It’s 12:30 in the fucking morning, and I’m about .2 seconds from balling my eyes out.
The waterworks have begun.
Why? I couldn’t tell you. That’s the worst fucking part.
One of the hardest parts of depression is knowing something is wrong, but not knowing what that something is. You don’t know how to fix it, you don’t know what will help or what will make you feel better. You don’t want to talk, you don’t want to be touched. Half the time I don’t even want to be asked if I’m okay – because I don’t feel like lying.
But as I sit here at my desk, letting these tears out that have been clawing at my eyes since 10AM this morning, I wish I was stronger. I wish I was brave enough to talk about my demons, to work through them, to confront them.
All I could think about today was crawling back into bed. Hiding away under about 50 blankets and watching way too many hours of Netflix. Turning off my phone, turning off the world. Avoiding any and all responsibilities and human contact.
It’s been (what feels like) a long time since I’ve let feelings like this take over. It’s been awhile since I’ve sat here and let myself cry, let myself relax. I’ve been suppressing feelings for a long time now – I’ve been pushing and pushing them down so I don’t have to face them.
And there’s my biggest problem: I’m afraid of facing my depression.
Having a mental illness isn’t “fun”, it’s not “cool”, or “sad”, or “stylish”. It’s this: it’s painful, it’s crying in the middle of the night, it’s not being able to sleep because your brain won’t shut off, it’s avoiding responsibilities for no reason at all, it’s watching too much TV, it’s spending too much time on your phone looking at quotes or reading articles, it’s shaking off those harmful thoughts, it’s putting on a brave face for as long as you can, it’s panic attacks in the bathroom at school, it’s hyperventilating under the covers, it’s 3AM walks and really long showers and overthinking until you want to rip your hair out.
Often, the scariest part for me is admitting that I may never be able to beat this thing. It’s thinking about passing this onto my children someday. It’s worrying that I’m putting this onto my significant other, my family, my friends. It’s being terrified of letting people in, simply for fear of losing them. It’s the thought that I might have to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. It’s the lump in my throat, when I think about how many tears I’ve shed over these demons.
A lot of the time, I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to hear, “just push through, things will get better!”, or “why didn’t you just talk to me about it”, or “I understand what you’re going through”.
I hate when people tell me how to feel. I hate when I’m told that this is in my hands, and blah blah blah. Because, you know what? It’s not. Unfortunately, there’s a chemical imbalance in my brain that gave me this mental illness. Do I have any control? Yes. I can control how I deal with things, how I work to overcome them… but I can’t always control the way I’m feeling. It’s not an on and off switch I can just flip whenever I’m feeling sad.
I never say these things to get pity from others. I never hide my feelings because I want people to ask questions, or because I want them to make me feel better. I try my best to wake up in the morning, curl my hair, put on my make up, get dressed, and live my life. Some days, it’s just easier than others. It’s easy to hide behind the mask of, “I’m fine”. It’s easy to look presentable so people don’t ask questions and you don’t have to answer them.
I say these things, I write these things, I post these things – because I’m here to remind someone, ANYONE, that they’re not alone. That although every form of depression (or any mental illness for that matter) is different, we can all RELATE. I may not understand exactly what you’re going through, you may not have the perfect words to say to me… but you’re never alone. Depression may tell you that you’re alone, those demons may scream that no one wants you – but they’re wrong, depression is wrong.
You are loved. You are worthy. You are strong. You are capable. And you are NOT defined by your mental illness.
It may feel that way when you’re crying over the keys on your laptop at one in the morning… but that doesn’t mean it’s true.