Living, Mental Health

What I Know About Depression

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This is going to be a Debbie Downer post – and I apologize for that. But over the last few days, I’ve felt this darkness creep in, and I’ve been adhering to a pretty solid Radio Silence. I have had depression for as long as I can remember. So long that I went to the doctor on my 18th birthday to get diagnosed because I knew that finally, finally, as an “adult,” I could get treatment without my parents being privvy to it. For some reason I felt very ashamed and didn’t want anyone to know the miserable thoughts in my head. I’ve been off and on meds since then, had life changes that warranted my belief that I was better, but you never really escape it. Over the past few weeks it has taken me over again, and here is what I know about depression.

Depression keeps you in bed. It keeps you in bed so long that you have to decide whether you will shower and be late to work, or be on time and looking less than your best. Depression keeps you from doing things you know will make you feel better. After a week of not running, I was so pleased that I would be able to yesterday. But when I couldn’t find a parking spot at the gym, depression told me that the day was shot, to just go home – to get in bed.

Depression tells you that things you want to do are stupid, that they won’t make you feel better. When I went home yesterday, I had planned to strap on my shoes and go for a run around my neighborhood, but I didn’t.

Depression makes you eat. Depression makes you not eat. This is typically the first trigger for me that I’m about to succumb to the pit – I eat everything in sight for about a three days, and then I barely eat anything for two weeks.

Depression makes you feel even more alone than you might already feel. It’s no secret that I moved 13 hours from anyone I know to accept a job. In the year I’ve been here, I have made no friends and have been able to make the happy transition into solitary hermitude. I spent a long time learning to accept that I had feelings, and an even longer time to learn that there are people who will be there for me if I let them and listen to me talk about my feelings, but sometimes even those people can’t be there for me, and depression makes me believe that it’s better to be alone.

Depression makes me spend money, you guys. “Well, maybe if I buy a new workout outfit, I’ll want to go to the gym.” “Well, maybe if I buy new work clothes, I’ll want to dress nicely tomorrow.” They are all lies depression tells.

So, that’s what I know. I’m trying to right the ship, to get back on the horse. But today, depression is still kicking my ass, and it sucks.