Why I Don’t Want To Get Better

I wake up this morning feeling a lot more emotionally stable than I was last night. I think the crying, writing and subsequent sleep really helped. Waking up this morning with awful stomach cramps put a little damper on things but with the miracle of pain killers, I’m not feeling too bad.

Anyway, I’ve been trawling the massive question archive of Quora lately and have been answering as many of the ADHD and mental health related questions that I can because I just feel the need to. I do as much as my unfocused ADHD brain would allow – with Strattera, I find myself drifting away pretty quickly. Then again, I’m still a week away from the target dose.

Earlier, I came across this question that really struck me because it’s a question that I had recently asked S, myself. I don’t remember if I even wrote about it here (I might have…) but I feel like even if I have, it’s a good thing to revisit.

The question was:

I have depression but I don’t want to get better even though I have ways of doing so. WHY?

And here was my answer:

Interesting you should ask this question because it’s a realization that I’ve come to recently that I shared with my psychologist. I told him, “You know… I’m seeing you every week but really, deep down, I don’t want to be better. I don’t want to because I think I’m addicted to my depression. I’m addicted to it because it’s the only thing in my life that has been there for a long time that I know about. Without my depression, who am I? I don’t know who I am without it. What if I’m boring when I’m healed? I think I don’t want to be better because without the depression, I don’t have a crutch anymore. It means that I’ll actually have to talk to people, I’ll actually have to engage with others and really be someone… The depression makes me not have to do that. I guess my depression is my excuse and “Get out of Jail Free” card. I can not show up for events and stuff people have planned because hey, depression. I can get bad grade because hey, depression… I think, S, I think that’s why I’m addicted to my depression. I think that’s why I don’t want to get better…”

Of course my psychologist allows me to ramble because when I do, I find the answer to the questions that I already know. He nodded and smiled.

He said, “You know Jules. You’ve come to this realization sooner than I had expected. That is a good sign to me. I know it doesn’t feel good to admit that. I know it doesn’t feel good to be depressed but it’s a good sign that you have realized that you don’t want to be better. At some point, every depressed person will come to the same realization. And as you’ve pointed out, it’s because you’re afraid of what could come next. What could come after the depression…”

“Yeah. I am afraid to live. I am afraid of what without depression really is about… I’ve never lived before. I’m afraid of that…”

“The good news is that I’ve never turned anyone boring after they’ve recovered from depression,” My psychologist said. We both then laughed. As silly as it sounds, it is a real concern in my mind but I know that it is something I can overcome with help.

I don’t know if this will help you figure things out for yourself but this little experience of mine came to be quite recently (maybe 4-5 weeks ago) and is quite a poignant discovery I have made for myself. I think ultimately, fear is what keeps us back and the fear of life can be quite an overwhelming one that will drive us back into the comforting (albeit horrible) arms of depression. At least depression is something we’ve always known. Life… Well, that’s another monster that we’ve never tackled before. Who knows what that could bring?”

I don’t know if that answer was helpful or not but I hope that the person who asked it will come back to read the answers that had been posted. I’m learning quite a bit from all the folks over at Quora. I think I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and keep answering questions to the best of my abilities. I think I’ll post them here too in case someone might benefit from seeing the answers.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want To Get Better

  1. Oh I’m very much addicted to both my depression and my anxieties in the same way, and terrified of coping better with them. It’s was such an odd, uncomfortable realization to come to at first. But after a while it made perfect sense. They’re so damn loyal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? I don’t know whether to thank them for their loyalty or tell them to go away. Lol. I mean they are terrible feelings to have around but at the same time, they’re so familiar.

      Liked by 1 person

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