Here we go again. I keep wanting to write on here to talk about how things are moving forward, how I am getting better, etc etc. And yet, here I am months later and things aren’t progressing. In fact, it feels more like I’ve taken a step back. Can I be real a second?
My depression is back. It’s been coming on slowly the last few months, but the last few weeks it’s been hitting hard. It’s hard. It’s hard to be a health professional and KNOW that mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are a chemical and physiological change in your brain. It has NOTHING do to with how strong someone is or is not. And YET. And yet I keep hearing that voice in my head that is so strong some days telling me, it’s my fault- I am not strong enough. I know it’s not true and yet, some days I listen.
Mental illnesses are hard. On the outside, you can look fine. You can smile and laugh. You can be productive. You can have a pretty good life. And yet, all it takes some days is a word, a picture, a reminder, and then you crumble. Your smiles hide the feelings inside. And well meaning people who love you tell you they are there for you, that you can reach out whenever you need it. But the reality is, people don’t understand. Unless you’ve dealt with mental illnesses, you don’t get how one day can be so great and the next, with no seemingly apparent reason to the outside, the demons inside win. Unless you’ve dealt with mental illnesses, you don’t understand how it’s not something that goes away and doesn’t come back. It’s a constant battle. And I’m scared. I’m scared I’ll always have to deal with these demons, these feelings inside of inadequacy, doubt, hate, shame, anger, worthlessness. I hoped when this all began a few years ago that once I “beat” depression it would be gone. I don’t believe that anymore.
I’m trying to hold on to the things that reach to who I am- to minimalism and simplicity, to environmentalism and minimizing my impact, to weight lifting and feeling strong physically if not mentally, to people who love and understand me. I’m amazed at what happens when I open up to some people about what is going on inside. To the offers of visits whenever I need them, thank you. To the offers of a listening ear whenever I need them, thank you. To judgment free discussions, thank you. To the people who offer me distractions and time out of my head, thank you. Even if I don’t have a romantic partner, I know I have loving relationships with friends and family. I have a home filled with things I love; I have jobs that provide an outlet for my passions and pay the bills; I have Fall to look forward to (yay football), and I have many things of which I am grateful.
I might be on a lower part of this roller coaster right now, but I do have many positives in my life. I might be one step forward, two back right now, but I do hope in a better future. It might take some time, and I’m sorry if I haven’t been around as much- if I haven’t been as good of a friend, if I haven’t put in the extra effort lately. Some days it’s all I can do to go to work and make it home without getting caught up in my head. Thank you for understanding. Hopefully my next post will be a little more upbeat.
Things are rough right now, but there is hope.