Afraid of the Good

jny published on
7 min, 1344 words

Several years ago, after I actually started taking steps to treat my depression, I slowly came to the realization that part of me was resisting the change. Yes, a part of it was the bravery required in trying new things during the process of recovery. And yes, a very large portion of it was hopelessness for the future. But as time went on and both of those things began to wane, I still felt some reluctance. Some fear of getting better. It’s taken me quite some time to try to make any sense of it at all because it quickly becomes a recursive loop of fear.

In a small way, it feels a bit like Stockholm syndrome, or at least vaguely resembles it. Depression and self-loathing almost killed me, but in a very strange way, they also saved me. Because of them, I left a situation that I found unbearable, but what made the situation unbearable was the depression and self-loathing that it created. In a strange sense, depression and self-loathing saved me from more intense depression and self-loathing. The result is this odd affection I have for depression (and self-loathing to a lesser extent) because it’s reliable and I know what to expect, even if what I expect is horrible. Leaving would mean new pains, new experiences that are unfamiliar and thus freshly terrifying.

But there was also something else. Something much more tangible that made me uncomfortable just to try to think of my life without depression. It was as though I actually felt that something of value would be lost.

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