I was sitting, minding my own business the other day when I overheard someone talking about depression.
- Oh yeah, it was terrible, you know… I was off work for like, two or three months. And I kept playing on my X-Box and I was like “go away mom, I don’t feel like talking!”…
The someone bursting into giggles right after mentioning the oh-so painful period of her life…
I don’t take much time being serious here, because there are a lot of people far more talented than I am in making readers reflect on life. But this time, I had to take a step forward, for the sake of all the people that have been, are or will be suffering “real” severe depression…
I do my best in life not to judge others. But sometimes, I can’t help it.
Depression, severe depression, is not about staying in your pajamas for a few weeks, not really wanting to do anything. I am sorry, it is not.
I have a feeling I might delete this post as soon as it goes public… It feels so intimidating to talk about this kind of things, but I have to try. At least try.
Depression, severe depression is the worst puzzle I ever went through.
I think I am a very cerebral person. I think a lot. All the time. About anything and everything. I think, think, think… Then think it over again, and twist and turn it, and give it a little thought before thinking about something else.
When my brain slipped into depression, it offered itself the ultimate riddle. At that time, the only possible outcome life-wise, was death. (I know, it is every human being’s only possible outcome, but mine, was… hmmm… let’s say imminent)
Depression doesn’t make you crazy, at least it didn’t make me crazy. After being professionally diagnosed by my doctor, and prescribed different medicines, I was sent home with the doctor’s advice not to talk to anybody about my feelings before the drugs began taking effect. I was that dangerous for myself.
I didn’t look depressed for people who didn’t know. I wasn’t bubbly, but then again a lot of people aren’t. I could even pretend to be in a quite good humor if I felt it to be needed. But it exhausted me, and made things even worst when I went back to hide home.
I was looking for any approval to let go. Any. The slightest comment or joke, pointing out how not good I would have been at that time, I would have taken as a proof I needed to end my life. For weeks, my life has been just thinking, crying, sleeping and drinking alcohol. The last part not being a good idea, but the only way I had found to numb the pain a little bit.
So… I started taking the pills. I was allowed to have only a week’s worth at a time, probably to prevent what I did anyway. I took part of it, and saved the rest. Working as an ambulance dispatcher, I had some notions the usual John Doe doesn’t have about effective and “clean” suicidal methods, and I got prepared.
It took me some time to gather what I needed. Showing that deciding to commit suicide wasn’t a spontaneous decision. Oh no, no, no. No Sir, and no Ma’am.
I thought about it a lot. And here is the ultimate puzzle I talked about… For me, depression proved to be the most selfish AND selfless period of my life.
Selfish, because I just wanted the pain to stop… My soul hurt, and over time, not taking care of myself, so did my body. A deep, cruel, never ending pain, eating up every bit of energy I might have found in myself. I didn’t have the force to think about others. All my awake time was spent on me me me, my pain and my will to vanish.
Selfless, because I truly believed my loved ones would benefit from me not being a burden anymore. I knew they’d be sad at first, and shocked, but in the long run, it was a definite win/win solution for all of us.
One night, I sat in my living room with my pills and a bottle of tequila.
With my tendency to write about everything, I thought I would have written long touching letters to everybody I loved. But I didn’t. Not one. About the long lasting pain before that day, I had written tons of poems and thoughts. But about the hows and whys, I stayed silent. I didn’t appologize, probably because I didn’t feel that people would disagree with my decision… If I had written something, it would have been something like “Good bye, now you’re free from the responsability of this useless being that rotted the heart of our family/circle of friends…”
At that moment, I would have died (HA HA!) for open arms, wrapping themselves around me, and a warm voice telling me “I love you, stay one more day!” I wanted to cry for help. I had to keep myself from the computer, not to write a tragic post on Facebook, chancing that someone might catch me at the last minute. I so hoped someone would save me.
And at the same time, I had always told myself that I would never cry wolf if I came that far down. I would never be the girl that attempted to commit suicide. I would, or I wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t go cry about it at friends’ front doors. I didn’t want pity. I didn’t deserve pity.
I wanted help, but I didn’t want to ask for it. Puzzle.
I stared at the pills for hours. I cried untill my body couldn’t anymore… I reminded myself about all the bad things there were about me, how relieved everybody would be.
I stared a little more… Hoping I’d dose things just right so I wouldn’t get sick and vomit…
I went for it!
I picked up the phone and I called “Prévention Suicide”…
A nice man answered, and I didn’t know what to say. I sobbed, and sobbed, and whined, thinking it didn’t count as a failure since he didn’t know me. We talked for hours… And slowly but surely, he made me realize that surviving the worst night of my life would be a victory in itself. And that for that matter, anything, good or bad, I’d do from now on could only be considered an improvement.
He didn’t mind me being drunk, he didn’t mind me being lost.
He listened until we agreed I should go to bed and sleep on it.
I live with the scars of that period of my life every day, but I wouldn’t change a thing, if I had the chance to do so. Because it made me who I am now.
So you might understand a little better why I rage about the people who speak lightly about depression…