It is not just a matter of feeling sad; discover an honest view of the mental, emotional and physical toll of clinical depression.
I've wondered for years why I am the way that I am. Why do I think the way that I do? Typically I am critical of myself and question everything that I do. Often, my mind goes straight to the worst possible outcome in most situations. In my head, people are always criticizing me and everything I do is an embarrassment. My existence to everyone seems to be a burden.
The pain that divides us
How else can I be but honest? It’s one thing to hide from another person, but to try to hide from myself is insane. I have to face the fact that I’m damaged and terrified that I’m beyond repair. I guess it doesn’t even matter why I am the way I am anymore. I just am. But now, here in this moment, I feel the effects of my life. Forty-two years and I haven’t been able to fix what’s broken. I don’t even have much to point at for how I got this way. I only have the pain. And it’s back.
The Space Between
Prologue Everything is dark in the space between. All of it, except for the slivers of light that reflect off the honeysuckles here and there in the spots where the crowded trees allow the moon to filter through. But the things that live here, the ones that occupy that place on the precipice of sleep,where the conditioned air of the bedroom bleeds into the breeze of dreams, don’t need light. In the inky blackness of semiconciousness, sight is unnecessary. Because, she thinks, they can smell you all the same.
I'm not suicidal, I'm just standing on the edge of a cliff waiting to be pushed off. This is a phrase that came to my mind recently. I've suffered with varying degrees of depression for more than half my life. Whilst I was first initially diagnosed with 'mild' depression at 18, I was writing poetry at 13 that could have been dismissed as teen angst. I also admitted to a friend that I sometimes scratched at my arm with a compass. Not to mention that I developed chronic fatigue as I started high school, an illness that can be a result of great stress (read: mental breakdown).
Electroconvulsive Therapy & Me
The first time I heard of ECT(1) was under circumstances I can’t really talk about. Suffice it to say that someone I knew, who I very much identified with, was choosing to undergo treatments. I can’t really say more than that about the circumstances. But the circumstances, while important to me, are not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about was my response.
Content Warning: Postpartum mental illness, depression, and suicide. Oizys was an old ship. Charles’ family had bought her in pristine condition off a Greek immigrant back in the ‘80s. Now her wooden frame was littered with dents, the copper plating turned green, and smelled like hell. The once brightly painted OIZYS now only read O ZY and Katrina would sometimes call her Ozymandian. In spite of these many flaws, she could be steered by amateurs and was what they had. All they had isolated in the Gulf of Mexico.
Catharsis At Last
I’ve never told anyone this. Not family, not friends, not strangers. But I don’t want to hide anymore. I’ve been suffering from depression for the past 4 years. I’ve managed to hide it exceptionally well over the years. I moved to a different city for university in 2016, away from everyone I knew. It felt like a new beginning, a fantastic adventure. Everything was new, scary, foreign but full of potential. The first year went by in a blur. I hadn’t really made any friends, at least none that I felt safe with. I still kept in touch with some old friends but as time went past, we grew further apart until eventually they all went away. I was living in student accommodation but I didn’t really spend time with my flatmates. I grew increasingly anxious and didn’t leave my room unless I absolutely had to. I isolated myself from the outside world and it was an easy task. I was in a city where no one really knew me. I was an excellent actor so my family never suspected anything. When I spoke with them, I could slip into the persona of who I used to be - funny, sarcastic and entertaining. I felt relief during those moments, but as soon as the phone call ended, it was like the curtains fell and the play ended.
Coping with Minor Depression
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor! I have experienced my own depression and I lived with someone that had major depression. Before you make a plan to deal with your depression, please talk to your doctor, no matter how minor you think it is. Let your doctor work out a plan with you.
When It Gets Hard.
Just tell them how you feel. "Tell them that you're lonely." I feel alone. Not so much in my physical space but more so within my own head. I feel alone. My thoughts feel similar yet foreign to what really lays beneath the surface, the things that tug at the strings of my heart. It's hard wanting to be understood when you don't even understand the things you do and say sometimes. I find in my lowest moments is when I'm really forced to confront myself. When you're genuinely happy, it's easy to live with your happiness because it feels good to feel good. It's hard to sit with those other emotions that make you feel small, make you feel unhappy, or uncomfortable. I struggle to figure it out.
Experiences from the pit.
We were all completely shocked at the heart breaking news, last year, when we heard that Caroline Flack, beautiful, accomplished, successful Caroline Flack, embroiled in a media nightmare, had resorted to taking her own life.
You Can Fight The Pain!!
In the depths of the darkness depression knocks on the door, slowly pushing it open by force into the many tracks of your life. The pain is damaging, life threatening.
Depressed Does Not Mean Unhappy
What I am about to say stems from years of experience dealing with depression. I am not a clinical professional, but I felt the need to share my experience related to this topic because there seems to be a lot of confusion related to it. Over the years I have heard people use the phrase unhappy and depression interchangeably, but I wanted to take a moment of your time to explain why these two words are not the same.