*Disclaimer-this post is going to be a bit of mind dump about mental health. If it’s not your thing, that’s fine.*
If I’m being honest, I have a lot of guilt and hesitance over publicly claiming that I have depression. I do, but typically it’s so manageable that I hardly notice it. Unlike some people, mine is not a daily struggle-most of the time.
The majority of the time I go through life relatively unaffected by depression. It may show in a shortened temper, a likeliness to cry faster than most, and in my view of the world (most times it’s a conscious effort to see positives instead of negatives). Those are things that I’ve become used to adjusting for, things that I’ve done every day for so long that I do it without thinking anymore. I cope.
Just because I have found decent coping tools though doesn’t mean that I’m not depressed. I don’t suffer from depression, I live with it. Most people wouldn’t know it. Most people wouldn’t believe it. Luckily I don’t have to prove shit to you…so there’s that.
The winter is different though. I won’t go so far as to say that I have SAD (seasonal affect disorder) on top of my depression, but the shorter days and less fresh air do play a part. In general, I have a lot of anxiety and stress about the holidays. It’s a lot of social gatherings that my introverted self finds super draining. Then there’s the budget issues (as in I have a large family to shop for and no money to do that with), and of course there’s the fact that I am working like a damn slave.
Granted I want to see my family and friends and I love the work I do…and the money issues are my making. All of that just cycles around to guilt and anger directed inward. It’s a seriously unhealthy pattern and one that I have a hard time combatting when I feel mentally sluggish, unmotivated, and generally cranky.
When I’m in a full blown episode, I know it. I know full well that I’m spiraling and I fight it, I do, but it’s exhausting. Can you imagine waking up every morning and having to work for every breath instead of it being an instinct? There are times every breath hurts and I fight until I get light headed to just not take the next one. It feels so unfair that I should have to work this hard just to be, just to go through my day.
I do though, always. I fight to smile, to find joy in something small, to feel accomplished in a tiny task. Anything that can help boost me, I cling to. So right now I can say that I’m not okay. I’m having a rough time just getting through the day without breaking down. I want to cry all the time, I fight to stay awake when all I want to do is sleep. I am struggling to find the desire to write (which is one thing I know helps me and the one thing I just can’t seem to do) and my typical self motivation is failing me. I’m clinging to the good so hard I’m sure I’ll shatter that, too. I’m scared and I hate that I feel like this.
I don’t want to hate my own mind. I don’t want to feel like this anymore but it’s not as simple as somebody saying “then just be happy”. I wish it was. Jesus, I wish it was.
So I’m working on forgiving myself when I have weakness. I’m learning to not necessarily allow my depression but to stop hating myself for it. I’m putting myself first when I have to, using my no, and trying to stay healthy.
I’m not okay, at all. I’m trying though…really hard…and that’s all I can ask of myself.