beating back the beast

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One of the most-read posts on mamamusings is control freak, my discussion of my slide into--and recovery from--depression.

After I wrote it, the outpouring of support--both publicly and privately--were nothing short of astounding to me. It helped me to realize how important blogs are in helping us to see the world through the eyes of others. First-person accounting, particularly from a voice you've come to trust and love, is a powerful tool for education.

Even though I don't need to read someone else's words to understand what depression is, and how it can make someone feel, I'm still always grateful when I find an eloquent description of the disease. Partly because it spreads the message a little further, partly because it reminds me of where I've been, and of how important it is for me not to go back there.

Dervala's writing always pulls me in. She's a consummate storyteller, always painting extraordinary pictures with her posts. Today's post was no exception. The difference was that instead of detailing one of her trips to Southeast Asia, or South America, or Brooklyn, or the Haight, she talked about her own depression.

Like rheumatoid arthritis, depression turns your own body against itself. It chews not on your cartilage, but on your brain cells and your sense of reality. It’s as seductive as a wife-beater, shutting out other voices to turn itself into your only friend. The only one who tells the truth about the bleakness of the world. All your energy goes towards getting through whatever stands in your way—struggling, slogging, pushing, through work and small talk and getting food—whatever it is you have to get through until you can be alone again with the voice who can be trusted.

Beautifully and bravely written.

With luck (and an occasional round of medication), I'll never need to take more than a vicarious journey through that dark countryside again.

1 Comment

Thanks Liz.

This past January I peeled back my meds and went solo after about two years. Last week I hit my first relapse. As I wait...wait...wait for the meds to catch their edge, I remembered that you had posted about your depression.

The stories are a nice breath of very fresh air amidst this weird, bleak moment in my life. Thanks for the lift.

Javert (We Know)

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This page contains a single entry published on December 17, 2006 11:10 PM.

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