When Depression Becomes a Real Problem, Part 1
The hardest part is to see behind that smile.
If there is anything I've really noticed in past few years, it's that mental health is being discussed more and more. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, you are no longer forced to choose from few canals and few shows on TV. You can find almost anything you want to. Specific documentaries, movies (if you know where to search ;] ), gaming videos, let's plays, vlogs, vines, even InstaStories, videos on Facebook, and Snapchat can entertain you when you need a quick break.
What am I trying to say with it? Just one important thing. Sometimes, on YouTube, you have your favourite YouTuber(s), and they are all bubbly, screaming, laughing, full of positive energy. And then you see them making a vlog about how they battle with mental health, and it makes you think.
*How can they hide it so well on videos?*
And that made me think.
*How long till I can finally open up and talk about it, too?*
If you are trying to hide your problems, I exactly understand why.
If you are not wanting anyone to feel sorry for you, I exactly understand why.
If you are in need of help but are afraid to ask for it, I exactly understand why.
If you are already sharing it, battling with it, doing something to help yourself, I salute you. You are doing way better than I.
For someone who has been traumatized, bullied, emotionally unstable, and lost one of the closest family members (I will blog about this later on), it should be automatic to find help. And I did. When I was a teen. My mom dragged me to the psychologist. But then I stopped. Why?
*Because I can handle it, I can fight it without drugs, I am strong enough to lead my way to victory! Except I'm not. All I am now is broken.*
But that is changing now. And what exactly is it? This:
A. I am not strong enough ---> I am not weak, but I need help!
B. I can fight this battle on my own ---> I AM fighting this battle
And here are few tips to share what works for me. It may help you, too:
1. I am not listening to voices in my head telling me I will fail; I am conversing with it when I WANT TO, not when it wants to.
It's not easy, but I have realized one thing. If you let it tell you all the bad things, play all the accurately (in)appropriate depressing music, just tell it to stop. Not forever, but for now. And when you are on your own, just sit/lay down, make yourself comfortable, and switch off. Stop blocking everything; let it flow through you. That's what I did earlier.
I had a massive anxiety attack; I broke down crying. I couldn't move, I couldn't breathe. Everything looked dark and gloomy, there was no light. I collapsed on the bed and started to shake while crying loudly. And it was 15 minutes before I had to leave to work. I texted my boss I will be late (second time in three years!), and I took Benadryl, as it was close. Taking two pills can really calm me down and have quite the same effect on me as Diazepam. Sadly, it does not work for everyone.
When I was able to exist again, I just sat down. And as I was sitting on the stairs, there was my old pal, the voice. But now it was singing. It was singing Rise Up by Andra Day. But somehow didn't make it through first line.
~You're broken down and tired of living life on a merry go round.~
I knew I had to go to work, and I did something I've never done before. I've talked to it.
*Stop! Not now! Shut up! We will talk later!*
It was like a magic. It stopped.
For few seconds.
Then it came back. But I've asked it again to stop for now. I've asked it multiple times. And, for the first time, it disappeared for longer than a few seconds.
When I got home, I immediately went to bed. Gym routine is not a good idea when you're drowsy and dizzy, so...bed time! As I laid down, I did what I have learned at meditation classes when I was a teen. I let my body switch off. No TV, no music, nothing. Shut down. And all I said was
and we did. For the first time I have confronted that voice. Had a conversation.
I'm not saying this will help you. For some people, it may be extremely ridiculous, but try it. Try if you can to shut it up for few hours until you have time to engage with it.
2. Create a page, create a pen name, and share.
I am a writer. I have been writing for years. I used to have quite a popular blog. I have two books ready to be published (not an easy task to find a good publisher). This is how I communicate.
I cannot just talk about it. But I've noticed I can write about it. Even when I have a problem at work, I do not talk to my boss. I email my boss. And he respects it, as he knows it's hard for me to talk, to open up. But it feels really easy to write.
I used to be one of the top speakers in my class. I went to discussions, competitions, I was a bit of a blabbermouth, in the best way possible. But it has changed. I've had a pleasure of welcoming a new addition to my mind, anxiety. And honestly, it has ruined my life.
Can't talk properly anymore; there is always a ball in my throat. I am on the verge of crying and connecting words to sentences seems like an impossible task. And it pisses me off. I want to talk again! I want to socialize again! But I can't. BUT as I mentioned, I CAN WRITE! And I'm doing it.
I find it hard to post something like this on my blog. So I have decided to create a new one. To create a pen name. So let's see how it goes.
3. It is not a shame to tell your close ones that you are struggling. They don't need to know everything, though.
This, seriously, was the hardest part. For many people hardest part is admitting that there is something wrong with them. Not for me.
For me, the hardest part was to admit it to those around me. Few of them knew already, as believe me, severe depression is easy to be seen in your eyes. Those who have it can understand, I'm sure.
I have never wanted anyone to see me weak, crying, broken down. Never. But there was a time when it got real and it hit me. I was no longer able to hide it. I did burst into tears and fell to the floor. I am sure it shocked everyone. But after that, I felt a bit of a relief. I didn't need to hide it anymore. Did they completely understand what's wrong? Nope. Not even close. But the behaviour has changed. They do not avoid me or are extremely nice to me, but it feels different. They respect it.
But a bit more, later. Why?
Because this is the furthest I can go now.