One of my most favorite bloggers and mental health champions posted on her really wonderful blog today, and she inspired me to write as well.
Today is World Mental Health Day. It’s a day to bring awareness to the struggles that are associated with impaired mental health. It’s a timely reminder for me that I am not alone, because I have indeed been feeling so very alone.
My most recent bout with depression has been sitting on my shoulders for over a month now. It weighs a little more each day. It whispers something a little uglier in my ear every day. It dulls the colors and joy of my life, one day at a time. It is exhausting. Exhausting down to my bones, to my soul.
It’s not fun to talk about- depression makes other people uncomfortable or concerned. I can’t just wallow, and turn the world off. I have obligations to my kids, to my work, and to my education that prevent me from just staying in bed, even if that’s what I want to do. I have to paste that smile on and get shit done, because I know the me on the other side of this fog will be really upset if I gave up on her and her goals. But they feel like her goals, not mine. So I go through the motions, because I know she is waiting.
Every mistake and bad choice I have ever made weighs on me. My life feels like a series of errors I will never recover from. Every achievement feels hollow, undeserved. I feel like the perpetual screw up. People will argue this point, refute it, insist that I am not in fact the pathetic loser I feel like I am. But the problem is, the depression lives inside of my head. It has a louder voice. It drowns out the positivity. It clouds everything around me. I can’t keep track of days, time, chronology, appointments or assignments. It all just becomes two grey areas of bitter past and looming future.
I am lucky- I have gotten to a point of acceptance and rationality that I did not have in the past. I can’t reconcile what the depression says with what the reality is. I can’t even really believe what I currently consider reality. But I do know, KNOW, that this is temporary. I will come out on the other side. I always have, and I always will. And while I feel like I am treading water in wet cement with an elephant on my back, it’s temporary.
Today my therapist told me that I am a survivor, that I am a warrior. I don’t feel that way about myself. But I DO feel that way about the people I have known who have struggled with the demons that come along with bipolarity, depression, anxiety, BPD, and PMDD- that’s just to name a few. To me, they are warriors, survivors, champions. And if they are, that must mean that to someone else, I am. We are badass. We surmount obstacles and defeat odds that feel impossible. Obstacles that, for our fallen friends, were impossible. But we keep going. We breathe, we try to get out of bed, we will ourselves on in the hopes that tomorrow will be brighter. We force ourselves to remember there is a light, and to work our way, however slowly, back to it.
Today is a reminder that we are not alone.