Truth be told I haven’t been well lately. My depression is cycling again and I’m trying my best to find a way out.
The good thing about depression is that you can start seeing things more clearly. In a way, I’m happy that I am depressed, but at the same time it can be quite torturous.
It’s like having terminal cancer and trying to see what else you can do with your life. It’s both a blessing and a curse.
Today I want to write a little bit about love, from a depressed person’s point of view. People say that depressed people feel love more strongly than others. In some ways, I agree.
Please understand that this is not as morbid as it sounds. In some ways, the love of a person prone to depression (PPTD) can be interesting to understand.
PPTDs are not sad or negative. They only tend to have moments when they feel like their existence does not matter. They rarely enjoy talking about how bad they feel, though even without talking about it, people around them observe the changes in them.
Today, I want to talk about the insides of love, from a PPTD’s point of view.
The thing about being a PPTD is that though you know you have strengths, you can’t really see them or use them when you’re depressed. It becomes a concept, not an identity. When depressed, you are unable to do the things you normally can do.
If you are normally the encouraging friend or family member, you become the one that needs to be encouraged. If you are normally the one taking care of most of the things around you for everyone, you then become the one that needs everything taken care for you.
To me, this is always a bad feeling. I feel like I lost two legs. Because we are used to taking care of other people, we are not used to being taken care of. So we feel like a burden to the people around us. The more that we feel like we are burdening others, the more we feel like killing ourselves.
It’s a really unhealthy way to think about yourself, I know. But this is how the PPTD think when they are placed in a position of weakness.
The good side of this is that depressed people (when not depressed) are the ones who can give you the most enduring support in times of emotional need. Because they fully understand what you are going through and they fully understand how much you need the emotional support. They are often the least judgemental of your insecurities because they themselves have been so weak before.
The love provided by a PPTD is very deep. If you are a friend or family of a depressed person, you will remember them as loyal, understanding and attentive. If you are in a relationship with PPTD, you will know them as the one who can truly understand you and be sweet with you unconditionally. The reason for this is that they know how it feels to be loved when they were the ugliest. And the people who stood by them, they think, deserves the very best when they are at their best.
The other reason PPTDs can treat people very differently is because they know, deeply, that being human is suffering… and they have suffered in the deepest way psychologically. If they can, they would not want another person to feel that way.
The biggest drawback of people prone to depression is that when it’s bad, it’s really bad. Though during ‘normal’ days, they can be the best people to hang out, talk to and ask for advice from, when PPTDs are inside the depression cycle, there is nothing that you will find beautiful about them.
They often go days without showering or brushing their teeth. If the physical disgust isn’t enough, their minds turn into something quite the opposite of what you are used to. They become vicious and negative at times, snapping at you.
Basically, when PPTDs are depressed, they turn into another person. It is a case of Jekyl & Hyde.
For this reason, I am careful to build friendships or any kind of relationship. I know that I can control myself on ‘normal’ days… but when I am not ‘normal’, how many people can take the negativity?
People who cannot deal with it, I try to keep a distance. Not because I mind them, but because I don’t want to hurt them when things go bad.
Many times, I can’t control myself and find a trail of hurt left behind after every episode of depression. The other only way I can think of to prevent hurting people is to simply talk less or not talk at all… until I feel better.
Conclusion: Extraordinary Strengths
Love is an interesting thing. Everyone loves differently. I find myself learning about love every single day. What often appears at first to be an absent need for love later turns into a desperate need to be loved.
I have always known that I love very differently. In the past I feared talking about it. I feared I would be judged for my deficiencies. But today, I want to put a voice and a name to this kind of love… it is the love given by people who cannot love themselves enough sometimes to keep themselves alive.
It is the love given by people who understand pain deeply enough to know how not to pain others (but sometimes still do it accidentally).
I am deficient, and I’m learning to be OK with that.
If anything, I hope that if you feel the same way about yourself, you find that you are not alone.
One response to “On Love”
Interesting….seeing the world from a depression hit person (when depressed) point of view…will have more empathy when and if I see PPTD next time…thanks for writing this piece… Remind me of the life of Virginia Wolf.