I don’t fight my depression.
yeah, you read that right.
I just don’t. in fact, after 5+ years of losing every single battle I’ve tried to fight with this beast, I have decided it’s just not worth it to fight anymore. It isn’t worth it to wind up bruised and beaten, licking my wounds.
before all of you go crucifying me on the cross of panic and political correctness, let me explain.
I don’t fight my depression, because I have a greater goal in mind- I don’t want to keep getting beat until I can no longer get back up. nope, I don’t care any longer to be a hero. I don’t want to fight it. I want to survive it.
and I can’t do both. I can’t both keep fighting AND survive.
this is not a pity party, and it’s not a declaration of defeat. this is not me throwing in the towel or waving the proverbial white flag. this is none of those things. this is a decision so much bigger and so much braver than nonsensically charging into battle, armor-free, which is what it is like trying to fight depression.
hear this well: there is no armor strong enough to protect your mind from itself when it is determined to take you away from everything you are, everything good, everything safe, everything that is true. regardless of what you think you do or do not know… depression plays by only two rules, and those two rules never change: shame and isolate.
you cannot beat shame and isolation with brute force.
those two rules are in place to accomplish a single goal: make you believe the lie. depression is a manipulative, abusive & pathological liar whose only desire is to positively ensure that you cannot distinguish truth from lies. that is the only thing it cares about. it will twist any truth and decorate every lie until your mind is doing backflips trying to keep up with the mental gymnastics it’s being put through.
you cannot beat a manipulative, abusive, pathological liar by swinging your fists.
see, depression is like a hurricane. you don’t hear that it’s coming and choose to run out into the winds and rain and destructive power with your fists swinging. that’s stupid. it’s idiotic. it’s ignorant, and it’s a death wish. you’ll be swept off your feet and pounded to death by things outside of your control.
when you hear a hurricane is coming, you prepare. you stock your home. you put safeguards in place. you make sure you have enough food and water. you find a way ensure communication with those who can help you. you make a plan, and you inform those close to you of your plan. maybe you invite them to wait it out with you. you find ways to keep yourself distracted while the storm rages. and finally, you wait it out. you sit through it, in the middle of it, and you survive it.
this is how depression works. you have a plan, and people who know your plan. you put up your safeguards. you find a way you can communicate. sometimes you try to distract yourself. but when it comes down to it, you sit in the storm and you wait it out, and you survive it.
surviving it is what matters.
and sometimes the survival isn’t glamorous, and we wind up like the mental illness equivalent of the people sitting on their rooftops, clinging to one another, waiting to be rescued. and that’s okay. because we’re surviving it.
so, no, I don’t fight my depression. I don’t run into the fight unprepared and half-naked, waiting to be swept up by winds of terror in some heroic death-wish. I hole up and prepare and sit it out.
and then I walk out the door into the aftermath, blinking and squinting eyes, bleary mind, and I think, “I survived again. I survived. and I will keep surviving.”
**I am in no way a doctor, and you should not take my advice as such. always talk to your mental health professional about your plans to handle your mental illness.**