Depression and mental illness are still taboo words in the modern world, at least in the sense that although as a species we are more aware that these things actually do exist (I mean come on, as recently as the fifties or sixties you could tell your family doctor you were feeling ‘down’ and he or she would hand you a script for quaaludes…which just created another problem) and the ways that they work, but I think when it comes down to society we still do not see depression as the same as we would someone in a wheelchair or with a broken leg.
Most of us would open a door for the two examples of physical ailments described above but most are hard pressed to do the same thing for someone who is suffering from depression or anxiety, two mental illnesses that have dominated large across my nearly four decades on this Earth.
So in that sense, I am being a bit unfair and hypocritical, because of it easier for me to empathize and relate to others I might encounter who are suffering through similar times and the same disease.
And then my whirlwind of a smart but totally fucked at times mind (that is a technical term by the way, and I think I just stole a joke from a Batman film), will go even further down the rabbit hole and tell me psychology is still a kind of new science being taught to people that think a reality television star would make a good world leader and at one time thought disco was cool.
(Yeah, my brain is kind of a dick.)
Still, it is the lack of empathy and the part of the social interaction that will in the worse cases exclude a majorly depressed person from social interactions that really kind of let the voices of depression ‘dig in’ if you will at your psyche.
It leads to a cycle or even better yet a treadmill effect where the depressed person goes round and round a circle of logic that can actually drag you deeper.
I once entitled a poem on here Ouroboros because the imagery was apt and if the world was a bit more open minded would have it tattooed on my left hand as a constant reminder of the snake that eats itself, the act of chasing one’s tail and how much it hurts when you finally catch it and you bite down.
When you do this socially, it hurts, because we are, after all, social animals and if you want cheap and dirty evidence look at what happens to most people in solitary confinement in prison or the rise of the ‘Nice Guy’ on social media or as a label/slang term.
Besides an off topic spiel on how some of both examples also say something about our treatment of both criminals and our early socialization system’s downfalls, it also shows how an individual’s role and status in society kind of determine who he becomes, especially if he choose the low road, instead of rising above it.
Abuse then usually comes into play, because I will bet you a million dollars in Monopoly money that half of both those ‘Nice Guys’ and criminal element went through some form of abuse and then self-imposed it on themselves…duh.
However, this is all background noise to what I really want to talk about, because I want to talk about the beast and how it feeds.
The depressive beast is a savvy hunter as I agree with the take that these now depressive thoughts were at one-time defense tactics used by these affected individuals as children.
I mean imagine you are a kid, you reach out to your peers and they shun you, that kid will eventually learn that it is better to stay quiet, keep to himself and lay low.
Imagine you are sexually abused at home and then try having a healthy sexual or romantic relationship.
Point is, the beast of depression was once a friend, but now here he is and he is your worst enemy.
And he has had decades in my case to become a master general, ready to flank me at every turn.
What brought me here was a song by a band called Bush and lots of recent events with the two people I do know. Besides the quoted lyrics before I started it was this verse in particular:
“Bigger you give
Bigger you get
We’re boss at denial
But best at forget
Cupboard is empty
We really need food
Summer is winter
And you always knew.”
Also, I recently read this column on Dr. Nerdlove.com, which was kind of like seeing things from the other person’s point of view, even though I have had it said to me directly…sometimes it is seeing something from outside that moves you instead of what is closest to you.
Take the case there, where this guy’s friend thinks no women will want him because of his height and he tells himself that he has nothing to offer a woman.
I am guessing that all these were started by real life events, the article says that he once had a beautiful woman as a girlfriend that treated him like shit and broke up with him on Valentine’s Day.
So that is where the demon feeds, it will say things like the above. I will bet you another ten billion dollars in Monopoly money that this guy has shit like this in his head if and when he sees a woman he is attracted to:
“Yeah OK, you know what will happen, you are just wasting your time thinking a woman like that will have anything to do with you. You have nothing to offer a woman.”
I can bet because I have that demon in my head about a lot of things and then we get to what else it does.
In the same article, the friend says his girlfriend does not like him and will not introduce him to any of her friends.
Most likely at some point, the guy might have wondered why not but if his friend told him that information, that demon would use it against him with glee:
“See? Your friend’s girlfriend won’t even introduce you to her friends and you know why don’t you? It is because you have nothing to offer a woman and she knows you are too ugly and short to actually get one of her friends not to hate you for life for hooking you two up.”
However, as the piece also says the guy has no real friends let’s expand that past romantic matters and lay it at the door of friendship too. If you constantly ask your friend to hang out and they deny you or make excuses or whatever else you might say it also comes down to the same thing.
At some point when they met you something about you sparked their interest. In my case, it is the talent I do have, the person that really if clear everyone would want as a friend.
Part of me suspects this happens about the same time as they tell me I am special to them or for some weird reason they need me in their life or I changed their life or I inspired them.
It seems odd to bitch about, but I have heard this so many times I wanna spit, because it always becomes that I am special when it comes to helping them through tough times or discussing subjects far and wide (to my joy!), but not when it comes to planning their next get together with their friends or an event to go to during the Summer.
It feels like your special, but this is our little secret, just you and me.
I’ve heard excuses from I won’t fit in too well you don’t know such and such and oh, I would have invited you but…again I know this script well, heard it my whole damn life.
Sooo, for those still here, you make the call, who’s fault is it?
The world outside my door for being callous and naive?
The friends who never saw exactly how much they allowed or wanted my interaction with their world actually kind of gave fuel to more errant thoughts?
Or myself, the individual, for not pushing past that voice and making, even more, effort and change, people, friends and world be damned?
The answer is all of the above because again it is ouroboros the snake that eats itself rearing its head.
Because most likely the way that person or myself acted, interacted or carried themselves made them socially valued.
The whining and moaning only made it worse and then if like me you can turn a deaf ear to the love you do get, or that depressive demon voice inside you can make it seem like your wins are really losses..you’re kinda fucked (I love that technical term, it’s my favorite).
However, the world could kind of come to the realization that we are all here on this tiny little rock in space, and we are much better served by acknowledging and improving people and society than sweeping those people under a rug, but now I am asking for a miracle of Biblical proportions…but I will never stop saying it.
Because it is true and also the path ahead and if I let that vision go I really do lose myself.