Sunday, January 18

I Miss Depression

I don't understand myself.

I have my own business - a place I love to work. I have a best friend and plenty of people who care about me. I have food, clothing, a place to sleep, and the freedom to worship God.

And yet...

I'm not even sure if I want to write this post. My mom wrote a group text to the family asking us to do family history, and at the same time I was reminded of the dozens of things on my to-do list... and the billions of people in the world (and thousands within my reach) who could use a friend.

And despite everything, I miss my depression.


I miss depression.

If you've followed my blog for long enough, you know that I was diagnosed with rapid-cycle bipolar a few years ago (at the same time I was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder). I went on medication for a little while, then miraculously found an extreme diet that ultimately cured me of bipolar mood swings. I've been off the diet for months and life is normal.

And I am awful at normal.

I could go into the newfound issues I have in keeping commitments without a hypomanic phase to lean on, or my complete inability to remember one day from another without the powerful emotional moments to which I had grown accustomed... but right now I just miss my depression.

The logical side of my brain is rebelling. Depression is an awful thing. It made me want to die. It killed my relationships. It smashed my hopes and dreams. It haunted my commitments and burned bridges I had never crossed. Depression would pull me away from relationships I care about and things I never could have done in the past.

And yet... that same depression made me into the guy I am today. It made me aware of the pain that people feel who are depressed. It put me in touch with the world. And it ground me low enough that I was able to open my heart to God.

Right now, though, I guess I'm wishing for depression because I want an excuse for not being good enough in my calling and in life. Or maybe not an excuse - while depression often kept me from doing some things, it actually motivated me to do others. And when I came out of depression, my focus was crystal-clear on what I wanted to accomplish.

Maybe that's what I'm missing. Focus. Focus was always the first thing in helping me figure out my direction in life, and focusing always happened during the depressed moments of my life. It came so easily then. And now it doesn't.

I want to be a better friend. To be healthier. To be a better missionary. A better brother and employer and son.

I didn't ever expect normal life (well, at least my life without bipolar) to be this hard.


  1. You are very brave to share this. It's so counter-intuitive, isn't it?

    It sounds to me like you are growing and changing as a person. It sounds like you learned to use depression as a tool to help you, and now that it is gone, it seems like the tool is gone too.

    It's time to learn new tools. It's going to take time. But Heavenly Father can help you. The new tools are there, and you will find them.

    (I have to say, by the way, that it is amazing you made depression into a tool that worked FOR you. Who would have thought that such a thing would be possible? And can you explain better how people might be able to do this if they have it?)

  2. Would you be so kind as to tell what the diet was you went on that helped with bi-polar? Thank you.

  3. I can certainly relate to this. Recently I've been thinking "I want to be broken." I think for me it is nothing more than wanting an excuse, an excuse to be lazy, to be selfish, to avoid humanity. Unlike you missing depression, I'm not sure my desire is redeemable. I should probably just toss it out the window.

  4. Your insights are incredible! Incredible yet simple. Depression does force yourself to FOCUS on what matters MOST -RIGHT NOW. Which is usually some good self-care and nurturing, allowing your spirit to soak in the love of God that is there just waiting to fill our eyes, our mind and heart-and serving those in your immediate sphere of influence who may just need a smile, a hug and to know we will bear a burden with them and that they're not alone. Whether you have depression or not, we all need to plan and prioritize where we share our time and talents. Boundaries and limitations can either feel focused and secure or stifling and restrictive. It usually depends on who has set the boundary and whether we trust them or believe they have our best interest or a current knowledge of our needs in mind. This requires communication which should lead to information which should lead to understanding and a restructuring, if need be, of the boundaries. My own struggles come when I am not in touch with who I am, what I want, what those around me need and the fact that we live in a fallen world. It's ok to say "no, not now" or "hey I've been thinking about that too!" or "I may not be able to do THAT but I COULD do THIS." Decisions decisions! I can see missing depression because it buys you time to make crucial decisions but it also hampers the crucial conversations needed to make such decisions and often leads to, in my case, intertia. There is rest - much needed and undervalued in out culture/society- and there is inertia. I am learning to trust myself and the messages my body mind and spirit give me and then be ok with the consequences for those around me. That is their journey, not mine. Make sense? Sorry! IT's been too long since I've read your blog! You always get me all philosophical! I love it!

  5. Sometimes I miss my depression because when others are sad, and I am happy, I feel like I have a harder time reaching out to them.

    And sometimes happiness can feel so out of my control. When I am extremely happy it feels like at any minute that happiness could be stolen from me. But if you're sad usually there's little that can disappoint you.

    I definitely know what you mean though. For years it was how I felt things, and it allowed me to feel things deeper. But it also left me tired and struggling. Now that I am happier I have more energy and enjoy life more, but I also don't know if I know how to handle happiness as well because it can kind of be scary.

    I hope you find what you need. I have slowly had to learn not to let things steel my happiness, and that has allowed me to be more comfortable being happy. But it's not always easy.


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