Grateful for my depression.

Yes. I know it sounds weird. I’m grateful for my depression. I’m grateful for where I am. Even though that means I’m grateful for being suicidal. Here me out…

It’s only just occurred to me that this is perhaps the first time in my life that I’m able to feel properly. The first time where I have enough space, enough safety (however limited) for the emotions which were stolen from me and forced to stay silently locked in a box, to be felt. The first time where I can feel. The first time I can, therefore, be human.

That’s quite a staggering realisation. I guess it’s not good that I feel suicidal. But the fact that the feeling of being suicidal is mine. That, is bittersweet but incredible for me. It’s not programmed. I’ve not been ordered to feel suicidal this time; this time, I just genuinely feel suicidal as a result of depression, due to a lot of trauma. The feeling of being depressed, of dreaming of death, of feeling a release when I cut myself or skip a meal….the feeling is mine. I own it. It’s me.

I can cry, without needing to have gone through hideous trauma right at that point in time, or indeed having had to remember something horrific. Now, I just cry. I don’t need a reason and I no longer look for one. I hold the tears in if I’m in a place where I need to be able to function, but other than that…the tears flow. Mostly on my own, but they flow. I don’t care if there’s a reason. I need to cry. I’m hurt.

A year ago, even, and the idea of crying for no absolute concrete reason would have left me terrified, and beating myself up for days afterwards. Now? I couldn’t care less. The depression has left it so that I am far more tearful, far more prone to random outbursts of tears that belong nowhere (possibly emotion-memory anyway), and I don’t fight it. I thought this meant I was giving in to the depression. In fact, it means I have the space now to be human. This morning it all hit me, when I thought, I have absolutely nothing to cry about…it all hit me that I do. I really do. This isn’t me now feeling sorry for myself, but accepting somehow that I have a lot to cry about.

I survived. How? I have no clue. A lot of luck and good fortune, and life being on my side for whatever reason. A few moments of quick-thinking. The ability to dissociate. The laughter with the children. But, mostly, luck. There are a lot of tears due to the simple fact that I survived – relief…grief…guilt…confusion…sadness… had I wanted to survive? Was I grateful I had? Was I scared now of the future? How was it I survived but the others didn’t?

And then what was done to me. Just to me, not even thinking of the other children for the moment. What was done to me. The fact that so many adults took it as their ambition to torture me, rape me, terrify me, push me to suicide so that the evidence was destroyed (they’ve not quite succeeded yet). Adults who looked at a small toddler and saw only a toy to play with, an object to abuse. I cannot, nor would I want to, imagine what went through their heads the first time they decided to rape me with a lighter, for example. It sickens me deeply that my screams and cries for “mummy” were just fuelling their kick. That a child in so much pain could bring them so much pleasure. Repeatedly they would violate and tear to pieces any bond or relationship I had created. Give me a kitten, and 4 weeks later kill the kitten in front of me. Make me pregnant, just so they could force an abortion or take my precious baby away from me the moment she/he was born…leave my hormones screaming, my maternal instinct going crazy, and the physical pain that came from having part of my soul ripped from me. Sometimes the pain would last for months…a pain going from my neck to my abdomen. Raw. Consuming. Never-ending. Grief, of the worst kind. They enjoyed that. They enjoyed hearing me screaming for my baby, for just the chance to hold my baby….and then they enjoyed seeing what bitter mess losing my baby left me in. Unable to function, unable to see anything except pain, unable to feel anything except pain.

Often, I would just lose *all* of my memories after losing a baby, just in order to cope. No memories, no pain. But a hell of a lot more danger. I would suddenly trust and love my family again.

All of this, done deliberately just to try and break me. Their whole purpose was one huge systematic attempt to break me, just for the sheer hell of it. No other reason, than their own kick. To leave me in such a mess that the idea of reaching for help seemed almost impossible, not least because I felt undeserved of help.

And then what they did to the children, and women around me. I remember sitting at the top of the stairs in that place, pressing my hands tightly over my ears, squeezing my eyes shut, trying desperately to shut out the screams of women in labour – their role just to breed. How they got trapped in that mess I still don’t fully understand. I had to deliver babies from the age of 6. (Fast biology lesson right there). I remember the heartbreak contorting their face…the heartbreak I would soon be able to empathise with.

And the children. The children, tortured like me. Abused and gradually broken down. Their screams….their weak bodies… the constant heartache. Constant grief.

The grief was constant. The only way I survived that much pain was by dissociating it. In order to survive, I needed my feelings to be as numbed as possible.

They are no longer numbed. That constant grief which had the potential of destroying me in that place, is present. It leaves my legs buckling if it takes me without warning. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I hear someone screaming…then I realise it’s me. It’s me, on my knees, screaming. No words. Nothing coherent. Not even a scream for help. Just releasing some of the bottled grief which hurts me endlessly.

This morning, that happened. I found myself in the corner of the living room, rocking violently, wailing, my hands in my hair in tight fists, sobbing to the point of hyper-ventilating. Who’s that wailing? They need help… was my first thought, until I realised the wails were my own. I put my hands over my mouth to try and stifle it, but the pain was too great. Not so dissimilar to a woman in labour, the cries of pain were involuntary but needed. They offered a release. With each scream, some emotion left my body. I can handle grief but not when it’s taken my body captive too.

I’m grieving for my babies. I’m grieving for the children. I’m grieving for the women. I’m grieving for myself. I’m grieving for so much. It’s a huge weight.

Eventually, my sobs became silent and I fell onto my side, curled right up, my hands over my face and slowly I calmed down until I was still, and just crying silently. Afterwards, I felt like I’d ran a marathon, and ate something. Then I switched on my emails, and carried on as normal…as though nothing had happened. I almost completely dismissed the fact that I had just gone through some quite major breakdown, and probably needed help.

It was an hour or so later that I allowed myself to think about it, when I was listening to one of my songs. I realised that my song-writing has somehow improved lately, even though I’ve done nothing different. I realised it was because there was emotion. No numbness.

I realised that although I hate this grief, I’m grateful for it. It allows me to write songs. It allows me to be human.

I cried again, but this time in relief. Oh my god I can feel…I can feel!! I want to die but who gives a fuck, I can feel that it’s my emotion. I can feel the grief.

Why am I relieved at this?

Because it concretely shone to me that I am no longer trapped in a ring. I am no longer living 24/7 in hell. I am no longer just trying to survive the next moment. I am past that. I’ve moved forwards. Suddenly I could see progress. Suddenly I could see where I was. I wasn’t in a ring. I can’t have been, because otherwise I’d still have dissociated emotions. They weren’t dissociated anymore. That means…. I’m me. I’m free. I survived. I made it. I can cry.

So cry I will.

Never have I been so grateful to be going through something so *shit*.

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2 thoughts on “Grateful for my depression.

  1. I’m speechless. Truly speechless. The therapist in me couldn’t stop reading but the human in me just wanted to hold you as you rocked, to let you scream, sob, punch, wail, any and every emotion just to pour out of you and be that safe place for you to share the emotions. My God. You did survive. You’re still here… you have a story to tell. Don’t rob the world of you’re story of survival… you will save so many lives. Thank you for writing. You’ve hit my heart and I’m grieved, wishing I wasn’t on medication that causes me to not be able to cry, wishing I could shed a tear for you… you’re not alone friend. I will join you in the darkness..

  2. As ever, I am so grateful to you for describing so well how I feel. Today, I feel afraid. I couldn’t feel fear when I was being tortured. I couldn’t afford to show that kind of weakness.

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