Being depressed because you have Depression and being depressed because you have an addiction are two different animals.
Not really. They’re the flip side of the same animal. They’re the chicken and the egg. They’re...well, they're similar is what I mean. But not the same.
Because the depression of an addiction comes from the shame and remorse and complete lack of esteem or dignity brought on by complete lack of control brought on by being completely dominated by whatever it is you happen to be addicted to.
I am addicted to numbing out my Depression with eating disorder behaviors.
But I didn't even KNOW that until, like, right now.
I always thought the depression I felt because my life was COMPLETELY UNMANAGEABLE because I couldn't stop starving or eating - depends on when you found me - was the Depression - capital D - I'd been diagnosed with. No.
Turns out I couldn't stop starving/eating because I was depressed.
Well, who in Sam's hell saw that one coming?
Pretty much no one. Why? Because the pre-starving/eating depression was just this underlying sneaky depression that got blown WAY OUT OF WHACK by the starving/eating compulsions.
And yet, that sneaky depression went unnoticed for twenty years.
And in those twenty years I:
Ground my teeth at night
Couldn't sleep because I had a Spanish test the next day
Couldn't sleep because I had a crush on Chris Minton
Couldn't sleep because I had a crush on that kid named Ben and Michael and David
Thought I was going to pee my pants always
Knew you were talking about me
Didn't want Chris Minton to touch me
Got scared when David kissed me
Really wanted my roommate's wardrobe
Stole my roommate's Indian take-out
Why do I keep cycling on this chicken and egg circuit? I think it's because I didn't get The Instruction Book.
Trusty Therapist Judy is adamant that there is none. And she is just so trusty. No Instruction Book? I didn't miss that class in first grade?
For anyone not dealing with Depression or addiction, when I talk about Dealing With Depression/Eating Disorders, I think you can relate if you use the idea of Growing The Eff Up.
Part of Growing The Eff Up is being able to look at the deep and the dark in ourselves and hanging in there and then look at the dirty and the ugly and STILL hanging in there. When we do that, we're able to write our own Instruction Book. And it won't matter that we keep covering up our insecurities and then displaying them and then running around like chickens with our heads cut off because some stuff is just so hard to DEAL with...It won't matter because we'll be growing up, living in our own skin. It'll all go in The Book and you can't go wrong when you're writing it for yourself.
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The Loose Lip Brigade: stories
by Julia Newman
by Julia Newman