Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Joys of Depression

It's been pretty rough lately. This pregnancy is really hard on me. Mentally and physically. I forgot how debilitating depression can be when you're not in control of it. It takes so much work to control my mind. It takes more effort than just living. I think that's why most people chose other ways to deal with it, or not deal with it at all. Sometimes I describe it as a hole that I just can't get out of. A deep dark hole. That's not really an exact parallel comparison. Because I don't visualize an actual 'hole' per se, but it's more of how I feel mentally. My mind is in a deep dark pit. And it can't see the light. I know I’m down there, I know I'm struggling to find the light, but I just can't find the steps to climb out. It's frustrating as hell. And confusing.

That's the other, terrible part. I feel so confused. I feel like I don't know which way is up or down or if I’m going left or right. I truly just don't know. Now, part of that is pregnancy brain, it's a real thing! I swear! It freaking sucks the genius right outta ya. But the other part is depression. I can get so mixed up on my feelings and thoughts. I just don't know what do to about it or how to fix my confused thoughts! The majority of the time I just ignore it. I just choose not to acknowledge that I’m confused, so then I just end up putting it so far out of my mind that I’m not even living in reality. It happened the other day, I was so caught up on just trying to act normal, i.e. not confused, not depressed, not hurting, that I completely blacked out my loved ones. Meaning, I blacked out what their feelings on life and events are like. I just completely ignored them & reality. I ignored what is meaningful to them. And in turn, I hurt them very much. Which led to me actually 'deal' with my confusion and depression. And by 'dealing with it', I mean it came out in a big, ugly, battle where I ended up having a panic attack and major cry fest. 

Letting it out did help, but its not a remedy to my problems. 

The only silver lining in all this is I RECOGNIZE that I'm depressed. I KNOW I'm going thru that, or that I'm in a struggle. 
One of the hardest parts of this disease is RECOGNITION. Depression acts like a drug, or a drink, it masks what you really feel inside, and replaces it with the exact opposite. It makes you wonder if you really ARE depressed or hurting or struggling, and makes you believe that you're not depressed, that you feel fine, things are good, and you can handle life. In other words, it's like you being completely high or drunk and thinking that you can have one more hit or one more drink and walk that straight line all while saying the alphabet backwards (not that I’ve had to do that or anything….moving on). When in actuality, you should have been 'done' about 3 hits or drinks ago, and you're already a wobbly walker and your ‘words’ if that’s what you want to call them, just tumble out in a big pile of gurgles and rambles, equivalent of a one year old baby. Depression feeds on your 'normal' thoughts of 'I need help', 'there's something not right', 'this isn't me', 'why am I acting/doing/feeling like this'. It replaces those 'trigger' thoughts with things like, 'I'm good!', 'I don't need help!', 'I'm completely fine!'. 

So in the past, I've gone around in a depressive haze thinking life is good, I'm grand, I'm stable, and no one or nothing could change my mind. But NOPE. That's just the depression talking. Life is not good, I am not grand, and I am extremely UNstable. This time around, I RECOGNIZE that life sucks, I'm mentally in a shithole, and that I need help. It's so hard to recognize that. So HARD! About as hard as actually fixing yourself.

Let me introduce you to the three parts of depression. Three different, and hard, struggles to battling (and overcoming or winning) the war. 
-Part 1 in the War on Depression is RECOGNITION that you ARE depressed and not thinking clearly. Recognizing you actually HAVE a mental illness. And your thoughts are truly not YOUR thoughts. Sometimes even your actions are not truly your actions. It's Depression's thoughts & actions. And it's a heavy battle. It's an extremely difficult battle. And the majority never win. 
-Part 2 is working though your struggles and 'fixing' it. An equally hard and difficult battle as Part 1, because most of the time you don't have the resources available to 'fix' it. You can't see past the depressive haze to find the solutions. That's why it's so important to rely on family, friends, and medical professionals to HELP you. Let Them Help You! Getting help is hard. Asking for help is even harder. For myself, it makes me feel like a failure. Even after all these years in counseling and working on improving myself, I still have a hard time reaching out for help. Mostly, it’s because of my personality type, and only partly because I'm stubborn as hell.
-Part 3, another uphill-Mt-Everest-high battle, is after you’ve conquered Parts 1 and 2, then you have to MAINTAIN. You have to struggle, every day, every minute, every second to maintain your ‘normal’ thoughts and not let Depression move back in. Yes, there’s medication to help. Yes, there are professionals and loved ones to help. But it’s truly up to you, and the strength you have in yourself. Which at this point, you’ve used almost every freaking ounce of strength you have just battling (and winning) Parts 1 and 2. There’s like seriously about a mosquito fart amount of strength left in your mind to deal with mundane things such as eating & pooping, let alone enough strength to funnel that into trying to win another battle against Depression. And actually this one is the hardest yet, because it’s not just a battle to win, but it’s a LIFETIME of struggle to just be ‘normal’. There’s never a winning or overcoming side, there’s either MAINTAINING or losing. And if you slip and lose, you get sucked right back into Depression and have to start all over again with Part 1.

So, that’s my life in a nutshell. Riding a freaking carousal on the back of a very slippery, slightly odd looking, plastic frog (because all the pretty unicorns are taken), going up and down and up and down, and round and round, all the while trying not to slide off the back and make a fool of myself. Oh the joys of living with Depression.

Anyways. One thing that helps me is writing, reading and re-reading my written word, and hopefully seeing a different perspective. It’s been too long since I’ve expressed myself, and that’s probably part of the issue with my depression coming back around again.

I write to not only help myself, but hopefully to help others too. I believe knowing someone else’s struggles, faults, and/or weaknesses will maybe touch another’s life and help them see their struggles, faults, and/or weaknesses and realize they’re not alone. Going through depression is hard enough as it is. But going it alone is even worse. There are people out there that feel your pain, know your pain, and can help fix that pain. But being silent isn’t going to help you or them, now is it?!

Thanks for reading and seeing my struggle! I know it helped me to get it out, hopefully it’ll help you too!