could breath again, after months of feeling suffocated. And then the heat came back with a vengeance, raging and thick and unbearable. I felt broken, defeated. Ready to give up.
Last year, one of my cousin’s dearest friends – a person she considered a brother – committed suicide. Their friends launched a successful Go Fund Me (or it’s equivalent) in order to fly Alison & Xennon home to the UK from Japan to be there for his funeral. I’d seen them both mere weeks earlier, when we’d all been in the UK for our Granny’s memorial service. Our Granny, who lived 93 full years. At the time, Alison told us stories of Ewan visiting she and Xennon in Japan, getting lost on New Year’s Eve and locked in a rail station. Funny, endearing stories. About a person who filled her life.
And six weeks later, he jumped in front of a train. And she and Xennon went back to England for the second time in less than two months. For another memorial service.
I’m not that sad.
Even when I’m painfully sad, I’m not that sad. But I can understand it. I can understand how it consumes you, how it eats away at your insides until you don’t see any alternative other than ending everything. Ending the pain, but even more unbearable, the indifference, the disinterest.
As a society, we don’t talk about depression. We don’t talk about it because of the stigma. If people see that weakness, it will forever inform their opinion of you. And we can’t allow that to happen.
So instead, people drown in the darkness, without a lifeline. Without hope.
I’m pretty sure that my maternal grandfather had horrible depression. I’m pretty sure depression runs just under the surface of my mother’s entire family. Maybe it’s because we all think too much, our brains function too well. They say ignorance is bliss, yes? We aren’t ignorant.
But we don’t talk about it. And if anything is even mentioned, it’s in hushed voices, in quiet conversations that not everyone is privy to. There are too many consequences of depression.
I don’t feel sad all the time. It comes in waves, and it consumes me, and then I find my way out again. The weather breaks, the pressure is released. When I’m in it’s grasp, when I’m at the bottom of the well — those are the hardest moments. Hard to remember that it will get better, hard to remember that time heals everything.
This morning, I’m sitting in my office, surrounded by my beautiful things; objects imbued with such love and significance. I know — intellectually — that my life is good. I know that depression comes interwoven with my disease and that the weather is wreaking havoc with my body. But so many external things make everything feel bad. Unbearably hard. And then, all I want to do is sleep.