(HOLY SHIT I GET IT!!!)
I was speaking to my friend the other day about his depression and suicidal tendencies and as I was offering my advice as someone who has survived those feelings, but still occasionally struggles with them…especially when I’m out of my anti’s. He said he feels like no one cares. It reminded me of things I’d thought or said before. It reminded me of the suicide that happened a month ago. I remembered what happened after. I learned a lot. Instead of giving him some Hallmark regurgitation of false comfort I just worked out what I said. While doing so I discovered an epiphany. It was the make up of something I had wondered but I didn’t understand how people got there. It was solving for X without knowing algebra. “Okay, here is X. How did you get to it?”
So I told him “It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just not their life. When Nick’s brother-in-law shot himself it ruined everyone’s lives for about two weeks. Then slowly everyone had to get on with their lives. At the end the people that continued to have their lives ruined were the people closest to him such as family and best friends. It’s not that the others stopped being sad that he died, it’s more that they have their own lives to live.
In my own head I said “Holy shit. It’s not their life. IT’S NOT THEIR LIFE” and suddenly I had solved for X. I got deeper into the conversation. I told him that it was selfish and stupid, but I understood because I had been there myself. I told him I understood that when you have something like that you have to deal with, can’t escape from, it wears you down. Committing suicide is selfish but when you’re dealing with severe depression every God damn day feels SELFLESS. Both things are true.
(You are your own worst enemy when you have depression and you just can’t do anything about it even though you try.)
While helping him I started thinking of my own insecurities that stem from my depression. “It’s not their life” opened the door and I suddenly understood. I mean, I had always known in a way, people say it, but to actually understand how it works FOR YOU (which is the important part.) was something I never understood. When I told my Mom about it I got a “so you finally figured it out” and it embarrassed me and I felt like I needed to justify my late-in-coming epiphany… but instead I just said “Knowing and doing are two different things.” She didn’t mean to make me feel bad about it. If anything she was probably happy for me.
As I said “It’s not their life” unlocked the secrets for me. I’m writing this post in hopes that someday it will help someone. Even if it doesn’t the tidbit of advice is still floating around on the Internet.
I’ve always liked myself. I feel that I’m a good person. I try to be helpful. I know what I can do and what I can’t do. It’s other people disliking what I’ve worked so hard on that destroyed me. It’s like working super hard on a paper and giving your all only for the teacher to give you an F and even recommends for you find a different school. I’ve worked hard on me.
The cliches of “Not everyone is going to like you” and “No one will love you until you love yourself” wouldn’t work on me even if that stayed in my mind. The cliches are cliches. Without practical application of that advice nothing is healed. If anything it’s infuriating. “I KNOW. I FEEL THIS WAY ANYWAY”
It’s the clash of emotions vs logic. Just because your brain knows something is bad doesn’t mean you can change how you feel about it. I tried and I couldn’t do it. Not really.
(I’m surrounded but I feel alone)
So, because people seemed to dislike me (and I never knew why because I never did anything to them) I began to wonder if the personality I had so painstakingly cultivated throughout my life was actually not something I should be proud of….but what was wrong? What did I do wrong? Do I come off as mean and snotty? I don’t think that way. Do they think I think I’m better than them? I don’t. For a long, long time I used to think that what a person thought of you was a reflection of who you actually were. I thought you could never see you the way others see you. I was right, but I was looking at it from the wrong direction.
Yes, people will never see you as you see you. Want to know why? It’s because no matter how well someone knows you they don’t know you as well as you do. They’re not in your heads. Even if they knew all the crap you’ve been through it doesn’t mean they know what it was like for you. Every person handles things differently and as such depression is a complicated thing for people to handle because every case is convoluted and intense. Depression is intense. If you don’t suffer from that, remember that. It’s more severe than you can imagine. It’s not “just being emo.”
(I’ve thought every single one of these at one time.)
I said before I was looking at people’s incapability of understanding you 100% from the “wrong direction.” Instead of thinking “then everyone will always hate me and there is no point” I should have been thinking “Well, they have no idea and they judge anyway. That’s pretty stupid. Fuck them.”
Simple, right? It’s not. It’s something I’ve been trying to condition myself to remember whenever people are overly critical towards me. This post may not be helpful to you because everyone’s individuality keeps people from discovering truths like these the same way. If this doesn’t help you, take heart! It will happen as long as you stick it out. For some it just takes longer than others. It took me longer. i was stubborn and insisted there must be something wrong with me. I didn’t WANT there to be something wrong with me, I just couldn’t find anything else that made sense.
Don’t let critical people make you feel less than what you are. Critical people are only critical because they are unsatisfied with their own lives, even if it doesn’t look like it. I promise you that is 100% true. It’s easier to point out the faults in others than it is to work on your own. The more they push you down the more they can see while standing on your back. Don’t let them!
So I took a stock of who I am as a person and I came up with this:
* I am a good person. I am generous and loving. I like most people. I’ll help people even if they’re dicks to me. It’s happened.
* I am not like everyone else. That is okay. In fact, that’s probably better.
* I am not the prettiest or the smartest or the more talented BUT I have a decent helping of all three. I need to be happy with what I have and improve what can be improved.
* I work very hard on myself.
* I have depression and there is nothing I can do about that besides do what is available and keep going.
* I have epilepsy and it’s not going away. It doesn’t make me weak or fragile. It makes me function differently and that’s not a bad thing.
* Education is one of the things in life I value most.
*I have a deep craving for family.
Well, that’s it for now. I don’t know if this has been a “Duh, you twit” post but it was significant for me and in the end that is all that matters.
(Give yourself a hug! No, seriously, do it.)