Thursday, 10 July 2014

Thank you, Wil Wheaton

So I saw this tweet the other day.
It made me feel sad and comforted in equal measure. (Or not because WTF who measures feelings, they're not cake ingredients, you can't put them in a cup. Whatever it's a sentence opener. Yes I talk to my actual brain like this, what?) (ahem) .

I felt sad because I know how that feels, and because I was exactly there, riding the depression train down to the pit and saying "Hey wait, I wanted to -" but you can't get off because NOPE this is a one way train and the only way is down and it's going too fast for you to notice, normally. So I felt that. But I was more selfish, because the first thing that I felt, the first thing that always hits me when someone admits their depression is relief, and there are two levels to this relief. The first is "Thank God I am not alone", and I do honestly think that that incredibly simple sentiment can mean so much. It does to me, anyway. When I hear someone say "You are not alone", and I can tell by their words or their eyes or the way that their voice intones that they know, and they mean it, that helps most of all. Nobody talks about depression, not really and not relating to themselves. It is shameful or embarrassing. There is a fear that nobody will know how to react and will feel awkward. It's especially rare for someone in the public eye to speak out.

The second level is different. You can know intellectually that depression is an illness, a fault in the brain wiring or hormones, or a reaction to an unimaginable situation, but the way that the beastly thing is designed overrides any kind of logic or intellect with an overriding sense of "You suck. Everything is all your fault. Especially the way you're feeling right now. Oh, you know what, just this. It's a much better explanation than I can do and it has funny pictures.

Anyway. To see someone like Wil Wheaton, who is extremely funny, clever, talented, kind and successful all at once admit that he also suffers from depression is like a revelation. He has all these amazing things - an awesome job, bags of talent and fun, his own TV show, a wife who he comes across that he genuinely adores and has fun with, great kids he loves and is proud of, he has all of these things and he is still depressed. That means that (although you knew this before) it's not you. It's really just NOT you being useless and pointless and a waste of human space. You could be awesome and you would still get depression. Look at these awesome people who are stuck on the stupid train with you. It is just an illness, and it doesn't need to define you. In the meantime, maybe we can party on the train. Or at least sit around and play sad music and hold hands. Does anyone have a guitar?