an ode to my depressive self

to my depressive self - you are not me.
that is what i have to say first.

i know depressive personality disorder is not necessarily a /thing/ provided by DSM but the thing is, sometimes it just feels like you have a depressive personality.  it feels like there is a different part of you that exists when you are depressed.  there are different voices inside your head that tell you different things, and you need to learn to know who you are through them and who you are outside of them and that is not an easy thing to do but from this i have learned that i have a separate depressive personality, a person that exists when i am depressed who does not exist otherwise.  she is a person who is drenched in cynicism.  she is cold but softhearted. she loves people fully and relentlessly but in the most misguided ways.  she is great and terrible but she is not me.  that is what i have to say first.

i will tell you right now that i blame a lot of things on my depressive self.  there are a lot of breakups make ups and fake ups that probably wouldn't have happened quite the way they had if i weren't depressed.  so it becomes this interminable pull on your actions when you're depressed: how do you act in a way that is normal for you?  how do you stay true to yourself while demons are reeling around inside of you?

the short answer is: you don't.
being depressed is just different.  it's a different kind of world.   it is a whole new universe.  being depressed is like being born again into a separate world where things can't matter.  nothing matters.  even the things that matter most don't matter.  because you've got to take it day by day, and if i'm taking it day by day and really being honest with myself, i usually think that i have less than a day left to live so that is how i act.  because thinking beyond one day at a time is just too overwhelming.  it's overwhelming because the idea of having to be alive for more than 3 more hours is excruciating.  so you don't let it in.  and that's how it rolls.

the thing is, there is no one in the world who needs love more than your depressive self.  and, there is no one in the world who can love yourself quite like you can.  compassion is the most important thing for your depressive self.  you know those little voices that come rampaging through your head when you're depressed, all screeching about how worthless and useless you are?  the truth is, you can find other voices.  if you really try hard to love your depressive self you can find voices that say "it's okay meaggy that you've been in bed most of the day, but it's time to get up now because getting out of bed will help you."  because inside it feels like every part of me hates my depressive self.  it feels like i'm absolutely exploding with blame and shame and all of the other things that come with sadness.  and so you train yourself.  you train yourself to have this little deliberative voice that loves and loves and loves you, and eventually you'll be ok.  it's not that easy to do.  you have to sit down and tell yourself that you're worth it and everyone makes mistakes and some mistakes aren't even mistakes and then you've gotta roll with it.

the point is, i have meandered my way through some kind of hell and back.  i've spent the last two years really seriously hoping i would die and now i'm happy to be alive.  as i was waiting for my medication to kick in, i browsed lots of forums that promised me to just keep waiting, that it is worth the wait to find the medication and i always wondered if they were right.  it turns out they are.

and so on this, the 14th day in a row that i have been happy, this is what we need to say to our depressive selves:
i love you.

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