On the wake of a couple of women I admire owing up to suffering depression for years, I have to more fully acknowledged my struggle with the illness. Here is an article that involves both those people.
I have, for years, been telling a number of folks that I am clinically depressed. But never, not even for one minute, it occurred to me that I had a disability, and that life hit me differently than it did other folks. I always said it, but more as an excuse than anything else, “Everyone is different. It bothers me, even if it doesn’t bother you.” Or, “The problem is that you guys can’t see my wheelchair.”
I knew it. I knew it at a gut level. I said it. But It didn’t stop me from feeling guilty. I thought I should perform like others did. With my education and experience, I should have a great job. I should earn lots of money. I should be happy. I should enjoy life. I should. I should.
If somebody would’ve told me that in my vulnerable state it was “normal” that small issues would bother me hugely, and that stuff that others don’t sweat I would blow out of proportion, at least I would’ve given myself a break. But no. I kept pushing myself. I kept thinking that I needed to get over my pitiful sorrows and be normal. Not only did small stuff bothered me and hurt me deeply. I felt guilty for being bothered. The chains were thick and heavy. No wonder I never wanted to get out of bed in the morning.
Sadly enough, It has been my life partner who has pushed me harder, in his quest to help me. It has taken him years to come to understand the dept of my sorrows, though he is getting there. I’m not even sure the psychologist I’ve been seeing for a long time actually grasps the depth of my despair. And these are two very nice people. They’re not nasty or anything. They just don’t live inside me, and if I don’t tell them, how are they to know? I have to speak up. I have to own up my suffering.
I truly don’t know where to go from here, other than giving myself a huge pat on the back for making it this far in one piece.
I need to find a way to come out of denial but, at the same time, keep up the battle to feel better. Maybe the goal should be to feel better and not perform better, and let the performance be the result. Maybe I’ve had it wrong all these years. I have been trying to perform so I can be happy. Maybe I need to be happy so I can perform. But it is an egg-chicken conundrum. Because feeling like a failure, how can I achieve happiness? By telling myself that it is alright to be a failure? That people who fail aren’t bad or lazy, just different?
Yes, it sounds bad and it is bad. But for some reason I refuse to take medication. I think I will gain weight, lose my sexual drive, and become dependent. And that would just make me feel worse.
Anyway, that’s what the battle looks like today. Thank you for reading!