What it’s like actually living with depression.

Here’s another one of those posts. It’s Mental Health Week, and as someone suffering from mental health disorders, as someone who has seen them from family members my whole life, I think it’s finally my turn to share my story.

I know you’ve probably read a lot of posts about how crippling depression can be. And while yes, it is crippling, that’s not really where I’m going with this post, so bear with me.

Here’s a little backstory for all of my readers (or for myself really, I don’t know if you’re reading this post or not… it’s just nice to get it out there):

Two years ago this March, I moved to Austin, Texas. It wasn’t planned, nor did I expect to move here at the time. When I got in that car, this was supposed to be a weekend trip, a short getaway and then it was back to reality. But my reality was scary, and being in a town where I knew nobody and had nothing was far less frightening than going back to my actual home with my actual family.

I’ll put it lightly: I was abused. I won’t go into details because that’s not important.

Now here’s where the story gets important: February 28th, 2014 – I told my family that I wanted to kill myself. And I meant it too. I had already written my suicide note. I had come up with the plan. I hadn’t decided the date yet, but I was going to do it. I had one last thing to do: ask for help. So I told my family.

Depression is kind of a tricky thing. Because my brain told me that I wanted to die. And God, did I want to. I viewed myself so little, so unimportant, so miserable – and death honestly seemed like the best option for everyone. But at the same time, my brain did not want to die either. It decided that maybe if I just told my father, maybe he would talk to me and it would be ok.

Instead of that, my family screamed at me. They threatened me. They told me I was worthless. They told me that I was seeking attention and that I didn’t know what real depression felt like.

So I left.

It’s been almost two years since that day. I have nightmares every single night. I have to take anti-depressants daily. I see a therapist every single week, something I have had to do for over a year now. And even with all of those things helping me, I still have depression.

Now, I will make the negative aspects of my depression short and sweet, because there are a lot of negatives about living with depression:

  1. I have practically no energy. I sleep all day, every day if I can. I am always tired.
  2. I don’t have friends. I want to make friends, but I’m too scared to make friends. Because of this, I am lonely and hate myself.
  3. I used to have hobbies – I don’t anymore. I can’t get myself to do anything. Sometimes, I can’t even get myself to turn on the television. I stare at my ceiling or I cry for hours.
  4. If I go without my medication, I cannot control myself.
  5. I still think the bad thoughts sometimes.

But here’s the real deal: I think I’m finally accepting that this is my life right now. And damn, do I have a good life.

Here’s what it’s really like to live with depression: It’s hard. But it’s doable.

I have an amazing family. Not my birth family, because I have my new family. I have my boyfriend. I have his parents and his brother. I have their friends. I have my animals. I have my coworkers. I have my best friend in Ohio.

When I have a hard day, they pick me up. Sometimes literally. Sometimes not. That’s what living with depression is like. Knowing and accepting that sometimes you just can’t do it on your own.

I have to take medicine because I know it makes me happier. I take it every morning. That’s what living with depression is like. Knowing and accepting that sometimes to feel good, you have to make sacrifices.

I have to force myself to eat sometimes. I buy foods that are easy to make and are good for me. Because that’s what living with depression is like – forcing yourself to do things that you just don’t want to, but doing them because you know it’s important.

I have to see my therapist every week. I talk with her and I feel stronger every time. Because living with depression is about taking those baby steps every single day. I slowly take steps forward on my journey. And sometimes I get knocked down and pushed back, but I can see the positives happening.

I have to tell myself that, yes, this is not fair. But it is what it is. Because living with depression sucks. It does, and I won’t sugar coat it. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.

This week has been especially difficult for me, so I’m sorry for the long-winded post. I just kind of needed to get something out.

It’s been almost six months since I’ve even posted anything. And six months ago, my depression sunk to an all time low. I think now, I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel… and that’s what living with depression is really like. Because damn, do I love living. And sometimes living means having to take the shitty hand, play your strengths, and get on with it. And I’m doing that, I think.

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2 thoughts on “What it’s like actually living with depression.

  1. I am so very, very proud of you BBG!! You are loved and have been loved since I learned the Good Lord was sending you too us to love and guide through life. I am so saddened and very disappointed your family failed you, am so thankful God put Sam and his family in your life. Try to focus on the good things and people God has given you. When you go to your therapist tell her the ugly things that are hurting you, then leave them there, do not let them take one more moment of your life from you. Have a awesome Christmas. Love you sweetie, wish there was someway I could take all your hurt and let you be that beautiful fun loving and so lovable person again. Grammy

    Like

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