Depression. It is yet another word that comes with stigma. Many people believe that a person can simply choose to not be depressed. For some, it’s clinical, meaning that there is a chemical reaction within the human body. For others, depression is situational. Either way, it’s difficult to battle. The difficulty isn’t simply about being and behaving as if they are happy. The difficulty is also in trying not to let depression affect the people who love them.
I believe that is the hardest part, especially if you are the kind of person who lives to help others and love others. If you’re the kind of person that would rather cut off your arm than hurt someone you love, depression is immensely difficult to live with. We’ve all seen the commercials, TV shows, and movies, listened to all the music, and read all of the articles, blogs, and books that all try to explain the effects of depression on everyone. My question is, do they sufficiently explain what it’s like to try to live with it? Depending on your mood, the answer may differ.
I battle depression daily. It has been three years since I started getting sick, which led to the scariest diagnosis of my life. Even then, I knew that my life would never be the same. My friends have called me Sunshine. I’ve been known to be cheerful, happy, sweet, and tireless. Now, I struggle to stop myself from showing that I’m angry, exhausted, hurting, depressed, and scared. I hate the personality shift. A big part of that is because it hurts those that love and care for me. Additionally, I have to work even harder to try to hide how I’m feeling from everyone around me. Professionally, I work with one of my best friends and she sees it. Another of my best friends always seems to know when something is especially wrong even though she is miles away and she can’t see or hear me. (Side note: It really makes me wonder if she and I really were twins in another life. The connection is uncanny.) I love my best friends. I hate that what I’m going through is hurting them, too. When I’m quiet, it worries them. Normally, I would laugh and joke that if I’m quiet, something bad is about to happen. But now, it’s because I’m trying my best to keep my reactions and feelings to myself, to minimize collateral damage.
Beyond that is yet another reason why I’m now quieter than I used to be. It takes me longer to process things and focus. It’s frustrating to have to stop because I can’t keep up. Honestly, I’m ashamed. I feel like I am half the person I used to be. I feel like the happy-go-lucky Ceej that I used to be died when a certain doctor predicted it. Therapy helps, but it can only go so far. New problems constantly appear. A huge part of me wants to give up so badly. I don’t know how much more I can take. For now, I can only hope, wish, fight, and pray.
That’s all for today. Until later, remember…be safe and be kind to one another.