Healing is a process. It takes time and energy. It’s slow moving and no person heals in the same way. One thing about healing that I’m learning myself is that it’s okay to take two steps forward and one step back. It’s okay to hit speed bumps along the way.
I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In layman’s terms that means I see things differently than most people. I see things in black and white. It also means I have a phobia of not only failure, but of success. This makes life hard to handle sometimes, because once I start making some progress and start excelling in something, I often get too terrified to continue, so I give up. Knowing this helps me learn to cope better now. I am able to identify my fears so I can push through them, instead of letting them win.
That’s what makes my battle with depression so hard though. I have this epic fear of getting better. Can you believe that? How messed up can I be to think my depression is better than, well, being better. Apparently I’m not alone in this feeling, however. Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation puts it this way.
“I was so scared to give up depression, fearing that somehow the worst part of me was actually all of me. ”
Also having talked to a couple others in the hospital, apparently they are afraid too. But what are we so afraid of? I think Wurtzel does good in saying she’s afraid the worst part of her was actually all of her. Let me try to explain it. (I’m only going to explain it in my situation because that’s all I know) Basically I take on this word “Depressed” and it becomes a part of my identity. I am depressed. It’s an “I” statement. It’s an identity. I also know a symptom of BPD is having a loss of identity. So, when I see am identity I cling to it and I am fearful to let go because I feel like if I let go, I would lose my identity as well. Whew, I hope that makes at least SOME sense and you don’t just think I’m crazy.
I don’t know how people will react to this so I also want to make something clear once again. I can’t say this enough. My depression is caused my chemicals being out of whack in my brain. What I described previously is just a reason for a speed bump in my road to recovery. It doesn’t define why I’m depressed. It simply explains an obstacle I must overcome.
With that said, we all face speed bumps in our lives. They cause us to go a bit slower and concentrate a bit harder. The important thing to realize though is that a speed bump is just that. A bump. It has a beginning and an end. Once you get over it, the roads are clear to continue driving.
When I think about it, I realize that depression itself is just another speed bump on the road of life and I will overcome it.
One more thing before I go. A lot of people don’t know how to handle depressed people. They don’t know what to say or do. Another quote by Wurtzel describes it fairly well.
“Some friends don’t understand this. They don’t understand how desperate I am to have someone say, I love you and I support you just the way you are because you’re wonderful just the way you are. They don’t understand that I can’t remember anyone ever saying that to me. I am so demanding and difficult for my friends because I want to crumble and fall apart before them so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about If you loved me you would.”
Basically we just need people to love us, brokenness and all. A great thing about that is I know I have a savior who loves me like that. Unconditionally. Agape.