I’m in a codependent relationship with my depression. Whenever I have the courage to break away, it sends me a txt and I have an overwhelming need to respond - Sure depression, we can hang out. Even though I know deep down that hanging out with my depression means sitting on the couch doing nothing, in a puddle of anxiety. Sure sounds like a blast!
My depression is an abusive significant other that revels in my failures. Who whispers in my ear every morning that I won’t amount to anything. Who begs me to stay in bed rather than start my day and laughs at me while I writhe in frustration and self loathing.
Depression doesn’t want me to be happy. It wants me to stay helpless so it can manipulate me whenever it sees fit. It takes joy in stealing the celebration of my achievements and revels in strangling my dreams.
This dark cloud knows it is nothing without me as well. That if I can succeed in breaking free, it will be nothing. So it holds on with all it’s might. Playing every trick it has ever known to work. Finding its way back in every time, to take control of my life again. It knows me better than I know myself and whenever I learn it’s game, it invents a new one.
The only real way to end a codependent relationship it to end it. But it’s not that easy when your partner, my depression, lives in my head. It knows all my movements before I do and eviction is nearly impossible. In fact the only way to truly evict it is to make my mind uninhabitable for it. That’s not easy. The minute the replacement emotions go out for a coffee, depression breaks down the door and plops down like a squatter. Immoveable.
When my depression goes out on holiday, I try to change the locks. But eventually it comes home, sits again the door and begs to be let back it. It tries to make me relive vivid painful memories so that I will lose myself and welcome it back home.
I recently evicted my depression for the millionth time. And I can hear it, crying against the door, begging for forgiveness. It calls to me, trying to convince me we are meant to be together. I want to enable it. I hate hearing it suffer. I have spent a week listening to it. And periodically I am able to drown it out with the sounds of the rest of my life. It’s not easy. Sometimes he has his friends txt me. Triggers that make me want to call it up to tell it what just happened, or what I just heard.
Sometimes I feel bad and throw my depression a sleeping bag. Like deep down I don’t want it to leave. Where would I go with my pain? Who would I share my fears and anxieties with? My depression knows this. It knows I don’t have the wherewithal to make a clear break. So it waits till I’m finally weak enough to open the door.
It’s quiet now. Maybe my depression is sleeping. Of perhaps plotting the next way it will get back into my head. I’m worried that the next time I am exhausted it will try to comfort me and I’ll be dumb enough to let it back into my life again.
I can be as strong and courageous as I want but I know that my depression will alway be there. Waiting to take advantage of me. All I can do is practice being away, knowing it’s signs, and being strong enough to overcome it. Part of that will be learning how to not overwhelm myself enough that I let it back in.
My depression is not my friend, nor my partner. But I am in a codependent relationship with my depression and I am working to end it.