The Thing About Depression

calm_after_the_storm_sun_by_carlibuxThe last major depressive episode I had was pretty shitty. It began when my ex husband and I were still together, and bled into the time when I first met and fell in love with CBG. I worked goddamn hard to pull myself up out of that deep, dank pit.

One of the things that made me fall in love with CBG to begin with was that he was able to look past that sadness and love the real me — the woman underneath all of that muck.

The thing about having gone through something like is that it leaves you with a fear that it is going to eventually return. Even now, after all of these years, every time I have a shitty day, or even a shitty week. there’s a little voice in the back of my head whispering, “Here we go again.”

The truth is that, for me at least, real depression is a lot more stealthy than that. It seeps in through the cracks and washes over me when I least expect it, pulling me down before I really see what’s going on and where the hell it came from.

It’s true that over the last five years I’ve experienced emotional ups and downs. I’ve had plenty of downs. I’ve been sad. Bitchy. Angry. Anxious. The thing about these downs are that, for the most part, they are fleeting. I have a bad day or two, or even a bad week, and then I collect myself and move on, back toward the good stuff.

But every time I have a bad day, there’s that voice, telling me that maybe I don’t deserve to be happy after all.

And that, my friends, is bullshit. I know this to be absolutely, one hundred percent, completely and totally, un-freaking-true. I absolutely don’t deserve less than any other human being on this planet.

I’m also not sliding into the Pit of Despair every time I have a shitty thought, feel irrational or afraid or anxious or angry or act like a bitch to my husband. I need to stop hitting the panic button on that every.single.time. Because here’s the thing. Maybe I will experience depression like I did five years ago, and maybe I won’t. But I absolutely can not continue to live in fear of it happening. To do that means I’m constantly giving my power away to an ugly monster that absolutely doesn’t deserve it.

More than anything else, I’m tired of living in fear.

Ups and downs are a part of life, particularly part of my life, and what I need to do is learn to be comfortable with my regular range of emotions, without being afraid of them or allowing them to control me.

Hills and valleys. It’s what the human experience is all about.

So yeah. That shitty mood I blogged about yesterday? Totally a “panic-button” moment. Suck it, Depression. Not today.

4 Responses

  1. I can completely relate to this and the constant “is this bad day going to lead to a more horrible day tomorrow and a totally horrific day the next day after that” mind set. The good thing (ha!) about experiencing depressive or anxious bouts is that we recognize the symptoms, the negative thoughts and actions and we now see them for the red flags they can possibly be. However, it is also very easy to gather them all up and treat them as a lump sum of “depression” or “anxiety” when in reality they aren’t all a compound of things – they are singular. We get so wrapped up sometimes in identifying symptoms that we forget that as “normal” people you can also experience anger, frustration, hopelessness, loneliness, fear and worry and having even one of those feelings does not automatically equate that we’re going down the road towards our next depressive or anxious bout. The important thing is recognizing the difference and as you said, allowing ourselves to live freely without fear of an occurrence. That looming shadow is always there somewhere but we don’t have to close the door so far in fear so as to make the shadow more evident. It truly is about living one day at a time and recognizing that one bad day does not make a bad week or a bad month. One day is not a be all and end all predictor of the next day. It took me a long time to realize this with my anxiety and in doing so I helped myself in lessening that fear. My anxiousness about worrying if tomorrow would be the same as today was in fact keeping the anxiety around and making it manifest. Nine times out of ten the next day is not a bad day and I have to chalk the bad day up to hormones or outside stressors. As I said, the positive thing is we are aware of our symptoms but in having that knowledge it also makes us hyper-aware and sensitive to any negative feelings. We need to remember that life is about positives and negatives and feeling those so called negative thoughts are also a HEALTHY part of our mental health. Be gentle with yourself. Keep smiling 🙂

  2. We are on the same wave length today! I wrote a similar sort of post, also mentioning the pit of despair. I love that you call it that too.

    Not today, depression…not today!

  3. […] This week I also wrote about having a pretty crap day or so. And then I wrote about depression, and my battle with it. […]

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