Teach Me About Depression
If they were under the impression that I was on the precipice of losing my sanity they were right. I walked a fine line for a beat until I finally slid off the edge.
The fall out of grace or “slide towards insanity” is not as forgiving as some might think. There are no rungs to grab hold of, even though our instincts tell us to fight and hold on. The ride isn’t one that can be shared; any foreign attempt at appeasement is prohibited, and trying to hit the breaks only causes you to lurch forward into the darkness. But the entire ride isn’t dreary and black, at times you get glimpses of other souls, sometimes even your old one, but you can’t help but notice that these ‘people’ are drivers - they chose their destination, their path, and their speed - while you’re at the mercy of a wild sadist that seems to be heading towards the pits of hell.
You try to reason with it, the beast at the helm, but the more you talk the more it laughs. As it gets harder to hear your own thoughts, drivers within reach turn their heads and stare, the sounds you know are coming from the beast seem to be coming from you. They cover their ears as they wonder what caused your transformation from a ‘normal’ member of society to an abnormal individual suffering from severe psychosis.
You come to the realization that all type of reasoning and explanation is futile, it’s apparent to everyone around you that you’ve lost control. Even the people you once considered your passengers have now left you, driving themselves to safety at top speed.
As you slow towards the bottom you realize that finally, you’re alone. The ride has stopped, the beast has hidden itself away to the corners of your mind, but yet, none of your old friends emerge from the shadows. The transformation is complete. Too feeble to fight it you cocoon yourself in darkness, thinking you’re safer amongst the evil you’ve come to know than to venture into the light once again. The ride you stumbled upon came with no return ticket, your only form of hope, and you realize the road back is long and arduous, one you must embark on alone. But the voices on the outside are screaming for you to find your way back; it’s not a quest they’ve completed, but they swear they know the way. They have a map! And they’ll lend it to you, but at first glance you realize the sign and symbols are foreign. It’s a feat you’ll have to conquer alone, and you’re not sure you’re strong enough to survive it.
To better understand what a friend or loved one is going through while fighting depression please spend some time exploring Depression Quest, a text based ‘game’ that will give you a better understanding of what they experience on a daily basis and how their perspective on life vastly differs from yours.
“We’ve been friends since we were 13.”
“What’s the most fun you’ve ever had together?”
“Oh, we don’t know…”
“Well, what’s the hardest you’ve ever laughed together?”
“Now you listen here! I want you to write down these questions you’re asking us, pull them out when you’re 85 years old, and see if you can answer them yourself!”
“We just got back from the prom.”
“Did you have dates?”
Maureen Johnson, The Last Little Blue Envelope
Neat moment at the Webbys last night. Fresh off the $1.1 billion sale of his company, David Karp was there with his mother, Barbara. Though I’d never met her before, Barbara came over to my seat and gave me the world’s biggest hug. She kept saying: “I am so, so proud of you.”
I said to David: “Your mom just made me feel like the most special guy in the world.”
He said: “That’s how she’s made me feel my whole life.”