Friday, September 9, 2011

When I first read "The Prisoner of Azkaban,"by J.K. Rowling, the dementors didn't seem so scary. Sure, they were highly unpleasant, but not terrifying. The thought of just being near one and having it suck out the happiness and hope until nothing was left but an empty shell was too remote of an idea and I didn't fully get the impact.

Now, I do. I understand on a level which I'd never wish on anyone. I recently read where Rowling based the idea of dementors on her experience with depression. Not sadness or the occasional unhappiness, but the deep hopelessness of seeing nothing of beauty or worth in life. Here's a quote from her.

“Yes. That is exactly what they are. It was entirely conscious. And entirely from my own experience. Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It’s a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”
“I think [dementors] are the scariest things I’ve written.”
–J.K. Rowling (quote from

Life is full of ups and downs for everyone - that's part of life. However, there are times in life when one does lose all hope and if you were drowning - you don't know if you'd bother kicking your legs to reach the top again. Over the past few years, life has been, how shall I say this? Not quite the happy world it once was. Depression in a serious issue and I think a lot of creative people suffer from it. Sometimes it gets so hard to fight that you don't know which way will bring you back to the light at the surface.

As I mentioned earlier, the past few years have been exceedingly rough. My own personal battle with dementors started in 2001, but has been near constant since 2008. There has been job, possession, home and friend loss. The loss of physical things I think I could have handled better had it not been for something else - the loss of self respect and basic human dignity. You see, when we lost our home to foreclosure (brought about by the job loss), we had to stay with relatives. I'd read, before all this happened, that sometimes, being taken in by family in such a situation, had worse repercussions than those who stayed with friends or even in homeless shelters. At that time, it never occured to me how such a thing could be possible.

I hope you never know the feeling of being a bother, of being humiliated by your mere existence. I hope you never know how it feels to know you're not wanted and in the way. I hope you never want to disappear, just so you won't have to wake up to see the condescending looks and hear the whispers of your failure repeated daily. I hope you are never pushed into a corner and kept there by fear. Fear of losing the little you have left.

Things in life have improved. We're in another state where we're renting a home. However, the depression is still there and I have the feeling it always will be. It's something I fight on a daily basis. I can feel when a bad funk is coming on. It's physically hard to smile. Things that once made you laugh you find irritating. There's nothing between you and the dark, stormy abyss.

This has been my own experience and I hope that if you suffer from depression you get the help that's best for you. I'm not sure why I felt the need to talk about this today. I usually try to keep the posts fun and a bit quirky or offbeat, but here it is. Love you all and wish you the best!


  1. Hi Rebecca, I have walked a mile in your shoes. The main thing is that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go on in life with that head held high. Along the way you will find Angels on earth that help you recoup, regroup and be your good self again. You can tell who those people are in my life that are Angels. I strive to tell them how much they mean to me in my heart.

    You never know what the other person may have suffered in their life. And some of the best writers have had turbulations and trials along the path of their life. And for that they have become a better person, a beautiful writer, etc.

    I love you, Rebecca. I have made a friend in you for life. Know that.
    hugs, louise xx

  2. Rebecca, this post is so well spoke and touching. As the anonomous person above spoke, I feel your pain. I've been homeless a few times (and actually lived in wealth a few times as well). Rail against the madness, know the ding in your soul is empathy, which is one of the greatest gifts, especially as creator or writer. I was going to publish the anonymously, but truly, you deserve company, and the world should have faces to the plights and courage of others. Love you too.

    Agy Wilson