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Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Discussion on Depression -- by Catherine

(This is an essay my daughter wrote about depression. She is doing great these days! I'm very happy for her!)

She was so beautiful to me, this gorgeous mysterious woman I couldn’t bring myself to ever let go. 
Her face was familiar, stunning features that drew you in and comforted you, her arms wrapping around you were so cold, but not in the way that made you uncomfortable. She was the sort of woman that yo...u would let hold you forever, no matter how icy her embrace was, because for some reason it was the safest place you could find. It numbed you until you couldn’t feel anymore and when she squeezed you it was like she was squeezing your heart. You could cry into her shoulder and she would do what she did best. Make you feel safe and hold you. But she was dangerous under that disguise.
You wouldn’t know it, you wouldn’t even notice until you were completely dependent on her comfort, until you knew you couldn’t leave her.
She was the kind of woman who would reach down into your throat and take your heart out of your chest, and you wouldn’t even notice until you realized you could no longer see. Your vision would blur and your chest would heave and sometimes you could even want to scream, but you never could because she’d cover your mouth. Though her touch was cold, your face would burn and everything would hurt. You’d feel like you were dying but you’d know you weren’t. You’d want to though.
She was the kind of woman that would never speak to you, only offer her arms because sometimes you just needed someone to listen to your pains. Sometimes there wasn’t even anything wrong but her eyes would bring sadness to your heart that made you want her. That would make you need her. Her silence could make you succumb to her. But once you were settled with her, she would speak. Only in whispers though. Her voice would be so beautiful, so sweet, sweet enough that you wouldn’t even realize her words were poison that’d embed themselves deep into your skin and body. Her words, her kisses, her light caresses… They were her weapons. They’d manipulate you to clinging closer because they were so well disguised that you were convinced her sweet nothings were good for you. But when someone tells you you’re worthless, no matter how embellished, it is always a poison.
“All you need is me. I’ve always been here for you.”
“If you’re so ashamed to have me, why not leave everyone else so we can be happy.”
“The only one who wants you is me.”
“No one needs you, but I do.”
“You’re so hurt, but your pain can disappear if you do.”
“It’s so sweet you want the best for everyone, they’d be happier if you vanished though, so why don’t you?”
“I can bring you happiness, just listen to me. Erase yourself. That’s all you need. I’m all you need.”
Her words, they were abuse. But people already stuck with this woman, dependent on this woman, were so convinced that she was right that we would never realize that her words were deadly, that they were lies. 
Some of us even give in. Her whispers becoming shouts over the months until we feared her so badly we’d listen. The old man who’d hung himself after his wife passed was sure this woman would bring him happiness. Words of how she could lead him to his love if he just listened had poisoned his mind. The man whose brain and bone decorated the walls was told he could escape. He was jobless and penniless, on the verge of losing everything, his wife, his child, his home, everything he lived for; what he failed to realize was that this woman caused the world to lose him. The 15-year-old girl who’d overdosed was told she was fat, a whore, a bitch, an attention seeker; she had only wanted silence. So that’s what she was given. A painful silence that stole her from the few she could no longer hear. Her parents and her siblings, her friends, all of them cursed to meet this woman now that she was gone. 
The rest of us suffer in her arms, being pushed to the point of wanting to give in as well. But when we become aware of her intentions, we can fight her, yet somehow at the same time we’d cling harder. We’d abstain from her presence for days at a time but one little word could be the rope that pulled us back into her hold and she’d grip us so tightly that we couldn’t even bring ourselves to pull away. Because even if we knew how lethal she was, we knew her, and we craved her, and each time we’d give into her words a little more and cry into that soft shoulder. We’d cling until we realized again what was happening. Then we’d hurt even more and feel weaker than we did before we tried to brawl.
She was the kind of woman that the more you fought her, the stronger she’d get. If you threw a punch, she would punch back harder. But in the end she would always tend to your wounds and you wouldn’t run away because despite how much she’d hurt you, you still felt safe.
The relationship you’d had with her was abusive, and you rarely came to your senses enough to see it. But some of us, very few of us, are able to break away and shut her out. We break up and end the toxic relationship we’d formed with her.
Some of us are able to remove the ear plugs she’d so sneakily placed in our ears and once again listen to the love of those who truly matter and will keep us safe. Those whose embrace was warm and whose words were the comfort food to the heart we’d needed, instead of the alcohol she’d made us down so a disorienting haze would fog our minds. Some of us break free and instead of being surrounded by that woman, we are surrounded by a brightness and clarity the love of our friends and families bring us. The only proof we’d have of her ever being a part of us would be the bruise on our hearts that came from her embrace, because she had always held us too tight, we were just too numb to feel it.