The whirlpool vortex of Depression

(Did you know Vortext is a “new” word? Typos CAN teach us lessons..)

As I sit here procrastinating on the creation of my dream site and all the content for it – and I was pondering the value of plagiarism in society and in the act of creation (more on that later), I was reminded of how easy it is to get sucked in to someone elses depression.

I’ve spent much, most?, of my life depressed. It’s only been the last 3, maybe 4ish, years that I can say I spend more of my time happy, upbeat and positive (or at least mildly neutral) than otherwise. From the time I was 6 or so, perhaps even younger if you listen to my family, I went from a happy outgoing little girl to a rather quiet, sometimes morose, ghost.

There are many.. explanations for that, of which I’ve talked about in some detail already.

But I came to realize fully recently how often my mental, emotional and even physical state of being is something I diminished for the sake, or seemingly so, of others.

I’ve read so many supportive quotes, texts, prose, wonderfully full vibrational thoughts on not doing so:

I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days to allow my living to open me;

to make me less afraid, more accessible,

to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch,

a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed goes

to the next as blossom

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

And I read it, and reread it, memorized it and held on to it as truth.

But I was an awful lot like the character on the dark road, alone, in the middle of the night, with but the barest of even a small pen light to guide the way, whistling in to the shadows, jumping at every twig that breaks and every leave that rustles in the trees. Repeating to myself that everything will be ok, just keep walking. And yet, deep inside, feeling terrified and wishing I could just run all the way home and never have to look any deeper in to that darkness.

Because I was depressed, and while I would read the words and know their truth, I could not live it.

As I was washing the dishes yesterday I grasped that I have, for the better part of 30 years, taken on so much from others – feeling I was sparing them somehow.

As a child it came out as being somewhat subdued, not demanding anything extra, anything more than my mother (who could barely crawl off the couch at times, much less even muster up food or sustenance of some sort) could possibly give. Which was next to nothing.

As a teenager it came out as being sick, caused I know by insane amounts of stress overloading every aspect of my being until I literally collapsed from exhaustion, and offering my mother a confidant, a .. kindred souls experience.

In my 20’s, under the weight of nearly two decades of chaos, I spiraled in to depression and often found myself in arguments, fights, full blown episodes of utter blackness, not often helped my a partners belief that life is hell on earth and nothing good comes of it. (It’s hard to see the bright side when no one else wants to even imagine it let alone hear about it)

My 30’s has been a parting of the clouds, a release of the need to provide others with support I .. well, I don’t believe in.

Yet standing at the kitchen sink I saw that I still do this, in small, twisted ways. And that it’s still killing me slowly, although that’s been picking up pace too.

When my husband is depressed I’m far more likely to watch a movie with him, or play a game, or just (ho hum) putz around online, rather than choose to put energy in to my dreams and my projects and plans – because I don’t want him to be alone, to feel so lost and depressed.

Not just because I know how it is, and oh boy do I. But because I have, since I was a little girl, tried to make everyone else feel better, to dim my light, to suffocate the fire, to crush the blossoming hope, so that they wouldn’t feel so.. alone.

Yet I’m now able to see how very little this actually benefits anyone. Them, or myself. And that I’m ready to be a bit more, well, selfish. And be happy, doing what I need to do, what my heart longs to do – from that state I am far better situated to offer a helping hand to others.

It’s a lot easier to lift someone up when you yourself aren’t drowning with them. Which is what depression really is, drowning in emotion, in sorrow, in loss, in anger, in apathy. And it’s so easy to get sucked in to that if you don’t secure the rope your throwing out at them first.

I wish my love, my hope, my happiness, my simple (awesome? sorry.. sarcasm) presence alone would be enough to light the way for someone lost in the darkness; however now I finally see, and know, how important it is to be the light for ones self, and to so be it for others.

It beats stumbling around in that darkness, alone or together, eternally lost and afraid.

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