So, What Have I Learned?

I was inspired to post again by this post over at hyperbole and a half. I think a lot of his experiences and emotions mirror mine closely, although I haven’t found my piece of corn yet.

I’m mostly posting because the message seems so overwhelmingly negative, and I relate so much to it, that I want to spill my brain on the page and poke through the leavings to find something positive there. The conclusion he comes to isn’t enough for me.

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I find a lot of similar feelings in this stream-of-consciousness rant from three months ago. I feel like an archaeologist looking back on it. I’ve built my foundation over that rubble, but it’s never gone away. I just sort of buried it.

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I’ve read it over a couple more times, and I have this to say:

He nails the experience of depression on the head. He admits to not being as intimate with the experience of recovery, so maybe he’s got that part wrong.

What he is, though, is getting better. His condition is improving, and even if it’s in seemingly random ways, there is a process out there by which things improve. Even if it’s and ridiculous and convoluted and almost silly, there are things which make this condition better.

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Trying to understand my own depression can be kind of like living in a horror movie. You know the part of the horror movie where the victims go from being tormented by some unfathomable monster to being tormented by a fathomable one? It’s that point when they learn that The Thing can change shape. It’s almost more terrifying than when you didn’t understand it, but it’s also unquestionably better. You can take steps now to protect yourself. You’re more scared, but you’re also more capable.

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I’m seeking understanding right now. I’m spending my time with specialists who are expert in helping people improve from the condition that I am in today. I’m moving towards the point where I can construct a plan for dealing with my issues. I’m not there yet, but I have a plan for getting to the point where I can make a plan.

I guess this is how the learning process starts.

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4 thoughts on “So, What Have I Learned?

  1. That ‘Hyperbole and a half’ post is simply epic. There have been so many times when I’ve tried to explain what it is I’m feeling (or not feeling) but couldn’t find the right words to describe it. The next time someone tries to sympathise/empathise with me when I’m going throught a bad patch, I’ll just direct them to that blog.
    I’ve not exactly found a piece of corn under the fridge, but I’ve certainly experienced the surreality of crying so much that I end up laughing. I hope you’ll find something to laugh about soon. Best wishes!

  2. Quite accurate description of a part of depression in that post. I have found the emotional numbness part of it being rather enjoyable compared to the periods of high anxiety and self loathing. I actually believe that this “I dont feel anything ” part might be the first step in the right direction (at least i hope so).
    Really enjoy your blog Ben, wish you would write more as I find myself in many of the things you present (although I have noticed that people who battle depression tend to think they can relate to negative aspects of others lives).
    You said you quit Cipralex. Why ? I started taking about 2 months ago and while the progress is slow…it is there. How was your experience with it ? Hit me up with an e-mail if u have time (and I know you do because that’s what most of us have in excess).
    Take care and keep doing simple things…one day something will snap back in place and things will be within the normal range, but in order for that to happen you need to keep pushing…not over my 3bets tho 😉

  3. Another good post, Ben. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like the bolded is perhaps the most important part. From what I understand, there are times when everything seems terrible and nothing will ever get better. Being able to remind yourself that that can and in fact will change, that what you’re feeling is just a trick of your brain – well I would keep that written as a reminder a lot of different places, like the guy from Memento, just so that I could see it and know it when things were at their darkest. So glad that you’ve been able to find help and get some perspective on your depression.

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