Finding out I have depression


A few months ago, I wrote about suffering from what I could only identify as a breakdown. I sought help and was subsequently diagnosed with chronic depression. When I heard those words, I wanted to protest to my doctor, "..but, but I have a really bouncy personality, I love to make people laugh, my capacity for enthusiasm is downright Deschanel!". I just couldn't fathom that I could suffer from depression. There's this constant idea that whatever one experiences isn't bad enough, good enough, 'special' enough or whatever enough to belong to a club, no matter how shitty the title of that club is. 

I don't know why we feel that way, why we dismiss our pain when we could find healing if we allowed ourselves to accept things. I beat myself up for a very long time for not being able to handle my life. I thought I was making excuses because of how easy things used to be. I couldn't figure out how I'd gotten so low or become so numb. I remember saying, "The most amazing thing in the world could happen right now and it just wouldn't move me, it wouldn't touch me whatsoever". It was such a sad thing to admit. I didn't recognize myself. I was so used to being energetic and excited because that's how I was before. 

My life completely changed after my aunt passed away. She held our little family together. She was my other mother and I related to her in a way that I've never related to anyone else. I felt like I was expected to bounce back quicker so that's what I tried to do. I brushed away grief because I looked at her daughters and knew that their pain had to be ten times worse than mine. I felt selfish for feeling so torn up and having her death affect me so deeply, for so long. If other people couldn't understand that I still felt broken, surely it had to be wrong. I would imagine that I was 'back to normal' but in reality, I've just been fighting to get there, thinking that one day I would. I just wanted to be more resilient because I know that my aunt would tell me to live my life to the fullest.

I think about mortality in a way that both motivates and destroys me. I'm constantly trying to find happiness in a rushed, clumsy way while I'm also perpetually terrified of who I'll lose next and how it will kill whatever life I have left in me. I feel helpless and imprisoned while I perceive that everyone else is walking around freely, each of them being some version of the shiny, happy person I used to be. I so desperately just want to join them.

I know though, that this is a great illusion; a mirage that has been dismantled by the many supportive and compassionate people who've shared their own experiences with me when I wrote about how I was struggling. It seems like we only give ourselves permission to feel like we're not alone after someone else tell us how it is. This is one of the reasons why I believe that conversations need to keep happening because a good day or a good week doesn't change things and a lot of the time, we'll go right back to our flawed thinking.

I need to stop thinking about where I'm not and start thinking about where I am. I need to try to find the good in what's going on with me and realise that in a weird way, it might have put me on the right track. Perhaps depression did not rob me of my 'normalcy', perhaps I found myself lost within it because I stubbornly clung to an old M.O. that just didn't cut it anymore. If I'm honest with myself, I know that I don't want to go backwards, I want something different than what I had before everything fell apart. Depression has taught me that I don't want to merely survive, I want to thrive. I will never again be 'normal', no, I will be better. 

It's a long road to stability and I'm not going to rush myself. Slowing down has helped me notice that there are a lot of people walking with me and a feeling has finally found me after so long, a feeling that we'll find our way.

Keep strong xx 

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