This is a genius idea I had this morning. I am planning my summerstartstoshine anti-depressant series of posts, all about beating the black dog, as this is a crappy time of year for many of us when mood begins to lower in preparation for the chills of winter (if you live in the northern hemisphere that is).
I am going to begin with this post and I’d love it if you could write your own version, using the HASHTAG face to face with depression and include a link back to this post. If you could get your depression (or a friend/relative’s depression) in a room and give it a good talking to, what would you say in your personal conversation with depression? and how do you think your depression would respond?
Here is my SSTS post, to start you off :)
PICTURE THE SCENE… IN WALKS A CHEERY AND SMILEY SUMMER, WHO HAS WOKEN UP IN A GOOD MOOD AND IS FEELING CALM, CENTRED, AND ASSERTIVE.
LAGGING BEHIND IS DEPRESSION [DRESSED HEAD TO TOE IN BLUE, QUEL SURPRISE!!] SHUFFLING IN, EYES FIXATED ON THE FLOOR, FIDDLING WITH A WELL-USED SODDEN HANDKERCHIEF.
WE SIT DOWN, FACE TO FACE, THE COFFEE IS POURED, AND WE BEGIN THE CONVERSATION….
Summer. Thanks SO MUCH for coming today, I do really appreciate you showing up, as I know that in itself was challenging for you, so well done for showing up, it can’t have been easy.
Depression. No response, barring a mumble about how “it is fine, how it wasn’t really anything”. Eye contact 100% absent.
Summer. Do you know why I’ve asked you to come here today?
Summer. Well, you know how we have known each other a long time, and we go back a long way…and we have all this shared history together?
Summer. The thing is, in all that time…YEARS isn’t it?..(I was 16 when you first entered my life.) I don’t know if we have ever spoken and properly communicated with each other, face to face.
Depression. I guess not.
Summer. So…I think times need to change, as it’s easy to get stuck in a rut isn’t it, when you have a long history with someone, and forget to properly speak to them…
Depression. Pregnant pause. Looks blankly at Summer.
Summer. Do you understand what I mean?
Depression. No… I can’t concentrate you see. You know that. And it’s your fault. It’s these antidepressant tablets you swallow, they make my brain go to mush.
Summer. mmmm, that isn’t totally true is it depression…be fair now. If I didn’t take the tablets, I’d be in a far worse state. I have tried to not take them, and without the anti-depressants, you take control fully don’t you…and make me do bad things that could lead to me being hurt, or worse than that.
Depression. Yes. But I like controlling you.
Summer. Well, you may ‘like’ it, but that isn’t acceptable to me, because I don’t like being controlled.
Depression. But I am doing what is good for you. I am keeping you in the house, I am making you back off from human contact, I am stopping your ego getting too big by keeping you in check, I am making sure you don’t succeed in life.
Summer. But why?
Depression. Because I don’t want you to stand out from the crowd.
Summer. But why?
Depression. Because that is what your parents told me they wanted for you. They wanted you to lack confidence, to shut yourself away, to hide your true thoughts and feelings.
Summer. Yes…they did. And I know exactly why they did…it’s because they wanted to inhibit and stifle my personality so I didn’t speak out about the child abuse.
Depression. Oh, so you’ve finally figured that out then! I was told not to tell you the reason why…but as you know, I guess they won’t mind me talking to you about it. It has been a long time now since you lived at home with your parents and they instructed me to do my job on you.
Summer. And believe me depression, you have done an excellent job of it! You have been very accomplished at making me feel AWFUL for going on for 19 years now. You did your job very well!
Depression. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! grinning like a Cheshire cat, body posture relaxing, chest puffed out, finally warming to Summer because she has given him praise for his depressive effectiveness
Summer. You really have succeeded in the task you were set by my parents all those years ago. You have done jolly well depression, you seriously have never let up on me in all that time!
Summer. You have never failed to make my life utterly joyless, hold me back from succeeding, make me hate myself, hate the way I look, hate my life, and you have always kept suicide in the picture as a potential way out.
Summer. You seriously have been FANTASTIC at the mission you were set, and I have full admiration for your tenacity and unrelenting motivation to ruin my life and cause me to lack any hope for my future.
Depression. Really? I have really done well then?
Summer. Yes, you have done so “well!”at that!
Depression. nonchalant but secretly elated at the acknowledgement of his effectiveness
Summer. You really are BRILLIANT at what you do…full respect to you for that. You have achieved your objectives admirably depression, I really mean that :) The only thing is, and I’m afraid there is a ‘but’ coming up…I value you and respect you, BUT I won’t be requiring your services anymore.
Depression chokes and splutters on coffee WHAT???
Summer. I think you have done such a good job, but as I am not in contact with my abusive family anymore, and I did go to the police about them, and I did survive the multiple suicide attempts, I think I’m ready to go it alone now.
Depression. But you CAN’T. You and me-we’re pals! You can’t forget me! You can’t leave me! You can’t cope without me! You’d be lost without me! You and me, we slot together perfect!
Summer. I do see what you’re saying, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one…you see, I have never stood up to you before, so you have got quite used to running the show…but that isn’t how it’s going to be from now on. You’re going to have to relinquish some of that control over me, and allow me greater freedom and success and wellbeing.
Depression. But I can’t!!!
Summer. You can, YOU REALLY CAN!! And you MUST! And you have to!…because as “special” and intimate as our relationship has been, in terms of you getting into my head and polluting it, you are NOT MY FRIEND, and I’m afraid to tell you, you never have been.
Depression. Starts to cry
Summer. Passes depression a fresh Kleenex. Look I’m sorry if that came out wrong, and I was a little blunt, and I know you’re sensitive to rejection, and it must hurt, but depression..I really do mean what I said. You might have thought we were friends. But you were just doing a job, you were employed by my parents to stop me from disclosing the incest. But you have honestly never been my friend. In truth, I have never liked you being around that much.
Summer. I mean it depression…I have resented you and wished you would just bugger off.
Depression. WHAT?!!! this time even more aghast
Summer. I am sorry, but there is no way of pussy footing around the truth. I want you to gather up your belongings and go. It’s for the best.
Depression. BUT, BUT, BUT incredulous who will I attach to next? No one ever wants me around :(
Summer. I can’t lie…they don’t.
Depression. Charming! now she tells me! Softens me up with the praise then sacks me…charming :(
Summer. I am sorry. I know how hard this is for you…and as I said, you really are very accomplished at this ‘making someone depressed’ thing- YOU NAIL IT brother! Let what I’ve said sink in ok…but also consider this…I have a sparkly new assignment for you! When you leave me be, it’d be a waste of your ability to ‘make people depressed’ talents…so may I suggest you seek out my abusive incestuous family and bother them from now on. I think depression would be the perfect fitting outcome of what they did to me, as after all, they never got punished for what they did, whereas I have already been punished enough…so may I suggest they are your next depression guinea pigs? :)
Depression. OK…deal, but I will miss you.
Summer. I won’t miss you depression, but I do sincerely wish you all the best in the new mission I have set for you :) Bye depression, go forth and radiate misery on someone else…
Depression. OK. I will. Bye Summer…
Summer. Bye depression X
:) That felt good!
What would you say to your depression, face to face? Write it out and let me know :)