I have a really great life. I don’t struggle to pay my bills, I get to do what I love for my job, I have an amazing wife who is my best friend and my partner in many crimes. I have a wonderful house, I am surrounded by people I love who love me. I’m successful in much of my work, and some days it feels like the best stuff in my professional life is yet to come.
The thing about Depression, for me, is that it can take something that was already unlikely, like not getting an audition for the Ready Player One movie, and using that to negate and erase all the other good and awesome things in my life. The thing about my Depression is that it can take something that I love that I’m doing really well, like rebooting my life and taking extremely good care of myself — the best I have in years — and make me feel like I don’t deserve to feel this good. The thing about my Depression is that it can make me feel like whatever it is I want to do, whatever it is that I want to start, whatever it is that I want to finish, just isn’t worth it, because it’s going to suck and nobody will like it, or it’ll be great but nobody will care.
Depression is a dick, and Depression lies, and even though I know all of that with the rational and reasonable part of my brain, the Depression part of my brain has been really loud and persistent and just relentless for a couple of weeks, now. It’s Friday, and when I look back on this week, I can see all the important and good stuff that I’ve done, I can see the small but meaningful steps I’ve taken toward completing things that are important to me … but those things are all in the shadows that are cast by the giant spotlight Depression is shining on the things I didn’t do.
And the thing is, I could probably come up with good reasons that I didn’t do the things that I wanted to do, and they are probably reasonable reasons, too. But I also know that all week long, Depression was right there on my shoulder like the leprechaun that tells Ralph to burn it all down, and quietly telling me that there’s no point, there’s no reason to do it, it’s not worth my time.
And now it’s Friday, and Depression is telling me that I’m a failure because I didn’t finish the things that Depression helped ensure I didn’t start.
That’s the insidious part of Depression, at least for me, and I know that to a person who doesn’t struggle with mental illness like I do it just sounds like a pity party where all the gifts are excuses.
But here I am. On Friday. No closer to finishing the things I wanted to finish than I was on Monday.
And I’m tired. I’m having a hell of a time falling asleep and staying asleep, and when I do sleep, I have vivid dreams that make me feel like I haven’t slept at all.
These places I visit in my dreams, and the experiences I have when I’m there, are so real, I feel like I’m forced to live this other life when I fall asleep that I have no control over, and it’s not awesome.
I’ve had a splitting headache since I got out of bed two hours later than I wanted to, and I’m tired.
i’m so tired.
181 thoughts on “so distorted and thin”
hey so Wil i know im a little late to the game about some of the issues surrounding season 4 of tabletop and things like that but keep a chin up. you are one of my my favorite internet personalities and your work is always so much fun to watch. To be honest it’s kind of a dream of mine to go onto tabletop and play a game with you (don’t worry not holding my breath lol). But I’m a college student and me and my friends have gotten hours of entertainment out of the games you’ve essentially suggested. In fact, tabletop has actually got me through a lot as far as hard times go. I’m out in the middle of no where so finding people to play with isn’t the easiest thing. But regardless, continue being awesome and having fun on your show because watching it makes my day better, and my wallet a little bit thinner. I truly hope that you not only get this comment and read it but it helps in whatever little way it can in making you feel better. You’re awesome and I hope you feel better because what you do makes me feel better.
I’m trying to READ your recent posts (this one, for example) while also LISTENING to your podcast. Not Easy. The thing is, I reached the end of THIS post at the same time that I reached the point of your podcast where You Booked The Job From The Audition! Yay, YOU! Depression absolutely lies and is an Absolute Flaming Dick.
Thank you for always being honest with all of us out here, whether you’re riding high or sunk in the depths. You and Jenny are my Heroes.
I’m so sorry, Wil. Everything you’ve said about Depression is true, and it won’t let you see how truly wonderful you are as an actor, and as a writer, and as a person. But we, the people who have met you, know better. Just try to keep thinking about all the people who care about you. This too shall pass.
I can relate so much to this. Thank you for making me feel less alone in my struggle.
