Depression lies. This is a truth, and it’s something that many of us have seen or heard by now, either from firsthand experience, through therapy/counseling, or by word of mouth from a friend, loved one or article. If you haven’t learned this already, I’m telling you now. DEPRESSION IS A DIRTY LIAR. Depression tells you all manner of lies about yourself that will keep you right in its clutches. And from the pit of pain you are trapped in with it, these things sound true.
I want to tell you that not only does depression lie to you about yourself, but it lies to you about other people. And it tries to twist your personal pain into anger, bitterness, and jealousy. It hides the truth about so many things and lies to you; it lies about who you are and what you are capable of, it lies about the lives, struggles, motives and emotions of others, it lies to you about how they see you and feel about you. Like a parasite, it does this, further isolating you.
Know this: Nobody is perfect. Not a single person has the perfect: body, face, life, family, job, past, present, or future. All of us struggle under some or all: bad days, tough circumstances, past and present mistakes and poor decisions, lost loves, painful abuse, death of friends/family/children, dreams shattered, hopes crushed, illness, debt, job struggles, family problems, relationship difficulties, or failures of one kind or another (and more). This is, in fact, one large side of the coin of human experience.
We all, to some degree, suffer these things. Nobody is immune. Nobody is perfect.
The coin does have two sides. Even though it is sometimes hard to see, life is full of beauty and light, as well. (I am a firm believer that we need a balance of both “dark and light” things to be most at peace.) For those who find some way to keep pushing, growing, seeking the light and celebrating the joys in their lives, the above tribulations *do not fail to exist* and *do not fail to burden.* If those people don’t always wallow publicly in their pains, or share every painful detail of their failures with you or the world at large, it’s not because they want you to be unaware that they have pain. They are not attempting to hide their ugliness or trick you into thinking they are prefect. It’s likely because they recognize that the only way to keep a head above that strong, pulling tide is to focus on light when they can. Or maybe they are just lucky to have some small snatch of DNA that is buoyant. I don’t know.
I speak from my own heart, so excuse me my inaccuracies.
If you are hurting, struggling, or need help – if depression is LYING TO YOU – reach out. If you feel like everything is falling apart, coming undone, that others are perfect while you are not – reach out. If the darkness closes in so much that you are having trouble seeing the light – REACH OUT.
“Can you help me?”
“I want to talk.”
“I need help.”
“Do you have a minute?”
Do your best to reach out for help, to a loved one or friend. If you can’t bear to talk to someone you know, please contact a professional you know or use one of the following:
- Crisis Text Line http://www.crisistextline.org
You can text a trained crisis counselor about anything 24/7, confidentially: Text “GO” to 741-741
- Crisis Call Center http://www.crisiscallcenter.org
For emotional help, support, or information of any kind.
1 800 273 8255
Text “Answer” to 839863
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Contact about anything you are dealing with or want to talk about.
1 800 273 TALK
- Helpline Center: Quick and easy access to information about health and human services.
For answers, community connections, or hope during difficult times.
Finally: I wish I could personally help you. I would try to if your need was evident to me and/or you reached out directly, as a friend or even as a stranger. However, I cannot open myself up to anonymous persons trolling me online. I have my own pains and life issues. I am not perfect; I carry my own burdens, just like anyone else. If I’ve missed your pain or a way I could possibly have helped you, I am truly sorry. It does not mean you are not important. Everyone is important. Above all, I hope you find the help you need.
Please seek help.
Stop listening to the lies depression tells.
I bang my head
against the walls of my heart,
where I am trapped indefinitely,
not wanting to stay
and not wanting to leave,
both longing for
and dreading the day
when the monotonous, tortured beating
This work by Lotus Carroll is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
To license commercially, please email.
People who tell you not to follow your heart have always perplexed me. It almost seems like they didn’t bother to do so in life, lost theirs along the way, and this is the reason why they feel comfortable giving you such ridiculous advice. Not follow your heart? Doesn’t it scream at you to do so, every day? Mine does. How can I muffle that cry? Why should I even want to?
Being more practical about it, I can understand that for some, being so in touch with your feelings (and even sometimes mercilessly overpowered by them) just doesn’t make sense, and that practicality and logical decision making obviously sometimes have to take hold in a rational, working life. I also get that giving yourself over to feelings can be scary. But there is beauty and even power in letting go and allowing your heart to lead you, in deciding to be vulnerable enough to take that chance, to open up and let all of yourself out, and allow the world in.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad or shame you for following your heart. Keep it out, keep it open, and let it light your way. I’m not promising you that this will make things perfect (nothing does). Sure, your heart will get broken, but life wasn’t meant to be perfect, was it? It was meant to be lived and felt.
