June 20, 2014

A Piece of Corn

I remember being endlessly entertained by the adventures of my Lego toys. Some days they died violently, other days they traveled to space. I didn't understand why it's fun for me, it just was. But as I grew older, it became harder to access that imaginary space. I remember looking at them and feeling sort of frustrated and confused that things weren't the same. I could no longer connect to my toys in a way that allowed me to participate in the experience. Depression feels almost exactly like that. 

I had a depression once. I had always wanted to not give a damn about anything. I viewed feelings as a weakness, annoying obstacles on my quest for total power over myself. And I finally didn't have to feel them anymore. But my experiences slowly flattened and blended together until it became obvious that there's a huge difference between not giving a damn and not being able to give a damn. You might know that different things are happening to you, but they don't feel very different. Which leads to boredom. 

I tried to get out more, but most fun activities just left me confused or frustrated with my inability to enjoy them. Days oozed by, and I came to accept that maybe enjoyment was not a thing I got to feel anymore. I didn't want anyone to know, though. I was still sort of uncomfortable about how bored and detached I felt around other people, and I was still holding out hope that the whole thing would spontaneously work itself out. As long as I could manage to not alienate anyone, everything might be okay.

However, I couldn't rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and alienating people was inevitable. Everyone noticed. It's weird for people who still have feelings to be around depressed people. They try to help you so things can go back to normal, and it's frustrating for them when that doesn't happen. From their perspective, it seems like there has got to be some untapped source of happiness within you that you've simply lost track of, and if you could just see how beautiful things are...

I tried to explain that it's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it's more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can't feel anything about anything, even the things you love, even fun things, and you're bored and lonely, but since you've lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you're stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is. 

But people want to help. So they try harder to make you feel hopeful and positive about the situation. You explain it again; like maybe you wanna be depressed. And it keeps going like that until you're having this weird argument where you're trying to convince the person that you're far too hopeless for hope just so they'll give up on their optimism crusade and let you go back to feeling bored and lonely by yourself. And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something, it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. 

It'd be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they died. The problem might not even have a solution. But you aren't necessarily looking for solutions. You're maybe just looking for someone to say "sorry about how dead your fish are" or "wow, those are super dead. I still like you, though." 

I started spending more time alone. But I somehow managed to convince myself that everything was still under my control. Yet there I was, casually wishing that I could stop existing in the same way you'd want to leave an empty room. It felt like I had been dragging myself through the most miserable, endless wasteland, and, far in the distance, I had seen the promising glimmer of a slightly less miserable wasteland. And for just a moment, I thought maybe I'd be able to stop and rest. But as soon as I arrived at the border of the less miserable wasteland, I found out that I'd have to turn around and walk back the other way. 

There's no comfortable way to inform other people that you're depressed. I didn't want it to be a big deal. I was also ill-prepared for the position of comforting people. The things that seemed reassuring at the time weren't necessarily comforting for others. I had so very few feelings, and everyone else had so many, and it felt like they were having all of them in front of me at once. And every direction was bull**** for a really long time. The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don't like can be overwhelming. And the longer it takes to feel different, the more it starts to seem like everything might actually be hopeless. 

I had not been able to care for a very long time, and when I finally started being able to care about things again, I hated them. But hatred is technically a feeling, and my brain latched onto it like a child learning a new word. Thankfully, I rediscovered crying just before I got sick of hating things. I call this emotion crying and not sadness because that's all it really was. Just crying for the sake of crying. At some point during this phase, I was crying at the corner of my room for no reason. I was staring straight ahead at nothing in particular and feeling sort of weird about myself. Then, through the film of tears and nothingness, I spotted a tiny, shriveled piece of corn under the desk. And I laughed. That piece of corn was funny and I can't explain to anyone why it's funny. I don't even know why. I mean, the way the corn was sitting on the floor, under my dressing desk..it was so alone..and I didn't know how it got there.

Anyway, I wanted to end this on a hopeful, positive note, so, I'll just say this: Nobody can guarantee that it's gonna be okay, but..and I don't know if this will be comforting to anyone else..the possibility exists that there's a piece of corn on a floor somewhere that will make you just as confused about why you're laughing as you've ever been about why you're depressed. And even if everything still seems like hopeless, maybe it's just pointless or weird. I don't know. But when you're concerned that the miserable, boring wasteland in front of you might stretch all the way into forever, not knowing would feel strangely hopeful. So yeah, I've learned a lot and everything becomes alright, eventually. 


  1. Such deep & touching thoughts from a young gal like you. Happy weekend, Aemy!

  2. BIg hugs. I think many people just want to help and have no idea how. So they do what you'd do if someone who wasn't suffering from depression was sad--say things like "Cheer up" and "It'll get better." They know that probably won't work, but there's not much they can say or do to help except just listen and be there.

  3. I called it a mehh feeling..

    and yes i agree.. one day you'll wonder why you even feeling that once, or why feelings even happened. You can't really point a solid reason why certain feeling happened.


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