WE MADE IT TO THE FINALS! The final 4 comics in the TGT tournament are in a battle royal style. Who will emerge the victor? Only time, and your votes, will decide! Thank you so much for your support this far! If you’d like to vote, click here!
I’m going to get a bit heavy today, as I’m in a depression lull, so if you’re not in the mood for some serious talk, skip out on today’s notes. I’m not fishing for any type of response. I just think it’s important to talk about, since so often we avoid frank discussions about depression as though it is somehow a shameful thing.
I attended the parent/teacher night last Thursday so I could meet the teacher I’ll be working with. It was a very welcoming community, the teacher seemed excited to have me there, and there was a huge sense of teamwork and mutual support.
The unfortunate side-effect was that it’s cranked the volume of my negative voices up to 20K and they show no sign of settling anytime soon. I’m not even sure exactly what part of the event set them off. The only thing I can conclude is that they’ve recognized that they will be hard-pressed to thrive in such a positive environment. So they’re doing their best to claw their way through my sense of self-worth in order to prove their relevance. It’s very frustrating to know that everything those voices say is false, but emotionally it all SOUNDS true. I think that’s one thing that baffles a lot of people that don’t struggle with depression. Often people will use logic as a cure-all, and then not understand how the person can say “I KNOW that, logically, everything you’ve said is true. It doesn’t MATTER.” In fact, usually I’m quite aware of how illogical the inner voices are. And it’s incredibly frustrating to mentally know that one thing is true, but be unable to believe it. It’s hard to know that, if somebody took the same actions for the same reasons I did, I would say “you’re a good person,” but to myself I say “You’re a bad person.”
I often wonder how depression looks from the outside in. Our society we treat mental illness as something that can just be willed away. We can’t will away damage in the body – nobody expects somebody with a broken leg to run a marathon after a weekend of rest. Yet somehow we treat mental afflictions as though they can just be ignored, and an inability to do that is “laziness.” (Believe me, if it was just a matter of having a good work ethic, I would be the healthiest person on the dang planet.) The conundrum is that will IS part of the process. To find the courage to keep searching through one’s own past, face down the behaviors and fears that box us in, find compassion for the worst of ourselves, and let go of the things that once kept us safe in an unsafe world. But in many ways, the will to survive is a requirement of all healing. All endurance. Yet we value it in a cancer patient, and degrade it in someone that has any mental ailment. We say to someone who has a cold “go see a doctor!” but if somebody seeks treatment from a therapist for any type of mental disorder, the world says, “What are you, weak? What’s wrong with you?”
Seeking therapy has been one of the most important decisions of my life. I originally decided to seek help because I was so tired of experiencing life as if I wasn’t living it. I felt as though I went through the world looking through clouded glass. I felt only dim echoes of emotion. I was never truly sad, but I was never happy either. I’d watch an advertisement about glasses and discover myself crying, but with no emotional association to the tears. Finding someone that was non-judgmental, trained to objectively listen, and appropriate to talk to was the first step in a huge amount of personal growth. I encourage anyone that struggles with depression or other mental ailments to seek help. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you courageous enough to take your own personal growth into your own hands.