In the end, we will all be broken in some way. Many ways, even. Here’s the secret to accepting that: it’s okay to have been broken, imperfect, cracked – it’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way things are, and healing is possible. Nobody makes it to the end without at least a few cracks, most of us will have very many of them, in fact, and I truly believe that they actually make us more beautiful than before.
We all have the power to turn our broken parts into virtues, to learn and grow and share. I want to keep putting my heart out into the world, to keep following it to see where it leads me. Really, how else can you truly live?
“There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.”
This work by Lotus Carroll is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
To license commercially, please email.
Scraping the barrel
like never before these days.
Weak, and yes, ashamed.
I know it takes time.
Am no stranger to symptoms;
it is depression.
From this low vantage
I can look up and see those
who are still moving.
Hear what they say, watch
what they do, and be amazed
at what’s important.
Be amazed at what
some find worthy of energy.
It is so easy
to become ensnared in that.
Don’t let it happen.
comes perspective, and when it’s
shared, take what you can.
Try not to jump so
quickly to offense, anger…
do you benefit?
It is not easy
to step back and remain calm
with little practice.
I say this because
I know. I’m quick to anger,
And so often quite
the righteous rebel. And what
have I gained from this?
Drama is pointless.
Time passes by and I am
wasting my focus.
Have always found it
easy to see negatives.
Overlook the good.
Life is rich, complex.
Try to remind yourselves of
of this and do your best
to just ignore the
insignificant bumps and
enjoy all the rest.
December 31, 2008
You were my first full year of blogging on my very own, self-hosted website from beginning to end. That was a happy thing about you. As I have written and published posts on my website this year, I’ve learned, grown, healed, changed, triumphed, laughed and cried.
I had a few trolls, it’s true. And unfortunately, I often take the trolls too seriously. I’m an emotional, sensitive chick with a high need for love and a fair amount of insecurity – it’s easy to slice me to the core. But, yes, trolls are just silly, angry people with too much time on their hands. I think Backpacking Dad said it in my favorite way recently, on Redneck Mommy‘s site:
“I love trolls. They’re so cute when they take their little poos everywhere.”
What’s more important about blogging for this whole year is that I’ve made wonderful friends and received love and kindness, as well as laughter and good cheer, from people I never would have met if I hadn’t stuck with this blogging business.
2008, that was so good about you.
My baby turned into a little boy this year, too, 2008. He had his first haircut and finished getting all his teeth (finally!). He asked to sit in a big chair (!!!), and the high-chair is gone.
My little boy, just this past week, left his crib. He is sleeping in a bed now. *heart beating hard*
He sings songs with words, and dances. He counts to 20 and knows all his letters. He can drink from a juice box and he’s learning how to brush his own teeth. He can take off his socks, pull down his pants, and he’s playing with the idea of actually using the potty again.
He snuggles his cheek up against mine, puts his hand on my other cheek and says, “Hufff-yooo.”
He quotes Spongebob Squarepants and asks me for milk when he’s thirsty.
He looks at me and says, “Aww, duuuude.”
No longer a baby, he is a boy.
This is bittersweet, 2008. My heart gets this panicky, tight feeling as I watch Braden grow so fast, 2008. So very fast.
But then it swells with pride. He is MY boy. I am so grateful for him.
So that has been good, as well, 2008.
I even finally lost the last 15lbs of my “baby weight” and got back to pre-pregnancy sveltness while you were around! That was phenomenally good, 2008. I was so incredibly happy to be moving more swiftly, and feeling lighter. (And fitting back into those hot jeans was certainly not a bad thing – bow chicka.)
Also, 2008, you gave me not just one, but two more babies. What a joy it is to find out there is a life growing inside of you. What an amazing, phenomenal thing that so many take for granted – a thing many of us just brush off as easy, or incidental.
It’s not, 2008. It’s incredible. It’s a delicate, vulnerable thing. A beautiful thing. When a live baby is born, it is a miracle of sorts.
You taught me that, 2008.
That was very much not a good thing. I don’t like you right now, 2008. It’s going to take me a very long time before I can look at you again without tears in my eyes. I want to grab you and shake you until you feel as bad as I do.
