I heard Paul Asay, author of Beauty in the Browns, interviewed on Focus on the Family in late January before my most recent tumble back into the dark places. Here was a guy who personally understood depression. I decided to buy his book at the next paycheck.
I didn't, and I should have. I bought his book two months later when I was freaking out with my second brush with depression overly seasoned with paralyzing anxiety.
Started reading the book four days ago. Two-thirds done. He does get it, and I get him.
Our circumstances are not identical but the similarities are enough to create kinship. If you or someone you love suffer from depression, I recommend the book. I recommend buying it from Focus on the Family so that your purchase goes to a good cause instead of, well, other causes. Do as you will.
I'll be writing about the book for a bit because he's got good stuff in there.
Mr. Asay relates his experience of depression to the static we used to experience on TV when transmissions came through airwaves and metal bunny ears. For me, depression is more like waves of sand.
I'm walking along, minding my own business, and sand laps around my feet. That's no good. Should probably walk somewhere else. Oops, more sand and now it's dragging at my feet. OK, I've done this before. Keep moving. Then the big wave hits, knocking me off my feet into a hole that begins to fill with sand. I've tried scrabbling out before, but that's so hard and the sand is pinning my legs and then my arms and then it's just easier to lie there and wait for it to pull away because even if I fight, the wave will come back and I'll be right back here again, pinned down, without hope. Why fight the inevitable?
That's what depression does. It takes the fight out of you. It's hard to be around. It's hard to be the depressed person because I know I'm hard to be around at those times. Nothing is funny. I have no desire, no energy, no creativity. I don't even have the solace of sleeping through it because of my wonky circadian rhythms. I just lie there, knowing nothing matters and I will never stop feeling this way until I'm dead. And maybe not then.
Which is why I can't take suicide seriously. What if it doesn't stop the cycle? What if the Great Beyond is worse, or more of the same? Those are really bad days.
I'm good at the moment. Sunny skies, removal of the current trigger, have brought some light back into my eyes. I'm hoping an honest trip to the doctor and Mr. Asay's book will give me some more coping skills. I'll keep you posted.
Keep the faith.