The past few weeks have been more difficult, mentally and emotionally, than I’ve had to deal with in the past few months. I do think part of it is due to lack of exercise, but there are always a number of other factors involved. The factors can be anything, and will trigger different things in my head, but that’s not what I want to write about right now.
Everyone who suffers from depression, or any mental illness, has a different experience with it. An experience that, in a lot of cases, won’t be the same for anyone else. The mind is the very fabric of who we, as individuals, are and so it makes sense that everyone is affected differently.
My personal experience with depression is my own and unique to me. My triggers are mine and the way that my mind interprets things when I’m depressed is specific to me – other people may suffer in similar ways, but they will always differ slightly.
So what happens to me?
I can’t identify how it starts, it’s just suddenly there one day. I usually can make a conscious decision to kick it out and remain positive or to help it along once I recognise that it’s there.
Why on earth would anyone make a conscious effort to feel depressed? I can’t answer that. I wish I could. Sometimes I feel like if I just wallow and let it out I can get over it quicker. But usually there’s no logic, I just go with it.
Once I’m there it’s harder to pull myself out, of course. But I truly feel this is a part of me, and I won’t push it away. I fought it for years, faking my smiles and ignoring it on the outside, while I slaughtered myself inside because I was so unhappy. I don’t fake anything anymore, I feel it all fully and appreciate what is going on in my head so that I can help myself move past it.
I know that when I’m depressed I need more attention and there are times when I find myself in a horrible place and need people to talk to to help keep me level. When that happens I need to talk to people more and when – like today – people don’t respond enough I begin to feel unloved and unimportant.
Like I said, no logic, and that’s probably the most illogical thing to feel, but my mind is telling me that because my friends aren’t responding to me – especially when I need them to – that I’m nothing to them. This is when it can get dangerous, and it can be a very slippery slope into a very dark place from here.
It’s not far for someone who is depressed to go from being okay one day to feeling worthless and suicidal the next. (DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT SUICIDAL.) This is what people don’t understand about this illness – they want reasons for why we feel this way. I know that in my case most of the time there isn’t one. It’s just there.
When I’m feeling like I’ve been feeling recently and today, I know I need my friends (and all my closest friends know me well enough to know about my depression to some degree) and I am able to ask them for support. Most of the time I get it when I need it most.
Today wasn’t one of those days unfortunately, and I’m feeling worse for it. I’m not writing this for attention or because I want sympathy from anyone. I’m writing to give insight into something that few people understand and this is only how I am affected.
And it helps to write and get it out.
One of my favourite tracks off Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine is Breaking Down, which is an incredible description of depression I think.
The good news?
I am feeling this way less and less frequently. I have support from my friends and family and that is – thankfully – enough to help me.
I do not get treatment for my depression and I don’t take anything for it. I am not against treatment, at all. I just feel that, for me, it’s better to feel it than stifle it.
It is a part of who I am.