Depression and Acceptance

Hey guys! I’m not sure if this blog is as good as the previous, I am simultaneously having quite a bad depression day and not drinking tea at this exact moment, both of which may have a negative effect on my writing, but I’m going to give it a go-I want this blog entry to focus on acceptance and there’s two elements of this theme I want to focus on:

1-      There’s a quote that’s been rattling around my head recently. I have no idea where it came from, but I like to think I made it up. It is “I would rather buy you flowers, than buy them for your grave”. This applies to the first element of acceptance I want to focus on, that is how acceptance is relevant to other people. I know of people who look at me, or may look at anyone with depression and just accept that I am broken. As I have said before I have some fantastic friends, but there are some people who I can’t help but feel have simply accepted I am depressed and given up. They look at me and think “you can no longer do x, y or z, so you should stop trying” and accept that this is the case. This is where the quote I previously mentioned comes in, these people who have just accepted that I have lost are, in essence, buying flowers for my grave. They’re not supporting me, or helping me get better, they have just accepted I am broken and have decided my failure is just an inevitability. I understand how hard it can be to be friends with someone with depression, I honestly do and can see how people can get fed up of supporting a friend with depression, but I find it hard to believe that it can be harder than being made to feel your friends don’t think you deserve to get better, or being made to feel you can’t turn to them.

Despite what I’ve said I do also understand that my view may get warped sometimes, I may simply be just too far down the rabbit hole to see sense, but I don’t think you should ever tell someone that they simply cannot do something. I live in a world where I get such a small say in what I do. I feel so out of control, like a marionette with one string held by depression, one by my my M.E., one by fear, one by pain and the last thing I want is someone to grab the few remaining strings, even if it in an attempt to help, and take control. It just enforces the idea that it’s not my life to live any more. In my mind it is far more helpful not to take the stance of “you can’t do this- stop” but instead take the approach of “this is going to be a struggle, let me help you”.

2-      The previous section is about how acceptance works with regards to third partied. I want to now discuss the two ways in which acceptance is relevant to the individual. The first is acceptance of your own health, in the sense I believe you should always fight it. As I’ve said before, depression forces you into a world of doubt and darkness, and it is so easy just to accept that this is your life now and just grit your teeth and deal with it. When your mind is telling you that you are useless and that no one likes you, you need to fight it. I’ve been given the advice before to just “keep your chin up”, but I don’t think that’s right, it implies that you should accept you’re in a storm and bear it. As much as it feels like it at times, depression does not make you like a boat trapped in a storm with no way out, it’s better to look at it as you’re in a boxing match against someone of a considerably higher weight class, it’s awful and it will hurt, but you can fight back, and a lot of the time you may lose but there’s always that time where you turn it around.

I understand that this is hard at times. The main reason is the harder you fight depression the healthier you look. I’ve been having a really bad depression relapse the last 2 weeks or so. The reason I mention this is not for sympathy, it’s because I’ve adapted the previously mentioned strategy of constantly fighting it (though there have been days where I just haven’t), and as a result I think people haven’t appreciated how awful I’ve felt. I say again that I don’t say this for sympathy, I say it as a reminder to people that just because someone seems well doesn’t mean they are. Just because someone can laugh louder than they cry doesn’t mean you should stop trying to help them, because the only true way to indicate someone’s level of well being is to ask them.

I’ve just realised that this blog was titles acceptance, but then was about how you shouldn’t accept. It was quite a misleading title, but thank you for reading this far.

Keep Smiling

Steven

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