It takes a lot to say the words “I think I’m depressed” out loud. Anyone who has struggled with any sort of mental illness knows that there is a long and difficult internal struggle before you’re willing to admit the possibility to yourself, let alone to another person no matter how much you trust them. They’re tough words to say and though I’ve been overwhelmingly surprised by how supportive and understanding many people are when I talk about mental health I am still surprised by some peoples’ reactions, especially if they don’t know about my (brief and unexciting) history with depression.
Today when I told a friend in passing (I have never seen mental health issues as a shameful thing and thus make a conscious effort to talk about them candidly and openly) “I think I’m depressed” he replied with “about what?” This is kindof understandable given the way the term depressed gets thrown around; is often used interchangeably with the word depressing, though the two have very different meanings if you ask me. When I looked him in the eye and said “no, like actually depressed. As in I think I’m suffering from depression” he still seemed confused. He protested “but you don’t seem sad…” These kind of reactions are surprising to me, but I can see how anyone who has never experienced any sort of depression would not have any reference point for what it is like; I certainly had no idea what I was dealing with until I finally had it suggested to me many months after I should have seen the signs the first time around.
The thing is, being depressed doesn’t have anything to do with being sad. It creeps up on you in the little things. You slowly become more and more tired so you start sleeping more. Getting out of bed becomes harder in the morning even though you’re up to 10 hours a night. You’re exhausted all day and yet you have trouble falling asleep when the time comes (I’m typing this out on my cell phone at 2:30 am because I rolled around for an hour before giving up.) None of these things are noticeable until they’re already a problem. Then you realize you haven’t gone out with friends more than once or twice in the past month; you’ve been tired after work, you don’t feel inclined to call anyone on your days off, you say yes when you don’t have anything better to do but “something better to do” becomes a night alone with your book. You know you like these people, hell some of them are your best friends and you love the shit out of them, but you don’t want to hang out with them. They feel alienated and don’t know why, which makes them much less inclined (or able) to notice the signs that you are missing up to this point. As someone who loves to eat, your appetite fades away. You become someone who misses meals because the big salads you used to make yourself are unappetizing and doing anything more than sticking fake chicken nuggets in the oven seems like too much effort. You order the lobster mac and cheese at work because you’ve been craving it for a while and you only eat 5 bites. You love the lobster mac and cheese but you give the rest away. You finally realize you have a problem when it takes you a week to muster up the resolve to go grocery shopping. This is an easy chore; it shouldn’t give you more than a second thought. It’s at this point you put the pieces together and realize that you’ve felt this way before. It scares you. It scares you because if you can’t even go grocery shopping then how are you going to muster up the courage and the resolve to fix this? You are just about ready to admit to yourself what the problem is when a friend asks you if he can be honest with you and says the words “I think you’re depressed.” You burst into tears.
Being depressed doesn’t have anything to do with being sad. I can still laugh and have fun, but I have to actively fight to do those things when they used to come so easily. Being depressed is like having a heavy cat sit on your chest while you lie in bed. It’s uncomfortable and it makes you not want to get up and do things (you might wake it and it might hurt you, but most of the time it is just too heavy for you to even consider trying to lift it off.) Being depressed is like being muffled or surrounded by a thick fog or going about your day wearing a heavy, wet, wool blanket. You can function but it is hard and uncomfortable and distracting. Being depressed is tiring. It’s hard to wake up and not want to do the things that you like and not want to be around the people you love. You know that going for a run, for instance will make you feel immeasurably better for the rest of the day, but the act of putting on your shoes and getting out the door is damn near impossible despite that fact. It’s daunting and it’s scary and I’m not depressed about anything, it wasn’t caused by anything (I’m actually in a better place mentally than I have been in a while except for this one minor fucking detail) and I’m especially not sad about anything. I’m not mad at my friend for not understanding this, I’m frustrated that this is something that I do understand. And it’s something that I’m not sure how to fix yet, except I know that talking about it helps and sleep and physical activity help and meditating helps, but sometimes those last three are tough to do because the thing they combat makes them seem like impossible tasks. So I guess this is me doing the first, because talking is easy and it’s as good a first step as any… right?!
i love you laurel
this is also how i’ve been feeling about a year now
thank you for writing this
got myself the comfiest high waisted textured lululemon leggings
for 24 dollars
i love employee discounts + markdowns
Okay, okay, I’m going to tell you what Hermione sees in Ron.
A trio is a balancing act, right? They’re equalizers of each other. Harry’s like the action, Hermione’s the brains, Ron’s the heart. Hermione has been assassinated in these movies, and I mean that genuinely—by giving her every single positive character trait that Ron has, they have assassinated her character in the movies. She’s been harmed by being made to be less human, because everything good Ron has, she’s been given.
So, for instance: “If you want to kill Harry, you’re going to have to kill me too”—RON, leg is broken, he’s in pain, gets up and stands in front of Harry and says this. Who gets that line in the movie? Hermione.
“Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.” Hermione doesn’t say Voldemort’s name until well into the books—that’s Dumbledore’s line. When does Hermione say it in the movies? Beginning of Movie 2.
When the Devil’s Snare is curling itself around everybody, Hermione panics, and Ron is the one who keeps his head and says “Are you a witch or not?” In the movie, everybody else panics and Hermione keeps her head and does the biggest, brightest flare of sunlight spell there ever was.
So, Hermione—all her flaws were shaved away in the films. And that sounds like you’re making a kick-ass, amazing character, and what you’re doing is dehumanizing her. And it pisses me off. It really does.
In the books, they balance each other out, because where Hermione gets frazzled and maybe her rationality overtakes some of her instinct, Ron has that to back it up; Ron has a kind of emotional grounding that can keep Hermione’s hyper-rationalness in check. Sometimes Hermione’s super-logical nature grates Harry and bothers him, and isn’t the thing he needs even if it’s the right thing, like when she says “You have a saving people thing.” That is the thing that Harry needed to hear, she’s a hundred percent right, but the way she does it is wrong. That’s the classic “she’s super logical, she’s super brilliant, but she doesn’t know how to handle people emotionally,” at least Harry.
So in the books they are this balanced group, and in the movies, in the movies—hell, not even Harry is good enough for Hermione in the movies. No one’s good enough for Hermione in the movies—God isn’t good enough for Hermione in the movies! Hermione is everybody’s everything in the movies.
Harry’s idea to jump on the dragon in the books, who gets it in the movies? Hermione, who hates to fly. Hermione, who overcomes her withering fear of flying to take over Harry’s big idea to get out of the—like, why does Hermione get all these moments?
[John: Because we need to market the movie to girls.]
I think girls like the books, period. And like the Hermione in the books, and like the Hermione in the books just fine before Hollywood made her idealized and perfect. And if they would have trusted that, they would have been just fine.
Would the movies have been bad if she was as awesome as she was in the books, and as human as she was in the books? Would the movies get worse?
She IS a strong girl character. This is the thing that pisses me off. They are equating “strong” with superhuman. To me, the Hermione in the book is twelve times stronger than the completely unreachable ideal of Hermione in the movies. Give me the Hermione in the book who’s human and has flaws any single day of the week.
Here’s a classic example: When Snape in the first book yells at Hermione for being an insufferable know-it-all, do you want to know what Ron says in the book? “Well, you’re asking the questions, and she has to answer. Why ask if you don’t want to be told?” What does he say in the movie? “He’s got a point, you know.” Ron? Would never do that. Would NEVER do that, even before he liked Hermione. Ron would never do that.
i’m so tired
all the time