19.2.12

depression sucks big time

Hello internetz! It's been awhile, hey? Did you miss me? I missed you! I'm glad to see that you're still here and doing just dandy. Me? Oh, well...things haven't been exactly dandy (or even slightly dandy for that matter), but they're getting better.

Hyperbole and a Half

You see, I've been very depressed. In fact, this was one of the worst depressive episodes I've ever experienced. It's very hard for me to write about in spite of the fact that I've written about my depression before. Or perhaps I've just alluded to it? Either way, I want to share my story now. Or at least allude to it a little less alludalish. (I like making up words.) I think it's important to talk openly about depression and other mental illnesses. We've come a long way in our perception and acceptance of it, but a lot of people, including some who suffer from mental illness, still treat it as a dirty little secret. Yup, there's still a few stubborn little clingy bits of stigma left. Like, you know the glue residue left when you peel labels off of jars, and then you try to scrape it off with your fingernails but that just spreads it around and gets on your fingers, and then dirt and hair get all stuck to the jar and it looks really gross? Yeah, it's kinda like that.

This isn't meant to be a lecture. I have my own struggles with perception, acceptance and dirty little secrets. I have a mental illness. I'm not lazy. I'm not weak-willed. And it's not my fault. These are all concepts that the logical part of my brain knows to be true. But, at the same time the depressed part of my brain struggles with feelings of shame and guilt. As if being fucking depressed weren't bad enough.

It really upsets me when people say things like "you just have to push yourself". If I had a broken leg would you tell me to "just walk it off"? Of course not. Telling someone with depression to push themselves, snap out of it, or get over it is basically telling them that they are at fault, that they are choosing to be depressed. And believe me, it's not a choice. I don't want to sit in my apartment, hating myself and crying. I don't want to avoid human contact. I don't like being completely uninterested in making things, writing things or even cleaning things. I don't like being completely unable to do the things that need to get done. And I really don't like all the wasted time and missed opportunities.

I'm doing better now obviously, or I wouldn't be back here. It kind of feels like I was trapped underwater for the past month and have finally managed to make it to the surface for air. Mind you, I'm still in the water, but at least I can breathe. I'll let you know when I've reached the Horror Movies and Skittles Stage.

(That last sentence won't make any sense until you go and read the comic about depression from Hyperbole and a Half, which you should totally do right now. Then you need to read all of the other comics. Just make sure you're not drinking anything 'cause you'll be laughing so hard that it'll just shoot out of your nose and all over your computer screen. Your welcome.)

14 comments:

  1. Welcome back and not sure exactly how to say this but I know how you are feeling and I'm sorry. That's a crappy place to be. <3 Take care of yourself

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  2. So sorry to hear that you are feeling so sad Leah. Our son has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression but he won't talk about it. He stays in bed until 1pm and we just don't know how to help him. The Doctor sent him for CBT and gave him pills. After taking anti depressants for a month he felt ok so stopped taking them. Big mistake! I hope and pray that one day he will get better but until then all we can do is love and support him. I hope that you have lots of support at this difficult time. Take care of you. Marion x

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    1. Thanks Marion. I've actually been on antidepressants for years, so yes, you need to keep taking them for them to work. Sometimes you even need to try different types before you find one that works for you (I did). It's all trial and error unfortunately. I think counselling may have helped more than pills though.

      I doubt anyone who hasn't actually gone through it can really understand, but I think just "being there" is probably the most important thing you can do for your son.

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  3. I've missed you!
    I think that you are right when you say someone who hasn't been there doesn't really understand. I'm trying though. I'm glad you aren't underwater anymore (that part I understand!) I wish it was as simple as sending you a box of Skittles, 'cause I'd be all over that if it was!
    I suck at putting thoughts into words, but I am great at listening if you need it. You've got my email....

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    1. It's totally ok that you don't understand. Actually, that Hyperbole and a Half comic is pretty much spot on. Good visual references! Well, except for that part about the exoskeleton. That's never happened to me exactly, but it is almost like suddenly and out of the blue realizing that you're not hopelessly sad for no reason any more, and what the hell was wrong with me anyway? See, I understand that people don't understand, because when I'm not going through it, it just seems far away and strange. Yeah, I'm not good with words either. ;)

      Oh, and I don't like Skittles anyway. Thanks though! lol

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  4. It must have been in air , I too also had an unscheduled hiatus on my blog due to my depression. I'm glad you are pulling out of it too! And I'm glad you're back too!

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    1. Thank you. And I was glad to see you were back too. :)

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  5. glad you're feeling better. that IS a fabulous comic. love it. I always liken my depression to swirling down the toilet bowl. feeling better when I can grab ahold of the seat to start pulling myself up. winter months after new years are always the worst. here's to sunny skies.

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    1. Lol! That's a fabulous analogy! And yes, gray, cold, dark-before-dinner winters are the worst.

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  6. So sorry to hear this. My favorite is when people say "you probably just need to get out of the house...get some fresh air and sunshine"...that sort of thing. It's not like I'm an old blanket that could use some airing out on the line.

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    1. Yeah really! Might as well suggest a new haircut and maybe some shoe shopping. Then again, there is something to be said for retail therapy.

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  7. i understand what you're talking about, i've been on both sides of mental illness all my life. my mother had major depression with psychotic features from the time i was 3 or 4, my husband is bipolar, & i have fibromyalgia - with a chronic pain condition you generally get chronic depression as a side effect yay!!! isn't brain chemistry fun? i agree with Christina, it's in the air right now- i've been in a funk too!! i agree with you too- skittles help, tho i do nature docs instead of horror movies ;)

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    1. Brain Chemistry 101: Lesson One - Your brain hates you.

      Nature documentaries are great! I'm a total nerd for nature. :P

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Thanks for commenting! It gives me the warm fuzzies. :)