Today, a tennis player quit tennis because of depression. A beautiful, apparently well-loved athlete with a lot of potential threw the towel because, she said, there are days when she can’t get out of bed.
I am a person who struggles with depression day in and day out. My normal mood is taciturn and serious. I rarely smile, let alone laugh. To get out of bed and be busy all day is a successful day, a day in which I didn’t spend any time staring at the TV set or the wall or the ceiling. It is not that I was happy or optimistic. It’s just that I didn’t give myself the chance to feel the pain. What pain?
The tennis player’s retirement made me think, once again, of the reasons why I have hard time living.
I have come to understand that words kill. With my words, I have killed a lot of people. But before that happened we, my siblings and I, were killed first. By our mother.
Yes, I know she had good reasons to be that way. Yes, I know she was hurting. Yes, I know she did her best.
But that doesn’t change the effect her harshness had in me. She thought that being a good mother was to always demand more of you, to never be satisfied, to always say that you could have done more or better. That was her job, to be the devil on your shoulder.
And as if making us feel inadequate, useless, and inferior wasn’t enough, she did it with slaps, punches, insults, and even tears of manipulation when nothing else worked. Her job was to make us miserable. And she accomplished it.
Here are some of her “loving” choice words for us: disgraceful, idiot, lazy, sinner, dirty, disgusting, disrespectful, useless. On top of that, we were a heavy load and the reason of all her problems. We also owed her everything as well. It was as if she was doing charity, as if we weren’t her responsibility.
Every time she beat us, every time she insulted us, she killed us a little. And every time we see her, she kills us again. She is a murderer of souls, of innocent souls.
Today, we all walk around depressed to death, almost convinced that we are upsetting the ground by stepping on it, that we are worthless of of being out there in the world pretending to be somebody. Sometimes I think that that’s why I walk with my head down. Maybe I don’t want to look up and see all those people whom I seem to believe deserve better than me at all levels.
I don’t hate my mother. I just wish I wasn’t so dead. I wish I could spring out bed in the morning loving everyone and thinking everyone loves me. I just wish I could see the purpose of my life. I wish the suffering would end. I wish I could say that the shackles have been broken for good, but that isn’t the case just yet. Right now, I just go on day-parole once in a while. I don’t live. I survive.
How do I survive?
In the morning I read spiritual books. Right now, for instance, I am reading Defy Gravity by Caroline Myss. The books help, because they inspire good thoughts that help me get out of bed. I read for a while, then I try to meditate, by clearing my mind from thoughts and trying to stay that way for a few minutes. Then I pray. I actually pray. I do not pray to a god in the sky, no. I don’t think I pray to anyone. I just talk to myself. I tell myself nice things. Like today is going to be good, you can do it. It isn’t so bad.
Then I get out of bed with enough strength to live another day. And that’s how I survive.