There’s The Door

That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key. ~ Elizabeth Wurtzel

Dear Depression,
So, you’re back, you old bastard. My lifelong bullying, abusive companion; I had thought that I had successfully put you at arm’s length, put you where I could keep an eye on you without letting you get to me too much. But now here you are, back in my head again, twisting around my thoughts, undermining my relationships, eroding my self-worth. Don’t be surprised when I fail to break out the ‘Welcome Home’ champagne.

All my life, for as long as I can remember, you’ve haunted me. You saw the door created by genetic predisposition, opened by circumstance, and you came in and made yourself at home. I WAS A CHILD. No child deserves to feel that way, not ever. You took away the happy childhood that I should have had, and replaced so much of it with anger and hurt and fear. I will never forgive you for that.

You cast a dark pall over my youth, and made my young adulthood a terrifying struggle to become healthy. There are entire years of my life that I don’t remember, thanks to you. My time as a young bride, living in an exciting new city, should have been spent going out with my handsome husband, having adventures, traveling. Instead, I spent that time going to doctors, adjusting medication, and sobbing brokenly on my Loving Husband’s shoulder, too anxious and raw to leave the apartment. And I’ll never forgive you for that, either.

But then I beat you. I kicked you out. I shut the door. I knew that you were waiting on the door mat, I heard you knocking and calling to me. But for years — YEARS — I managed without you. I lived my life, I had adventures, I made wonderful friends; all things that you had denied me for so long.

And now, somehow, you’ve found a way back inside. How? I don’t know yet. I heard you knocking after my baby was born, but still the locks on that door held fast. Did I leave a window cracked? Maybe the locks finally gave way? I don’t know. But here you are, stealing my life again.

It’s different this time, though. Because now I have my son. I may lack the will to fight you for my own sake, but for his? I WILL NOT LET YOU TAKE THIS CHILD’S MOTHER FROM HIM. I will not let him grow up with a mother who is distant, unloving, so wrapped up in her own pain that she can’t care for him properly. I will fight you with every scrap of strength that I possess, with every tool and resource at my disposal, for his sake.

And if you think to completely defeat me, to kill me, as you came so close to doing all those years ago? Well. You couldn’t kill me then, and you certainly won’t kill me now that I’ve got something so very important to live for.

My son will have his mother. And you’ll be out on the street again. You’ll find that I’m much stronger now than I was when I was three, and thirteen, and twenty-one. You might just want to leave now, before the butt-kicking begins.

You know where the door is.

Kathy

(To my beloved readers: I’m going through some tough times at the moment. In an effort to keep this blog active, I’m going to have to cut down significantly on reading other blogs. I’m just finding it too overwhelming to try reading all the wonderful content that you put out there every day, and comment on it, and also create my own content. Therefore, to ease the pressure, I’m going to focus on my own writing and on my Facebook page. I’ll try to drop in from time to time, to remind you of how very much I love you, but it will be much less frequent than it had been. Thanks for sticking by me. You guys are the very best. ~ Kathy xoxo)

All photos courtesy of stock.xchng at www.sxc.hu

48 responses to “There’s The Door

  1. Fish Out of Water

    Oh Kath, I know the darkness well. If you ever need to vent feel free to message me.

  2. It’s such a wonderful thing to know that you are prepared for something like this. Kudos and Blessings.

    • Thank you, Brother Jon! Last time this happened, I wasn’t prepared. This time? It’s like I’m in a compound with an arsenal and stacks of canned goods, waiting for the zombie apocalypse. I’m no easy prey this time!

  3. Sweetheart, I just got done with an episode of that myself. hang in there.

    • Thanks, Meredith! It’s so, so hard. But I made it through last time this happened, and I wasn’t nearly as well prepared then. Plus, relatively speaking, this isn’t as bad as it could be. I’m glad I’m not the only one who goes through this from time to time.

  4. Depression is shit. Sorry it’s trying to ride you. Strength,
    Portia x

  5. I know how hard this is and what a struggle it can be every day. But you’re right – you have an AMAZING reason to fight and your son is lucky to have a mother who will fight this bully so that he doesn’t have to suffer for it.
    We’re all here for you.

    • Thank you so much! That bully has made me suffer for years, and I have no intention of allowing it to hurt my son. I’ll do anything I can to prevent that. Thank you so much for your support!

  6. After reading this I felt like standing up and cheering you on, after taking depression out back for a solid beating of course. I hope you are able to swiftly kick ass, but it’s also okay to kick ass slowly and in stages.

