reflection: the D word

December 26, 2011

recently a friend of mine posted something to the effect of how LGBT POC’s needed to speak up about the realities of depression in our lives. i’ve been thinking about it for the last few weeks, as i have been battling my own “demons.” the season doesn’t help either; short and cold days mixed in with holidays that are suppose to be “the most wonderful time of the year” only throw me deeper into this state of “wtf?”

i’m a positive person. and for many in my circle of family and friends, i’m considered “the life of the party.” when i have shared with people that i suffer from depression their first reaction is “really?” which has often left me to keep silent about it because i don’t want to be seen as anything but that “happy self.” god forbid i should say that sometimes it gets bad enough that i have to take medication to “level me out.” and when you add that piece to the mix you are then seen as unstable to many and if it’s on your life “record” and you decide to apply to certain jobs, your ass is shit outta’ luck ’cause well… “you just might GO crazy.” it is after all, the thinnest line.

culturally, it’s a taboo. as Dominicans and Puerto Ricans immediately will categorize you as “crazy.” they don’t necessarily believe in going to talk to someone about your problems either. and don’t you dare mention medication. i mean, that just puts you on the sidelines for good. my behavior changes when i’m feeling this way. i find myself sleeping more and disconnecting myself from loved one because i don’t want them to see me like this. because i don’t want to “change the image” they have of me

i’m a happy person. it’s just that sometimes i’m not.

i would be the first to encourage a loved one to seek help, to trust that things will get better, to believe that whatever it is they are going through is “momentarily.” and when i am going through it myself, i keep repeating those same words. intellectually, i understand that “this too shall pass.”

but it’s in the moment that this shit is toughest.

it’s in the moment where your thoughts take over. in the night time when the silence is loudest, all you can feel and hear and see is a fucking desire to just disappear. because you believe that in the absence of you, the rest of the shit that weighs you down will somehow disappear as well. that maybe, you become free of the shit that you carry if you’re no longer around.

and you look for places to find encouragement. reading quotes. quoting scripture. talking to a friend. finding ways to find ways out of your own self is a conscious fight we must make.

i can’t tell you what the root of my depression is. i can tell you the many places in my life where i feel unaccomplished. alone. sad. hopeless. helpless. i don’t know if this shit is nature or nurture. i just know it is. i have dealt with it throughout my lifetime. and yes, there have been days when i didn’t want to deal with it and i thought about other options. it is difficult to wake up to our respective realities some times.

yes, i know that there are people who have it worst. but i compare myself to no one. i am carrying my own weight.

i agree with my friend that we must speak out more about this. it helps to know that we are not alone. it helps to talk it out with others in similar situations.

i know that this will pass.

but for the moment… it sits with me. breathes with me. sleeps with me. and weighs on me. and i walk with it.

7 Responses to “reflection: the D word”

  1. Maria Agramonte-Gomez Says:

    You are amazing…may this pass soon….we are here…you and Bailey are welcome…(if she likes cats)…I admire your ability to express what you are feeling with such beauty and strength!

  2. Spectra Says:

    Hermana, this is the most precious gift you have given us, given me. Thank you for sharing your own shade of happiness and sadness with us. Comfort that I am not alone even just for a brief moment is something I cherish very deeply, for as you so eloquently put, the cold season can make those moments few and far between.

  3. Tracy Says:

    “yes, i know that there are people who have it worst. but i compare myself to no one. i am carrying my own weight.”

    Of course you are…and we all carry our weight and it actually makes me feel worse to think of others having it worse- because I feel guilty that I ought to be more grateful- but it’s hard to do when you’re down?…Being in a societal/cultural minority that is discriminated against & hated on a daily basis sure doesn’t help anything?

    As far as talking about it- I have no issue with that, actually- & I really don’t care what anyone thinks of it. I’m a big proponent of counselling. I’ve recommended my counsellor to friends & work mates in the past. I’d go every day if I could afford it. I go back for a visit or two when I feel I need an unbiased & level evaluation of what’s going on at that time in my life. I think we magnify our troubles & get overwhelmed- it helps to have someone else look at things…I’ve learned that much.

  4. Adriana Says:

    “because i don’t want to “change the image” they have of me”
    Gracias por compartir parte de tu verdad. Te entiendo perfectamente asi como te pregunte un dia que porque estabas triste y en realidad no hay una respuesta concreta. Son tantas las cosas que nos afectan y es dificil cuando eres la “alegria y positivismo” donde quiera que vas. Permitete sentir lo que sea que sientes y siempre ten presente que tienes personas que te quieren y estamos aqui cuando te sientas que no hay razon para sonreir. La depresion es algo muy verdadero y no estas sola. Gracias por darnos a tantas personas tus palabras y tu amistad.

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