I have been battling mental illness for 20 years, hospitalized repeatedly, and I am currently unable to work trying to live on $737 a month of Social Security Disability. I get really down on where my life has been and currently where it is at. I feel like why does God have me here for? I have a BA in Business from Alverno College but have yet to use it and have a real career. I aspire to be a writer and I am a big fan of Julia Cameron and her Artist’s Way Trilogy of books. I must admit I envy your creative life cause you always seem to be doing great things despite your depression whereas my mental illness I am often incapacitated by mental illness. I am single at 42 living in transitional housing at Salvation Army and I go to an adult day treatment program during the week. I sit here thinking when will my life begin? I am nervous about starting Peer Specialist training in Omaha, Nebraska starting March 31st. A Peer Specialist is a mental health consumer who uses their experience with mental illness and training to help another mental health consumer with their recovery. I was trained as a Peer Specialist in Wisconsin in 2006. I then worked 10 hours a week on a warmline for the Waukesha Mental Health Association for a year. Then in 2007 I worked for a recovery center for adults with mental illness 10 hours a week for 6 years as a Peer Specialist facilitating Artist’s Way Circles Women’s Circles, and Prayer Circles. In 2011, I passed the state exam becoming a Wisconsin State Certified Peer Specialist. 2013 I relapsed with a combination of mental and physical illnesses and lost my job due to my illnesses. I fell in love with an Omaha guy and moved to Nebraska to be with him, but the relationship fell apart as I was hospitalized due to mental breakdowns 3 in one year. Also I found out my Wisconsin State Certification for Peer Specialist does not transfer to Nebraska. Meaning I have to start my training over again March 31 through April 15 then take the Nebraska State Peer Specialist Certification. Hopefully I can do this successfully so at least I can attempt to work again as a Peer Specialist. I am hoping to take all those 20 years of mental health recovery and be some help to someone like you. Have you ever heard of a Peer Specialist where you live? Reason I ask is because talking to a Peer Specialist can help you because they have been there and know from personal experience which some mental health providers lack. I strongly encourage you to try talking with a Peer Specialist. My big dream though I’d love to write a book that is why I admire you so much because you have written your blog and books already.
Sharing your story I realize that I idealized your life but through your depression you are more like me than I realized.
I can so relate to this. There are things I’ve been wanting to do that I’ll be excited about, but then that voice comes back to tell me how much I suck and can’t do anything right. I feel like giving up sometimes, but damn it I refuse to. Thank you Wil for being so open about your struggle and for continuing to be an inspiration.
I’m not sure if this is the right blog, but this has been on my mind…
Last summer a family friend who I grew up with, who we’ll call Daryl, lost his battle with depression. (I’m using a pseudoname because I don’t want to rob any of Daryl’s other friends and family of their right to grieve/reflect privately). Daryl was in his mid-30s.
Most of us knew of Daryl’s years of struggle with depression. And, Daryl would have stretches of good periods in his life, typically followed by bad periods. It seemed like a roller-coaster of sorts. That had to be really hard for Daryl.
Anyway, my point of writing this is to let ANYONE AND EVERYONE who suffers with depression know that, although the depression at times will have you convinced that all your family and friends would be better off without you…KNOW THAT IS ONE OF DEPRESSION’S MANY LIES!!!
I understand that part of depression can be one’s withdrawal (sudden or gradual) from those that care about them. And, this eventual “isolation” is what depression uses to trick people into thinking that everyone would be better off without them.
I cannot stress enough the fact that, had I known where Dylan was in his thinking; that he had again slipped into a bad (and now very dangerous) period in his thinking, I would have made every concerted effort to get alongside him and help him through it….my whole family would have! We simply didn’t know.
Day-to-day life brings with it the busy-ness that so often robs us of the time we would rather spend with family and friends…until one day, it’s too late.
So, if anyone who reads this is struggling with depression (or any other condition, for that matter) that is deceiving you into thinking about suicide….then STOP, and CALL SOMEONE!!! A family member, a friend (even if you haven’t seen or spoken with them in a long, long time)! A suicide hotline. Even “911.”
There are people that DO CARE about you, and WANT TO HELP YOU….they simply need to KNOW THAT YOU NEED HELP.
Give these people a chance to shine. You (and they) deserve no less.
NOTE: “Dylan” is not his real name, either.
Sorry Ready Player One, wasn’t ready for you. However, in just a few short weeks, we, the people who do appreciate you, get to experience Wil Wheaton in POWERS Season 2! Go enjoy a burrito. Don’t watch the evil Dr Scalzi as he corrupts them with pickles and next thing you know Raisins… Heaven help us all.
Those who don’t deal, don’t get it. Sometimes I wish there was a mental fast forward to the non-obsessively-depressed mind. The love around you and the great life are there when the unreasonable evil has passed. Take it one millisecond as a time, like you always do. You’re so strong and amazing. (I know that was like 2 weeks ago…. but I am still going through ups and downs and am behind on what makes me happy.)
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