There’s nothing pleasant, in my opinion, about being depressed and trying to balance a normal life. My life isn’t more artsy or creative when I’m depressed. No one is romantically hiding from the world with me. I’m just fucking miserable.
But worse than the actual depression itself is trying to explain it to everyone around me.
Depression is a complicated beast. It manifests itself differently for everyone who suffers from it. For me, I get random bouts of tears at the drop of a hat, aching loneliness despite my intense desire for isolation, apathy so strong that I can barely move, and no desire to eat whatsoever despite hunger pains.
It’s completely debilitating when I’m having a depressive episode. But it isn’t recognized as such. I can call in sick for a runny nose, but I can’t call in sick when getting out of bed feels like climbing a mountain. It isn’t recognized as legitimate because it’s “in my head.”
I’m told I’m being lazy. I need to snap out of it. It’s all just exaggeration. I’m being dramatic.
When life is stressful, in general, it’s often compared to juggling. There’s always one ball in the air, and you have to make sure it’s all balanced. It’s difficult, but when you find a rhythm, it works.
Juggling with depression is like having one armed tied behind your back and you’ve just taken a Benadryl, so your reaction time is slow. I know my other arm is there, and juggling would be so much easier if I could just untie it, but I can’t. Sometimes I can find a rhythm. When my medications are balanced, I’m practicing self care, and I have a routine in place. But one slip can completely change the rhythm and balls get dropped.
Depression is difficult. I am so incredibly thankful for friends and family who are patient with me, a flexible job with a great boss, and a kick ass therapist who has taught me some amazing self care. It’s a daily battle, but I’m still fighting.
I have depression, but depression doesn’t have me.