Thursday, February 23, 2006

Is there anybody out there?

Once upon a time I lived with depression. It feels like being stuck in mud. The more you fight the more it seems to suck you down.

I fell in love with Pink Floyd's lyrics - more specifically, Roger Waters' lyrics and more specifically, those of the epic album, The Wall.

Now I'm back there. Trying to help a friend. Feeling the mud around my ankles. Knowing the words of the songs without even playing the CD.

Hey You - Pink Floyd, lyrics by Roger Waters, 1979

Hey you, out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old
Can you feel me?
Hey you, standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles
Can you feel me?
Hey you, don’t help them to bury the light
Don’t give in without a fight.

Hey you, out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone
Would you touch me?
Hey you, with you ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out
Would you touch me?
Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?
Open your heart, I’m coming home.

But it was only fantasy.
The wall was too high,
As you can see.
No matter how he tried,
He could not break free.
And the worms ate into his brain.

Hey you, standing in the road
Always doing what you’re told,
Can you help me?
Hey you, out there beyond the wall,
Breaking bottles in the hall,
Can you help me?
Hey you, don’t tell me there’s no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall.

And now I really know the meaning of the final song on the album.

Outside the Wall - Pink Floyd, lyrics by Roger Waters, 1979

All alone, or in twos,
The ones who really know you,
Walk up and down outside the wall.
Some hand in hand,
Some gather together in bands,
The bleeding hearts and artists,
Make their stand.
And when they’ve given you their all,
Some stagger and fall.
After all it’s not easy,
Banging your heart against some mad bugger’s wall.

While depression survives on "I deserve to feel sad - so I will," it very slowly begins to crack when somewhere deep inside you make a choice: "I'm going to do something difficult - I'm going to do something I don't feel like doing - if I was happy I would do it."

Those choices are so fundamental, so seemingly small. They start with, "I choose to live."

They then seem to become so much more mundane, "I choose to get up today. I choose to give one thing my best today. I choose to see something positive."

One day at a time. Saying, "I'm going to beat this" is too much. But saying, "I'm going to do one thing more today" helps.

Self awareness is absolutely key. Recognising self-destructive behaviour. Choosing to beat it. Easy to say. Difficult to do.

I only knew I'd done it when I threw away "The Internet guide to suicide." And that only happened after months of pain.

The most difficult thing about depression is that no one can tell you anything that helps. It is an absolutely personal disease. Only the sufferer can choose to respond.


kyknoord said...

Is there anybody out there? As the old Zen joke goes: "Who wants to know?"

Buffy said...

Someone once said that women who are in abusive relationship choose to be there. They chose to get knocked around. I was pretty shocked because the man was a victim advocate and the words just didn't seem to jive with all I knew about him. Then he elaborated.... the women have to understand it's their choice to stay where they're at....before they can realise they can choose to be somewhere else. They have to realise they are in control. And they have to take control.

When you really think about makes sense and can apply to everything that we (women AND men) let 'beat' us.

When we realise we're in control...and truly understand this...that's the first step in fixing it. Whatever 'it' is.

Anduin said...

I suffered from moderate depression for a year, trying my hardest to control the feelings I was having because I knew they weren't normal. I would have small successes but ultimately failure would arrive soon after and I would feel worse than before. I finally sought medical help and went on medication and I've got to say that for me that was the best thing ever to happen. It's been 2-1/2 years since then and I'm now off the medication and doing much better.

I like what you said about doing something positive, one day at a time. I'm glad to hear that you no longer want to die. I think that is the saddest thing in the world when someone feels so bad about themselves that they consider ending their life. I wish they knew how much they mean to the people around them and how tragic their death would be to everyone.

I found you through Kyknoord's blog.

Elize said...

Baby steps.. That is all I can tell you..