I’ve been working on something else to post this Friday, as scheduled. But I got to thinking about depression yesterday. The thoughts started pouring out of me, so I felt I’d share it now rather than waiting to post it on a schedule.
This one may not be as carefully written (and the associated image isn’t as clean and neat) as other posts are or will be. But this one is about me in the here and now. I may come back later to edit, but it needed to be out there.
The last few months havebeen hard for me – to put it in mildly. I fell into a really bad depression. The scary kind. Not yet at feelings of suicidal ideation, though I knew I was nearly there. This depression was the kind I found myself unable to get myself out of it. And seeing where it was headed? It’s terrifying.
Depression isn’t just “feeling sad.” It isn’t something that a magic wand can be waved over and fixed, just like that.
Depression is insidious.
It is persistent.
In my case, depression comes with intense feelings of worthlessness and loneliness. Of guilt. I can’t think. I can’t concentrate. Nothing in my brain makes sense anymore.
I snapped at my best friend in the middle of a grocery store because she asked me what side dish I wanted to go with the fried chicken we were getting for dinner. I felt like she kept pushing and pushing and I just couldn’t THINK. I snapped. And then I burst into tears.
I don’t want people to worry. I don’t want people to think I am crazy. So when I am depressed to the degree that I have been, I will admit to feeling depressed if someone notices I am feeling off, but I do my best to hide the depth of what I am going through. After so many years with this disorder I have mostly learned how to pretend really well.
I want people to still like me and want to spend time with me. I mean, who wants to spend time with someone who is overwhelmed with depression? Depression is scary to them. I don’t want to scare people.
When reaching this level of depression most people will pull away and stop doing things that are good for them and stop doing the things that they love.
I (mostly) do the opposite, because I don’t want people to worry.
I say over and over that what we need most in life is to feel seen and heard. When I am depressed, that’s when I need those things more than ever. But I still can’t talk about it. Even to the people closest to me. So I try to do things that will get me seen and heard.
I feel like and actually get called an attention whore. I feel like and get told I cause drama. I silently scream and do things that will say “I need help” without actually saying those words. Because I need to be seen and I need to be heard.
This time, I started this website. I have begun to share what I am writing. I am creating art again. It has helped.
My depression is still here. But it’s easing up. Because even though I avoided TALKING about my depression, working on these projects helped me.
I told my therapist about this during our session yesterday. I read to her some of the things I’ve written. She’s going to share this with my old (most dearly beloved and always loved) therapist.
I want to help other people. But this also helps me. What this is doing is helping me process. I see what I’ve written and I am reminded that I can get through this.
Other people see what I’ve written, and they hear me.