everything is futile : living with depression

“It’s Alright! It’s Okay! There is something to live for…”

…kind-of.

The days seem to creepin’ along one by one. Every day I wake up I have to shake the bizarre and sometimes terrifying dreams of the night before. It takes me about an hour to coerce myself out of bed. Luckily for me it happens so often that I would compare it to a lovely day at the beach and each time the wave goes out my thoughts clear up and every time they swell in I feel like I am drowning.
To be honest, I would much rather have this than have to deal with the random tornado of doom that seems to suck up everything worth living for into its dark abyss. You never know when it will show up and you never know how big it will be or how long it will linger. Waves come and go and you can get used to them, even learn them and learn to live with them. Sometimes you make the mistake of walking out too far on a low tide though, but for the most part you can retreat back from it. All in all everyday you spend on the beach, you heighten the risks of the hurricane that will inevitably take everything you built on a foundation of sand.

waves on the cape

It all sounds so horrible, but if you live with depression you can probably relate or at least you have your own metaphor that fits the rhythm of sadness in your life. Even when we have a way to understand it ourselves it is very difficult to coddle others in their understanding of what it is going on.
“It’s not you, it’s me” only goes so far when you walk around with a black cloud of angst all the time. Eventually this cloud will rain on those around you.
“Life is futile.” Another one that can be very hard to understand when all others just see is you putting on a smile and performing for your community. Fake it til you make it? No way! It is in this paradox that life becomes more futile the more you have to perform.

Sunset in Cape Cod

Rather than wallowing in the agony I am trying out a new way of seeing my daily depression. I am calling this “Enlightened to Reality”.
Maybe that is a bit over the top… but it is getting me through today.
What do I mean though?
On days when the tide is out I don’t just play in the sand. I try to see the perspective of gloom from a different take.

For example:

what’s the point of living if we are all going to die?
I feel privileged to know something others usually can’t come to terms with and accept that we are all going to die.

Nothing matters, I might as well die.
Nothing matters, I might as well say fuck it and do whatever I want.

The bleak ones have the advantage of seeing things for how they really are. Although, the bleak ones have not been given the resources to avoid self-destruction from such enlightenment.

west coast ocean

It would be wonderful if our conversations were less about how to not be depressed and more about how to live with depression. At some point people decided that they didn’t have to just die from HIV/AIDS that they could also LIVE with HIV/AIDS.

How do we LIVE with DEPRESSION?

Malcom Gladwell would say that after 10,000 hours you are an expert. So I can definitely account for being an expert a couple times over. However, that is being an expert at just being depressed. It has not been until the last couple years that I have tried to become an expert at living with depression, as opposed to being an expert at being depressed.

One thing that I do take bleak pride in is being able to openly talk about it. When I feel depressed I don’t feel ashamed, I am transparent with those I care about. Sometimes they don’t understand.
I own it. Rather than shying away from my depression I try to listen to it. I try to figure out what it is that I am feeling and understand it.
It may be hard but I keep an open-mind and try my best to remember that I am an evolving creature not everything I have done was right, but not all of it was bad either.
Last, I forgive. Probably the most difficult but I forgive myself for sitting on the couch and watching 12 hours of tv for 2 days straight eating American cheese and pickles. I forgive myself for not being able to get out of bed. I forgive myself for not making enough art, expressing myself freely, for not being consistent and for being afraid…
As you can imagine the list continues.

I don’t have the answers, just ideas. My first idea is to keep an open dialogue, my second is crawl back in bed and try to stay alive one more day in this meaningless futile “existence”.


Quote at the beginning is from Coven and American Movie from around 1997.
All pictures were captured by Rubina. (I tried to include descriptions for those that need them.)
Please feel free to reach out as need be, I am here.

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