I hate the d word.
It came up recently because my primary doctor put Major Depression on my record. And I, of course, flipped my emotional shit.
Because that word has such painful connections for me.
And sure enough, for the last week, the memory of my father has been playing over and over in my head. I’ll give you a reason to be depressed. Pain. Pain was all I felt. And then I felt nothing at all.
I genuinely believe a piece of me died that night. In all these years I have never been able to get over it. I still can’t hear the word depressed without hearing him yell at me. I can still feel my head hitting the wall. I can still hear myself begging him to stop. Fifteen years ago and it still plays like it’s happening now.
And I’m afraid of that label. I responded in anger when my therapist asked me what was wrong. “I’m not depressed! I fucking hate her!”
My therapist made the connection rather quickly on why I was against that diagnosis.
“If I were to pick up the DSM right now and flip to, let’s say, Persistent Depressive Disorder, would you say you wouldn’t fit that diagnosis? You wouldn’t fit under Major Depressive Disorder?”
“No, because I function just fine and I’m not impaired so therefore I don’t qualify for those diagnoses. And while I’m at it, I don’t qualify for DID, either.”
“I’m not talking about functioning just yet. Aside from functioning.”
I hesitated. I grumbled to myself. “Fine,” I said, “I fit every criterion. Every. Single. Criterion.”
“And while you do get up in the morning and go to work, and go to school, you’re not functioning all the way like you think you are. You are good in some areas, and really severely impaired in others.”
“I’m not depressed.”
“We don’t have to call it that. We can come up with another word for it if you want. But you can’t deny that it doesn’t fit. And I know that you know that.”
Damnit. Sometimes I hate being smart. I do know that. But I want to live in denial. Let me live in sweet denial.
Denial. That’s a d word I can handle.