I'm Not Okay
Depressed: a state of general unhappiness or despondency. (Thanks Google!).
I’m depressed. There’s no other way to say it. I feel as though someone has laid a wet blanket on me, and sometimes I can fight through it and get the blanket off, but most of the time, it feels like a particularly arduous task. This isn’t the depressed where my favorite tv character has died or when Zayn left One Direction. This is something I feel in my body, in my mind, and in every jagged breath I take.
I guess I’m dealing with it? Though, lately, when people have asked me how I'm doing, I can never muster more than answering: I'm okay. I used to be able to say: I'm good! Or, doing just fine, thanks! But, why lie that much? I'm okay. But, really, I'm not. I'm not okay.
My mental health is nothing I haven’t spoken about before, and this won’t be the last time either, I’m sure. But, these last few weeks have been, what feels like, an extreme uphill battle that I cannot win. It’s not surprising to me as to why I can’t shake this depression, but it doesn’t make it any less easier to deal with. I also know I’m not alone, as it seems like a lot of people are definitely dealing with depression these days, but when I’m alone in my home, sitting in my darkened living room, it definitely feels like this is all only happening to me.
I’ve dealt on and off with depression since my late teens, very early 20’s, but I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced whatever it is that I’m going through now. The constant malaise, my laissez-faire attitude, and overall flat response to most things is pretty new for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are things that still make me laugh, and I’m still excited about (Wales, I’m looking at you!), but my overall, day-to-day attitude isn’t what it could be. In the last few weeks, I’ve skipped plays I had tickets for, gym workouts which I’d know would help, and can’t make up my mind about food because nothing sounds exciting at all. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to psych myself up to get to work, or hang out with friends, even though I very much enjoy seeing the people in my life that I care about, and that I know care about me. It’s, overall, really hard right now.
The constant news cycle, and social media roar, don’t help at all. I want to stay engaged, but I can only do that for so long. Seeing the USA Gymnastics Team confront Dr. Larry Nassar about his repeated sexual assault of them has really rubbed me very, very raw, and I can definitely pinpoint this very hard time back to that. Well, that and then watching children have to fight for their lives because adults don’t give a shit about kids being gunned down on their way out of drama class, but I have a feeling those Parkland High School kids are going to save us all. So, it’s like I said, I want to stay engaged, but there’s only so much I can do before it starts to take over and then I’m back to sleepless nights, constant teeth grinding and the feeling like the days are getting more and more difficult to get through. Working through feelings that have been dormant for so long has really taken its toll on me, and taken me by surprise, I think. But, I remain vigilant in working through them because this cannot continue.
I’m not really sure why I’m telling you all any of this, but it was the only thing I could think of to write about. I really try to put on a funny and brave face most every day. I’m often the person people come to when they need a friendly ear, or a shoulder to cry on, and I’m happy to be that person. But, my cup is very, very empty right now, and I’m working on a way to refill it. Medication helps. Therapy helps. Rest and recharging also help. Ridiculous “chick-lit” books, animal videos, and pictures of animals wearing clothes really, really help, as well as multiple cups of tea and kitty cuddles. Oh, and multiple episodes of Downton Abbey and Poldark are also pretty good at getting me through some of the harder days.
I’ll get through this time. I really will. I know I’m lucky in that I don’t have it as bad as some others do, and I am still functioning and getting through each day. I recognize how lucky that makes me. But, right now, I’m having a hard time. And, maybe if I’m having a hard time, maybe someone else is too? And, maybe putting this out there will allow someone else to feel like they can get through it as well. I don’t know. But, in spite of my sadness, I know there’s a new day on the horizon, and something wonderful will come. In the meantime, I’ve got therapy soon, and a bunch of back episodes of some delightful Masterpiece Theater show to watch.
If you are having a hard time, and don’t know where to turn, please go to Psych Central. Or, call your doctor immediately. Don’t wait until it’s too late.