Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Little Rant About Life, Death and Depression

Midnight Sun by Sarah McTernen
Robin Williams died…killed himself supposedly. This is sad.  It is sad because someone died.  It is sad because he left behind family.  It is to some extent none of my business because I didn't know the man, or his family.  I just watch a couple dozen movies and TV shows he acted in.  This is more than the death of an actor though.  The world wants all of the sad, depressed people out there to know that they can talk to someone; to the he or she who is writing the post or article.  The news wants to tell us that there is hope, and to talk to someone.  The pseudo-compassionate talk about freedom and illness.  The righteous talk about choice and sin.  The notion that all of these people who I can only assume have never dealt with clinical depression do not understand, is people who suffer from depression think differently about the world.  We are told our entire lives that we make our lives more difficult, to smile and be happy, to make the best of a situation and not always worry about what is to come.  We try.  We turn off our minds and “live in the moment”.  In that trying we are drained.  We accept this is life.  We find our ways to cope, some methods healthier than others.  We try to talk, but the world does not speak the same language.  It is not the, “I’m depressed and going to kill myself” kind of talk, it is just talk.  Trying to find someone who understands what you are saying without caveats and explanations.  Talk therapy doesn’t work, because we know what you want to hear.  Talk therapy doesn’t work because you don’t have the answers.  Only I have the answers.  Only I can change, or cope, or deal. 
People who get to the point of suicide no longer care.  The ability to make decisions has been compromised by a cloud of uncontrolled emotions, external input and misguided internal chemical signals.  I don’t condone suicide.  I agree that it is selfish. I also understand how people get there.  Depression is not a disease and it cannot be cured.  It is with you always. When it is at its worst you don’t realize how bad it is, how off you are thinking, until you are on the other side looking back.  We tell people they can talk it out, but you can’t.  You just have to learn to live with it.  It will never go away.  It is like going to the doctor and getting a shot.  He tells you it is not going to hurt so you don’t brace yourself, but it hurts like hell.  It hurts worse because he told you it wasn’t going to hurt.  Depression is worse these days because we tell people it will get better.  We tell people life doesn’t have to be hard. We tell them to be happy without knowing what that means.  And it hurts so very much more when we realize that it is all a lie.
A celebrity kills himself and the world is concerned.  A northwest mom does the same just last week and I don’t hear a peep.
When I was in first grade and our family was going through the tumult of divorce, a lady who worked at the daycare I went to told me “life sucks, and then you die.”  These are words that bring me an odd sense of comfort. They were some of the most honest words spoken to me, especially when I was young. 
Be honest with people, with your emotions, with your words and with you deeds.  And remember…sometimes life sucks, but sometimes it doesn’t.
Now off to go buy a copy of Richard Matheson’s What Dreams May Come because I think that is apt.


  1. well said. and I agree so much with what you said about being honest about well everything. I also realize that somewhere we lost the understanding of what our emotions are. there are a lot of people out there who have no emotional intelligence, and thus cannot be honest with them and have a hard time when having to deal with others who do.

    1. And different brains translate emotion in different ways. Our society only likes pretty emotions, even sorrow needs to be dramatic and a spectacle. Everything else is shoved under the rug. Watching television, every emotion is turned up to 11. Subtle emotions are just as powerful and sometimes more so because they creep up on you and linger. The over abundance of media and false socialization through technology has also helped feed this emotional stunting.