Okay, I am going to write about something that I have been scared to write about for a long time now. Maybe some of you have noticed tones of it in my other posts. Maybe not.
A little over a year ago I admitted, to myself and to my partner, that I have depression.
Admitting it to myself finally made my struggle real. For so long I have resonated with other people’s stories of depression. Whether it was their stories on facebook, or The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. The thing is, I wasn’t suicidal. So in my mind I didn’t have depression. Because other people’s stories were always so much worse than mine. But comparing your hardships to others doesn’t make them any less painful. And just because I knew that outting myself wouldn’t solve anything and would only hurt those around me, didn’t mean there weren’t moments when I just wished I wasn’t alive.
Admitting to my partner was my first step to getting help. His reaction showed me that I had support, and I was amazed time and time again at the relief I felt as I told each of the closest people in my life. I was no longer alone, to carry this burden on my own.
In August of 2017 I started taking medication. And things got better, a lot better. Very very quickly. I couldn’t believe the difference. I couldn’t believe that I had suffered for so long when there was such an easy way out. I thought that if it kept getting better at that rate then I’d be off the meds and cured in no time.
But nothing is ever that easy.
Eventually it sort of plateaued. And then I had an episode. And another one. And another one. The third time I fell into despair, and worried that I would never get better and that this was my life and I was stuck with it.
I needed something to get me out of it. So I curled up in my dark room, under fuzzy blankets, surrounded by snotty kleenex and a few of my favourite comfort items, and I put on The Hilarious World of Depression Podcast. It put some good ideas into my head. One of the stories was from someone who had the exact same thought I did: “how can I live the rest of my life like this?” But then they took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, and realized that each episode had gotten better than the last. Maybe not the episode itself, but at least the way they managed it.
And for me, looking back, it has gotten significantly better. In the way I manage it and in the way it feels. Getting better is going to be a long and difficult road, with maybe a few detours, and construction zones along the way. So today, when I woke up, and that miserable thought started to creep into my mind, oozing darkness like a big disgusting demon, I looked at it and said F*** you! You don’t get to decide how my day is going to be.
So far, I think it worked.
Image by Der-Reiko on DeviantArt