I want to talk depression for a minute.
I know, what a downer. Sad trombone.
Here’s a thing. It’s kind of important. A depressed person isn’t always unhappy, and depressed people aren’t “negative.” They don’t need an attitude adjustment, and they don’t need to simply be thankful because “other people have it worse.” Gosh, you’re right. Can you imagine? That suddenly makes everything all better. Thank you.
Depression isn’t a mood. In fact, depressed people do have actual moods, too. You know, like normal people. Depressed people have good days and bad days, good and bad moments, even. Sometimes my world is completely black. Sometimes it is beautiful and glowing! Yes, I can be happy. But usually the world is a little gray. I am okay with that. I am okay with okay. That’s a tough one for people to understand. I get that.
The important thing for me is that my general world outlook doesn’t really change. I tend to think that people are mostly good, even on my black days. I can tolerate social interaction on mostly a day to day basis. I function. I’ve held down jobs, and nurtured relationships. I am kind to others, and I am generally a positive person. But guess what? My positive attitude doesn’t make my depression or my anxiety disappear, because “good vibes” aren’t a cure.
Depression can become manageable, certainly, but it doesn’t really go away. Therapy and medication can help. Sometimes. For some people.
I used to believe that my inconsistent and fluctuating bleak sadness and incapacitating anxiety were due to some fault of my own, something I had somehow done wrong and had to figure out a way to set right. I wasn’t doing enough good for enough people. Basically, I spent a lot of my time feeling confused and guilty (which is why that whole “other people have it worse than you” thing doesn’t help). When I was younger, I convinced myself that nightly panic attacks about the fear of my own death were probably normal and nothing worth mentioning to anyone. In fact, I didn’t mention them to anyone, ever, until only a few years ago. Apparently it’s not normal. Surprise.
Thinking about the process required to find an actual solution, if one exists for me, sends me into a whirlwind panic. I have learned to trust myself. I don’t leave the house on bad days. I’ve altered my diet a bit. I’m better about remembering to take a daily iron supplement, because my anemia makes the physical symptoms of depression worse (yes, there are physical symptoms). Like I said, I function. And I am okay. I guess I just want people to know that functioning and being okay can sometimes be enough. My darkest days are few and far between, and I have learned how to cope. I do, in fact, find happiness in the smallest things. I smile when I feel like smiling!
I am appreciative, thankful. I try to put good things out into the world. Lots of (not all, because I can’t and will not speak for every person) other depressed people do the same. But we are still depressed. And honestly, that’s okay. It’s your mind; it’s your body; it’s your life. It’s not anyone else’s. And you get one.
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Naomi, and this space is made of girldust. This blog is a picture of my comfortably scattered life on the coast of Maine. I'm trying to be a slightly better version of myself every day. I like old houses, reading, the ocean, ghost stories, and museums. You can learn a little bit more about me here.