What they don’t tell you about depression is that sometimes it feels a lot less like sadness and a lot more like the emotional equivalent of watching paint dry. The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you’re not.
It is very hard to explain to people who have never known serious depression or anxiety the sheer continuous intensity of it. There is no off switch!
Being sad and being depressed are two different things. Also, people going through depression don’t look so, while someone sad will look sad. The most common reaction is, ‘How can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. You are the supposed number one heroine of your story!
Because that’s the thing about depression. When I feel it deeply, I don’t want to let it go. It becomes a comfort. I want to cloak myself under its heavy weight and breathe it into my lungs. I want to nurture it, grow it, cultivate it. It’s mine. I want to check out with it, drift asleep wrapped in its arms and not wake up for a long, long time.
I have one intimate confidant… My depression…it is the most faithful mistress I have known—no wonder, then, that I return the love…
Those who have lost a loved one due to natural causes may not understand all the complexities of a loss from a murder.
Murder has its own deeper level of denial and shock. The event is unbelievable, unexpected, tragic and a crime, all at once.
You may feel anger longer and deeper than from other deaths. Find constructive ways to let your anger out. And give yourself lots of permission to be angry. A horrible injustice has been done to your loved one, family, friends and the world.
Look for forgiveness on your time zone, not others. Forgiveness comes from within, not from a “should forgive” place. When friends tell you the stories of how a victim’s family found peace, just know they are in pain because they see you in pain.
Grief after murder has many expressions; our grief is as unique as a finger print. Some may want to get involved in the legal case, some may not. Others may want to face the murderer, others may not.
Know that not finding the murderer will often cause complex and unresolved grief. Of course it will be harder to find peace in a world where your loved one was killed and the murderer still walks free.
Murder is especially horrifying because another person’s actions took an innocent life. The idea that the tragic loss of a loved one can be determined by another person’s decision is devastating. It can also be incomprehensible that it can be a random act. The perpetrator may not be known to the victim or vice versa. The shock of losing someone to murder takes hold immediately and leaves family members totally bewildered.
You live through something that should only be seen in movies. Your life becomes a side show with the media’s help. And you shut down. You went from a wife to what? What am I now? I am too young to have the label of “widow” yet that’s what I am now. People I thought we’re friends, treated me as though I was contagious. Turned their backs as if it wasn’t me who helped whenever asked.
When they can no longer use your tragedy for their gain. When they no longer seek the attention. When they no longer are nosey because you and your story are all over the news. You find yourself standing alone. Just you and your imagination. Your demons.
Just like that you have to take on this new role. This role that you have no idea how to play! This role that you don’t have the script for.
You realize that at the end of the day all those who said they had your back. Were just empty words. You have you, your shadow, your depression, your imagination and your demons.