The Villain Is Back In Town
All good stories have great villains — but in real life, they don’t work in the same way.
There is a real villain among us. A very real, potent and persuasive villain by the name of Depression.
And we’re not talking the blues. The occassional down day that a good friend, two movies, ice cream and a full night’s sleep can take care of.
This villain be For-Real.
Depression is an insatiable whore whose appetites for sucking all the joy, hope and fun out your relationships, work life, and personal care knows no bounds except to expand with every devouring wrench of the human spirit.
Kindly clinicians in very appropriate offices will recite the clinical — and factual — hallmark symptoms of clinical depression: Hopelessness/Helplessness; loss of interest in fulfilling activity; inability to concentrate; a pervasive and debilitating sadness; lethargy; over or uner sleeping; over or under eating; isolation from friends and foregoing normal social activities; feelings of worthlessness; inability to connect intimately with loved ones and feeling like they are better off without you; the desire to end one’s life.
What a villain is this! Hollywood couldn’t come up with a better one. A villain who robs, steals mercilessly any desire to have joy, hope, love or connection or meaningful activity!
This villain abuses, robs, hurts, violates, inturdes, disrupts, changes and tries to own your very own personality and destroy your precious relationships.
Dealing with this villain called Depression is exhausting to the point of despair where reason and rational decision – making fail in the very hour we need to rally the best of ourselves.
Such a twisted villain! Knwoing just where to strike, and the exact hour of ambush!
This villain is a sludge, a sticky ooze like liquid play-dough turned wrong, soured into blackness with flecks of red that absorbs all crumbs, flecks and dustballs of normal daily life as it slides across the carpet, up the walls and over the ceiling where our best and loftiest ambitions hang in wait for further good use.
And then, the spikes. The pikes that emerge from this oily slime that prick, cut, inflict pain on ourselves and tell us we deserve it.
We don’t deserve it. We didn’t ask for this intruder. We did not invite this invader. And we certainlty didn’t volunteer as it’s soldier-prey to do it’s inhumane bidding.
Yet. so many of us are depressed, to one degree or another.
Seratonin in the brain needs to be restored with expertly-delivered medicines. And yet, that doesn’t cover the whole of it.
Medicine — for many — doesn’t cure all.
And some depressions are caused by real-life events and kicks in the gut that just do not end. That’s not the same thing as Seratonin needing a booster.
So what are we to do with this villain who has invaded our minds, bodies, hearts and realtionships and taken up permanent R & R in the middle of the living room on the barcolounger?
Well, have ya got any fight left in ya at all? Have ya? Even a smidge?
Then kick back. This is the appropriate time for a tantrum — in the face of this villain — a tantrum aimed at it such that is will turn tail and run. Or at least, consider getting off the barcolounger.
That is, after all, your chair, right?
The chair where you have your best ideas, where you read to your children, where you drink a mug of cocoa or icey lemonade and read the paper or think about what the paper might say if you had the money or time.
Ownership. You own your life. This villain does not.
Self-respect. What the villain cannot know and does not what to offer you.
Energy. What the villain has sucked out of you ut what you are going to put back with medicine, nutrition, sleep, excercise and lots of time with friends.
Purpose. You are not the Villain’s babysitter. That is not your purpose in life. What is meaningful and life-fulfilling for yourself and others is where you must strategically — and bravely — plop yourself.
Villain, get out of town. Get out of my house, get out of my family. I’m not the new Sheriff in these here parts — I have always been the sheriff in this town called My Life and I will take it back.
Out, out out! And open the windows and let in the Good Stuff.
c2014HeidiDHansen. Heidi D. Hansen is a mental health recovery specialist in Vancouver, Washington and has worked in this field since 1989.