I struggle with depression - and have for a very long time. Until recently, I suffered in silence - I ran away from my problems because I didn't want to hurt any one. I didn't want to face my demons. There came a point where something had to give - I ended up choosing to break the silence instead of breaking myself.
I started slowly, only telling the few people that needed to know. And for a while, that was enough. But eventually I felt the need to come clean to everyone whom I might have hurt by shutting them out.
This is the result.
My secret is that I suffer from depression - soul-sucking, mind-crushing depression. I'm not depressed all the time, mind you, but I'm depressed enough that it's a problem.
Life with depression is...different than what you might expect. I'm not "emo" - I don't sit around crying all the time. Instead, it's more like an altered mindset -like looking at the world through a pair of lead sunglasses.
My first instinct is to look at the problems associated with a situation rather than the benefits, and while I can enjoy things, it takes more effort to "lift the sunglasses" than it does for most people. My inner critic is very strong, making it easy to get discouraged and down on myself. If I don't catch myself, I spiral down.
These spirals occasionally turn into major depressive episodes. I've only ever been through four or five of these episodes (which last anywhere from two weeks to just over a month), so they are most definitely NOT NORMAL for me. Each of these major depressive episodes has changed me. You can't go to hell and back without earning a few scars in the process.
I wouldn't be surprised if people I know in real life didn't notice my depression - I've worked VERY hard to put on a "happy mask," pretend that everything was okay. I've never dealt well with emotions, so I worked to hide what I was feeling so I wouldn't have to admit I was struggling. I only opened up to a very few people last year because I was nearing a breaking point - I needed help and I couldn't do that without talking to people.
I'm done pretending.
It's time for me to grow up and start living with depression instead of just dealing with it.
I've already started: I'm on medication, starting to exercise, watching what I put into my body, and seeing a counselor.
Are you with me?
I can honestly say that while it was incredibly tough putting it all out there, it was the best decision I've ever made.7 Comments