It’s hard to explain my depression to someone who’s never been through it. It’s normal for people to feel sad sometimes, everyone has times like that and there is a comfort in knowing that you have something to be sad about. For me, at this moment in time, I’m sad for no reason. I feel like I’ve been hollowed out and all of my emotions have been replaced with ‘sad’ or ‘nothing’. Normal sadness and grief are sharp, they stab you at one point, for one reason and you know it, depression is like white noise that you can hear all the time, if you concentrate on something else for a while, you can not think about it, but the noise is always there, gradually wearing away at you.
People who have watched Dexter might have a bit of an understanding of what I mean here, but I feel like the times when I’m happy are a mask, a costume that I put on. If I pretend to be happy I can convince myself for a while that I’m ok, but it doesn’t last. I can distract my self with TV or watching stuff on youtube, even going to work or visiting people, but it’s only a band-aid, as soon as it ends I go back to being filled with an enormous black hole, a heavy feeling in my stomach that makes me feel sick.
I saw the GP this morning, told him about the crushing sadness. I feel like since starting the medication (a bit over two weeks ago) my anxiety has reduced significantly, but now I’m just full of empty, directionless sadness. The worst thing about it is that it’s not as though I’m sad about anything, I’m just sad. All I want to do is sleep, or stare out the window or some other equally motionless activity. The GP and I decided to increase my medication. He said I was looking better than when I last saw him. I guess it’s comforting, but I really don’t know if I feel better. Without the anxiety I feel like there’s a gaping maw of sadness waiting to swallow me if I let my defences down.
The thing about my depression is that sometimes I feel like I’m defined by it; that I wonder who I’d be without it. I get that it’s a sickness and I get that this is possibly as bad as I’ve ever been, but sometimes I wonder who would be left without it. Sometimes I feel like I’ve grown up with it and I’m not ready to let it go, but then I remember that I’ve been working so hard for so long to get well that it doesn’t matter what comes next. I am me and no one can change that. The things that happened to me over my life will always be there with me, and if I can kick this depression maybe I’ll be able to achieve some of the stuff I’m too frightened to even try right now.
This is a bit rambley, so I’m sorry, but I’m not really doing that well. Before I go I have to mention this blog:http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html , it says a lot of what I’ve said with pictures. Except that it sort of has a happy ending and I don’t yet.
Also Jenny, The Bloggess, has lots of great things to say about depression/mental illness, like this: http://thebloggess.com/2012/04/depression-lies/ this one is pretty great.