I’m living with severe depression and anxiety.
Sucks, I know.
I’ve mentioned it before, but wanted to jump more into depth. Part of the reason I started this blog was as a therapeutic exercise in addition as a creative outlet. I’ve always loved stories and have always known I’ve had some semi-decent ones to tell.
Being depressed sometimes prevents me from telling those stories, so this is my attempt to bring a little anthropomorphism to something about me that I can’t control.
I have depression. I can’t control that, but I can alleviate it.
To those that don’t have experience with depression or anxiety, it can be confusing. Hell, it’s confusing to me and I’ve been dealing with it for a while now. You ever get the feeling like you have no idea what to do? Do I read a book? No. TV? No. Go outside? No. Clean? Hell no.
So, you just flutter around trying to find something to occupy your time until something interesting comes up.
Now, pretend this happens every day. That while you fight it, your interests come and go. Depression isn’t just about being sad. It’s also about being numb. And it’s a hell of a cycle.
When I hit a bad episode, it’s not uncommon for me to feel so numb that I don’t get anywhere. I try and write and give up midway through (as I did on this entry once already.) I put things off because I’m not ‘in the zone’ or whatever. In reality, I just have no drive.
Then I realize I have no drive, and my world spirals a bit. I get down and collapse into bed and even though rationally speaking, I could just get up and do something, my brain won’t let me.
That’s the weird part about it. Your own brain steps in and acts against you, and suddenly it becomes the biggest asshole in the world. Now, I know that everyone’s brain works against them. Everyone has days they’re sad, or times they don’t think they’re good enough or they’re only setting themselves up to fail.
Living with depression is like that all the time, except with little flashes of hope instead of the reverse.
So, what does this have to do with anthropomorphism?
Well, I’ve realized I have to treat my depression like a crappy roommate. He’s here to stay, and will come out at the worst possible moment, but I can still passive-aggressively resist. He’s the guy that leaves the apartment trashed even though you told him you’re having family visit.
He criticizes everything you do in order to feel better about himself.
Worst of all his crimes? He orders pizza and doesn’t ask if you want any.
Everyone can relate to that, especially if you’ve spent time in college.
But now instead of people commiserating with you, anytime you talk about it with someone they instead say something like ‘well, there’s people out there with worse roommates than that, you don’t have it so bad.’
With depression, that is the least comforting sentiment ever. I KNOW there are people out there who have it worse than I do. And I still feel this way because of a stupid kink in my brain chemistry. So now, not only do I feel depressed per usual, but also even shittier that even others don’t think I should feel like this. It’s the fast track to feeling selfish when you need someone to just listen.
So, how can I help myself? By forcing myself to write. By not falling into his habits. He’s a slob, I have to be better. He’s a slacker, I need to push myself. He’s a loner, I need to talk to the world.
Most of all, I needn’t be ashamed of him. Depression doesn’t know better, but I do. I won’t always have days where I’m a bright happy ray of unicorn sunshine, but I won’t live every day in a numb stupor either. Just taking it one day at a time.
I’m not sure what I expected by putting this to e-paper, but thank you guys for listening. Always, thanks for reading each and every little post and story I do. I really appreciate it even if I don’t mention it enough. Knowing there are people out there enjoying my stories is a great feeling. If any of you struggle with depression, feel free to reach out to me. I get it, and I won’t judge. Just remember, don’t be ashamed to talk with your loved ones about it either; my strongest supporter is my wife who drags me kicking and screaming through my worst episodes. Even if you don’t think so, there’s someone in your life that cares about you enough to help you through hell, even if it’s the one inside your own mind.