Saturday, July 9, 2011


My name is Ryan.

From April 10th, 1995 until sometime in May of 2011 (for those of you who like numbers, that's a little more than sixteen years), I was possessed by Depression. Yeah, I know Depression isn't really a thing that can possess you . . . but, holy cows, it sure does feel like it, and thinking of him as a him, as someone I can fight, has been enormously helpful to me. It's going to be a life-long battle, but I know I can do it. Even when he's at his absolute strongest, he is NEVER a tenth as powerful as I am at my absolute weakness. I will remind myself of this every day for the rest of my life if that's what it takes, and I will NEVER let him have any power over me ever again.


The following, which was originally posted to my Facebook, was the thing that inspired me to start this blog. A total stranger who knew my dad (who died in a really stupid car crash on April 10th, 1995) found me through my aunt and read it and, despite being on staff at the church where my dad had been the pastor (my family is so religious that our last name is a truncated form of the word "bishop"), loved it (even though you can't read it and not realize that I'm gay) and asked for my permission to share it with two members of her family because she thought they needed to hear it.

I said yes, of course, but then I got to thinking: How many more people could I help if I had a wider readership? How much could I help myself if I regularly wrote down my feelings about Depression (and depression in general, which is something that we don't talk about enough as a society, and THAT IS NOT OKAY) and put them out there for anybody to read? How much change could I start? How much exponentially more powerful could I be, and therefore more able to kick ass, the next time Depression came knocking?

Honestly, I don't know. I would very much like to find out.

(Plus, you know, I have a wide array of thoughts that must be shared -- thoughts on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and how to make the perfect macaroni & cheese and other equally important stuff.)

Alright, here you go.

"Why does NO ONE seem to understand just how SCARED I am?"


Probably because that particular (irrational) fear isn't really a fear, Bud -- it's nothing more and nothing less than your own personal Depression. He knows how tired you are, and he's been hovering behind you, just out of sight, whispering things in your ear all this time.

The things he's been whispering are lies. He's lied to you ever since the moment you reached out to him. He has never told you the truth, and he couldn't even if he tried. Lying is all he can do.

He's the best liar you'll ever meet, because he knows things you're already (irrationally) afraid of and yells that they're real, yells that they're right behind you, yells that they're coming to get you, until his voice drowns out every other sound.

Now, here's the good news:

You don't have to listen to him anymore.

You've been listening to him for such an awful long time. He's told you that you're his only friend in the world, and you've acted like it. While your real friends have ignored his calls and burned his letters and gotten on with their lives, you've bought him drinks and cried on his shoulder. It's pathetic.


You're stronger than him.

True, you've only recently learned how to fight him, when you could've oh-so-easily learned that ages and ages ago (or, you know, last summer).

Forget it.

The point is that you HAVE learned how to fight him, and now he can never beat you ever again. You are so much stronger than he is that it's pretty much insane: Whereas you are a superhero-god-writer-comic-ass-kicking-destroyer-of-worlds whose brain is powerful enough to change the way you look at the entire world every single day (without even meaning to), he is, to borrow a phrase, "a dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily."

He wants you more than he wants anyone else in the world. He hasn't figured out that he's lost you, and he will never admit that he has no power over you anymore. (He's stupid like that.)

But he doesn't deserve you.

He's done everything in his power (which, while considerably less than yours, is still a considerable power) to make you miserable. He's driven away every boy you've ever liked (not to mention the only boy you've ever loved), he's convinced you that you're worthless, he's grabbed you by the neck and squeezed until you couldn't breathe, he's robbed you of the will to live, he's made you think he knows what the fuck he's talking about.

He's an asshole. He's a demon who wants to kill you, and he'd prefer to do it slowly. (How slowly? He'd make it take the rest of your life if he could.) He talks about you behind your back. And he thinks you're fat.

Alright then.

Go ahead and deal with him.

"How, exactly? I am so tired."

Don't shout. Shouting never solves anything.

Don't tell him he's wrong. He loves to argue almost as much as he loves to lie, and (unlike you) he never gets tired of it.

No, don't say anything to him. Don't even look at him if you don't want to (yep, you can do this with your eyes closed).

Kick the bitch.

Bite him, scratch him, punch him -- over and over again, over and over and over (your arms are not tired; your arms are loving this; that ache you think you feel is actually your arms singing about how they've never felt so alive) (your arms sing much better than your mouth, by the way) -- shove him, knock him down, throw rocks at him, drown him, set him on fire, imagine heavy things and drop them on his stupid head, kick him again, hold him down and make him eat grass, blow him up with your mind (because this is your imagination and you can do that here), grab a really big knife and cut him, cut him, cut him, until he bleeds

and breaks

and dies.


Go on.


Kill him like he tried to kill you.

(Like he's been trying to kill you for longer than Abigail has been alive -- think about that sometime.)

And then turn around, turn around and do not look back. Don't look back and don't tell him you're sorry.

YES, you've just done something horribly violent; NO, you do not have to feel the slightest bit sorry for it.

Don't feel sorry, don't look back, don't turn around.


Run until you can't run anymore. Run until your legs break. Even after they break, keep pulling yourself along until your arms fall off.

And then what?

And then give thanks.

And be reborn.

Take your new body and your new mind and your new spirit and your new power and write, walk, run, drive, eat, cook, talk, laugh, cry, get dirty, clean up, swim, hike, bike, crawl, joke, jump, fly, change, learn, teach, hope, feel, go, stay, want, enjoy, reflect, epitomize, improve, help, grow, remember, dance, paint, stroll, make cookies, buy shoes, travel, come home, create, watch, demand, empower, utilize, play, work, read,  fuck, marry, drink,



Without him. He's ugly, and he makes you seem ugly whenever he's around. And you're TOO FUCKING HOT to ever seem ugly.

Oh, one more thing:

Don't ever think he's gone forever. No matter how many times you kill him, he will always start to put himself back together right away, and he will always know exactly where to find you, and he will always know exactly how to hurt you, but he will NEVER be able to control you again.

And he's not worth it. He was never your friend. He always lied to you.

Good thing I was here waiting to teach you how strong you are.

I love you, and I always will.

Now, go, take that love and put some of it out there in the world.

Make me proud.

"I promise. Thanks, Dad."

So, that's it. As I say, I'm Ryan.

More later.


1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to see this! The best part is that you can indeed help others. There are others out there with blogs who talk about depression, and soon you'll probably find them following you, and you can follow them. Next thing you know, you're part of a whole 'blog-o-sphere' that people find and benefit from. :)