People are speaking a lot more about mental health and it’s great. Sadly it’s just not the way I expected. Society is leaning towards sugar coating the whole idea of it like it’s some misconception we fumbled across. A piece of gum found under a desk that had been stuck there weeks ago.
You need it and it needs you.
Committing myself to a lover with Bipolar disorder, CPTSD, and a crippling, low self esteem was not an overnight decision. I took an extensive amount of time researching and plodding over the data, the case studies, the sheer amount of information. I knew in my heart, in the deepest wells of my capacity, that these were merely hurdles. The love I had and still have for this person, my person, would overcome any disease, or illness, or disorder, and, in that aspect I am right. Still, the evening of his attempted suicide has not disappeared from my recollection. We do not speak of that night. He has not read my disparaging journal entries, he has never been able to account for my despair, and understandably so. It must be incredibly hard to accept that your pain has bled into your lover, staining her. Writing this, I am in no way placing responsibility on him to acknowledge my grief. This grief is my own, and it has been wiped away without malice, but wiped away it has been. Maybe you are in a similar situation. Perhaps you are reading this, because you too, have trauma that is unfortunately an afterthought in the healing process. How do we navigate this? How do we hold such tragedy in our hearts without the support of our first line of defenses, our lover? I am taking your hand here. I want to write, no, I am called to write this, so you know this is not a confined trauma within you. I know your pain. I live with a pain similar to yours. While I am no expert, I would like to shed light on some of my struggles, and some of the beautifully sad advice I have learned and discovered along my way towards my personal recovery.
The next decade of humanity will be defined by three mental conditions: Stress, anxiety and depression. This triad will take more lives in the next ten years than the first and second World Wars together and I was very close to be part of that statistic.
It’s not about them anymore.
I remember thinking about it.... I remember wondering what it would be like to leave. I remember wondering if I would go to hell for doing this. After all, the nun said it was a sin. I remember thinking I didn't want to burn in hell. Multiple times a week, when I was in a place I didn't want to be... having to babysit my youngest siblings who were 6 that June, while I was 14. Taking them for a walk to the corner store for popsicles, while my friends were at the park; hanging out, laughing and having fun. My middle brothers able to go out, play baseball and be with their friends. I was told it was my duty as the oldest of 5 children to help with the younger ones when my father had to work 2 jobs and my mother had to work a night job. Feeling detached from the social circle, but more than that, feeling so different and freakish at almost 6 feet at 14 years old. Maybe I didn't belong there anyway. After all, I was tall, skinny, and ugly and they were pretty. They had boys paying attention to them. No one looked or talked to me like that.
It’s Friday at 4 PM. Almost time to punch out of work from a hellish week of the same mundane routine. You answer emails and take orders from your boss while you force a smile as if you are happy to be there. But the truth is, you just want to RUN home.
Okay, so I got a bit carried away in my first post, starting with something as specific as the implication of the immune system in depression. Maybe I should have started with something a bit more general, like the systems involved in depression that have been established for years, and then moved onto more current topics. So that’s what I’m sharing with you today! I hope it’s still interesting to all; at least it will give us a more stable grounding on what depression is caused by. Specifically, you’ll find three more traditional hypotheses that try to give some explanation to the root of depression.