Erika Sauter, this is your best piece ever and the most comprehensive and precise description I’ve ever read about depression. Your name for it — motherfucking sadness — is genius in its raw simplicity.

I’ve suffered from depression on and off most of my life with my current sadness-free period being my longest — 14 years. But, even during those years, motherfucking sadness has been a brief visitor, sticking a head in the door to remind me it’s always nearby or even staying for a chat and cup of tea.

That’s the odd, inexplicable character of the motherfucking sadness. One who doesn’t know depression would assume it’s an unwelcome intruder. But often that is not the case. The sadness comes as a long-absent friend, smiling sweetly, hugging warmth around my cold bones, giving me a place to fall softly. It feels like home. You captured that feeling of familiarity and comfort perfectly.

The problem with this old friend depression is that, like so many guests, it overstays its welcome, becoming the visitor who moves in permanently without invitation. It’s presence becomes heavy like mud-caked boots. Untidy and lacking hygienic skills, it trashes my home and leaves an odor of decay wherever it sits. I can’t escape my house-mate because it stalks me whenever I leave our abode, riding in the passenger seat of my car, perching on the edge of my desk, strolling beside me in the grocery store.

In spite of my years of experience, I have no words of wisdom other than to say you will come out of this. You will find a way to send your too-long visitor packing, wave a jaunty goodbye, and lock the door behind him. Maybe not today or tomorrow but one day.

Write more. Write often. Write brilliantly as you just did. Because the motherfucking sadness wants to own you, isolate you like a narcissistic boyfriend. Write because it pisses him off. And, one day, you’ll be a little free, just enough to evict the bastard or perhaps your writing will anger him enough that he will sneak out in the middle of the night.

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I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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