I'm a freelance writer, designer, and game developer. My name is Will Hindmarch, and this is a notebook I keep on the web.
So, look, here’s a thing. The lies that depression tells us are insidious, undeniable, fearsome, dreadful. Frightening. They’re not simply told to us, they lay across our eyes and everything we perceive passes through them. Telling ourselves the depression isn’t right — isn’t accurate — feels like lying to ourselves.
Things can one day somehow be better? There’s hope? We’ve been well before and we can be again? We’re allowed to feel anything but what the disease tells us is insight — is truth? These feel like lies we recite to make ourselves feel better when we don’t feel right, feel correctly, feel the good, any good at all. Believing them can feel dishonest.
Here’s another lie we tell ourselves: That we should be capable of outsmarting it. That we should toughen up. That we should be enough to cope on our own because these signals are us. That everyone gets low, gets blue, gets sad, and if we were worthy we would simply get sorted out. We can know this is bullshit and believe it at the same time. At the same time.
It is hard to accept that I cannot always be the person I want to be. I cannot always be the person you tell me I can be.
I tell myself that I’ll power through, that I don’t have to make time for this chronic illness, that the worst is behind me. I don’t know that. That’s not how this works. I have to make concessions to this thing because it’s not going away.
It’s built into the air we breathe, these ideas. They’re invisible and they’re already inside.
I don’t know if this makes me lesser than, I hope not, but I know it means I can do and be less than I’m told I can be. That’s a hard thing to face. And there it is.
Today is already super disappointing and diminishing and while I am trying to stay upright through it I am also wrestling with reminders that I must project confidence while also admitting that I am the worst. When my brain gets into this #hyperb space, it takes rather a lot of energy just to find the middle path.
Some day soon I must accept that I cannot do everything I want to, everything that my betters can do, everything that healthy people can do. It’s unfair to others for me to strive at things I cannot achieve. I should make room at some tables for those who can bring it.
Even this is something I shouldn’t be writing, because it’s subtweet-like and uncomfortable for others and those are unacceptable traits. So it goes.
Onward, into the day, anyway.
Rollo May (1909-1994), American existential psychologist. “Love and Will”, ch. 9 (1969). (via Wikiquote)
Depression distorts time and thought. Depression raises mountains out of the flat plains and transmutes the familiar into the frightening. Depression saps and drains, extracting a psychic tax for the most commonplace actions and thoughts — like feigning wellbeing. Depression lies.
The other day, a new friend of mine asked me how I became a writer. I gave him the usual spiel.
Just now, I happened by chance onto an old Tumblr post in which I answer that same question, asked by an anonymous reader. It came in through the asking machine.
I shouldn’t tell you this. It’s bad for business. But here we are.Read more
Michael Chabon, “The Recipe for Life”
(I’ve posted this before, I’m sure.)
This is where I search my soul when, by “search my soul,” I mean ransack my scarred and shivered psychic flotsam like an amnesiac stranded on a beach, going through wet luggage for some sign of just who the fuck I am.