If you asked me, (no one did) the hardest part of depression is admitting to yourself that you’re depressed. Following the woman in a black dress analogy, she doesn’t announce herself. She doesn’t even make herself at home. She silently climbs on your back and begins whispering in your ear. Her whispers become the painted lens that distorts the world.
In order to invite her, you have to first realize she’s even come in. It’s not “just a bad day” or “lazy” or “fucking up as usual” but that narrative controls your life. She turns your neck and shows you all the problems and explains how everything is your fault. She does it in your voice with your memories – all skewed in lies. Because depression inevitably is a battle with yourself, which is futile. All of the shoulda and coulda that comes with her visits are all futile – unchanging and done. When you haven’t realized it’s all lies, you beat yourself into the ground with regret, remorse, and ultimately, “I am worthless” and “I am a burden” becomes your narrative.
Those two points make you not want to ask for help, because this is your fault. You’ve done all of these things and you are all of the awful things you feel about yourself. All the while, you’re being controlled and manipulated by your own inability to feel your feelings. Changing the past will do nothing, because the pain is real, and in rejecting it, we reject ourselves. We create the woman in the black dress and we pretend it isn’t even us. It’s all of the things that are wrong with us. All of the things we know we can’t change.
To invite the woman in, you must understand that there is no such thing as a bad feeling. Depression is as worthy an emotion as joy. Depression teaches you more about yourself – if you’re willing to listen. It can teach you where you’re ignoring yourself, where you’re lying to yourself, where you hate yourself. Depression is a call to pause and heal. To allow the wounds to weep and heal.
When the woman in black visits, she is you. You are flawed. You are imperfect. You are everything you tell yourself. And that’s amazing. That’s your spirit. That’s your soul. All of the things – good and bad – make your unique, perfect, indelible mark on the universe There is nothing to fix or change, and when she comes, it’s a prompt from the universe to stop trying to fix. Listen to yourself, love yourself. You couldn’t experience depression if you weren’t alive. You can’t get through life without bumps and bruises.
The sooner you accept her, the sooner you put on your own black dress and own it, there’s no one visiting. Just you battling your own reflection. And then you don’t need to fight, because you do look good in black anyway.