Before anything, to those who read it, e-mailed me or who have supported me after I posted the Semicolon post, I NEED to say “Thank You”. I received several e-mails and that alone made it feel like it was worth it.
As you know, it was hard for me to post something as personal as that but your support and getting feedback from those also going through it, has made me want to continue to do similar posts. So here I am.
No matter what your reaction was to my previous post, I wanted to bring this to your attention. I am not the one who wrote what I am about to share; I wish I were. I want to give the author my complete respect. First of all, he wrote it in a way that my heart could only hope and strive to do… but it could never form the right words. Secondly, this portrays how I am not alone in feeling this way every single day.
Here’s what depression is like.
Take a few moments, and put yourself in the following shoes.
You wake up one morning, and wonder if you have the flu again. You’re zapped, and even getting out of bed seems hard. You think about the day ahead, all the meetings and appointments and people you have to see, and you wonder how exactly you’re going to do all of that with the energy level you have. Getting out of bed is hard enough. Meetings are impossible.
But, you’re caught by finances. You’re already out of sick days. If you don’t get out of bed, you won’t be able to keep your job, pay rent, and then you’ll be out of energy and homeless. By sheer fear and courage alone, you get up.
You skip your shower. That’s hard. You shove whatever food requires no energy to make into your mouth, and you get to work.
Your 8-hour day feels like it’s closer to 18. By the time it ends, you’re barely standing. You make it back home, and collapse on the couch. You feel zapped, off, and sometimes weird, dark thoughts stop by. You find something that eases the tired and darkness. Maybe it’s tv. Maybe it’s a beer. Maybe it’s just sleep.
This keeps up, day after day. For periods in your life, it goes away. But eventually, it comes back. You keep notes. Have guesses and half-baked clues, but you don’t really know what causes it to come, or what causes it to leave.
Somewhere along the line, you figure out that this particular set of things is called depression, and that makes you feel like shit. Depressed people are broken. They’re people who can’t see that it’s sunny outside even when it is. They’re social rejects with clouds over their heads, bringing people down.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have lost people who have meant the world to me… the following is why. I still love you all and I thank you. Don’t take what I may have done as not loving you… it’s simply a defense mechanism.
You like the people around you. You don’t want to bring them down. And so when depression comes to town, you withdraw. Partly it’s that you don’t have any energy anyway, and partly it’s that you don’t want to be a downer. Being a downer to people you love would just make this even worse.
The rest of the article goes on to discuss on how you may not be someone who is suffering, yet wishes they could help those who are….
Read the entire thing Here. Click it. Please. It may help someone.
For the rest of us, the thoughts continue on to…
“Depression itself isn’t actually that bad. It’s the damn side effects.”
It’s the social isolation. The fear. The stigmatization. The being-a-downer. The uncertainty. The crazy thoughts you can’t tell anyone. The all the things you can’t tell anyone.
However, if you’re connected to awesome people who listen, connect, and treat depression like it’s just a normal thing, something magical happens:
Depression actually just becomes a weird energy-sucking flu.
One that your friends know about, isn’t contagious, and mostly, is annoying and manageable.
Most of the shitty parts of depression are social side effects, not the real disease. Social side effects you can do something about. Please do.
Sit. Ask. Listen.
One more thing.
Please talk about depression.
Whether you struggle with it yourself, or you’re an awesome friend who helps out your friends who do, please talk about it, openly. Treat depression like it’s the flu. Nobody whispers she’s got the flu. It’s the damn flu. It’s part of being human. For some people, depression is too.
Interact with it, full voiced, and talk about it like it’s normal. Because it is.
Thank you to Steven Skoczen for writing it all so honestly.
It means more than you know.
As always, as someone who can very much relate, I am here to talk to if you want to: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail me and if I don’t answer right away, give it at least 24 hours- I WILL get back to you.
Again, thank you for reading… being this personal isn’t that bad after all, because of you.