When give a dose of twisted reality, much like the tragedy in Boston, we’re also given a dose of perspective. Things are completely out of our control. There are monsters that walk among us who are filled with rage and hate. Bad things happen to good people.
It’s enough to make anyone want to crawl in a hole and escape.
But this post isn’t about Boston, Texas or Newtown or the myriad of tragic events that unfortunately, we’ve had to endure. There are others that can speak much more eloquently on those topics, as thankfully, I’m personally removed.
What I’m not personally removed from is depression, something that I’ve written about a million times before, and something that quite frankly, I’m tired of writing about. I like to keep it light, if only for my own sanity.
But events like Boston bring something to the forefront of my mind, something that I’ve heard others who suffer from depression bring up all the time—the guilt.
Ahh…the guilt. That useless emotion.
I have a job, a roof over my head, family and friends who love me and who are still safe. How dare I be depressed when on paper, things look go good? Other people have “real” reasons to be depressed, so what the hell is my problem?
These are the thoughts that go through my head. The guilt—combined with frustration—are what lead me to physically wear myself down to a literal shell of who I once was.
I won’t go into my details again, but when it hits, I can’t imagine how things might change. My motivation becomes basically reduced to: food, exercise, sleep and hopefully coming up with something to write. Anything on top of that isn’t something I have any interest in.
I just don’t want to think anymore.
I simply want relief, and part of me thought (and maybe still thinks) that if I kept physically pushing myself, eventually something would literally give and then I would have a “real” reason, a valid excuse.
Because if I have an excuse, then I won’t have the guilt and there’s something else I can blame for the way that I feel.
In their own way, I hear this from friends who deal with depression themselves. That the guilt is what keeps them tamped down, that they don’t “deserve” to feel anything less than the inspirational quotes and posters that plaster the globe expect everybody to feel.
But you know what?
Sometimes things are completely out of our control. There are mental monsters like that fill our minds with negative thoughts we don’t ask for. Depression happens to good people.
It’s not your fault.
So even though I cringe as I publish this— “serious” equates to insecurity for me—I wrote it because I know I’m not alone, because everyone has shit that they deal with—big, small, internal, external.
What you deal with is your shit and what I deal with is mine. That’s both comforting and disconcerting, as it means even though we’re not alone, we’re also not unique or the exception to some rule. Everyone has pain.
The only guilt you should feel is if you don’t honor the fact that your feelings are valid and real.
This doesn’t mean you wallow. This doesn’t mean you throw up your hands, say “screw it” and crawl in a hole and escape. This means you fight. This means you endure. This means your guilt is replaced with acceptance and you take the next step forward and deal with your reality now, whatever that reality may be.
That’s all the “excuse” that you need.
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