Not Depression, Suppression

It was some thirty years ago I went to an earnest young counselor who was trying to help.

“You show some signs of depression,” he said, “but you aren’t really depressed.

“Would you like to try some anti-depressants?”

Drugs back then weren’t the designer selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) that we have today.  The side effects were messy and the results limited, so I quickly stopped taking them.  I tried bupropion for a month about five years ago; no magic there.

I’m having to switch back to worker drone here, and, as usual I find that it makes me very tired and listless.   I have no energy or endurance to get things done.

My problem isn’t depression, I don’t think.   What’s Gloria Steinem’s diagnostic: “In depression, nothing matters.  In grief, everything matters.”

My problem is suppression, the requirement to kill part of me off, or at least to throw it into the deep-freeze.  It’s grief, not disconnection.

The cost of suppression is very high, spending energy to destroy energy, using power to deny power, working hard to hide your own heart.  I have no wonder that people turn to chemicals or other self-destructive activities to help destroy what they have been taught to fear in themselves.

I really want to get work done, but that thick, wet, stigma & hate filled blanket of suppression makes it hard to get the energy up.

And that makes sense, because the goal of suppression is to suppress energy that you have been told needs to be hidden.

Maybe some would say that rechanneling is enough, that one should us that energy for other purposes that are more socially valued.

But in the end, who you are is who you are.  Yeah, maybe it would be great if I was someone different with another heart, but I can’t change my essence any more than you can.

The great cost of stigma isn’t depression, it is the suppression of the energy of a beating heart.

Or, at least that’s my theory this morning.