I battle with depression.
It’s not something I talk about. It’s not something society talks about.
Society doesn’t like depression. Many might say it’s not real, or “it’s just in your head.”
“All you have to do is try harder.”
“Put a smile on and your depression will go away.”
I’ve never been diagnosed. I’ve been terrified to label myself as someone who is depressed. Will it hinder my career? Will it affect other parts of my life if I’m labeled as ‘depressed’?
Society doesn’t like people who are depressed.
“You’ve never been diagnosed, so how do you know you’re depressed?”
I know it’s not healthy to self-diagnose myself. It’s even unhealthier to avoid my issues.
There are days I find it impossible to lift a finger. My apartment turns into a disaster. I find myself glued to the couch, in front of my computer, staring aimlessly at my computer screen, doing nothing productive. Usually I’m scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, reading about other people’s lives, looking at all the wonderful things they’re accomplishing, while I’m sitting on the couch. Doing nothing. Nothing at all.
Sometimes I turn to Netflix or books. But even that is a challenge. I have so many TV shows and books I want to watch and read.
I have so many stories I want to write.
I have so many places I want to go.
Then I end up, staring at a computer screen, letting my brain turn to mush.
I’m tired of being depressed. I want to fight it. I want to rise above it.
But I can’t just ‘put a smile on my face’ and be okay. It’s not that easy.
I’m still terrified to seek help. I’m terrified to take medications. But at the same time, I know what I’m experiencing is chronic. It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life.
One minute I can be fine. Usually it’s when I’m outside doing stuff. When I’m at the pool or meeting with a friend. I’m fine when I’m reading or writing. Or when I’ve found a new TV show to love. I feel fine while my brain is active.
It’s getting my brain to work that’s the challenge.
I just got home a few minutes ago, and I was hit with an overwhelming sense of sadness and hopelessness. When I was out, I didn’t feel like that. I felt like anything was possible. The sadness didn’t come until I got home. I wanted to crawl into bed and cry, when there’s so much else I could be doing.
Instead of crawling into bed to cry, I decided to write this blog post, and I’m already feeling better.
Depression is real. So I’m saying it: I’m depressed.
This isn’t a promise to seek professional help. I know others will tell me to, and that it will help. Remember, I’m scared. My parents took me to a child psychologist when I was a child, and she basically told them that my problems were all my fault.
I read. I read a lot, and while I know therapy can be beneficial. I know it can bring a new perspective, but at the same time, I feel like many therapists can be judgmental. I’m open to therapy and to seek help, but again, I’ve had bad experiences in the past and I’m hesitant. I’m also very self-aware of my problem, and I’m willing to admit the faults I have. I’m a dreamer, not a doer, though I want to work to become a doer. I’m socially awkward and struggle with making friends. Socializing does not come naturally to me.
I’m trying hard to get out in the community and volunteer as much as I can. I’ve been out all weekend, and I’m physically and mentally exhausted. I’m an introvert, so I require an adequate time alone. I’ll never be a person who’s constantly on the go. I need time to recharge. Yet, I need to find a balance. I want to find success in this life, but I also don’t want to burn myself out.
Writing this has helped. When I start to feel down, I need to utilize this craft more often. It’s just a challenge, and from what I’ve heard and read, that’s one of the drawbacks of battling depression.
Everything is a struggle.
Depression is real, and it’s a constant battle.
You can’t just put a smile on your face and be ‘fine’.
You can mask your pain, but it’s always going to be lingering, and when you’re alone is when it hurts the worst.