Depression is sort of weird, isn’t it? One moment you’re completely fine; the next, you’re knocked down and you don’t know how you got there. More often than not during a depressive episode, we find ways of blaming ourselves for it even happening in the first place.
I’m in one of those episodes right now. And dammit am I ready for the season finale.
This is a bit different from the other blog posts I’ve shared on this website. Instead of offering you tips or suggestions, I’m here today to provide you with only one thing: me. I just want to open up and tell you how I have been feeling.
When it comes to mental health, I try to be open and honest about my journey. For some reason, mental health is still a taboo subject for so many and I want to open that door for you so you know it’s okay to talk about. I do this not only to better understand where I am at, personally, but also to let you all know: you are not alone.
**Note: This is a scheduled post. I wrote this on Thursday, 9/2, and it is being posted on Monday, 9/6**
I’ve been told I come across as someone who is confident, happy, excited about life. More than once I’ve heard I’m “a bit too much” or maybe even intimidating. As a strong-willed extrovert, I typically will lay claim to those identifiers. But I think you’d be shocked if you were to peer into my room on a “bad day.”
I’ve been having a bad day every day for a little over 2 weeks now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many around me didn’t even know. That’s the thing about depression. It’s easy to hide. I know the cues people are looking for when they’re around me. I know how I usually act. So it’s easy to put up that facade and play the part.
Once I get home, though? The walls come down and I’m left with just myself. And right now my brain is telling me that I am worthless. I know it’s not true, of course. I’ve gone through years of therapy and learning myself to be able to understand that. Still, it’s really easy to give in and listen to it every once in a while. How could I not cave in and listen to that constant, pestering voice that lives inside my head? I’m only human, after all.
On a normal day, I get up with (or even before) my 7:30 am alarm and start my day full-throttle. I have breakfast, get some exercise in, read a chapter of a book, and sometimes even journal before hopping straight into my work for the day. Lately, that hasn’t been the case.
Lately, I’m lucky if I can haul myself out of bed before 11 am. Even then, I’m doing the bare minimum. I’ll walk my dog, have a cup of coffee, and maybe after a few hours of nothing, I’ll sit down and try to work. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t.
Despite this sluggish, slow type of day, I still find myself exhausted again before 6 pm. I don’t have enough energy to be creative. I don’t have enough energy for games. I don’t even have enough energy to make food. You don’t want to know the number of times my dinner has been some sort of chip and dip these past few weeks.
And you know what? I’m proud of that.
Some people might be confused and ask how I can possibly be proud to be living a life like that. And the simple answer? I’m not living a life like that. I’m living a few weeks like that. And I’m still here.
The fact that I am getting up and out of bed? Amazing. That I am getting something into my body, even if it’s just coffee? Incredible. That I am even putting in the effort to do work? Absolutely unbelievable.
I am so proud.
I know this episode is temporary. I could just lay around and do nothing and let the depression wash over me until it’s gone. I’ve done that before.
But this time, I’m not. I’m choosing life. It’s not easy, but I’m doing it.
I’m proud of myself for getting to a point in my mental health journey where this is possible. I’m proud of myself for even being able to write this.
“This too shall pass.”
Sure. But with all of my hard work, I know that it’s passing faster.
And so I’m proud of myself.
I know not everyone is capable of working through their depression in the same way as I am.