I can’t really pinpoint the actual day I discovered I was “depressed”. Depression creeps up on you, disguising itself with different faces. For many years anorexia, food, exercise, my conquest to become this idealistic version of perfection concealed my depression.
Unbeknownst to me my anorexia was a mask for severe depression which I only truly understood till recovery. When I made the decision to fight my anorexia and get better, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t just food & exercise that I would have to create a healthy balance with, but that I would have to battle deeper demons within myself.
Depression is a mental illness. A BIG pet peeve of mine is when people comment “Why are you depressed?”, “You have nothing to be sad about!”, “You have so much going for you!”, “Just shake it off!”
Chronic depression isn’t waking up and feeling sad or blue for a couple hours, a day, a week. Chronic depression is waking up everyday with a sense of hopelessness, feeling like something is weighting you down, you feel helpless, worthless, empty, numb, inconsolable. I can’t even illustrate to the everyday person in words how debilitating depression is, the desperation you feel when you suffer from depression is undefinable unless you have experienced it yourself. If I could “shake it off” I would, a long time ago.
I don’t choose to live this way, I don’t know the cure! I just know that everyday I get up – is a new day – another day to battle. Some days are better then others, some are roller coasters, high one minute low the next. I can be filled with rage, impatiently irritable, contagiously laughing, uncontrollably crying with no reason. It’s very frustrating and debilitating. I’ll go through days of depression (sometimes weeks) and isolation. I detach myself from my loved ones, disconnect from the outside world, purposely close myself off because I feel worthless, hopeless, unloved, a burden.
Any ‘sane’ person would ask WHY do you bother, what kind of life is this? And there are lots of days where I ask myself the same thing. BUT I have minutes, moments, hours might I even say days of happiness, dare I say bliss. Even if these days are farther and few between they OUT weight the bad days. They remind me why I fight.
I want people out there who are struggling with depression, addiction, mental illness to know that this journey we travel is tough, you’ll have minutes of weakness, moments of misery, days of dejection, there will come times where you feel loss of hope. I want people who are battling to continue their fight, all we really know is that we have this one life.
Take solace in the tiniest of moments that bring you joy, hold on to those moments tight, remember them in times of despair. Know that none of you are alone, many of us – are battling our inner demons. Don’t be afraid to ask for help? Lean of loved ones. Find support where ever you can, be that friends, family, support groups, online, complete strangers. Sometimes all it takes is connecting with someone who understands your journey, it takes connecting with one person who identifies with the devastation and struggle of depression. Remember that nothing is as bleak as you think!
Alis Volat Propriis