Just what we need for a cold, damp Thursday, right? RIGHT?
Nature or nuture? Bit of both, maybe? Neither? Is it all chemical? Just a shitty result of circumstance? Depends? All of the above?
I’ve had the somewhat lack lustre, mouldering badge of depression slapped on my forehead for about fourteen years, so I’ve had it over half my life. I’m OK with this, well, OK-ish, and I’ve come to realise that it will never truly “go” and I most certainly will never be “fixed”. To my loved ones, I’m sure they’re used to it, and are more than aware of my highs but mostly of my lows and my fantastic ability to be an EPIC pain in the arse. I’m aware of what triggers the dark spells, and all I can do is try to stay busy and keep taking my medication which numbs everything to my toes but really are far better than the alternative.
My mum I’ve noticed, likes to think I’ve some freaky “chemical imbalance”, which for some reason always conjures up images of Doc Brown from Back to the Future in my mind. Lack of serotonin and the like, I don’t buy it, I think that’s the easy route out. She tries to encourage me to eat bulgur wheat and spinach and other such pretentious foodstuffs in an attempt to counter my lack of da chemicalz, and keep me from being insane in the membrane. Hmmm. I’ll grant you some things you put into your body definitely do not help, but I don’t think superfoods are the Holy Grail, soz.
My mum has suffered with depression and it’s derivatives from a young age also, waaaaay way before I was born, and I’ve seen her at her absolute worst. I’ve watched her occasional gin and tonic in the evenings escalate into a mahoosive drinking problem, drinking close enough to a bottle of gin a day until her eyes turned yellow and it rotted her teeth. I’ve fought knives and even carving forks from her desperate fingers. Hidden every form of medicine and chemical away from her. Had glass bottles thrown at me in her fits of uncontrollable rage. At the age of fourteen I was asked by her, pleaded with, when desperately trying to negotiate her to put the fucking pair of scissors down, for me to kill myself with her.
I hate that depression is part of me, I hate it is likely to never disappear in a puff of dramatic smoke and everything will return to its original Technicolor and I will be permitted to see and feel and smell and love again properly. I hate worrying about my beautiful, beautiful boy, and if he is predisposed to depression too. I hate second guessing everything I do, in case it has a huge knock-on effect and teaches him the wrong ways to cope with difficult things and situations in his little mind and they never go. I hate when I’m having a bad day, when it’s all too much and I’m too exhausted to fight back the tears anymore, and telling his tiny worried face, “It’s OK, Mummy’s just a bit sad,” and making him cry too because he can’t understand, both of us clinging to one another in a mess of hot tears.
But I hope, I desperately, desperately hope that I know when I’ve crossed the line, or even when I’m flirting too close to it. That even though my mum didn’t teach me much in the emotion department as I kid, that she did teach me exactly what that line looked like and that I should never, ever cross it. And I hope more than anything, that Bean never has to feel that way, that that will never be a part of his make up, and that I won’t have to badger him to eat goji berries and drink disgusting herbal teas when he’s twenty-five too.