Living with Depression

“Hello darkness my old friend, Ive come to talk with you again”
Simon and Garfunkel

I haven’t always had a term for how I feel, that came later in life, but for as long as I can remember I’ve had periods where life has just felt so pointless that I’ve struggled to understand why I continue to exist. As a young child it was connected to life in the family and the difficulty I felt in sometimes fitting in and feeling I belonged. In my teens it got worse as I found it hard to process some of my experiences, significantly the sexual abuse at the hands of my grandfather. I took comfort in food which of course meant putting on weight and this in turn made me feel more depressed. In adolescence it is accepted that there are going to be times when you are moody and feel hopeless so nobody paid much attention to the fact that I was unhappy and never knew there were times when I seriously considered ending my life.

As I got older I learned to hide my sadness and believing that nobody likes a misery-guts I became quite a functional depressive. I realised that I as much as I felt that I didn’t want to exist, I wasn’t going to end my life so I needed to find a way to live with my feelings.  I also knew I couldn’t continue to suppress my feelings with weed and food as it was slowly killing me. This is what brought me into therapy.

Therapy isn’t for everyone and I don’t believe it is the only or best way to deal with difficulties, but it has been of great help to me.  There are many different therapeutic approaches, I chose psychoanalysis as for me it seemed to fit with what I needed.  My therapist named what I was going through as depression and helped me understand how I had got there and what I could do to manage it.

I have worked hard at processing my experiences and this has certainly helped with the depression but I fear I will never truly be free of it.  It seems to linger in the dark recess of my mind and rears its ugly head every now and then, as if to remind me of what was.  The difference now is that when that dark cloud settles over me and I wonder why I bother with life feeling as though nothing will ever be different, I am able to remind myself it is only a feeling and it will pass.  In the depth of despair it is hard to remember this and I am grateful to my therapist for reminding me and helping me to remember that there are times when I don’t feel that way because depression can make me forget and I think that is all I know how to feel.

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