A week ago I came to the realization that I will be open about what it means to live with depression. And, for me, with extreme anxiety. I am on medication for both but that only levels me out – it is not a cure. I have tried for years to hide it – to put on the happy face and, unfortunately, let the people whom I am closed to suffer from my hiding. I have treated the people I love worst of all because I was completely me – a horrible person out of control. No intent but I naively thought that I could be me with these people.
So … depression hurts. Life is dark, painful, lonely (not in the sense of being physically alone but being misunderstood). I rarely have any idea what I am feeling and often have completely opposite feelings at the same time. My mind is full of ideas and feelings that battle inside my head. It is a little like someone yelling at you in your head while outside you are smiling. Everyday things are a battle – getting up, eating, taking care of myself. And, unfortunately, those closest to me have taken the worst of it. It has taken time and space for me to see that and to be fully, truly, sorry for my behavior. And that makes me cry!
I have no excuse! I have no reason for my behavior. And I will be honest that often there seems only one way out. (I have a very understanding counsellor and some incredible friends whom I have made a deal with to not hurt myself without speaking to them.) I do not want to die (death is very final) but I want the pain to stop. I do not want attention or sympathy but I want to be open about every aspect. And when I was open about it (to my doctor and to my counsellor) life changed.
There are other aspects that I will write about some other time. Except to say that in the midst of it all there is always people who encourage me and take care of me (spiritually and physically). Random people who encourage, people who smile.
So I am going to keep writing about it.