I’ve been encouraged to show up and blog about the dark places. Knowing that it is useful to do so is really important to me. Depression takes away all sense of worth and purpose. It suggests there is no point getting up and trying. Nothing can be improved. Nothing can be fixed. It brings suffers, me most certainly included, to places of feeling that everything we do will be bound to fail. Of course I know, logically and because of the CBT work I’ve done, that once you let that take over, and stop doing anything, you have nothing to fend the depression off with. You’re just that worthless, useless person who does nothing and it is not a long walk from there to feeling like the world would be better off if you were not in it.
A sense of worth and purpose, a reason to show up. It can be a life-saving thing. And so I show up and blog in the hopes that I can say something useful, something that will help another person not quit today. Tell me that you need me and I have a reason to be here. Let me tell you that I need you to make that visible, that it helps, it makes a big difference.
I turn to the smallest things. A button sewn back on a garment. The washing done. I make jam. Small things I can point at, as evidence that I am not a total failure as a person. My jam came out ok. I have some merit.
I know, from book reading, that this has its feet in esteem issues. The person with good self-esteem knows that they are intrinsically worthwhile, loveable, valuable, acceptable. Depression and low self-esteem often go together, it can be a bit chicken-and-egg as to which causes what. I should not, I have been told by the books, base too much of my self-esteem on external achievement, or I will fail to cope when, inevitably, I fail at something. I should not base my sense of self-worth on how much money I earn, because that is to turn myself into a commodity. I should not depend on the opinions of other people for a sense of value. I find that very interesting. It’s like reading about Ancient Rome, or Mars: Things I can imagine maybe were, or are, but that are otherwise totally unavailable to me.
I have two things I want to share today. Beautiful, inspiring, reasons to keep writing from Neil Gaiman – http://www.theguardian.com/books/neilgaiman
And this song, which is an anthem to me. A reminder that others have walked these paths before me and survived them well enough to come back and sing something so raw and real that it often makes me cry just listening to it. I do sing this one myself, but I’ve got to be in a very good place to pull it off. Hearing it is a reminder that sometimes I feel together enough that I can sing this for other people. Sit down next to me…