That word means so many things. Cut. That’s how I feel today, right now. To me, cut is more than depressed. I’m used to depression. Even when I’m happy, I’m still depressed. As a child, I was called “unhappy”. I wasn’t unhappy as a child, often I was very happy, but I was quiet, and quiet children are unusual. I wasn’t quiet because I was depressed, I was depressed because I was quiet. That’s very simplistic, I shall try to explain: I was only three years old, I was then, as I am now, very sensitive to other people’s moods, but very simplistically, either the person feels positively or negatively about a situation, no depth, I can’t feel the depth, just a yes or no. So when I was three years old and quiet, and my family kept asking me what was wrong, my kindergarten teachers kept asking me what was wrong, older children kept asking me what was wrong, I felt their concern for me as negative, and I wondered why I was in trouble for being quiet. I wondered why quiet was bad, and what was wrong with me that I was so quiet. I over-analysed (yes, even then) what was being said, I drove myself to breaking point.
I tried to be less quiet. I tried to talk to people, my teachers, other children. I couldn’t do it. I went back to sit where I could just watch, and be quiet, having failed at being an acceptable child.
So that’s what I mean by depressed because I was quiet.
Here I could go on at length about the next twenty-two years, and how I was depressed that whole time too, but it’s not very interesting, just much of the same. I was officially diagnosed with clinical depression at thirteen, and surprised my psychologist by saying that while I remember vividly being two years old, I don’t remember ever not feeling like this.
I just have depression, and that’s ok. It’s not the same as “sad”. I feel there’s two key differences between depressed and sad, which are if you are feeling sad and something funny happens, you have a big laugh and feel better. If you are feeling depressed and something funny happens, you still have a big laugh, but then you go back to feeling low.
The other difference is that something sad has happened to make you feel sad, depression doesn’t care if everything is rainbows, you are still depressed, there is no reason.
That second point is what makes people so cruel about depression. They are not trying to be cruel, they are often trying to be helpful, but they say the most hurtful words you can hear: “What do you have to be depressed about?” often followed by them telling you all the reasons your life is great. Thanks mate, now I’m depressed and I feel guilt about my depression. Thanks a bunch.
Depression is my “normal”, it’s just how my brain is wired. I still get happy, I still feel joy, I still have moments of bliss, but my baseline is “depressed”. You’re wondering why I don’t take anti-depressants? It’s because they utterly suck the life out of me. I won’t explain and please don’t ask me to. People who understand that statement will understand it, and people who don’t probably can’t.
Since depression is my normal, I function quite well depressed. Some days I forget to eat or shower, some days I don’t even bother getting out of bed, but if I have a commitment I will honour it, and I will honour it clean and fed.
But I’m not normal at the moment. I’m not depressed. I’m cut.
Cut, to me, is when the pain is so deep, I can feel my soul bleeding, I can hear my soul screaming. When I have felt cut before, I used to actually cut myself. I’ve been told that’s weak, I’ve been told that’s stupid, but let me tell you this:
Nobody can see the pain inside your soul. Nobody can see that your mind is on fire. Nobody can hear the screaming inside your own head. Sometimes you can’t even hear your mind screaming yourself.
It’s not a cry for attention.
It’s not exactly a cry for help.
It’s not a sign of giving up, or an attempted suicide of anything else people make up to show their better than people who scream silently in mental anguish until they don’t know what else to do.
It’s a way for the pain to escape.
It’s a new, real kind of pain.
Nobody can tell you it doesn’t hurt. Nobody can tell you that you aren’t allowed to feel that pain, because they can see it.
Friends with their heart in the right place may well say, “What have you got to be depressed about?” but they can never look at a deep cut in soft flesh and say, “What have you got to bleed about?”
That’s how I feel now. I feel cut, and I feel like I need to let that pain escape.
I’m absolutely not going to physically harm myself in any way.
I thought this time I would try something different, and here you read it. Here you see me cut and bare, allowing the pain to escape swiftly through talented fingers whom I sometimes think know more than I hold in my head.
Here I bleed words onto an electronic page, so clever as it can be everywhere at once, rather than spill one drop of my blood when I know it doesn’t achieve anything. I never once felt better after I cut myself, I only ever felt guilt, which just made the cut inside me even deeper.
I know I am loved.
I know I have love to give.
I know I will be ok.
For now I’m crying a lot, with no real reason to be “sad”. For now I’m writing. For now I’m ignoring my cat when she climbs on my lap, because I feel like I can’t give her the love she needs. For now I feel a little broken, but cuts heal, and normal returns, and everything is ok.
Signed with love,
The Pretty Kitty.