My whole body feels like lead. I can’t move. I almost feel nothing at all. I slept for 14 hours the night before last. Yesterday I didn’t get of bed. I didn’t wash or even brush my hair. I ate but I wasn’t hungry. I had angry and irrational thoughts about people, life and myself. I have flutters of other feelings. I feel needy, vulnerable and all alone. It dawns on me that I am failure and a fool to believe in myself. Then I remind myself, today I am depressed.
There were times in the past where I haven’t gotten out of bed for a whole week, and occasionally even longer. During the worst of times I couldn’t walk over a bridge without wanting to throw myself off. I’d stand in the shower pulling my hair and scratching my face wanting to peel the ugliness away. I wanted to smash my head into the tiles in the hope that all that was rotten would disappear. Those days are gone. Today I know, I am just depressed.
It happens every so often, I lose myself for a day or two. The difference nowadays is that I manage it. Of course when I say manage it what I really mean is that I accept it. I stay in bed because I accept that is what my body needs today. When I have silly thoughts I either tell someone or I write it down, either way I have a strong word with myself. Yesterday I continued to write in my gratitude journal, to remind myself of what I have now. I wrote in my diary, I wrote facts and then I wrote “Today I am depressed.”, after all it’s just another fact to me now. I battled with it for so long but not any more. If I wake up feeling like lead, and all positive thoughts are distinctively absent, I accept it for what it is but I don’t fight it any more.
I feel sadness. I want to cry. I can’t see any positive in my life. Today all I see is failure. There is no hope. I am unworthy of love. I don’t deserve anything. I am disgusting. ~ Me
The doubts and negativity used to take control. Like a scratched record on repeat or nails down a chalkboard. All I could hear was “You are not good enough. Your life is meaningless”. Today I know, I am just depressed.
I woke up this morning and the sun was shining. I opened my window and embraced the fresh air. Today I can feel sad but today I will get out of bed. I will not dwell on yesterday. If I have overeaten I will forgive myself. If I haven’t washed in 24 hours then I’ll hop in the shower.“It’s okay” is what I tell myself. Maybe today is not the day to think about my life’s plan, or write my work plan for the next year. Those things can wait. Perhaps it isn’t the time to contemplate life’s bigger questions, questions which ordinarily wouldn’t even cross my mind. I realise now that it is no wonder that before medication I had no idea who I was. Feeling fragmented was all I knew. Torn between depression and highs and all the irrational thoughts and behaviour that went with them, how could I have possibly recognised myself in the mirror. This is when I remind myself, today I know who I am.
People have said how they admire my positive outlook and how inspiring it is. This is not easy, in fact it is really, really hard. My depression isn’t marked by an event, nowadays with my life on track there are no catalysts. My depression to me is purely physiological and while it was once all consuming, it is now welcome. I accept it. The medication has allowed rational, logical me to appear and look it straight in it’s evil eye and say “Do your worst fucker!” and it can, because now I know who I am. Even in the worst of times post-meds I do know who I am. I am an optimist, I may be a tad eccentric, I laugh really loud and it feels good. I care about everyone, including myself. I give my time and money to help people because that is what I believe in. I dance like a dick and I love singing no matter how awful I know I sound. I believe that people can do anything they want to do, you just have to put your mind to it, and this is how I am here today, writing this. I believed that I am more than the depression. I believed that I could beat it. I believed in myself.
People have said how they admire my positive outlook and how inspiring it is. What they see in me is what they have in themselves. Believe in yourself. Accept that certain things are the way they are but you can manage them. Always know that there are people around you who are there for you and care for you. Most importantly, never stop believing in yourself, even at the worst of times.