What’s It Like Living With Depression?

Personally I know when the depression is about to hit. I can feel this immense amount of sadness for no apparent reason, and I suddenly don’t have any purpose to my life. I just go through the motions and want to cry at every little thing. There’s no reason for me to be sad. Maybe there was a trigger? Maybe there was a moment that just led me down a bad path?

But usually I can prevent those triggers. Usually I can prevent myself from going down that path. But sometimes it just happens. Sometimes you can’t foresee it, and your mind goes to dark places. It starts to reason things it would never reason before. And it starts to believe in the insecurities you’ve worked so hard to overcome.

You know it’s not true. You know your rational mind doesn’t justify it. But you can’t help but feel this way. Usually when I get to this point I just detach myself from the world and push everyone away. I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m thankful I can at least write about it. That I want to write about it. Because I haven’t felt this way in a while.

I thought I had found some defense mechanism to keep myself from getting to this point. But depression is a lifelong battle. No matter how hard I try it will always be there, itching to get back under my skin. And it could be hormones right now that’s making me so glum and down. I don’t know. But I know there’s no getting out of it, not until the fog lifts.

The best I can do is go through the motions, keep myself active, keep myself moving, and sleep through the worst of it. That’s always been my defense mechanism. I don’t know how else to overcome it. When I try to explain it to others, they don’t understand. And I’m tired of trying to explain. So I just take a step back for a while. And hope when I come out on the other side they will still be my friends.

But the truth is except for those in my daily life these episodes don’t last that long. Most don’t even know they’ve occurred. The only actual person I might call if I was in a really bad place would be my brother. But I know I’m not at that point yet. And I know he is trying to get his own life together. I can’t put that on him. Plus I want to be strong for him. I don’t want him to know I’m still fighting this (even if he already does).

Others think I can just force myself to be happy but it doesn’t work like that. It’s never worked like that. They don’t understand the emotions. They don’t understand the gray clouds. They can’t understand why I can’t just snap out of it.

Believe me I hate giving into it. And it could be I’m going a little stir-crazy because I’ve been stuck at home due to the snow storm. If it hadn’t been for the snow, I would have had social plans every night this week. I would have been distracted enough not to succumb to the vacuum of depression. But that’s not what happened.

I’m just not the person I once was. Yes I found a subtle sense of happiness in the past few months that warded off the depression and was great for my morale. But as entities of my life start breaking down around me, I realize how alone I am and how truly unhappy I am. And at times I come to terms with this revelation.

But at other times it tears me down. So I write. It seems to be the only thing I can give. I hope one day someone can relate. I hope one day someone can find hope or inspiration from my stories. I hope one day that connection will ring true. But it doesn’t make for a very fulfilling life.

I try so hard to be there for my friends. I try so hard to be a good friend even when I’m going through a rough time. It’s one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older. That I can still be a selfless person even when my own life is blowing up in my face. It’s the kind of person I’ve always aspired to be. So I try. But no one reaches out to me or understands what I’m going through.

And I’ve stopped trying to reach out to them when I feel this way. I’ve had emotional breakdowns on phone calls before and they don’t know how bad off I am. They don’t know what to do. So I change the subject and make it seem less than what it is. I’m also a considerate person. I know what they have going on in their lives and I try not to make myself a burden.

Many friends can’t handle that kind of responsibility. I don’t even know if I would pick up on it if I was going through a similar situation. In fact every time I’ve been depressed I can’t think of anyone besides a few who truly understood what I was going through. It’s a lonely disease. Even lonelier than diabetes.

And I know I should talk to someone. I know I am not the only one having to go through this. I know we have all been there. And fortunately it’s not affecting my everyday life. I’m still able to get my work done. I’m still able to work out. I’m still able to go to the store and feed myself (however little that might be). I’m still living and taking care of my diabetes. So that should be one saving grace.

But when I have to shut the door to my room to sob it out I know something is not right. When I’m no longer excited about the prospects of tomorrow and want to cancel on my plans I know something is not right. It’s nice that I have that kind of control over my life again. But it doesn’t represent who I’ve been in the past two months. It doesn’t represent all that I’ve overcome.

