Day 59 – The Siren Song of Depression

I’m doing so much better than I was a few months ago. I am still stumbling along my path to greater health, but most days I can feel the progress. Other days, however, I almost feel that a part of me is resisting getting better, as though Depression is trying to pull me back in: “Come back, I know you. I am the true you. We belong together. Come back, and feel the drama of extreme emotions. I’m danger. I make your heart beat faster. Come back and understand again what it is to feel you are floating alone in the world, unable to connect with anyone. You feel unique, different from all the rest.”

For some reason, today’s a bit of a hard day, and Depression has been singing her song at me much of the day. But I know she’s a liar, especially about the dramatic emotions. I remember that Depression is actually boring and feels like a waste of time. The danger is real, but not at all exciting.

At the same time I have to admit that sometimes I feel pulled to that darkness again. Is it just because I know it so well? Is it because I am afraid to be healthy, because I don’t know what it means? I don’t know what I am attracted to.

On the positive side, I could see today that some of the skills I have built up by resolutely believing in my wounded inner child these past 59 days have carried over into skills that help protect me. For example, Depression has some one-liners she likes to whisper in my ear over and over. One of her favorites is: “You are the kind of person who doesn’t deserve to live.” Today she started, “You are the kind of person…” and I just stopped her. “No. No, I don’t need to hear the end of that sentence. I don’t need to hear that. I wouldn’t say it to the little girl, and you don’t get to say it to her or to me. Just shut up.”

Surprised, she did go quiet. But she lingered around this evening. I wonder what she has in mind for me.

11 thoughts on “Day 59 – The Siren Song of Depression

  1. That was one of the most original and insightful depictions of depression I have ever encountered. Empowering as well, I should think, as giving her a face helps to define her as a force that can be fought, resisted, and hopefully defeated (though I hope I am not talking absolute rot – I’ve had my scrapes with her, but I fear you know her better than me, though I’ll dare to hope your closer acquaintance will make her final defeat all the more crushing).

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    • You are not talking rot at all. But I think I will probably never completely defeat her; she’s just deeply ingrained in my mind. What I hope to do is keep her role small, while building up Hope and Joy to be much stronger powers.

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  2. I also feel a familiar pull to the darkness. Sometimes I just let it take me. To be honest, I usually do. But I’m trying to at least remain neutral. I can’t quite fight back yet but I try to just neither move toward or away from it. Really good post. The work you’ve doing is inspiring.

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  3. I often hear the whispers of guilt and depression. Remarkably they sound much like my mother. Often starting in a happy & loving tone to catch me off guard. And in a wink of an eye I’m a no good ****. I’m a lying thief and everyone around me is no good. And my head is throbbing and I feel sick to my stomach and I can’t move or get things done. And go away guilt and depression, we don’t believe you anymore!!!

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  4. Sometimes it is easier for me to give in to depression because it is indeed familiar. All the changes I try to make and the ways I try to get healthier are sometimes an awful lot of work. And if there are a few setbacks in a row, that whisper comes back, and it feels easier to give up. I think I know what you mean. It’s not that I WANT to be depressed instead of healthy, and it’s not that I’m unwilling to do the WORK to become healthy, but sometimes it’s hard to sustain the belief that the work will actually succeed. And if I don’t think it’s going to make any difference, then why bother? Most days, I can push through it as I develop new habits. But not always. Good for you for interrupting Depression as she tried to push you down.

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  5. Your post and work here reminds me of the work my therapist had me do with the Punitive Parent messages – telling that voice “stop! I see you for what you really are, and I’m not going there anymore.” Seeing those messages as tricks to pull us into darkness and shame that doesn’t belong to us.

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  6. Pingback: Day 62 of Believing the Girl – Rearrange the House | la quemada

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