I’ve talked about father-child relationships, romantic relationships, relationships with pets, and even art/music interacting with itself. The central element to all of these relationships has a level of intention and purpose. Today, I wanted to talk about one of the hardest relationships, internal conflict and how that affects others.
Today’s post was inspired by a animated short from Cracked.com in their new series called People Watching. These videos take various opinions, ideas, and social interactions and draws out witty and sometimes heavy commentary.
People Watching #3 – Why Dating with Depression is So (Bleeping) Hard.
The first time I watched this, I was blown away. The twisted way my stomach felt while hearing the discouraging way Depression Man spoke to her made me sick. I wanted to be offended but by the end of the video, I understood. I understood all too well the way you talk yourself out of particularly good things. I’ve had Depression Man speak to me like that when it comes to work, interviews, dates, friendships, and even cooking for the day. Me and him are very well acquainted and that’s what made this video even more powerful.
What really got me was how well this video was made. You see Depression Man in the photo on the wall staring at Safra while out for dinner, the newspaper behind Jeremy after Ice Cream saying the date was successful, and even the railroad tracks as Depression Man’s tattoos. Even the mood of the video ended on a trailing downturn because that is how Depression leaves people feeling. You want to feel hopeful and are willing for some greater sense of conclusion, but it never truly comes.
I honestly will admit, I struggle with that. I often don’t want to talk to anyone, not any other reason except I am too tired to speak. It takes a lot of energy to be supportive and emotionally available to another human, and I often don’t have the energy for myself, let alone another person. The emotional toll it takes on me some days just makes me want to curl up into a ball and stay there.
That’s what was so hard about Depression, you talk yourself out of stuff and in to stuff. Both can be dangerous. I’ve gone through periods where I wanted to fill my lack of with other people, or partying. I never worked. I came home and still felt the same. Cranes in the Sky was a great song not specifically because it sounded so great, but because people related to it.
The hard part about dating with depression is also that you aren’t sure of anything. You don’t know if you actually need time to heal or you keep making excuses to cover up the frailty and fear of failure. However, a small comment she made connects to me even more than the surface struggle she mentioned. She said she had hope.
In the midst of various struggles and failures, the hope for a better tomorrow is what makes you continue moving forward. While I would like to say it gets easier, it doesn’t, you get stronger. Some people may not be able to tolerate that struggle, but it’s not the end of the world. Someone will have the patience and know how to deal with you the way that you AND the other person require.
Depression Man might come and stay for months, or a couple of hours. The purpose is to know he’s visiting and make sure he spends less time over. You are not his home and he can go elsewhere. This is your gentle reminder. “He ain’t gotta go home, but he gotta get out of here.”
Anybody else struggle to Date with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness? Any different descriptions or coping strategies? Success Stories? Anything you’d like to share? Please leave them in the comments below.