Attempts at Inspiration, On a Serious Note

The Depression Factor

I took a small break from writing this blog for a little while. Honestly, I did know what to write about. I wish that I was like my blog idol The Bloggess, who has the ability to write about anything and everything and make it interesting, but I don’t. I thought about making my own list of 100 greatest books or films of all time. It always frustrates me when I see these lists and most of the time I’ve only read one of the books or seen 5 of the films, and I never agree! Anyway, I didn’t have the willpower to think of 100 different films and books, and I also had this fear that perhaps I haven’t read 100 books yet and that would make me hate myself even more than I already do. So I decided to write about that. The fact that I hate myself.

Well, I guess that ‘hate’ is a slightly strong word. I dislike myself. Or maybe I just dislike life in general. In my very first blog post I mentioned briefly that I am bipolar, but that I wasn’t something that I wanted to talk about just yet. You see, since I was very young, mental health has always been a topic associated with me. I struggle with intense depression at times and it can make things quite hard for myself and the people around me. Which is also why there aren’t so many people around me. They get tired of my darkness. Honestly, I also get tired of my darkness. I normally try to keep a light feeling to my blog, but sometimes you just need to tackle stuff right on.

The other day I was watching the commentary of The Hours, which is my favorite film of all time, mainly because of its very realistic portrayal of depression. Also, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore all in one film? Genius! Anyway, as I was listening to Michael Cunningham (novelist) and Stephen Daldry (director) talking, one of them said something like “As you grow older you accumulate grief.” They were talking about how the younger characters in the film are carefree and light, but the older characters are heavy and depressed. It was like someone threw a bucket of cold water in my face. I realized that each time I watched the film, I did so because I could identify so clearly with the characters, specifically Virginia Woolf, portrayed by Nicole Kidman. What I never thought about was the fact that in this film, the legendary Mrs. Woolf is seen in her late 40’s/50’s. I wondered what it meant that I identify with someone so much older than myself. I’ve never really gotten along with people my own age. I often find them boring. This all makes it very difficult for me to find friends and to connect with people.

There have been so many times when I’ve tried to explain my depression to other people, but they hardly ever get it. The only people who ever seem to somehow understand are people who also struggle with depression. To refer back to The Hours, there is a very powerful scene at the train station when Virginia’s husband tries to tell her that she isn’t thinking clearly and she replies by saying:

“If I were thinking clearly, Leonard, I would tell you that I wrestle alone in the dark, in the deep dark, and that only I can know. Only I can understand my condition. You live with the threat, you tell me you live with the threat of my extinction. Leonard, I live with it too.”

The reason why I like this quote so much is because it’s so true. No one will ever truly know. No one will ever really understand what it’s like for you, because they’re not you.

When I think of these things, I constantly need to remind myself that I’m only 22. I’m still a little baby really. All I know is that I want to feel that rush of happiness, life, and youth that so many of my peers feel, but that I just can’t seem to quite reach. To quote the play ‘Laughing Wild’ by Christopher Durang, this is my hope for myself and for every other person who struggles with depression:

“I hope that the pounding in my head stops… And I hope that I have more good days than bad days. That I learn to say this glass is half full, it is not half empty. And to hell with my half full glass – I want a full, full glass, I want it overflowing. And I want to feel joy like I did that one summer day for ten minutes right before I decided life was horrible and I went crazy. I want to recapture the feeling of liking to be alive.”

This much is true. Despite the fact that I can be such an unpleasant person, I want to be happy. I want to overcome my past and I want to wrestle with my bipolar until I can crush it into the ground. I know that it’s not something that’s going to go away, but I hope that I’ll find a way to live a happy life and that I won’t become one of those bitter people who end up dying from sorrow. I’m more than that. So are you. I’m not writing this blog under the impression that I’m going to reach millions of people. Last week only six people viewed my blog. This was an all time low since I started. But maybe, just maybe, one of those six people actually liked and agreed with what I had to say. That’s enough for me.

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