"What's going on; why are you depressed?"
It's not that there's no answer. It's just that it's... a long one. And not terribly clear to myself, so I certainly can't articulate it. I know my triggers, I know my weaknesses. I know what proximity to which persons created the right soup for the wrong mojo. So. If I don't give a neat, two-sentence answer, please don't hold it against me.
What pains me is that, naturally, I have no obvious reason to be depressed. My life is fucking fantastic, for real. I have an amazing husband, beautiful children, great job. My day to day, while exhausting, is plenty fulfilling for any normal North American - all my problems are firstworldproblems. I know.
And I suppose what pains then is the sense that I must somehow legitimize being sad. Like, behind the question all I hear is criticism: "What do you have to be sad about? Who do you think you are, being depressed? You can't really be depressed. I know people who've been depressed, and you don't seem like them." I know that's not really there (I mean, it's all friends who are asking, people who care enough to ask, so obviously, that's not there. My friends wouldn't require me to justify my mental health. Ostensibly.) But that doesn't mean an unhealthy mind won't hear it.
In many ways, there is no (word) reason (but a biological one.) Like, this is why we have serotonin fixers, this is why there are valid, beautiful chemical solutions. (There are other, less valid but still beautiful chemical solutions, but I will not be pursuing them lol.) I don't know why it happened this year, this summer, this way. It could have been any year, any season, any way. And that adds yet another layer of frustration - why did it have to be this year, this summer, this way?
I understand the drive to find a reason. I am a healthcare provider; every workday I face twenty or so people who want me to tell them why they hurt, and I don't always know. I often don't know. And that's hard (for all of us) because, without a Name, it feels harder to Fix. It's harder to find the solution, to strategize the escape route, to prepare the defenses, to know how to prevent it. If I can't even name it (wrap it up in a box with a pretty bow, this is The Why) then I can't kill it.
So here is one of the twisted mind holes of depression. I don't know why I'm depressed - Sheesh I can't even explain it - Oh God I have no right to be depressed what is wrong with me - This is so discouraging - I am so depressed - Sheesh I can't even explain it - etc.
But. I feel like I've done enough loops, I've circled close enough to the drain, that I can claim it. As in, I don't feel the need to prove, and I'm not interested in its legitimacy. This is mine, and imma wrestle it. I don't want to turn away from the pain; I am making myself go through it. Because I think I have missed a lesson on this before, and I just have to find it on the other side somehow.
I feel like this is why it's been so emotional, why there are so many tears, why there's so much profanity and anger and angst. Soooo much anger, sooooo much profanity. Much. Ask PB. It makes me really awful to be around (and that sets up another twisted mind hole, trust.) (I'm sorry, in advance, that I'm so awful to be around. It's a selfish process. I'm sorry to be selfish.) (See? Mind hole.) (But I am sorry.)
And this method still will not give me The Why, and I am comfortable with this. It will not tell me why it was this year, this summer, this way. And it won't necessarily help me prevent it from happening again. It will just spit me into After. And I have to have faith the lessons will make it easier for the next time, next season, next way.
I have to think the thoughts I think towards my patients at myself, "Let's move on. Let's just focus on getting better. You have all the right tools, just use them" and what I say out loud "You're doing all the right stuff. It just takes time."
Love yourselves, friends, for whatever lions you're hunting. My deepest gratitude if you're gonna come hunting with me. Can't go over it, can't go under it, absolutely cannot go around it. Have to go through it.