I’ve gone back and forth about a hundred times in the past few weeks trying to decide whether or not I should talk about this. What I’ve concluded is that NOT talking about it makes it worse for me in most cases. Most of the time, all I want to do is just word vomit out my feelings and thoughts so they are out there in the universe, no turning back, but their weight no longer drags me down.
What I want to talk to you about is this: I’ve been living with depression for over 12 years now. There. It’s out in the universe. Weight lifted.
I know this doesn’t have anything to do with reading or books (though, it does affect both of those things), but I felt like if I didn’t talk about it at all on my blog, I would be forever hiding behind a façade of humor and lightheartedness. While I am those things, that is not all of me. I hope you don’t mind me introducing you to my dark side.
I first found out I had depression when I was 13 years old. I went to my doctor because I had been experiencing episodes of lightheadedness to the point of almost fainting, unexplained weight loss, and an overall feeling of, well, depression. At the time, I thought that it had to do with my hormones as a teenage girl, but after a few psych evaluations, it was concluded that all of my symptoms pointed to severe and chronic depression and anxiety. I wasn’t surprised, but I did have a million questions about what my next steps would be. For my doctor, the answer was medication. For me, the answer was a lifetime supply of “why can’t I just feel normal?” Spoiler alert: The meds didn’t work and the lack of normalcy continues on today.
Fast-forward to today and at almost 25 years old, I’m still struggling. There are days and times where I feel like a brainless robot stuck in a never-ending pattern of daily chores and responsibilities. There are days when I literally feel nothing. That’s one thing about depression a lot of people who don’t live with it don’t understand. Depression isn’t always sadness, and for me, it almost never is. For me, depression is a sense of emptiness. A deep, hollow-feeling emptiness that makes you feel like you got punched in the stomach when it hits you. I would rather be sad than empty any day because at least “feeling sad” is feeling SOMETHING. At almost 25 years old, I fight that emptiness constantly. Sometimes it stays for 1 day, other times, it stays for 2 months. Right now, I’m living through month 3.
There is so much that I have in my life to be thankful for. I have a job that I love, I have a home that I could only dream about, I have a husband who is the greatest thing to ever happen to me, I have family who supports me, and I have dogs who are my pride and joy. But depression isn’t a lack of gratitude. Nope. Depression is seeing those things, feeling that hollow feeling I mentioned and asking yourself “Why is this not enough for you to be happy, you inadequate, chemically imbalanced brain?”
Over the past 3 months, a lot has happened in my life that has made the blue sky days few and far in between. I’ve struggled more than I have in a long time and despite my best efforts, I seem to keep digging the hole deeper and deeper to the point where I have isolated myself from the outside world and people I care about. It sucks big time.
I didn’t write this post to bring anyone down, to elicit sympathy, or to do anything other than let everyone out there who is struggling that I am with you, I am here for you, and I understand and support you. Your feelings are valid.
Today was the first day in a long time that I started my day with the sentence “I am going to make today a good one, dang it!” It didn’t work, at all, but if I keep saying that phrase every day, maybe it will click. Speak what you want into existence, right? Let’s hope that my slide into the dark abyss can turn itself around sometime soon. I don’t like the abyss… it’s musty in here.
Thank you for reading and I hope you all know how much you are cared for.