I keep trying to be mature about it, 2008, and see all the good things we had together. I keep trying to count my blessings, 2008, because I know they are many!
But you know what?
Right now, I just can’t. And that’s okay. For awhile, I think I am going to let myself hate you with all of my heart.
For awhile, I am going to be a child.
It’s not fair, 2008. It’s not fair.
I’m not your friend anymore, and I don’t want to play with you ever again.
It’s not fair.
2009’s Anxious Mistress,
Ok, so. Since I’ve started talking about the death of this baby, I’ve been letting myself vomit all these emotions and feelings I’ve had onto The Internet. That’s infinitely cool and wonderful for me, personally, and you have all been so supportive. And I’ve been really glad of that. But I’ve also felt just a little, teeny bit uncomfortable, because some of you have said things that I feel give me far too much credit. Like that I’m really strong, or handling things with grace, etc.
And while I am incredibly touched by the kindness and love in those kinds of comments and messages, I have to be honest and tell you that I am really, really not strong or graceful. I’m just emotional and mouthy.
I let all these things flow because I’m weak, and needy, and insecure and unsure and I’m searching for meaning and grasping at anything that might make me feel better.
And I really have to do exactly what I always say I do (be honest and real here), or I’ll be a total asshole. Yes, I let myself be really emotional, and I am sharing with you guys these big, fat, weepy, sentimental thoughts I’ve been having.
I haven’t really typed any of the ugly yet.
Oh.Mah.Gah, the ugly feelings. The ugly, ugly thoughts I have. To be sure, I’m experiencing plenty of anger, shock, and bitterness. I am, by no means, immune to The Big Fat Ugly side of this whole thing.
In fact, I’m an Expert at The Big Fat Ugly.
The Oh So Not Strong OR Graceful Moments of late:
- On Thursdays they show shots of babies born that day, at a local hospital (the one at which Braden was born), on TV. I saw this the Thursday after finding out Fuzzball was dead, and busted out crying, snotting all over the couch, in a heap. When John came over to comfort me, I had the gall to wipe away my tears and tell him I was crying because those babies were so damn ugly. (Graceful much?)
- I was reading blog posts about ordinary things this past week… and seeing people complain about… regular stuff, and gee, that is normal and that is what we all do, yes? But right now, I am rolling in and out of The Ugly, Bitter Phase. I have been biting my fingers not to say things on these blog posts like, “Oh, Really? You’re upset b/c you’re leaking vaginally after you gave birth to a healthy baby? F YOU. I’m wearing pads and leaking after having my dead baby scraped out of me. Go hug your baby and shut up.” (And really, all apologies, b/c the post was great, there was nothing wrong with it at ALL. It’s just ME right now. I HATE feeling this way.)
- Braden has been really “2” this past week. More than once I have just covered my face and ears and just started breathing really hard, instead of responding when he was freaking out about something. As if he doesn’t need me. As if I’M the child here. I don’t know what I’d do if John wasn’t home right now. (Strong? Hah.)
- I completely, totally, insanely lost it and shrieked at John about his french fry selection when he brought dinner home one night. Then I refused to sit anywhere near him for at least the next 10 minutes to teach him a lesson. Later, I realized what a douchebag I had been. FRENCH FRIES. Ugh.
- I really, really, really, really, really, REALLY cannot handle people saying ANYTHING to me about God right now. This includes how I should feel about/towards Him, how I should be reacting Faithwise, what He has planned for the future, or why He let this happen, etc. I know people don’t know WHAT to say at a time like this, and are just trying to help… but in all honesty (that’s what I’m trying to do here) I am PISSED OFF. I am REALLY REALLY hurt and REALLY REALLY mad right now. Please just let me be mad and hurt right now. I have a right to feel this way. I don’t know how long it will take before I work it out. But I AM SAD, MAD, AND CONFUSED.
For the record, I have not resented anyone else for being pregnant right now – or for actually having healthy babies. Seeing complaints about issues surrounding pregnancy/birth makes me twitch a little, yes. But there is no actual resentment.
Mostly, I just feel sorrow when I think about the ladies I was supposed to “have a baby” with.
Like her (the first baby I lost would have been close to the one she’s about to have).
And look at all these ladies on my Pregnancy Roundup. I had so many plans to do fun things for them, celebrations and updates and photos and… well, I just can’t do it now. I can’t make myself do it anymore, and that makes me all kinds of Angry.
