Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Depression and love

He has done it again.
He is a member of our extended family, but part of the militantly religious wing, so we do not see each other regularly.
It was last week but I still cannot get him out of my thoughts nor think about much else really. I cannot stop imagining what it is like inside his head, to have driven him to such a desperate act, his God no defence, sure that hell awaits him for commiting the ultimate sin. When we were first told, he was not expected to live, the day was spent in shock, trying to accept the unacceptable. Then, a reprieve. He was off the machines and breathing but with memory loss.
He is my age.
Depression is the most insidious of enemies, creeping up and binding its victim in lethargy and hopelessness, staining everyone left behind with guilt and feelings of inadequacy. It's fingers pluck at my clothes, it nags at me, exploiting my empathy, "This could be you, this should be you, you know how it feels, don't fight the inevitable, at least he believed in something, what do you have? nothing!"
I walk in the forest and cry, guiltily, because I know that I cry for me as much as for him.
And then I remember what I do believe in.
Love.
Human love.
Although sometimes I have as much trouble expressing my faith as the doubting priest grappling with the divine.
I will be practical.
There will be something that I can do.

14 comments:

Mrs. Chili said...

It is perhaps more important to believe in love than anything else - up to and including a "God."

Zhoen said...

No one can change anyone else. Nor can we stop anyone from self destruction. Be at peace.

jacqui said...

Depression is such an insidious thing.I have suffered from low grade depression most of my life I believe but it has only been in the last 5 yrs that it gained a real grip on me. Fortunately I realised what was happening and when to the doctor. My husband didn't like me taking the pills but even he admits the last year I have become so much happier than I have been for years.

My son went through a period of intense depression when we moved over here and he still has the scars on his arms to remind him of that traumatic period in his life.He is over it now but it will always be in the back of his mind and ours, how close we were to losing him and how easy depression can take over.

Now my eldest daughter is going though a period, which I can only think is a severe depressive episode, and I worry about her so much more because she is not admitting any thing is wrong. Life is so good that she feels the need hides things from us, only contacting us when she needs us to rescue her and has for the moment, severed all contact with us.

When our Son was ill, we could do something about it despite pulling our hair out in despair but for our daughter we can do nothing but be there for her when she needs us. However, its a bit like an addict, we are, in sense, enablers and maybe this time we should let her fall in hope she sees what is happening.

Depression is selfish illness and I hate it!

I hope your family member is doing ok now and getting the help he needs. Don't forget yourself, by venting your are actually doing the right thing.

Jean said...

Love is very practical, I think. And being able to talk about it, yes. Eggs are quite practical too. xxx

Mike said...

Love may just be a slightly more tangible form of God.

I have battled depression a time or two in my life and I always describe it as stepping outside of my own body because I become a stranger to me. It's hard to go through and it is hard to watch someone go through it.

There are no answers.

marja-leena said...

Love and more love, including self-love. Take care.

Mrs. G. said...

Love, yes. I'm sorry for your sadness.

meggie said...

As a sufferer, I know of that dark irrational despair.
Love is real. Love cannot always save, however much we might wish it could.

Ms Mac said...

How hard it must be for you right now. I'm thinking of you.

Rosie said...

thanks everyone for your contributions. The sun is back out today...

hexe said...

I know I am a bit late here, but wanted you to know that I admire your strength and courage.

rr said...

Oh dear oh dear. Courage. And never feel guilty about crying for yourself.

Dick said...

Jean's dead right. And admirably down to earth too. Go with your faith (mine too) - for truth and for comfort.

Lucy said...

Oh dear, I missed this. I haven't much to add, but practical pragmatic love is the best we can do, I think.

Much of mine to you.