It turns out it is not “one and done.”
There is a lot of work in breaking up with depression. “It’s not you, it’s me” comes to mind. I know how cliché that is, but it is a way of breaking up without trying to hurt anyone’s feelings.
My goal is to keep depression out in the open where I can see what it is up to.
I am afraid if I try to completely break up with depression, it will stalk me and become my worst nightmare. Of course, it is already stalking me and has been my worst nightmare for 43+ years. So why suddenly, I care about depression’s feelings is beyond me.
READ MORE: I’m afraid I do not know what I am afraid of
Yet here I am rehearsing in my mind, reasons why depression and I are not compatible.
Maybe it’s the secrecy, maybe it’s the way it says it is treating me to dinner, then it runs out just before the check is presented, leaving me alone to pay the bill. Or maybe it is a disease that I have had since childhood, and it is something I must live with and understand. In my life, I have spent most of my years avoiding facing depression.
Why would I even want to think I had something as manipulative and sneaky as depression?
If I had my choice, I would rather have my tooth drilled without anesthesia rather than have depression. Yet here I am, with a lifetime of depression dragging long behind me. And let me tell you, it is very, very heavy.
Depression is so heavy, the last time it visited, it nearly drowned me.
This makes me scared to separate myself from depression, for fear of retaliation. Knowing what it is capable of, I am finding excuses for not taking the final steps to separate myself from its clutches and unhelpful thinking.
I am doing everything I can to learn how to live a balanced life with depression.
But it is still far from over. And I do understand that it will never be completely over. I have the genetic background, family history and whatever else is needed to bring on bouts of depression. What I have now, that I didn’t have before, is depression out in the open where I can see it.
Saying “I have depression, depression does not have me” is still my mantra.
READ MORE: I know that is going to leave a mark
And collecting tools to assist me in my breakup with depression has been how I have lived the past six months. And, despite depressions’ best efforts, the worst it could do lately is to make it hard for me to get out of bed.
I realized that even though the past weeks have been less than ideal, I did not feel pushed to the edge.
There was no, “I’m up against the wall” kind of feeling. The abyss was far away, and I did not feel threatened by it as I have done with other depressive episodes. Heck, those suicidal thoughts haven’t visited me in a while. My tools are working.
How and when I will finish my breakup with depression is unclear.
But I am focused on doing everything I can to keep depression out where I can see it and watch it. I am not going to let it get me into a corner, or up against the wall again. I am stronger than it is, and while I cannot control events that happen, I can assuredly control my attitude towards those events.