A part of me just wants to get over it. And I know I can do that by listening to more upbeat music and putting myself out there again. But then the other part of me just wants to drag my feet. I want to feel the depression. I want it to overtake me. Because something is not right, and if I continue to ignore it it will not go away. I need to deal with it. So yeah things aren’t great right now but I need to figure out why.

Why was I so happy a month ago? Why was I so okay with everything then? What makes now so different? Why can’t I see the silver lining? My whole new philosophy has been about enjoying life, what little I have of it. But what happens when I’m not enjoying life? What happens when I’m not enjoying even the little bit that I have?

Then I’m obviously not happy. I think being single would be easier if I was surrounded by single friends, if I had a single system of support and a plethora of social activities to keep me occupied. But that’s not what being single is like for me anymore. Instead I am just reminded of how alone I am. And I do try. I’ve involved myself in so many different activities but it wasn’t like a couple of months ago when I was busy every night of the week.

And that’s what this week should have been. But it wasn’t. Because it’s winter. And this is why I hibernate in winter. It’s not worth the effort, and the weather just depresses me. I really don’t feel all that motivated for tomorrow. I look at the future and I feel nothing. What have I to live for? What’s really going to change?

I’m going to get older. I’m still going to be in debt. I’m still going to have failed relationships. And eventually I’m going to lose those close to me. I will still have diabetes. So what really do I have to look forward to? My unfinished novel? Doubtful. What I’ve written so far has been hideous. I’ve mostly been writing about what’s going on in my own life. And I don’t think that’s all that intriguing. Just like these “life” entries.

But I guess I’m not ready to give up. I’m not there yet. I still want to see what tomorrow brings, to see if it will be better. I guess I still have hope even though I shouldn’t. I guess I’m tired of trying but still hoping things will change. At the end of the day I know it’s the depression talking. And I know I am not very hopeful right now.

And if I were to share this entry with anyone they would be scared, probably worried, but they wouldn’t really understand what I need. I’m past that point. A long time ago when I was insecure and expected my close relationships to carry me through the depression, I would take a risk and share these kinds of revelations with them. And I found it just scared them off. They didn’t know what to do with it much less how to help me.

So I stopped sharing. It’s not exactly what I should be doing in cases like this. But it’s what I do. Because unless you’ve experienced the hang-ups of depression, you don’t really get it. Hell I didn’t get it before I knew what depression was but I was still fascinated by it.

I’m not ready to give up on all that I’ve worked for. But sometimes I wonder what’s the point? Why do I even try? I continue to be rejected, and I continue to feel alone. I will always have diabetes and I will probably always be in debt so I can’t expect much success in this life. And although I like the idea of reincarnation I don’t believe in it. So there’s really not much more to hope for after this, except maybe to end the pain.

I can’t believe I’m talking like this again. How did I get back here? It’s been so long. I thought I was past it. I thought I no longer thought that way anymore. But I guess we can all be full of surprises. So what can I do? I’m in no place to be around people. Maybe I should cancel my plans this week? I’ve honestly been faking my support, trying to be the best person I can be for those I care about.

A friend asked why I was stressed today, and I couldn’t really say. I said personally I wasn’t doing that great but it wasn’t their burden to bear.

That’s just it. I don’t have anyone here I can actually depend on, to pick up on my cues and understand what’s going on with me. That’s not true. I have friends here but I don’t want to put that burden on them. And I don’t want to open up the possibility that they might disappoint me. I don’t expect them to understand (although it would be a nice safety net). So I just go through the motions and pretend everything is okay when it obviously isn’t. What else can I really do? I can’t be honest. Mental health is such a life ruiner when actually exposed.

It’s a stigma that will continue to live on generations after me. I can say I missed a day of work due to diabetes, but I can’t say I missed a day of work due to mental health. It’s just not excusable.

So I do what I can and hope one day my spirits will lift.


One thought on “What’s It Like Living With Depression?

  1. Pingback: Don’t Worry, I’m Alright | Sugarcoated

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