Personal Story: The Abyss is Musty

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.

-Alisa

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it wasn’t easy but it is one that needs to be heard, and I am so grateful you told it. My husband suffers from manic depression, and anxiety on top of that, so I know how hard and debilitating this disease can be. On his really low days, he feels as if there is no one else like him, or that no one understands. I say all of this to let you know that your story is powerful, and can help so many, including my hubs. Praying that good days are coming for you quickly.

    Like

    1. This literally just made me cry. Thank you so much for reading this post. And your husband is definitely not alone. I know it’s hard for people who suffer from mental illness to get out of our own heads sometimes, but there are so many people who support both of us and I hope he does know that. My love and best wishes to you and your husband and thank you for your kind words. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nycbookgirl says:

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing such a personal story. I really hope the low days run out soon and the blue sky days are back for as long as they can stay. I’m here whenever you need ❤️

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for being such a great friend! I am hoping to turn the depression corner soon! 🙂

      Like

  3. Tangled in Text says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve recently gotten sick of hiding under the constant storm following me around and went to therapy for the first time in my life a few weeks ago at 26. I’ve been suffering for over a decade from depression and PTSD that’s lead to severe anxiety attacks where my chest collapses in on itself suddenly and I feel like I can’t take a breathe deep enough to expand, so I start hyperventilating. I grew up with a family that made fun of me for always moping around and called me Eeyore, so it’s nice to see I’m not alone.

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    1. Therapy is so valuable for so many people and I am so glad to hear that you are taking advantage of it. And that is so ironic that your family calls you Eeyore, because my husband does that to me too! Thank you for sharing your story with me and I hope you know that I am always here to chat if you need it.

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  4. Stephanie (@stephanietries) says:

    I sobbed reading this because I relate to it on a a deep, emotional and like molecular level. In my case I have only recently realized how long this has been an issue for me (most of my life- I’m 33 now). Not only am I trying to balance and manage and figuring it out, but I’m also struggling with how different my life might be had I confronted this years ago. Needless to say, it’s going to be a journey and I have a long way to go. But reading others be so open about it (and even reading about different forms of mental illness in fiction works this year) has made me feel like it’s going to be ok. Thank you for sharing your story. You’ve made me want to write mine down.

    Like

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry that this made you cry! I am sad that this is something that you can relate to so deeply, but I hope you know that that just means that there are people out there who are like you and who feel the way you do. Depression is incredibly isolating and to know that people understand how you feel makes things so much easier when you start to feel down. It is definitely a journey, but it seems like you are on the path to getting the help that will make you feel so much better. I am always here for you if you need to talk and I am glad that this blog post helped you. And yes, everything WILL be okay. And I definitely recommend writing about your experiences and feelings because, even if you don’t publish them online, writing can be incredibly therapeutic. Love and hugs to you, friend!

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  5. Roasted Romance says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and severe anxiety and while it’s hard to talk about it does help. I am too a happy lightheaded but after going through what we did with our son sometimes I dont Know how to crawl my way back out. Sometimes I do feel suffocated because I am So very thankful that he is ok but it almost makes me feel guilty for feeling sad. I hope You continue to share and while we have different paths I hope we can both draw happiness from each other!

    Like

    1. Thank you for being willing to share a piece of your story with me, as I know how hard that truly is. I think of one the hardest things about mental illness is forgiving ourselves, and I so hope that both of us, and anyone else who is suffering, can start to feel comfort over time. Thank you for reading and you’re in my thoughts always. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Roasted Romance says:

        That’s so true. I hope that too!

        Like

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