Had another realization which had to do with really getting it that my depression is not my fault. Somehow I’ve always assumed that because I couldn’t make it go away, I had to be “holding on” to it. This is a common invalidation by people who don’t want to know about your depression. Hearing it over and over just reinforced what my father said a time long ago. I would have been a senior in High School, and he said to me “You just want to be miserable.” I wrote it in my journal, and also wrote that I didn’t want to. (What I actually wrote in November 1959 was “Daddy says I’m unhappy because I want to be but I hate being miserable.”) At the time I had lost any respect I had ever had for my father and I had no idea how much power a parent continues to hold over a child. As the years went by, and I struggled to get rid of, to change, to ignore depression, and nothing worked, I think I did begin buying into the idea that I must be causing it or wanting it or refusing to let go of it. It was buried deep in my subconscious, or maybe in my unconscious, wherever such things hide so you won’t be aware of them.
Recently I was watching a video where the speaker said “Depression is not your fault,” and I felt something inside me was very uncomfortable with this idea.
I think it took several days to really sink in, and then I found myself thinking “I was traumatized by someone else. My depression is not my fault. The fact that I can’t “just get rid of it” is a testimony to its power, and to the long hard work of healing PTSD.”
Sitting here quietly, Mocha warm against me, cup of tea, I feel absolution. I feel like a great weight has lifted off my shoulders.