Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Shep Smith is an idiot. 

He can't help it. Most network and cable news shows hire talking-heads who are idiots. Wolf Blitzer is an idiot too, in case you're conservative and think this is liberal bias.

I mean, I watched the clip. I think he meant well.

That makes him a well-meaning idiot.

Depression is not selfish, depression is not feeling sorry for yourself. Trust me, I know a lot about feeling sorry for yourself, too.

Depression turns every good thing around on you. Have a family-they'd be better off without you. Have a good job-you don't do it good enough. Have money-who cares. There's nothing that can fix depression: no amount of exercise, good wishes, meditation, food, chocolate, booze, cocaine, hugs, runner's highs, orgasms, awards, money, shopping sprees, cigarettes, i-love-you's, 90 day pins, joints, meth, junk, uppers, downers, binges, ice cream, happy times with family, big fat paychecks, Christmas, Fourth of July and your birthday all rolled into one can make you feel like you're not a total unwanted big fat loser who doesn't even deserve to exist.

When you have cancer, everyone supports you in your brave struggle. When you have depression, they tell you to snap out of it, things aren't that bad, why are you crying?

 But depression is a cancer. It's soul-cancer. And I don't mean that metaphorically. Depression gets inside every nook and cranny of your spirit and convinces you of things that are so ugly and so wrong and you can't do anything but curl up and wish it would JUST. GO. AWAY.

Here are things that I absolutely believe are true:

  • I was born unwanted
  • I am tainted
  • I affect others with my badness
  • I will never be free of this
These are things that I believe despite a decade (give or take a year) of therapy: psycho, cognitive, behavioral and group. Despite the twelve steps. Despite spiritual awakenings and hypnosis. Despite Elavil, Paxil, Zoloft and Cymbalta. Despite having two beautiful children and knowing also that something that amazing doesn't come from junk. Despite having a loving husband who's been there for me through some of the worst depression I've ever had in the past 15 years. 

My most fervent prayer, when I have a completely happy moment, is: Please, God, let me remember this feeling when I'm depressed. When you're depressed, what everyone else thinks of as "normal life" is just coming up for air before you sink beneath the waves again. 

I have lived with depression longer than anything else I've ever done, short of breathing. I've had clinical depression since I was 12 up until this very moment. There is every good chance that I will die at my own hand. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the third leading cause of "disease burden" in the world.  In the world. 

I can't tell you how to overcome it. I just go through the day, one day at a time, one step at a time, trying to figure it out. I actively search out hope and hopeful things. I try not to read the news too much or spend too much time on social media. I take my Cymbalta every damn day. (Thank you God for Cymbalta, I mean it.) I try to open myself up to goodness and kindness wherever I can find it. I try to be grateful. But it's never far from my mind that at 64 or 46 or 81 or any other age I may just finally do it. I live with that, my family lives with that. Maybe someday it will be different, but I live with a chronic illness called depression every day.