And down the rabbit hole we go…
I spent this long weekend mostly disconnected from all my devices and unpacked some of my old books. The book I decided to crack open and reread?
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel.
When I first read this book in my early 20s. No other book I had read before besides “Your Voice in My Head” by Emma Forrest had ever explained my feelings with depression so clearly and bluntly.
After years and years of people telling me my depression was “just a phase”, I found solace in books by people who were feeling something similar.
No, this isn’t a book review.
I am rereading because after 100 or so pages in, I can read this book and not feel things so intensely the way I did before. It still gets my head spinning, but it also makes me realize the growth I’ve made as an adult human with generational depression and anxiety.
That I am not alone in this uncertain place. Even though most days feel that way.
Wurtzel writes how she thinks she is broken and needs to go back to the factory for rewiring and I can tell you I felt that for most of my life.
Not fitting in. Not feeling understood by others even when I tried to explain my experiences.
It’s why I sought so much solace in books. Books gave me an escape and didn’t try to tell me I would just get over things. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, but the rabbit hole I went down was mental illness and the cast of characters were depression and anxiety dressed up as the Mad Hatter and March Hare. I was a guest at a deranged tea party I felt I couldn’t escape from.
With depression, you can never really see an end. You’re constantly falling further down a rabbit hole and it’s up to you to figure out how to pull yourself back to reality – no matter how grim.
“Just like the Cheshire Cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant.”
The above quote is also attributed to Wurtzel and in my earlier years, this quote stayed with me every time I was included in a picture or some snapshot of a moment in time I shied away from.
Now? I no longer feel the need to disappear in and out of people’s lives like the Cheshire Cat.
I want to be more rooted in my reality and continue to take things day by day. I do not want to shrink because of the hurdles in front of me.
I want to find more keys to the hidden doors that allow me to pull myself further out of the rabbit hole.
That’s all I can hope for. To keep moving forward and solve the riddles along the path – wherever it leads me.