Two faces of depression
Categories: Mental Health
Tags: analogy depression
I like to describe depression as being forced to hang out with someone you hate, only that someone is yourself. The type of person that, when you see them, you tense up a sigh and whenever they talk, you inwardly cringe.
But what’s weird is that you’re also the other person, the one that is disliked, so it’s also like being forced to hang out with an asshole. Like the person that tells you how stupid something you said was, or how the person you’re talking to thinks you’re awkward. And he just stands next to you with his mouth at your ear telling you this over and over and over.
It’s not as easy as “just stopping” because I am both of those people so I understand both of them. I understand why the asshole is annoyed and why he is critical so in the end, I have to agree. I’m both the hater and the one hated, but I can’t challenge the hate because it is justified.
Earlier this year, I heard the phrase “Be a friend to yourself” and normally that’s one of those fluffy feel-good phrases that I just shrug off. But for some reason it stuck and made me realize: the asshole is really being a bad friend. He’s not saying things in order to help me, he’s just being malevolent. If he was an actual person, I wouldn’t call it justified, I would just call it mean.
In the end I don’t think it’s as simple as just ignoring the asshole. I think part of dealing with yourself is like a real relationship between two people: it’s about trying to reach understanding and empathy. And, in the case of one party being unwilling, it may take a lot more work than a single conversation (or inner monologue). So the asshole may not be going anywhere, and I can’t just silence him overnight, but I can try to make him understand, and, well, at least that’s something.