The basic definition of depression is “a state of feeling sad.” I just want to emphasize this. A state of “feeling sad.” What kind of bullshit are you trying to feed me? Feeling sad? You have no fucking clue, do you?
I was diagnosed with manic depression in 2009, but a lot of my old poetry shows I was suffering as early as 2005. There was a lot of evidence pointing to depression (self-harm being the major one), so this wasn’t something my doctor simply pulled out of his ass. After I was put on medication in ’09, things balanced out for a while.
But it didn’t last. I needed the medication dose raised, an additional pill, or a whole different antidepressant altogether. And even now, at the start of 2016, I still fall prey to my depression. Which is exactly what happened after my birthday, May 7th, 2015. The summer was crazy at work, and I would often come home too tired to keep my eyes open. My boyfriend picked up a lot of my slack around the house. He did the chores I skipped, finished the ones I was too tired to complete.
Once the summer rush ended, things slowed down. Even Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years weren’t as busy as usual. Still, not a day went by where I wasn’t plotting a nap, snapping out at my loved ones, or crying uncontrollably. And I honestly couldn’t tell you which was worse: feeling shitty for acting shitty, or acting shitty for feeling shitty.
Because I know I wasn’t myself. I could feel it. I can still feel it. This dread, this dark hole inside of me. Even when I was younger I never realized that this wasn’t a normal feeling, that not everyone feels like this. As fucked up as that sounds, I thought “moody teenager” and “sensitive” were acceptable explanations. I still sometimes fall back on them. Telling myself, “it’s just a bad day, shake it off, get over it.”
If you had asked me ten years ago where I pictured my life, it wouldn’t be here. I thought I’d have a book published, maybe be married. Have my own house and not living off my best friend like some parasitic sponge. I thought I would’ve done something with my life by now. Or at least be in the process of doing something. I know I’m only 26, but that’s only 4 years away from 30. Talk about a panic attack.
I changed antidepressants three times. I’m on two different mood stabilizers. I’ve stuffed myself full of vitamins and herbal supplements. (Only ones my doctor approves with my medications, of course.) I’ve tried therapy. I’ve tried therapy a number of times. And don’t get me wrong- some days are good. Some days are really balanced, and I kind of have my shit together. I’m like an actual functioning adult!
But it doesn’t last. And every day, I wake up to a battle. A battle to get out of bed, a battle to go to work. A battle to put on a smile, and a battle to not cry at the drop of a pin. A battle to remember to eat, but also a battle to not eat all day. There is a battle to not be lazy, to get out of bed, and to do something, anything!
So here I am. Battling to stay afloat the only way I know how. The way I did as I grew up.
Reading. Writing. Reviewing.
I don’t know what comes after this. I have absolutely no idea what the next 4 years hold for me. More battles, I suppose. But I can do it. After all, my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%.