November 03, 2005
meet today's guest star

you may remember her from her starring role as miss kendra, ages 10 through 19, and from several short term reprisals since then. she's only gotten lovelier in her absence, though i can't say i've missed her much. i hear her contract expires this weekend, so i'm planning on kicking her the fuck out, but in the mean time i kind of have to indulge her. today she wants to play BillyCorgan and wear a lot of black. she's awfully demanding.

you know the type, always scribbling madly in her Emily notebook...

depression is being so empty inside that you peel back the scabs from scratches and scrapes, from burns (accidental and then not) because you need to know right now if there's anything underneath, anything at all. there is, and it's not pretty, but you won’t mind because depression is black and blue and deep gore red; even if you can’t feel the pain, it’s good to see it.

depression is being covered in a film that won’t wash away. it covers everything. it’s a taste in your mouth, sour and dry, like eating pennies. it's the taste of the morning after. it’s a smell in your hair and on your clothes; like an unwashed piercing, all oil and dead skin. you can scour your flesh till it bleeds, but baby, you’ll never be clean.

depression is being lonely. i have often been lonely. to feel otherwise, i have fallen into any available bed; the depressed will go with anyone. the depressed will also ask no questions. they are not interested in your long term career goals, most embarrassing moment, relationship with you mother, political affiliation. they want biting fingers, the weight of another person to seem greater than their own. they learn the dance steps and perform them without thinking; they rub skin and bone together trying to make fire, to get warm, to burn away.

depression is staying somewhere you shouldn’t because it’s easier than trying to leave. it’s lying to your friends because you know they really care about you, even though you don’t. it’s watching them discuss you on the edges of the room because they think your glassy eyes mean you’re not paying attention. it’s hearing them say they can’t deal with this anymore and wanting to scream, “me too, fuckers!” but then opening your mouth to only dry air coming out.

in summer depression is plucking all the hairs from your body one at a time because you lose yourself in it and like the sting. it’s digging holes in your spongy white flesh to get at that one hair, because if you get that one, that tiny black hair, everything else will be all right. it has to be, because depression is hanging your life on minutia.

it is also paralysis. it is telling yourself you could be happy if you really wanted to, and then trying, and realizing you don't know if you want to at all. what if, once i've taken tiny blue pills three times a day and talked about my childhood to successful people with expensive degrees and designer suits, it doesn't change a thing? even worse, what if it does? what if once this is gone, there is nothing left?

depression is staying quiet because you can’t explain why you want to cry, why you are choking on the rawness in your throat, like breathing hard, mouth open on a cold day. it's wishing for help but never getting any because you cannot spill yourself into someone else’s lap. and it's not that you haven't tried— you've leaked some of your darkness into the lives of others, but what did they do to deserve it? i mean, you, you must have done something. but them, they, other people... you don’t hear their reaction. you are distracted and frightened by the fact that where you thought there would be emptiness after you gave up some of yourself there is only more hurt, more black and blue and deep gore red.

depression is reliving. it is reliving because it is not actual living. the only place you go is deeper into yourself. it’s reliving every unwanted touch that i accepted because sometimes it’s easier to just lie there. it is reliving every afternoon of a childhood that sank into silence as i opened the door. which door? any. every. car door, kitchen door, classroom door, bedroom door.

it's every question asked i answered, but never really said a thing. there was nothing i could say. it is too hard to speak when your tongue is thick with hating your mouth.

depression is immediate. there is no future because every moment is a choice to open your eyes, walk into traffic, drink a coffee mug full of bleach. you don’t think about college applications, next month’s rent, quitting smoking to prevent cancer. you will smoke until you want to stop, because for all you know tomorrow you could decide to put a stop to it all, and then what’s one more day of cigarettes really?

depression is wanting to get up in the morning and be happy you did, to go to sleep looking forward to something— to anything. but instead it's waking to more depression. it's waking to distance, because depression is being just close enough to someone or something for the space between to really hurt.

it's writing something years ago and finding it one day and realizing that is just how you feel at that exact moment. and then having to finish the workday.


Blogger Libby said...

Kendra! you're making me cry! (I'm apparently soft-hearted. Right now, at least.)

Will send big needles shortly :)

Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

I'm impressed with your ability to describe depression. When I get depressed I start posting pictures.

