“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
—Laurell K. Hamilton
The facts made known to us through the branch of existentialism explain our struggles. We are alive but for a short time, and whilst we lament that we will soon and certainly die, we often lament just as much that we are alive. These are truly dark realities. Those given to depressive episodes—a day, a few months, or indefinitely for some—know these realities intimately, and more. They have borne the brunt of truth (and many vicious non-truths) at full force.
Ever more do the depressed need God, but shame is inappropriate. The trouble is society has become adept at refusing to recognise what is patently in front of it.
And where we find ourselves sharply out of step from the social landscape we belong in, we begin to feel we do not belong. When we are forced to belong in a place we don’t feel we belong, our wellbeing turns south. We enter disease.
All this dissonance from within suggests we are at war—with ourselves. And if we explore the protagonists of the war, we may see one of the reasons for the conflict: an irreconcilable shame. It appears irreconcilable.
The Courage Involved In Living Depressed
Not that we propagate feeling depressed, because quite frankly there are far better ways to live, but we can appreciate the courage it takes to live in a depressed state. To live this way, to bear the load, to socialise when it hurts, and to trudge one day at a time; that is courage.
So where does shame fit?
It’s a lie of the enemy. This dark and mysterious dog is intentionally invisible. It growls and it snaps, yet we don’t really know what it looks like. All we know is how we feel.
There is no shame in being depressed, because it takes more courage to live this way than most think.
There is no shame in being depressed, as much of what depression is comes against us beyond our control. But we can deal with it the best we can, with the help available to us. And I suppose we can be thankful that be have access to much better treatment options than we used to.
There is no shame in being depressed, because if any other person had the personality and experiences we do they would react the same as us. All things being equal we have more in common with others than we ever realise.
There is no shame in being depressed.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.