We took Jack to his swimming lessons on Saturday and then after he had a nap, we took him to the dog park. Last year he wasn't big enough to climb up on this rock but this year he is. The photo makes it look like we're in the middle of nowhere when in fact we're a short walk from the parking lot. There is a hill behind him and what looks like trees in the far distance are actually just the tops of the trees, not that far away. Perspective.
I read yesterday about despair which made me think about depression. I feel much better now but when I'm depressed my perspective suffers severely. When I am depressed, my brain tells me it is forever, that there is no hope, that every day will be this awful. And then my brain starts dragging all kinds of awful things towards me, building a nest of sorts made up of death, hurt, pain, tears, rejection, anger, sadness and every hurtful thing I've ever said and every hurtful thing that has been said to me. Anger is a hallmark of my depression because my brain likes to think it protects me and in a way it does because when I am depressed, I am vulnerable. My dad was the same. Anger is big, anger protects, anger keeps others away so they can't hurt me.
And when my depression lifts, I have perspective again. Nothing is forever. Today is lovely. People try to do their best, even when their best falls short, they have tried. We all make mistakes and that's okay. We all need more love. Being vulnerable is okay. Letting people in allows more love, both the getting of love and the giving of love. There is good in the world and there is hope. Good people exist and there is kindness all around us, if we only take the time to notice it.
My brain is a strange place to live but it's the only home I've ever known.
Our brains tell us how to feel but we can't always trust those messages. I would say that I'm in between the two places. I'm rarely angry, yet I do feel hopeless about the state of the world and people at times. I let some in but also try to protect myself from the toxic ones, even family. That photo is stunning with the blue sky and field.ReplyDelete
I read a bumper sticker years ago when severely depressed. It said, "Don't believe everything you think." It's good advice but often difficult to do.Delete
You know, we are always climbing that rock, fall down from it and get up again, over and over.ReplyDelete
I often fall down but so far, I have managed to get up each time. I'm thankful.Delete
I'm glad your depression has lifted a little. I can only begin to imagine how awful it must feel when it hits. BUT you have that gorgeous little boy in your life and he looks an absolute treasure!ReplyDelete
My depression has lifted as much as it ever does. The sun is shining again and I don't feel overwhelmed by everything. It's nice.Delete
I have been having the same thoughts recently about how depression takes away our faith in better times. It's absolutely true. And no amount of logical self-talk can make it better. Only time can.ReplyDelete
We just have to hang on during the dark days.Delete
Beautifully written and so insightful. You have made me realise why someone close to me gets angry for no apparent reason.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I helped.Delete
Your brain has a higher intelligence that understands what is happening even in those moments you feel powerless to interrupt the emotions. This is so clearly explained. Jack looks very happy on that rock.ReplyDelete
Jack was very happy on that rock. He's wearing sunglasses because he hates the sun in his eyes. Turn off the light he says.ReplyDelete
I understand my depression but it can still kick my ass.
My depression manifests itself in a lot of the same ways that yours does. I think my biggest mistake is overhelping. I'm trying too hard to be useful, to fix things. At the root of it is the simple need to know that I matter.ReplyDelete
I think you and I are very similar.Delete
I always think of the words I read somewhere: "Anxiety is a liar." And I hope to remember them when depressive thoughts come on, as they occasionally do. And like sparklingmerlot above, I have someone in my life who covers up their vulnerability, fear and hurt with anger. I've lost my tolerance for it, however, because it displays as verbal abuse. I fear I'll never be able to cope with that any better. -KateReplyDelete
I know Gracie struggles with depression, anxiety and whatever else is going on inside her head but I have no patience for it because she hurts my grandson. I can't cope with that.Delete
The place where you live is so beautiful. Along with loving your photos of your family members, I love seeing through your eyes the beauty of the world that is all around you.ReplyDelete
Thank you for addressing anger as a hallmark of depression. I realized that it was anger that would plunge me into depression until I got back in touch with the fact that I was actually angry, with good reason. I learned as a child that my own anger was futile. When I look at photos of myself as a child and young person, I can see that my default was depression. My mother and youngest sister were the only ones who felt free to express anger, but their anger was also futile. My sister's anger towards our mother resulted in beatings. My mother's anger toward our father was an exercise in futility. My anger had to go somewhere, and it went to anger at myself which resulted in hopelessness and despair which was at its worst during my marriage to a man much like my father. I raged at him but my rage was as futile as my mother's rage toward my father. Leaving the marriage was not the end of my depression, but the depression was no longer constant.
It's occurring to me as I write that, although I still have episodes of depression, I am not chronically depressed anymore. Thank you for writing about your depression and your understanding that it comes and goes. That is my experience, too. Sending love and gratitude.
Thank you for sharing this. I'm much less angry that I used to be and much happier most of the time. I wish depression would just stop visiting me but it is better than it used to be. The strange thing is, if you met me in real life you would not think I have depression. I laugh a lot. My house is clean, the laundry done, a meal on the table but there are days when faking it takes every ounce of energy that I have. Those are the bad days.Delete
You are right to remind us that there is a lot of goodness around us, a lot of kindness. We are at fault if we imagine that nastiness is in charge. It isn't.ReplyDelete
P.S. I love that picture of Jack on the rock in his cool shades!Delete
Too true and so easily forgotten.Delete
The visual tricks that perspective plays....so that's a hill and treetops in the background. That explains why the sky looks so unreal, as if Photoshopped in; the lower part looks like sky cut off by a nearby hilltop (which it is), and not like the faded blue and distant pale, small clouds of the sky where it meets the horizon, unoccluded by proximal hills.ReplyDelete
Makes visual sense, now that I'm un-disoriented.
(My comment does not address the gist of your post-- but just as some people get caught up by anger, others get swept up by landscape.)
Don't believe everything you think or everything you see:)Delete
My Brain is a strange place to live too... it's often quite the freefall down a Rabbit Hole.ReplyDelete