Well, when you really think about it, aren’t we? Not just we who suffer from depression, but all of us.
Programmed by our culture, our music, our media, our society. To be happy we need the following:
Others must like us.
We must have acceptance, love, approval.
Friends. Gotta have those!
Beauty. We need to be beautiful in order to have value. We need to also, have youth in order to have value. We need to wear the right clothes, drive the right cars, have the right friends, speak the right language, like the right music, have the right accent, live in the right neighborhood.
Attention. People need to notice us and if they don’t it means we’re somehow less than that loud pretender busily attracting the crowd.
Help. We need help. We can’t help ourselves all on our own, we must depend on others to help us.
Happiness. We have to wait for other people to help make us happy, we can’t possibly make it for ourselves.
Other people. We need other people around because being alone means we’re forgotten or not wanted, we’ve been abandoned, rejected, we’re not loved, nobody cares.
(Of course it follows the holidays are miserable for us if we don’t have these other people helping us to be happy.)
Love. Loving ourselves is not enough. We need others to love us. Even if it means pretending to be someone we’re not or manipulating others or events in order to get it. Even the illusion of love, even if what they love isn’t really us, that’s fine so long as we get to have love, even just the delusion of it.
Rules. There are all these rules, and if we don’t follow the rules…if we dare try to live outside of the rules and not give a flying F– anymore about being the puppet of these stupid ass rules…then what? Then comes the threat of not being accepted, of not belonging anymore.
Imagine it. Living outside of the rules.
What makes other people’s opinions of us and what is good or right or worthy, more valid than our own? Who decided these rules we scramble to live by?
We’re not happy. We’re depressed. Why?
Because we can’t fly in formation. For whatever reason. Our wings are clipped because of our past experiences or lack of experiences. Because we’ve been hurt, wounded, damaged…whatever…and so we’ve had to find our own way, come up with our own definition, an alternative route trying to ultimately get to the same destination where we are loved too, and accepted, and find friendship.
Except…along the way we never mastered those rules. Or we’ve had to recognize the stupidity of following them and so we’ve come up with different rules completely. Rules that say I love who I am even if I’m not skinny. I love who I am wearing these clothes from Value Village. I love who I am even though I can’t be happy all the time or pretend I am along with you. I love who I am even though I’m honest to a fault, and can’t play the mind games you play. I love who I am even though you don’t understand me, even though you reject me and I can’t seem to compensate enough…
So we don’t fit it–and our world tells us it’s we who are wrong, unacceptable, worthy of being outcast. Go away now–come back when you can be like all the rest of us and play the game right..
Except maybe we don’t WANT to.
I will never be what society thinks is beautiful. I will never be what is whole and “normal” and right and easy to know. I am me, and my rules are different because my life has forced me to walk a different path–a backroad, rather than the super highway the majority walk on.
Love me or not. I don’t need friends to be happy. I don’t need acceptance or approval. I don’t need other people to enjoy the holidays. I just need clear sight, and the realization I’m good, and I’m ok, just where I am, just being me.