Saturday, March 03, 2007

How Do You Meet People? What Do You Talk About?

For the time being, we must accept that fate has given some of us a strong vulnerability to depression, and that among those who carry such a vulnerability, some have treatment-responsive brains and some have treatment-resistant brains. Those of us who can get substantially get better in any way must count ourselves among the lucky ones. We must, further, treat those for whom there can be no recovery with forbearance. Resilience is a frequent, but not a universal, gift, and no secret in this book or elsewhere can help the unluckiest ones of all. (p. 134)

[Claudia, suffering a truly acute depression] recalls… “I wanted a divorce or annulment. I felt I had no friends; I felt I had no future… I’ve nothing to say (to her husband) anymore. And he of course felt it was all his fault and had huge self-loathing… I was not nice to him and I know it. He was trying very hard and just had no idea what to do. Nothing he could have done would have been right to me, no matter what it was… I would tell him to go away, that I wanted to be alone; and then what I really wanted was for him to insist on being with me.” (p. 156)

自分の言う“leave me alone but stay with me” と同じだ。

There is so much that cannot be said during depression, that can be intuited only by others who know. “If I were on crutches, they wouldn’t ask me to dance,” said one woman [at a support group session] about her family’s relentless efforts to get her to go out and have fun. There is so much pain in the world, and most of these people keep theirs secret, rolling through agonizing lives in invisible wheelchairs, dressed in invisible bodycasts. We held each other up with what we said. Sue, one night, in anguish, crying through her thick mascara, said, “I need to know if any of you have felt like this and made it. Someone tell me that, I came all this way to hear it, is it true, please tell me that it is.” Another night someone said, “My soul hurts so much; I just need to interface with other people.” (p. 161)


One time someone was talking about trying to explain things to friends. A longtime MDSG (Mental Disorder Support Groups of New York) man, Stephen, asked the group, “Do you have friends outside?” Only one other person and I said that we did. Stephen said, “I try to make new friends, but I don’t know how it works. I was such a recluse for so long. I took Prozac, and it worked for a year, and then it stopped. I think I did more that year, but I lost it.” He looked at me curiously. He was sad and sweet-natured and intelligent – clearly a lovely person, as someone said to him that evening – but he was gone. “How do you meet people, besides here?” And before I could answer, he added, “And once you’ve met them, what do you talk about?” (p. 162)


I wonder how some people can be so judgmental about who I am, especially when they know I’m depressive. Or do they act that way because they know I’m depressive? It is insulting as well as humiliating to be accused of irresponsibility, laziness and blah blah blah... How much of me do they know? What about me do they know? How much of my history do they know? All those horrifying memories and nightmares. And panicky faints.

It’s not easy to make me furious but there are some who manage to do just that. I’m very impatient toward those people who “lecture” me about life. I believe that I’ve gone through more crises. They are totally incapable to understand that there are different kinds of people, who suffer in silence or joke, with a forced smile, about their suffering to avoid embarrassment.

I want to drink – a lot – to put myself to sleep, fully aware that it doesn’t solve anything and only exacerbates my condition. Ideally, I’d like to find myself dead when I woke up.

Some of those judgmental assholes understand what really goes on in my mind only if I “succeed’ to kill myself. “You talk about suicide but you are still here, alive. You’re afraid of dying.” Perhaps I should prove myself by being successful.

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