One of the most annoying things about suffering from depression is hiding your depression so you won’t feel guilty about depressing friends with your depression. This means you spend all your time denying you’re depressed, entertaining those around you like Rigoletto on helium, producing proof of your own productivity, promising you’ll keep yourself amused, entertained, busy, happy, healthy, and positive, and lying through your gritted teeth.
And nobody’s fooled.
You know you’re depressed… or at least a hell of a lot more catatonic than you used to be. They know you’re depressed too. They remember the old days when you slept less than eighteen hours a day… the times when you didn’t plan ahead to your next bath… even those giddy moments when a walk to the driveway didn’t constitute a constitutional.
Because you don’t want to depress people with your depression, you wish they’d look in another direction. Fat chance. All of a sudden, you become the most fascinating person in their social circle… the one dear friend on whom they need to pour all their love and affection. Where the hell were these people when you were feeling fine, and left to your own devices for months at a time? Did they care, then, whether or not you’d brushed your hair in a week? Did they ask?
Now, they chase you around as if your friendship paid a commission. They cling to you like pimply teens agonizing through their first romance. Why didn’t they profess their love when you were in the mood to hear it? Now, you’d like to be left alone! You don’t want to hear how much you mean to them, or how wonderful you are. Hell, no one would be telling you you’re wonderful if you weren’t really messed up. Devotion is for the demoralized. If you were well, everyone would be telling you you’re a schmuck.
With all the gooey good will of halfwit high school cheerleaders, they remind you that today’s set backs are temporary. “Snap out of it, Sweetie! Better times are just ahead!”
Well, that may or may not be, but it’s certainly not what you want to hear, damn it! You may not want to snap out of it. You may wish to wallow in your depression, soak in it, roll about in it like a pig in a shit-saturated mud puddle!
After all, there IS something really rewarding about a good, deep depression. It’s one of the few excuses we have for sleeping as many hours as a cat… for eating ice cream at breakfast…for refusing to wear adequately supportive undergarments… for watching so many game shows that you start recognizing the contestants on reruns… for letting chores go undone long enough that someone else thinks about doing them. It’s the best time ever to listen to deliciously lugubrious music, to read terrible, soul-crushing poetry, to immerse yourself in generations of photo albums, reliving days that are gone.
It’s the one time in life no one asks you to explain why you live with so many cats.
Feeling crappy is, in fact, so wonderful that one shouldn’t really be forced to rush out of it. If it were only lucrative.