I know that people often associate depression with sadness. Though I understand why people put the two together, I don’t think that word even scratches the surface. I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder along with other conditions. I write about depression so that I can bring awareness about this mental illness. Many people have been diagnosed and most likely, there are even more that go undiagnosed. Everyone’s journey and struggle is different. This is mine.
This sounds odd but sometimes I take selfies when I feel really depressed. I always try to capture the intensity of how I feel. Maybe it is because I want someone to notice or understand what is behind the mask.
The best way to describe what depression feels like for me is a heavy weight. Have you ever done lunges while holding weights in your hands? After doing this exercise for a short time you begin to feel weak and it is hard to continue forward. Everything burns and you feel like giving up. This is how I feel often during the day. I would like to say that it is just in the morning but it is not. I am tired all day. I will wake up and struggle to get out of bed. Not because I am just “tired” but more so due to the fact that I don’t want to function.
In my head I make a list of all the things I need to get done for that day. I’m thankful for my pets because knowing I need to feed them is one of the first things that gets me up. From there I eat breakfast and take a shower because I do not want to go to work without one. Thankfully, I’ve always been a really clean person. Catch me on a day off though and the idea of staying in my pajamas in bed sounds amazing. I don’t hang out with anyone and tend to isolate myself from everyone, even family. In my mind, I feel that why should I get close to anyone when they ultimately leave one way or another.
Driving up to work I watch as people I work with walk in. I don’t. I usually stay in my car about 30 minutes with the A/C on while listening to the radio. I have to mentally prepare to go in. I’m often exhausted before I even get out of the car. I do not hate my job nor the people I work with. I’m very thankful actually to be able to have the chance to work with animals. Depression just makes everything feel hard. Once I get in, the day gets easier as there is a clear agenda that I need to get done.
Sometimes, when I get home at the end of the night, I once again sit in my car. It feels like a lot to walk inside, especially if no one is there yet. When my boyfriend arrives home he often wants to go to a restaurant and eat there. When I am that level of tired I do not want to do anything that involves going out and sitting around strangers. What feels normal to some feels incredibly emotionally exhausting to me. Occasionally, we will go though because how my boyfriend feels does matter to me. It all depends on how much strength I have that day.
After work, I need things to be quiet. I’m overloaded with sound and life in general. The best way to get me to snap is to bring any kind of unusual change into my routine. If people drop by unexpectedly I will usually be found hiding in the back room. Putting pressure on me to socialize brings about either intense anger or a deep sadness of failure from myself. Socializing is the single hardest thing I’ve ever tried to make myself do. Well…..I guess public speaking ranks first, however, socializing is close to the top!
What I want to tell you if you have depression, anxiety, etc, and are struggling
You are not alone. I know it is a battle that can really only be understood by those suffering along side you. No one reaches me in the way someone who has truly “been there” does. I would like to say that I am in recovery, even though most days it does not feel like it. I want to encourage you to find a counselor and/or Psychiatrist you connect with. I have had different ones in the past and the two I have now are definitely the best. If you are saying to yourself right now “I don’t have any money for that” I can assure you I was in your boat. Actually, my boat was sinking from bills. I called around and found a mental health clinic that did a SLIDING SCALE. Please ask for this. What it means is that you bring in a pay stub and based off your income, they give you a price for your visit. I believe a person without insurance where I go pays around $30 per visit do a Doctor, Psychiatrist, and/or counselor if they are low income. I’ve tried different medications. I will tell you from experience that some don’t work at all, some work too much, and some you can’t figure out if anything is happening. I have not found any kind of miracle drug or major relief yet. With that being said, I am not giving up. The most dangerous thing is to suffer a lone with no help in site. It makes everything feel pointless.
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