Tales of depression and victory: episode 1


Today I can’t keep silent. I’m sitting in our candlelit sitting room. The lights are off, so no internet and full of time to at last set to my narrative.

I am going to write about depression. Not the state of being depressed, but the real, devastating, mind and heart-draining depression. Spiced up with anxiety and panic attacks.

It’s time for the world to acknowledge the plague of the 21st century. It’s not cancer. It’s the cancer of soul, depression. It’s time for people to take care of their mental health – even more than they do about their physical condition.

I am not talking about the state of ‘the blues’ that we once in a while experience. I want to write about the chronic sense of emptiness, constant feeling of insecurity and panic, and uncontrollable crying triggered from seemingly nothing. And, above all, the background track called ‘Despair’…

If it all rings a bell, I don’t envy you…and your loved ones. You’re now a tough burden for yourself and your family (no matter how hard they try to convince you of the opposite).

I am writing these lines during those happy moments when a ray of light comes into the dark room of your thoughts and brooding. No, I am not hopeless. I still preserved the sense of pleasure and some happy moments within a day – connected with swimming, walking and…crying out loud on the shoulder of my family members.

But I strongly believe that depression is not a life sentence. It’s just a temporary imprisonment in the fortress of your thoughts and fears and failures. They are the guards of the prison. Severe and alert. Sometimes they sleep and you manage to catch the fresh breath of air from your prison window.

The daily dose of crying is over. Every day it starts almost the same way and ends in the embrace of different family members or friends. The good old panic attack is an unpredictable bitch. It likes fooling me around, pretending it’s headache or stomachache, or even it’s gone for good through a touch of a magic wand. But I feel it’s coming from the very first step it takes. It’s the old Chinese torture – the dropping water over the head of a prisoner, with the single difference that it’s you and your thoughts that have started the torture, not an external force. Yes. You and your attitude to reality, people, situations, success and failure, love and despair, expectations and inevitable disenchantment.

Today I cried right in the street. I was stepping out of granny’s house when it started. I was with mom. No longer could I hide my pain from her. I did it for too long. I spared her feelings. But I couldn’t keep silent any longer. That’s another thing about the attacks. Suddenly you stop caring about what others will think. The only thing you want is get rid of the huge shark of pain in your throat which threatens to swallow your whole being. Crying and screaming are the only solutions. I am lucky to be able to loosen like that. There are people who say they can’t. It’s horrible.

I didn’t care about people looking at me in the street, holding my mom’s hand and crying right in the middle of walking. I just wanted (as always) to get rid of the tons of lead in my heart, mind and body at the moment. An attack doesn’t differentiate between places. It just happens. And leaves you desperate and frightened – if it’s for the first time, or in the full swing.

Sounds familiar? I want to hug you, my friend. This is what my friends always do and this is what is the best healer, the best method. Don’t tell them to stop or to be strong, or to be ashamed. It has the opposite effect. Just be there. Just hold her/his hand. Say – I am with you and I will protect you. Let her cry away all the pain. It may come again, but she will feel safer.

It’s time to confess to ourselves: depression and anxiety are the banes of the century. Too high expectations, life paces, ambitions, illusions about love, perfect Facebook couples posting their every kiss…It doesn’t have to be a major bereavement and adversity to trigger the depression. Vice versa, the small and at the first glance trifling events may conceive it. Don’t blame yourself for being weak. It happens to the strongest. Don’t blame yourself for being pessimistic and desperate – it may happen to the most optimistic of us. Don’t think it has gone for good…it’s such an obtrusive bitch, it won’t leave you so easily…Be prepared for her possible arrival on your next station.

I am a super emotional and passionate creature, and my energy is often turned into a destructive one.

But I am not going to analyze myself. My therapist does it quite well. I am feeling so relieved while writing these words. I can write – and this is my weapon against panic and anxiety. This is my answer to depression. Yes I got weaker and I cry a lot and I am damn desperate at times, but I am a winner. I lost a battle but I will win the war. Because I am stronger than you. Because I have so many precious people around me, who help me in all the possible and impossible ways. Because I know they do care. And that’s what’s the most important thing in life. That’s a treasure that I am grateful for.

Be grateful, when you’re desperate. I know it’s hard to do as you are obsessed with the things you don’t have. But – do be grateful. For the simple joys of life. For this very moment. For this very second.

I will come out a different person. More mature and patient. This is my mantra which doesn’t seem to work…

To be continued…


Life: our friend or foe?


Recently I’ve been ruminating over the rules of life. Like a little fretful princess, it likes taunting us, torturing to tears, biting and stinging and then, at the end of the game, “award” us with a shiny smile.

Suddenly, in the middle of my reflections, I thought how good the life can be at throwing us to the situations opposite to the ones we would strive to be.

Love being in silence? Here you go- a job in a crowded office with constant buzz and bubble (over the work or everyone’s husbands’ work).

A passionate person? Good for you! Go and find your way of sublimation- shouting, yelling, bitching around or- more civilized variants- beating the pillows and dancing like a crazy- since you are not going to have any affairs (or a single meaningful one) for a long time. Deal with it.

An extrovert? Sorry, but there is only this available job opportunity in a small office with no colleagues. Go and grab it, you’re broke and have nothing to chew.

A tough woman seeking a strong man? Then you’re sure to be exposed to either a bunch of mellow losers, or shrewd gigolos, or- just the “perfect” but…married ones.

Life is sometimes against us. It’s our enemy, the most hostile and bellicose rival that you could ever meet. But it’s the fight that makes us stronger. It’s the acceptance of the impossible to change that makes us resilient. And it’s the bit of irony and cynicism that helps us stay sane in the most hopeless states.

As the closest friend may one day become your fiercest enemy, the life can play both roles at the same time. As one of the ancient sages said: “I don’t know what’s good, what’s bad”. Let’s at least TRY not to judge the events, just to accept them and be optimistic about what’s awaiting as in the Life’s next twist.