Yesterday I told a friend I felt sluggish and irritable. She responded with, "What makes that different from any other day?" I don't think she and I will be friends anymore.

Blogger Calzone said...

You are awfully special Kendra. I've never met anyone I liked that wasn't tortured at times.

Blogger Monkey said...

Depression is like being dead, but you have to live through it.

You wrote about this beautifully Miss Kendra. I've lived with depression my whole life it seems. I always hope it will go away and stay away, but it always returns like winter returns each year.

Monkey's Human

Monkey says:
I send bananas and hugs and my address is on the way... the PANTS you know.

Blogger Quirkalot said...

I love you.

Like 'pants,' I think in pictures.

Like everyone who's depressed, I always think it will end. Its spectre is always there, waiting.

I think I will send this to my boyfriend so maybe he can understand - you did a great job of describing it.

Blogger d2ana said...

thank you. thank you for every word. i love you, too.

Blogger robiewankenobie said...

i don't know if you've ever read my blog, but i gave a pared down version of my recent experiences which i will now bore you with...

i have some kind of funky reaction to opiate drugs. we only figured this out after my fourth pregnancy (two c-sections, a splenectomy, and, this summer, a tonsillectomy). well, it triggers a super dooper handy dandy can't get out of bed for the crying reaction. i went to a shrinky dink who is fabulous. turns out the antidepressant drugs they were giving me triggered an anxiety.

fun times.

thing is? i always have been anxious. functioning, but anxious. i never even realized that i had also been so depressed. i'm a slow learner, i guess.

i got diagnosed by a specialist, put on a FABULOUS drug, and continued with my shrinky dink.

i didn't realize that i could be so happy. so brave. heck, i even enjoy work...the bane of my existance, because this stuff eliminates my obsessive thinking.

but before this? i remember the struggle to get out of bed. i remember being absolutely unable to decide what to eat for the point of tears. i remember calling my mother to drive in from out of town because i just couldn't do it. and the doctors? they just don't understand that time stands still, that be patient is actually painful.

i wish you the best ms. kendra. i've been there, i've survived, and now i'm thriving. actually, thriving. i wish the same for you. you have an outrageous capacity for joy, and i'd love you to explore that and enjoy the outcome.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kendra. Thank you. This is everything I feel and have felt but didn't know how to articulate.

Blogger said...

Wow. That was amazing. I don't mean amazing that you've felt that way, but amazing how well you can describe it. Wow. It brought tears to my eyes.

Blogger AnonymousCoworker said...

Kendra, this is pretty much exactly how my friends have described their depression to me. It saddens me how many people can feel so similarly, and yet feel so alone.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Kendra -- I'm sending you lots of love. You did describe depression perfectly. The despair, the loneliness, the nothingness. I'm so sorry you're feeling this way now. Thank you for sharing. *kisses*

Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Miss K, is it something in the air? I couldn't for the life of me get my arse into work yesterday. Overwhelmed by the vestigal nihilist that still rears its ugly head. When you're depressed in the teens and twenties, you kind of expect it. Teenage angst and all that. But I didn't expect it to last so long. Good thing is, from my perspective, I can tell you you will get through it. Just being able to identify and describe it brings you a step closer. Hunny, you are wiser that I was, more expressive and creative. You'll have your tough days, but I sincerely think you will overpower it.

Something to think about - John Stamos is doing a guest spot on ER soon. :)

Blogger Lady Baltimore said...

But you still smell like cookies and you write a great blog.

Go eat chocolate until you want to gag.
Then masterbate followed by a good long nap.
It may not help, but it can't hurt.

Blogger Pam said...

It amazes me that something that feels so personal is share with so many people. I've been having a tough run of it lately and your works reminded me I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Thank you and I hope things get brighter soon.

Anonymous Jackie said...

Hugs. Just, big Hugs.

Blogger Sarah Smile said...

I missed a day in my blog reading and then when I came back and read this, I didn't want to do the dreaded day late comment, the one that makes it seem like I don't read you religiously.

Then I decided to get over myself.

I read this. I understood. I hurt for you and me.

Do you ever miss the intensity of those feelings? Sometimes I do, for about a minute and a half.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never seen this communicated so clearly and accurately in words. It's been too painful for me to attempt.

A huge misconception or misunderstanding about depression is that it is caused by something outside of you. It's always there, but things outside make it resurface, worsen or improve.

It's fucking horrible sometimes.

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