The Limits of My Language
The Limits of My Language by Eva Meijer, translation: Antoinette Fawcett
(Pushkin Press, 2021, 144 pages)
In 2016, more than a million people in the Netherlands were using an antidepressant. While a lot has been written about the treatment of depression, its broader meaning has received far less attention. In The Limits of My Language: Meditations on Depression Eva Meijer uses her own experiences with depression as a resource for a surprisingly new analysis of the phenomenon. She explains how people with recurring depressive periods come to resemble trees growing crookedly – how not their brain but their soul keeps adapting. She discusses the benefit of therapy, the way in which language gives us shape and how we can sometimes reshape ourselves in conversations with others. The essay is a plea for literally moving on, for going for a run and walking the dogs; a plea for being perseverant. And finally, it is a search for what makes our lives valuable after all – from philosophy and art to useless things, from the consolation of silence to cats and trees in winter.