But enough about me. One of my favourite posts in Article of the Week, when I get to basically rehash a proper journalist’s article under the guise of a ‘review’. Of course they tend to reflect my own preferences and with everything that is happened, anything about depression tends to get my interest. Thus, when I picked up the September issue of Elle to find an article in it on depression and love I was automatically drawn to it.
“Here’s the main problem. We are a romantic society, which is really terrible for depressed people. We’ve been sucked into believing the power of love can save anything and everybody. But it can’t. Nothing can. Not even a daily 200mg of sertraline and years of therapy.”
This is one of my favourite excerpts from the article, and Lisa Reich (@ELLEundateable) sums up society perfectly! It doesn’t matter whether you have clinical depression or not, the reality is that being single in a society that idealises romance and relationships. It’s even harder when you struggle to understand why another human being would love you. And that’s why I find this article so refreshing; Lisa gets what it’s like to struggle with love when surrounded by notions of romance. (And no, it’s not just the fault of Disney and Prince Charming.)
As Lisa recounts various relationships that she has had, including Dan who is still used as her dating sounding board, I can’t help but feel her pain. I’ve only been in two but mine equally swung between being emotionally full on and emotionally distant. And telling my boyfriend that you trust your best guy mate more than him is not something I ever want to do again. But when you feel nothing, you are driven towards those who understand that nothingness, even if they are not your other half. It’s no surprise that Lisa’s most successful relationship was with someone who had a parent with mental health problems. Our natural desire is to be understood and that only increases when we don’t understand ourselves.
Yet, as I read through the article for a second time, I begin to wonder whether taking the risk to explain ‘me’ to someone else would help me understand ‘me’. Dan told Lisa that he was waiting for her to explain what was going on in her head. By the end of the article, Lisa has come to the same conclusion; that if she had explained how she would not always be emotionally present, maybe the relationship would have worked. And next time maybe I’ll do that to. Explain how sometimes all my emotions will be turned up 100% and other times I’ll seem like an empty, daydreaming shell. Or maybe I’ll use Lisa’s birthday line…