I am struggling with depression again. And, frankly, I am getting kind of tired of these demons because I can see how they are interfering with my life, with my dance. So, I have decided that I need to face them head-on, to do what they don’t want me to do: To squarely look them in the eyes and ask “who are you demons anyway?” I’ve also decided to do this publicly, so here you go 🙂 . When you read this, please keep in mind that this is fairly raw, unedited crap my mind conjures up. Before I can decide not to believe what I think, I need to know what I think. Look at this as cleaning a dark, smelly basement: First, you need to shine a light on the things that have accumulated in it. Only then can you decide what to keep.
The variety of my depression comes with profound hopelessness. It pulls me to resign to never living the life I want to live, to never even knowing what that life would look like. I’ve lost hope that I will be able to even reach its ingredients.
When I thought I had finally met a man who would support me, he turned out to be full of talk and little action. I was there to amuse him. He had claimed to be oh so different and turned out more of the same. So, I lost hope that I will ever be healthy enough to attract a healthy mate, to have a relationship that does not suck the life out of me but instead nourishes me. I have resigned to spinsterhood without the touch and connection that I so crave.
With the end of that relationship came other beliefs. Deep down, it seems, I’ve lost hope that I’ll ever be happy – defined as sustained contentment; that I’ll ever be worthy of love. Friends seem to drift in and out of my life, sometimes mysteriously disappearing, often not providing the kind of deep friendship I wish for. So, I feel alone – and like I have been condemned to that for the rest of my life. I can’t find a partner. I can’t even find friends. And I don’t know why. All my attempts have gotten me nowhere. I might as well give up, settle into this hole because the sun will never shine again.
On top of all that, the one thing that tends to sustain me is becoming less attainable: Dance. Because I could not figure out another way to earn money, I have returned to the prison of full employment. That is sapping the energy out of me, so I don’t have any left to dance – neither physical nor mental. All I want to do is sit on my butt and mourn. So, on top of it all, I am a loser stuck in a failure of a life.
Sigh. Are you depressed yet? Exactly! No wonder that I feel miserable with these thoughts stuck in my head. I am trying very hard to pursue the one thing that I believe might help: Acceptance. We live in a society that forces us to live certain ways. Contentment is only possible within the confines of those ways. We can try to push the boundaries – and I am – but if we push too hard, we only hurt ourselves. So, I am learning to accept the points where pushing the boundaries has become to painful.
Instead of adding to my energy drain by speed walking, I have started walking home. It’s slower, though also longer, and I can avoid the annoyance of sitting on a commuter train going nowhere because somewhere on the line is yet again some equipment failure. Or maybe it’s just traffic. Too many people going in the same direction at the same time. I can step out of that line. I can dance while making dinner (shimmying while cutting lettuce makes isolation even more important!). Yes, it’s not ideal. Yes, I would prefer a different way. Not accepting the way things are, though, just leads me back into the hole. And that’s a trap. That is wanting to have control over things I don’t have (much) control over: The kind of society I live in. I know our world is made up of inhumane systems that support each other making them almost impossible to change. Certainly, I cannot change them by myself. And most people don’t seem to notice the prisons we live in, which makes changing all these systems so damn near impossible. I can (and will continue to) rail against this – and ultimately, I need to accept that this is the reality I live in. Note that this isn’t resignation. Resignation is what the depression wants me to do. Resignation would have led me to stay in the unhealthy relationships. Acceptance is saying “this is how things are. Now what can I do?” I left those relationships. I can turn on music and dance whenever, wherever I can.
Somehow this post feels unsatisfactory. Maybe that is because I am still struggling with finding that fine line between resignation, giving up, and acceptance. Plus, there are some things I would rather not accept. Yet, I also know that they won’t change no matter how much I don’t accept them. It just keeps me trapped in the hole. I know that. Still, it’s hard work to accept a bleak reality.