It’s the Big Fat Ugly.
Yesterday’s post is an illustration of the Seasonal Cycle I’ve identified in myself. It’s a literary painting, in extreme, of the way I almost always feel the worst during the bleak months. I have never been diagnosed by a professional, so I am loathe to apply any kind of disorder or condition by name (and I really dislike it when other people do that, with all manner of psychological disorders).
To be more detailed about what it’s like for me – it’s not as though Spring and Summer are magically free of any sadness. In fact, I ride a roller coaster all year long… but when the sun is high I’m on the Kiddie Coaster. During Fall, I transition and climb the peak to the Mega Drop-Off of Winter’s Coaster of Malcontent and Despair.
I’m also not so deep in depression during my Winter Lows that John has to hide my razors. I am, for lack of a better term, a functioning depressive. I can smile, laugh, and force myself to do what it takes to get by from day to day. I can even fake it hard enough to make people fairly unaware. And beyond that, I have moments where I am content. They seem to flit by, and they are fewer and shorter than during the warm months, but they are there.
It’s the core of me that changes. It’s the ability to keep things flowing regularly. It’s the feeling inside my heart. It’s the blank stretches inside my head. It’s the drowning desire to lock myself in a closet and close my eyes more often than not. It’s a lack of motivation that was there before, an inability to care as much about myself and others. It’s having to force action rather than being propelled from within with ease.
At some point after Fall has begun, I just wake up one day and realize that I don’t care about anything in the same way as I did the day before.
And I have no desire to care, either.
This year, that happened to me last Thursday. I got up with Braden and came downstairs. Before we had breakfast, I opened the blinds in the living room and looked out at the leafless trees. Standing close to the glass that separated me from the icy chill outside, I felt the cold leaching through. It nipped at my arms, it taunted me. And my head just… went numb.
I blinked, staring out at the gray.
And I didn’t care. I didn’t want breakfast, I didn’t want to look at my computer, I didn’t want to sing songs with Braden, or call my husband. I didn’t want to want to and I didn’t care.
And my realization of the lack of motivation in my heart just sunk me. I think that every year, I hope as I climb the ladder that there will be an escalator at the top this time. Or an elevator. Or a jet-pack. Anything to keep me from sliding down again.
After breakfast, I got on my computer anyway, out of a sense of obligation (and because it is here that I search for something to buoy me, so often). And I did something I haven’t taken the time to do much at all in a long while – I actually opened my blog reader. (Yes, I’m a crappy blog reader when I get too wrapped up in deadlines. Which is always nowadays.)
And right around the same time I was hitting the top of that ladder, waiting for that icy push on the small of my back, I found something better than an escalator, an elevator, or a jet-pack.
Sometimes it’s inspiring enough to watch someone else beat The Slide that you start thinking maybe you can, too.
I may not grow wings of my own, but here’s to never giving up on the possibility.
All spring and summer long (but for bouts of the bitchiness I’m cursed with, both by Nature and Nurture) I spend my time climbing the ladder.
I kick my feet back into the air after each step up, with a little grinning head toss and a shimmying booty shake, as I climb up, and up and up. Is that a spicy little theme song playing?
I hum a song as I let the sun shine on my face, feeling that warmth.
I look up and see myself getting closer to the top as time passes, but mostly, the peak holds no meaning for me. Sometimes a memory tickles buttons in my mind, but the sun has permeated even there, and its rays push those memories into corners unreachable for now.
The smile on my face keeps spreading.
I still shake my booty and kick out my feet as I step up, up, up the ladder.
By the time it’s bleak and cold outside, I reach the top. There’s nowhere left to go.
I look down at the sleek, cold, metal of the slide and I shiver.
My smile starts to fade. I’m cold. The corners of my mind come alive with recognition of what’s happening.
As the wind blows through me, rattling my bones, I look around and can no longer find the light of the sun.
My teeth chatter.
Before long, a sudden gust of wind slaps a strong, icy hand into the small of my back and gives a malicious PUSH, and with a gasp, I tumble into the metal.
There are no sides to hold. There is no amount of scrambling that can stop my descent.
As if it matters… for as soon as my flesh makes contact with that metal, the cold seems to leach out of my very soul all desire to fight the obvious.
As my face falls slack, I quickly begin the long slide down for The Winter.