Does Success Matter When You're Depressed?

You want my thoughts on seasonal depression? FUCK YOU SEASONAL DEPRESSION.  There, how's that?

no but seriously. sorry, no pretty pics, but hang in there and I'll throw in a Till gif.

I've been a sufferer from this for most of my life, actually.  It probably had something to do with the fact that my parents both suffered intense mood changes right when the clocks go back an hour, and for five months I basically lived with two adult werewolves.  They were brutal and down in the winter, so I learned to be, as well.  Plus, living without electricity and running water kind of dampens the mood, and having food shortages and animals to take care of out in the freezing rain and snow doesn't exactly make anyone scream from cheerfulness.

But here I am living a first world life where my current biggest problem is that I left my very expensive bag and very expensive makeup inside the bag inside a train and haven't heard back from the train company and am fearing my makeup gone forever and have had to go around makeup-free for a full week and it's not my thing right now.  Pretty big leap from the days of not having food, and yet I still have seasonal depression.  I can feel it coming on, and it's not easier here in Sweden where the sun goes away at 3pm.

So we all know I dedicated the year to bettering my self esteem...well, all it takes is a little poke of depression to undo all that hard work, and I have been nothing but a miserable sleepy lump for the past two weeks.  I keep thinking to myself, "snap out of Alex, things are going well and you have shit to do"  which includes:

  • buying and wrapping everyone's Christmas presents
  • sending Christmas cards
  • Thanksgiving party
  • Star Trek party
  • Glögg party 
  • Christmas Eve with the Family
  • Christmas with Henri's Mom
  • New Year's in the Arctic Circle
  • Moving my shit out of the au pair house and preparing to go back to Utah

But unbelievably, my depression doesn't listen to me when I tell it to fuck off.  It hangs on me like a bad smell and I immediately start thinking of all the worst things ever.  Now, before this year, the big difference was that I hated myself and thought I was useless and so on.  After MoodGym and some serious self-love work, I no longer believe those things to be true.

I like myself pretty okay, most days.

I think I'm a success, not a failure.

The thing is I thought that my more realistic and positive view of myself would be like a shield, a barricade against depression when it showed up again.  I thought that nothing could change my forward-moving life and that I had won.  When you get rid of warped mind perspectives and don't feel like jumping off a bridge, you feel like a winner.  Having a good life, like the one I have, also helps.

Well, not for the first time in my life, I was wrong.  Depression is a part of me I think, and I think it always will be in my life no matter how rich and famous and sexy I become.  And that's hard to accept sometimes the way I guess any disease is hard to accept, especially because this specific disease isn't something you monitor with equipment or check blood levels for.  It just comes and goes and who knows when you'll feel like what.  I realized today, sadly, that my success doesn't matter.

Depression doesn't care who you are and what you've done.  I could have rescued 200 orphans from the volcano of doom and given them all a puppy and a home for Christmas and I would still feel like walking in front of a train.  I'm not trying to be morbid (it just happens) but when you're sitting there feeling like Syd Barrett in his hotel room, staring off into space and being a big nothing, your whole life and achievements don't matter.

I guess in a way this is humbling, but it's also troubling.  I like to feel that I don't matter. I like to feel that no one matters and that the universe is random and we mean absolutely nothing and are less worth than the dirt on the bottom of our shoes.  That's just how I am as a person---horrible, I guess, and don't worry because I have varying degrees of belief in our importance as well--but I think everyone should feel small and insignificant.  Not like in the way that you feel small and insignificant because your husband beats you, but the small and insignificant that you feel when you look at a full night sky full of stars or a sunset in the desert.

But feeling like your achievements mean nothing is scary when you have depression.  You can sink off into nothingness and that feared suicidal mindset faster than a fish leaving an oily deck.  There are only a few threads hanging me into reality when I'm depressed, and I don't even know what they really are.  I think a few of them are the people in my life who want me to stay alive, but they're not the only part.  I don't know what the rest of it is.  I've been called a fighter, and someone who doesn't give up, so it's possible those other strings are just the parts of me that want to live for some selfish and programmed biological reasons.  Maybe it's the Almighty Universe, saving me for some grand purpose (yes I'm being sarcastic you dumbasses, I don't believe in that shit) and maybe it's the willpower of the great One And Only Till Lindemann. 


 I promise my next post will be more uplifting.  I want to share some Christmas memories as well as talk about our plans for the holiday season and New Year so please stick with me!  Depression is not fun to write or read about, but it's cathartic and I think it helps me, and maybe someone somewhere out there can relate.  Despite what bloggers want you to believe, life is not sunshine and flowers and happiness and cute outfit posts.  

1 comment :

  1. I want to comment with something profound, but the only thing floating around in my head right now is: A-FUCKING-MEN.

    I was diagnosed with summer-onset SAD last year after three summers of inescapable depression, so this post definitely resonates with me.

    Thank you.