There have been really terrible places and times in my life where that was a statement that ran through my head. Times when it was a choice and I was aware of it as a decision.
When that statement was running in my mind, I recognized that my choice should have been an achievement, but mostly I was just aware of it as a fact. I survived. I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it.
There have been times recently when I think about suicide without actually intending it in any way. I think about how I would do it, what it would feel like. I’ve been told that is called suicide ideation.
That is a bizarre place to be. When I step back and look at what I am doing, I realize – why am I thinking about this horrifying thing? Something is really wrong in my brain. And then I remember. Depression. Depression is wrong with my brain.
Depression is the most slippery of all the enemies I will ever have. I have put a personality on my brain disfunction. To recognize the disfunction as something OTHER than me. Because that is what is so hard for me. My brain seems to think and do all kinds of messed up things. My brain – Me
But it’s not me.
It’s the bastard – Depression.
When I can step back and see that it’s this Other thing, I can watch the way my brain acts that feels foreign to who I am, then I can get a grip on the fact that it’s not me. Its not who I am. Depression is something outside of me, making my brain act weird.
The hard part is that the brain is the part of my body that holds Me. So when it acts weird, it feels like I’m weird. But then I’m letting the Depression define me. When I don’t move, it’s easy to decide I’m lazy. But that isn’t a characteristic of who I am. It’s a characteristic of the Depression. When I’m in charge – I move.
My point is – Depression is not who I am. It will swirl around in my head, sweeping my thoughts in weird directions, so that I spend time planning a suicide I really have no current intention or interest in carrying out. That is just one of the obvious things. There are so very many weird things it makes me think and do. But those things are not me. They do not define me. They define Depression.
And it just takes a small step back to watch it, to recognize it as an outsider in my brain – a fucking bastard whom I can imagine shutting into a closet. I wish that imagining that would make it go away, but it’s not that simple. What is helpful though is remembering to step back. To realize – it’s not me. It’s Depression.