My Depression Confession

Edward Hopper’s Night Shadows courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He’s one of my favorite artists, if not my favorite. I saw this print the other day and as I was writing the below blog post, I felt it capture what I’m talking about better than my words could.

You want to know something that nags at my brain like my brainstem got snagged by a thorny bush?

Now that I’m in the process of “recovering” from my depression — and I say “in the process” because I feel like it’s appropriate to always view it as a work-in-progress — I worry that I will “relapse.”

That’s the only thing that still lingers in my head. I no longer think about plastic bags over my head and killing myself. I no longer have the sort of Mariana Trench depth depression spirals I used to have. I no longer feel like I’m captive to my depression. Life seems more open now. More available. More livable. I still don’t like to think too far in advance, but at least this time, I’m not flipping it around to, “I can’t think past 30 days because I will probably be dead at the end of those 30 days.”

But I do still worry that these last nearly three months now has been a mirage of sorts, a blip on the radar, an outlier and a fluke. Whatever other word you want to use. That I will go back to being the Brett I was destined to be: depressed. That I will go back to depression being my identity. That those plastic bag thoughts will return. That I’ll go back to riding the lightning of those spirals.

And if I think about it, I think that worry stems from the challenge of realizing that, much like an alcoholic, dealing with depression really will be a lifelong “work-in-progress.” Something that I always will deal with and actively work with. That’s daunting when looking at that big picture, which is why I typically try to never think about the big picture of anything, much less life itself. Instead, I like to take life bit-by-bit and piece-by-piece and frame-by-frame. Which is a good excuse to share one of my favorite songs:

Do any of you who have dealt with depression and feel like you are on the “other side of it” feel like this, too? Do you share this concern? How have you dealt with it?

3 thoughts

  1. I used to think of my depression in terms of it being in my rearview mirror. I suppose that’s the same idea as “on the other side of it.” That was several years ago, and I’ve changed my outlook. Times will go up and down. Some days, my depression and anxiety are stronger. Other days, they are quieter. Throughout, I continue my treatment. And I’ve developed habits that are beneficial to my mental well-being: taking walks, meditation, reading/watching less of the news.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I frequently become depressed, and do my best to catch myself and not sink too far into the dark, but I’m all too aware of when the next poor mood is around the corner. I agree, to manage depression is a work-in-progress; it’s like going to work, except on oneself, and one has to be ready for all shifts.

    Liked by 1 person

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