I have struggled with depression a lot in my life I have just turned 28. The first time I was referred to the school counselor I was 11 years old. After that I saw several counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and family therapists throughout my school life and early adulthood.
When I was 14 I tried to kill myself. Not very effectively, I really just wanted someone to notice and help me. I left home when I was 18 and moved in with my boyfriend who was even more fucked up than me. There were times I would cry myself to sleep. For more than ten years the black cloud hung over me.
However, in the last few years I have felt better. Since I ended my last serious relationship, in mid 2009, I thought I was better. I thought I’d kicked the Black Dog out of my life.
About a year ago I started seeing a psychologist. With her I have made some real break-throughs about who I am, what I want out of life, who I should surround myself with. She is helping me to learn to love myself and to assert my needs for emotional support from people around me. She is teaching me how to feel human again.
But right now it feels like too much too fast. For the last month I have found it harder and harder to face people. The very idea of it fills me with dread. I just want to hide in my room and never leave, and yet I’m filled with loneliness, emptiness. Sometimes it takes all my energy, every ounce of willpower, just to leave the house. I sit in my room and weep. For no real reason – it just hurts. Night time is always worse.
Little things will trigger a spiraling internal dialogue about how worthless I am. Sometimes it’s not even that clear as negative internal dialogue, just something happens that reminds me of all the pain I’m trying to manage and it comes welling up.
I feel heavy inside all the time. Like it is harder to walk, to move. I feel like I’m wading through waist-deep honey. Sometimes I think about driving my car into a wall, or hurting myself in other ways just to make it stop. It is an effort to smile and make conversations with people; to hide what’s happening inside. I don’t want anyone to know because I’m ashamed.
I am afraid they will think I’m a whinger, that I have everything going for me, that I have nothing to complain about. I’m afraid they will look at me as though I’m a burden to them. That they will push me away because they don’t know how to deal with me. Part of this is the depression, whispering in my ear, lying to me, but part of it is true.
I have not had a good record of having people around me who have the emotional know-how, resources or willingness to support me so when I reached out to them they push me away, or placate me, or distract me, or deny me.
It has taken a lot for me to admit to myself that I have depression. Even with the stuff I was doing with my psychologist, it’s only in the last week that I’ve said to myself ‘You are not ok. You need to take steps to be ok. You will be ok’.
So I’ve made an appointment to get some antidepressants. I’m seeing my psychologist regularly. I am writing this here because I need to say it. I need people around me to understand that sometimes I just can’t see you and it’s not your fault. I need people to know what’s going on for me, but I don’t need you to do anything different. Just be yourselves, your gorgeous selves and let me do the work with my psychologist and my doctor. I don’t need you to be my counselor I need you to be my friend. To hug me, to tell me you love me and to give me some slack when I need it.
I need to tell you this here because I can’t tell you to your faces. I’m just not that strong.
I need to say it here because there are people in the world, many that I don’t even know, who need to hear it, to know it’s ok to say I am not ok, to know that depression lies and that you are not alone.