Maybe you know how I feel. “How could someone live two different lives?” You see, I have this crappy thing called depression.
By day, I use to put on a fake smile, pretending I was perfectly fine and normal when really I would count the minutes until I could be back into the comfort of my home alone. By night, I let my depression hang out in the open. My laundry piled all over the floor, dishes all over the counter, trash scattered throughout my house in a chaotic mess.
This bothered me a lot and yet depression sucked up every drop of motivation I could possibly have.
If you met me at work, you would think I was borderline OCD with how clean my work area was, I seemed cheerful and talkative. I became a professional at hiding every bit of my depression.
Some days I felt myself slip up a little and, when asked if I was okay, I would just find some lame excuse like “I’m just tired” or “The weather makes me feel blah.” Then I would change the subject and no one knew that deep down I was actually thinking about what the world would be like if I wasn’t in it. No one knew that in my mind I was trapped in a dark, sucky place.
What Is Being Normal Anyway?
I wished I could be “normal.” This feeling is all I ever knew since I was a child watching my parents fight all the time. From an early age, depression had a tight grip on me. Everyone thought I was lazy or uninspired, but really I was crying for someone to really see me.
When you live with pain every day, eventually you just get accustomed to it. Or, you find ways to numb it if even just for a moment of sweet relief. I can see why people become addicted to their drug of choice. For me, it was actually food. I would eat and binge.
I also use to hurt myself. Something about the nice, clean cuts, the sharp pain, made me feel like I was in control.
It actually surprises me that I loved being in my own home so much given how messy it was. I also have anxiety, so watching me attempt to clean is like watching some comedy show. I start something, and then I see something else. Eventually, I become so overwhelmed with the messes, my depression comes to the rescue in the worst way possible telling me to just go lay down, just go watch some tv until you fall asleep.
That is what I did all the time. Sleep. I felt like sleep was my escape from this world. It wasn’t unusual for me to cancel plans and just sleep all day. I wore pajamas more often than actual clothes. My blankets spent more quality time with me than my friends or family.
So here is the difficult subject everyone wants to bring up with someone suffering depression. Suicide. Truth is, I have depression, but I am not suicidal. I know this doesn’t apply to everyone. Have I thought about ending my life? Yes. Everyone wonders what this world would be like if they were never in it don’t they? However, I did not look for reasons to end my life. I didn’t want to die. It took a while to find someone who understood that when I finally decided to get help.
There is a definite line between depression, just wanting the pain to end, and not wanting to live. If you are feeling suicidal or think you self-harm, then I beg you to seek help. Find someone to talk to.
Finding The Help I Needed
So, I lived all these years with depression. How did I finally escape it? The thing about depression is, it’s like the worst rollercoaster that never ends. There are times when you are at your highs and happy, and then you can quickly spiral into the lowest lows.
So, I was on a high. Life was going pretty okay and I felt good. But, I know myself. I knew I was on borrowed time before I dived back into my bed and covers. So, I made a doctor’s appointment. I made it during a time of day that I couldn’t find an excuse to not go. Not to mention, when they asked why I was seeing my doctor, I told them depression. This made me a red flag if I canceled or didn’t show up.
Forward to being at the doctor’s office. Talking about myself and my depression is the hardest thing to do. It’s like when someone asks you to tell a whole room of strangers’ three unique things about yourself within one minute.
My mind just went blank. All of a sudden, this thing I lived with for most of my life became foreign to me. I was being asked simple questions and I didn’t really know how to answer them. My anxiety was working overtime and I was near to a panic attack.
After talking to my doctor more, she could see my discomfort. For the first time in my entire life, it felt like she could see me. Like, the real me. It felt like she could see the depression sitting on my shoulders causing my physical pain, my fatigue, my weight gain and, how I wasn’t being all that hygienic. She could feel my anxiety. She gave me an empathetic smile and confided in me that she knows what I am going through. She spoke with me about different medicines, and we decided on the best one.
My Life Now…
It’s been several months now, and I feel different. Different in the way that I don’t feel anything at all. I know that sounds bad to those who never had depression, but it’s actually a good thing. I feel… no pain. I go to bed, I wake up, and I go about my day. When something good happens, I feel happy and when something bad happens, I feel the appropriate amount of sadness or anger.
I know I am not healed by any means. My house is still unorganized and a little chaotic. I still need to find the right therapist for me. This depression didn’t just happen for no reason. Though I do understand the chemical imbalance, I think there was an initial trigger.
My experience may be different from yours or someone else who has depression. However, if you do have depression and/or anxiety, don’t be afraid to seek help. Talk to someone about it. Don’t be embarrassed.
I never wanted to admit out loud that I had depression. It felt like I was admitting defeat. I wish someone would have begged me to seek help ages ago. All those times I wanted to get help but couldn’t bring myself to. If I had known I could be feeling this much better, I would have started on this path sooner.
Now, I am not ashamed. I can see clearly. The hardest part is admitting that you can’t do this alone. I lived in my own head for so long and now I am starting to enjoy life again. Every day there are little things that I would never have noticed or appreciated as much before.
I am slowly getting my motivation back, which is a weird feeling. There is a new chapter ahead, and for the first time in a long time, I am actually excited to see what it brings.