Depression has a way of messing with me when everything seems to be going OK. There’s no reason for what’s making me feel depressed lately other than a slight imbalance in my brain chemistry. What’s even more annoying is the fact that I thought I had a handle on this illness that seems to come out of nowhere to hit me with its torturous grasp.
What I want to know is why? No matter how many times I read articles and discuss my mental health with my counselor, I still do not understand to this day why it affects me. I don’t know why anyone has to live with the pain and agony that comes with mental illness. I don’t know how to make it better long-term or even how to control it so that relapses are few and far between.
Because when depression hits, we lose a piece of ourselves we want so desperately to keep. My depression has stolen a lot from me lately because of its inability to just stop coming back.
Number One: My ability to articulate anything
I like to think that I am a great conversationalist. I like to think that I have smart conversations with people and I sound like I know what I’m talking about. Except I can’t do that lately. I find my brain has so many things bouncing around between my anxiety and depression that trying to remember anything is a struggle. Even using the correct word is an issue for me and that has been driving me crazy.
Number Two: Being able to be OK with being silent
You know when you close your eyes and just be? In those moments, you feel yourself decompress, and you can hear what your inner voice is trying to tell you. Right now, for me in my depressive state, I find myself listening only the bad things which makes everything worse. My inner voice has gone from an internal motivational speaker to a complete asshole who hates everything. It’s the worst.
Number Three: Wanting to be an active participant in text conversations or any conversations really
I am having a hard time trying to keep up with all of the group texts my friends have going on. Even the private messages I get, I find myself reading and just not knowing how to respond or also feeling the need to respond. I struggle to be consistent with writing back and even find myself saying things I would never usually. I used to love hearing about everyone’s life, but now I just can’t do it. And that makes me feel like a shitty friend.
Number Four: My love of writing
I am a writer. I love it with every inch of my soul, but I haven’t written anything in a month. People tell me it’s OK because I have just a bit of writer’s block, but that’s not true. I write down headlines I want to write about nearly every day but when I go to put those ideas on a blank document I freeze. It’s not that I don’t want too, my depression is just telling me I’m not good enough.
Number Five: Sleep.
Sleep likes to evade me as soon as my depression is setting in. I want to think that it’s not an issue and that I’m fine but as soon as insomnia is my new normal is when I know I’m cycling. The worst part is that when I do get a little sleep, they’re usually riddled with nightmares. It’s my least favorite symptom.
Number Six: Having conversations that don’t drip in pessimism
I can’t talk to people without getting my pessimism and negativity all over them. I believe that most of the time when I’m not so deep in my depression that I am a pretty positive person. I try so hard to keep everything upbeat that when depression seeps it’s disgusting ooze into my brain, it’s almost like I word vomit negativity on everyone. The worst thing is I can see it happening, and I can’t stop. Even though I want too so badly.
Number Seven: Motivation to do, well, anything
Wake up. Move from bed to couch. Stare absentmindedly at the wall. Repeat. Those are the only four things that are in my routine. I don’t want to move. It hurts to breathe. I’m just trying to keep myself afloat before I drown in my depression. I try to get out and do what I can because my doctors always warn me the problem with sinking into this routine. I get it, and I want to follow their advice, but the lingering feeling of existential dread incapacitates me.
Number Eight: My belief in myself
I don’t know when I stopped believing in myself, but it happened. I don’t know the person I am anymore. I feel like I’m struggling to find the things in my life I used to love and make them my priority. I am strong and determined usually, but I can’t seem to muster an ounce of strength to get better. It’s insane to me that I have done so many things like traveled alone, lived alone and taken care of myself for almost 28 years and trying even to do anything small takes more energy than I have anymore. It’s the worst feeling to feel almost like you’ve lost your way and you can’t seem to find it anymore.
But even though depression has stolen all of these things from me lately, I know somewhere deep down inside that I’m going to get through this. I know that there’s a reason I’m here and a reason I am living and breathing. I know that I have so many good things that I need to rely on to get me through those tough days. And right now, that’s enough hope to get me to the other side of depression.