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Some good points

April 9, 2010

So lately I’ve been taking the lazy route and just narrating pieces of my life as a crazy person, which is relevant to the blog, but wasn’t the original reason it was started. I started it to counter beliefs about mental health topics which are just wrong. Because ideas have consequences.

Rebecca, from I Get Up Again, blogs about ‘living despite depression‘. Her post Not enlightened, just sick opens up with a the line “You can get away with madness if you’re also brilliant. It seems to be true. She makes a lot of valid points during her post. This type of writing, talking about ideas and their consequences, is more of what I want to get back to. She talks about how ‘any reverence for depression or melancholy’ bothers her, and how she aims to de-romanticize depression. Please click here, or on the link above and read the post before you continue. Did you yet? Good.

People who write about depression are good in spite of it, not because of it. An artist can find inspiration anywhere. Some do tend to find inspiration in their despair more often because it has more motion than numbness, which might be their only recent alternative. I also want to caution those that just because someone seeks depression out does not always mean it is melodrama, although often it does. At my sickest, I would seek out the depression as an alternative to the numbness. I went there because I was already there. It was like walking left or right in cold, musty dungeon. If I were upstairs there would be no way I’d willingly descend into it. The shadows and mold felt safer than recovery, for a while. But after a time I realized I couldn’t bear the pain, and I set out on the road to recovery. It has been and is a lot of work. But now that I’m so close to the fresh air, I can tell it’s been worth it.

For a while I mistook numbness for depression lifting. An unsettling stillness settled over me and I quit writing poetry. I was terrified that without my despair I’d not be able to write poetry anymore. More than that, I was afraid in not being a poet I would lose a large chunk of my identity. Depression stole everything from me, it was the only thing I had left of myself. Figuring out who I was, outside of the depression was the first and very important step to distancing myself from it. It was also a very difficult one.

Rebecca writes The fog of depression leaves me incapable of interpreting anything properly, of coming up with anything other than clichés. The words I’m left with are hollow, flat; my story lines go limp. Depression doesn’t awaken my imagination, it chokes it. I don’t suffer for my art, I simply suffer. The art comes afterwards. I agree with this completely, and have found it rings true in my life.

She closes with a great paragraph. One of the sentences I think sums it up is: To live your life in darkness may yield you some excellent dirges, but how are you to really see the world with your eyes shut to everything else?

Thank you Rebecca for sharing with the world how you see things, and thanks for allowing me to bring it to my small corner of the world. Also, thanks to my little ferret Kate for finding the blog for me.

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