    • Last time it took years. Hopefully this time it won’t take so long, now that I’m more experienced with the fight and more self-aware. Plus, this time I have Sausage, and I can’t think of any better motivation to get better. He deserves so much more than I can give him when I’m depressed, so I just have to get un-depressed.

  7. Just when I thought I couldn’t love you more, you write this. I’ve been through The Darkness too. It runs in my family. I cannot give you enough standing ovations for declaring war on it and for refusing to let it touch your son. I wish my mom had done the same.

    • It runs in my family too, on both sides. One of the many wonderful things about living when we do is that, even though there’s still stigma around mental health issues, it’s so much less than it used to be. I can talk about it, I can yell about it, and I’m comfortable enough with the fact that it’s not a character weakness that I can go get help for it. I refuse to feel shame for being sick, and if anything good comes out of this, I hope that my son will grow up seeing that mental illness can be fought and beaten.

  8. Kathy, I’ve been there, dear friend. Please do what you need to do to get well, take care of you and don’t worry about a thing. We’ll still read you. xxoo

    • Thank you, Brigitte. I’ll try to drop in when I can, but I was getting so overwhelmed with the thought of reading EVERYTHING that I was neither reading nor writing. I was watching Doctor Who instead. Which is also a valid lifestyle choice 😉

  9. Depression is a liar, but sometimes its so hard not to listen. Sometimes I still believe some of the lies. It’s good that you recognize it for what it is. That’s the only way you can stand up to it. Remember that you’re not in this fight alone.

    • I believe a lot of the lies. But I’m starting to be able to recognize them as lies, even if I don’t know the truth. So it’s a start. Thank you so much for your kind words, Cynthia!

  10. Runs in mine too. This was really empowering. This time of year is hard for me in general, and I want to thank you for writing this. This is seriously exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you.

    • I’m glad that it helped! It certainly helped me to write it. It was cathartic. Drained a lot of the anger, at least for today. I actually found myself singing 59th Street Bridge Song to Sausage at the park today, so it must have helped! All is grooooovyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

  11. Good for you Kathy, go kick his arse. I know these battles and sadly those genes are visiting my children as well. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We will be here when you get back. Much love and wishes for the demise and ass kicking of depression. xoxox

  12. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    I love that you are striving to keep the depression at bay for the sake of your son. Good health to you!

    • To be fair, it’s for my own sake as well, and for my husband’s sake. But those never kept it at bay before. My son is different. The thought of him growing up with a mother who is completely without joy is one of the worst things that I can imagine. I won’t let this ruin his life the way it has ruined so much of mine.

  13. Love you. Just sayin’.

  14. clicking like for support…
    You are a great Mom. and this post was awesome

    • I’m having trouble seeing myself as a great mom right now, but I’m not seeing myself clearly. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement!

      • well your words paint a picture of a Mom that recognizes her battle and is fighting on to win. I know because I was raised by a troubled woman who did and still does not fight. I have a lot of respect, hope and admiration for you Kathy.

      • Thank you. I hope that Sausage can at least grow up knowing that I fought this tooth and nail, and that I knew the face of my demon.

      • Don’t you worry.. your Sausage Man will — trust me he will

  15. Been there. Self-awareness is such a powerful tool in pushing through it…sounds like you’ve got that. Your boy is lucky 🙂

    • Thank you! I think that if anything helps me to get through this faster and more easily than last time, it’s the increased self-awareness. As for the boy … he doesn’t consider himself lucky just now. Daddy’s home and is trying to feed him oatmeal, and he’d really rather just have puffs. His life is ROUGH.

  16. In the throes of it, to write this lovely piece, amazing. Dr. Who is absolutely a valid life choice. Mine tends toward Desperate Housewives, or even Sons of Anarchy, although I’m waiting for new shows on both.

    Treat yourself kindly, be gentle… and karate kick depression’s butt!

    :>

  17. Depression is a subtle sneaky beast – waiting lurking looking for an opening to pull us down into that nasty black pit. Your kicked depressions butt before – you know how the battle is won. Go Kathy – sending Merlin Spielen energy for ya from my side of the blogging sphere!

  18. I’m sorry to hear that you’re suffering. I hope you win your battle with this beast again.

  19. Oh Kathy this really made me emotional. I have you in my prayers. Take care… I’ll be here to read your latest posts.

  20. Motherf*(king depression, leave my people alone! Well that is a complete shit sandwich. I’m sorry it’s back. No one should have to live with depression breathing down their neck. I’m sending you strength.

    • Thank you! I’m doing okay, really. It’s not nearly as bad as it’s been known to be with me. Still, I need all the strength I can get!

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